Name: Haplochromis sp. "ruby"
Synonym: Haplochromis sp. "ruby green"
Common name: Ruby Green
Location: Lake Kyoga and Lake Nawampassa
Adult male size: males: 4 inches (10 cm), females: 3 inches (7 cm)
Diet: algae grazer
These "Victorians" are from satellite lakes in Uganda north of Lake Victoria.
Personal notes: A local breeder indicated that he was contemplating going out of business. So I adopted (aka bought) all 17 of the little 1 inch (2 cm) juveniles he had in June of 2006. I placed them in a single species 55 gallon tank and was very pleased to find that I had 4 males and 13 females. I removed one male. Of the three males in the 55 gallon tank, one controls the left half, the other controls the right half and the third is a sub-dominant male with no territory and very little color.
This Victorian has proven to be incredibly prolific. Now that they are adults, there is generally one female producing 20 to 25 fry every week on average. Although, I don't have the energy to harvest them all, I have given away over 600 fry/juveniles to date.
This species is one of those that will only color up if kept in favorable tank conditions. If there are no females or if another species in the tank is more dominant, the male will quickly lose almost all of his color. But in a single species tank with lots of potential mates, the color is stunning. This is not a very aggressive cichlid however, it is a very lively fish. One startling movement and all 16 fish disappear under the rocks in the blink of an eye. Picture taking requires a bit of patience. But once they are out and about, both males put on a near constant display for the females.
One must be careful not to mix this Victorian with the somewhat similar Haplochromis sp. "flameback". There are some breeders that seem to have some difficulty telling these two species apart. The fully colored ruby green is, well...ruby green while the fully colored flameback is a more bluish color. Unfortunately, the subdominant coloration of these two is very nearly identical.
Above is the most dominant male Haplochromis sp. "ruby green". This picture was taken with my daughters Nikon D40 using only the on board flash.
The above picture show both of the dominant males in the 55 gallon tank.
The sub-dominant Ruby Green male above.
A Ruby Green females shown above.
A juvenile pair Haplochromis sp. "ruby" above. Beautiful even at a young age.
The two males discussing who is really the boss (above). This is actually a rather rare sight. They are generally content to stay in their respective half of the tank.
The red on the male was most intense at a young age.
Above left is a female holding Haplochromis sp. "ruby green"
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