Pelvicachromis sp. Blue Fin

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This new Pelvicachromis is causing a stir with dwarf cichlid fans - Matt Clarke explains what's currently known about the new fish.

Scientific name: "Pelvicachromis" sp. "Blue Fin"

Origin: Guinea, West Africa. Experts believe the exact location in which the fish is found is being kept secret for commercial reasons.

Size: Probably up to 8cm/3" in males, with females a bit smaller.

Water: Believed to be from acidic forest waters, so keep it in slightly soft, acidic water. Like most species, this will acclimatise to harder, more alkaline conditions.

Aquarium: A typical West African cichlid set-up is fine. Go for a sand or silica grit substrate, plenty of rocks and bogwood to provide "caves" for spawning and plant with Anubias. Don't light the tank too brightly as Pelvicachromis are often found in shady areas. Should be OK in the community tank when mixed sensibly.

Notes: These cichlids were originally exported from Guinea under the name Pelvicachromis sp. "Blue fin rolloffi" in very small quantities. Hardly anything is known about these at the moment, and there's even some debate as to whether they're actually members of the genus Pelvicachromis or not.

Identification: According to Randall Kohn of Apistogramma.com, the first ray of the pelvic fin of all known Pelvicachromis is pointed, while females have a longer second or third ray, giving the fin a rounded appearance. "Pelvicachromis" sp. "Blue Fin" females have a longer first pelvic fin ray and the second and third rays are of roughly equal length, which makes the fins less rounded than those of other Pelvicachromis. Kohn believes this might be sufficient enough for the fish to warrant their own genus.

Breeding: Believed to have been first bred by David Midvidy of the USA. Like others in the genus, it's a cave spawner that exhibits biparental care.

Availability: This rarely seen cichlid was imported by Wildwoods in early 2006. It's believed to be one of the first shipments of the species into the UK. These fish are still very hard to track down, and Wildwoods has since sold out.

Price: On sale for 10 each.