Red Empress Cichlid, scientifically known as Protomelas taeniolatus, is a colorful fish native to Lake Malawi in Eastern Africa.
It’s often called Red Empress Cichlid, Haplochromis Red Empress, Red Empress, or Spindle Hap.
Red Empress Cichlid lives in shallow waters with rocky habitats without any sediment. Its diet includes algae on rocks and small invertebrates like zooplankton when available.
Male Red Empress Cichlids are popular in the aquarium hobby due to their bright rainbow coloration and peaceful nature.
Young and female Red Empress Cichlids don’t have bright colors.
You can check out what this fish looks like over here.
Red Empress Cichlid Interesting Facts
- Red Empress Cichlids are native to Lake Malawi in Eastern Africa, and adult males display bright rainbow colors.
- They prefer shallow, rocky habitats without sediment and have a diet of algae and small invertebrates.
- This fish grows up to 4.4 inches (11.3 centimeters) long with 16 to 17 spines on its back and 10 to 11 soft rays.
- Both parents work together to take care of their young, creating safe spaces near each other for protection.
Red Empress Cichlid Habitat
Red Empress Cichlid is native to Lake Malawi in Africa and found throughout the lake. It lives in freshwater environments, close to the bottom of the water (benthopelagic).
This fish prefers temperatures between 75°F to 79°F (24°C to 26°C) and is a tropical species. It’s typically found between 9°S to 15°S latitude.
|Water Temperature:||75°F to 79°F (24°C to 26°C)|
Red Empress Cichlid Physical Characteristics
Size: 4.4 inches (11.3 centimeters)
Red Empress Cichlid grows up to 4.4 inches (11.3 centimeters) long.
It has 16 to 17 spines on its back and 10 to 11 soft rays. It also has 3 anal spines, 9 to 10 anal soft rays, and 31 vertebrae.
This fish is similar to the P. fenestratus in shape and habits, but it has some differences like a larger eye with narrower space in front, more teeth in the upper jaw and lower part of the throat, and more gill rakers with sharp front ones.
Unlike P. virgatus, Red Empress Cichlids don’t have enlarged throat teeth.
Red Empress Cichlid Reproduction
Red Empress Cichlids show parental instincts. They take care of their babies. The parents create safe spaces near each other and watch over the little ones.
The protective mantles are situated closely together, allowing for easy movement of offspring between parents.