Common Name/Origin: Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Fuelleborni)
Mbuna from Lake Malawi, Africa. The Rocky shores host this species of cichlid. Fuelleborni graze on the algae that grows on the rocky ledges of Lake Malawi.
Size: Average size is between 4-7 inches.
Sexing: Males are usually blue highlighted with orange fins. Females are usually marmelade or OB (orange-blotched). Females will be brown with orange splashes on them randomly. There can be males born in the OB (marmelade) color spectrum, but these are a little more rare. All of the males I have had have been blue.
Tank: The Labeotropheus fuelleborni is a Mbuna which naturally needs plenty of rocks to live around or in. Ensure that your tank has plenty of caves and ledges. Fuelleborni are busy swimmers so you need a fairly large tank. With the fish reaching up to 7 inches, I recommend a tank 55 gallons or larger.
Temperature: 78-82 °F
Feeding: Fuelleborni are of the Mbuna subspecies therefore should only be fed a vegetable based diet. A good, high quality spirulina pellet or flake food is highly recommended. Fuelleborni will appreciate fresh green vegetables such as peas, romaine lettuce, or zucchini. Do not feed meaty, high protein foods!
Behavior: Fuelleborni are territorial and will protect their part of the tank. They will make their way throughout the tank searching for algae growing on the rocks, glass, and decorations.
Tank mates: Tank mates for the Fuelleborni cichlid should be from the Mbunu species of African cichlids. This is due to their diet requirements. Keep other Mbuna cichlids that are similar in size. Fuelleborni once mature, can hold their own with most other Mbunas. If the tank is long enough, and enough shelter or caves are provided, you could house several other species with the Fuelleborni.
It is advised not to keep Labeotropheus Trewavasae due to potential crossbreeding.
Key features: Oversized fleshy snout that overlaps the bottom jaw. This is believed to help the Fuelleborni scrape algae off the rocks in the wild.
Breeding: The Fuelleborni cichlid is a maternal mouthbrooder. One male may spawn with several females in your tank. The female will deposit her eggs on the substrate and the male will follow behind and fertilize the eggs. The female makes another pass and picks up her eggs and keeps them in her mouth anywhere from 21-30 days. Your female will not eat during this time, some hobbyist remove the female to another tank so that she is not stressed by the male in the tank.