Valid name: Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae (Seegers, 1990)
Synonym: Pseudocrenilabrus sp. "Baria Red"
Common name: Dwarf Victorian Mouthbrooder
Location: Rivers in the Lake Victoria basin
Adult male size: 3 1/2 inches (9 cm)
There are two sub-species of this cichlid: Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor multicolor (the egyptian mouthbrooder) and Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae. They are supposed to grow to only 3" to 3.5" (8 cm to 9 cm) long. I understand that they are tolerant of a large range of water conditions and also do well with plants. They inhabit the rivers around Lake Albert and Lake Victoria as well as the upper Nile River. They prefer a varied diet, require lots of hiding places and seem to prefer a dark sand substrate.
Personal notes: I have now purchased this riverine from four different knowledgeable breeders over a span of three years, yet it was never correctly identified by the breeder. I'm not sure why people find this fish so difficult to identify since it is becoming more common every year and Anton Lomboj's book has an excellent picture for comparison. I was sold 2 "pair" (these are not pair-bonding fish) of Pseudocrenilabrus philander at the Ohio Cichlid Extravaganza in November of 2005. The males were around 1 3/4" (4.5 cm) long and the females were around 1 1/4" (3 cm long. A little bit of research revealed that they were actually Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae. Unfortunately the 2M:2F ratio doesn't work out very well. The males always want to breed and they chase the females constantly. The next year I purchased fish labeled Pseudocrenilabrus sp. "Baria Red", which once again turned out to be victoriae. Later that same year I purchased some "Egyptian Mouthbrooders" from a local breeder and I also some Pseudocrenilabrus philander from a well known mail order breeder/importer. But, of course, they all turned out to be Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor victoriae.
By this time I had accumulated a large number of males and still had only 4 females. I sold the excess males and settled on 2M:4F in a 40 gallon long tank.... essentially a single species tank unless you count the tetras I used as dithers. I was finally able to keep the females alive and actually had them breed.
The above two males are young (2 inches, 5 cm) and very yellow in their light colored tank discussing who is the boss.
The above male is older and about 3 inches long. Note the darker color in the dark colored tank and the beautiful blue lips.
Above is one of the females. It is much smaller with a pale white to almost gray color but with a trace of blue in the lips.
Above left is a sub-dominant male which I had assumed was a female for quite a long time.
They've bred for me several times. Below is a little 3/4" (1.5 cm) juvenile.
Note the characteristic blue lips above. Another female above right.
Next Victorian = Ptyochromis sp. "Salmon"
Next riverine = Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi HOME