Hemichromis sp. Muanda/Moanda

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A number of new Jewel cichlids have turned up in the UK in recent months, including the stunning Hemichromis sp. Muanda.

Scientific name: Hemichromis sp. "Muanda"

Size: Probably fully grown at 10cm/4"

Origin: Collected in Muanda/Moanda, on the Atlantic coast of Congo, West Africa.

Water: Most Hemichromis like neutral, or slightly soft and acidic conditions.

Aquarium: Aim for a tank of at least 90 x 30 x 30cm/36" x 12" x 12" with plenty of bogwood and Vallis to provide shelter. Choose tankmates with care.

Diet: Bloodworm, brineshrimp, daphnia, pellets, and flakes.

Habitat: Not known. Most Hemichromis live in large lakes and pools, often in shallow water.

Availability: Not easy to obtain. These fish were imported directly from the Congo by Maidenhead Aquatics in Harlestone Heath.

Notes: Not as aggressive as some Hemichromis, but a bit of a rogue in general terms. Said to be an undescribed species. Following the publication of this article in the magazine, we were contacted by US cichlid expert Randall Kohn for more details. Its true identity is currently being debated. A recent import of this species into the USA arrived labelled as H. sp. "Moanda". Says Randall: "This form is collected in or around Moanda which is a coastal location situated in in lower Congo River drainage. It appears to be a moderate to small-sized Hemichromis that is less aggressive than its congeners and bears a superficial resemblance to H. stellifer, a form with which it is sympatric."

Rarity rating: Not previously imported in to the UK aquatic trade.

Price: 15-20 for an 8cm/3" fish.