freshwater community4




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Scientific Name:   Copadichromis borleyi      
Min. Tank Size:   75 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   7.5-8.5/5-20°dGH      
Size:   8"      
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Should not be combined with Mbuna or other aggressive Cichlids; best kept with non-conspecifics in groups containing 3 or 4 females per one male.


Also called the Redfin Hap or Goldfin Hap, the Borleyi is endemic to Lake Malawi. These fish typically inhabit shallow waters in rocky areas, though they have also been seen living in large groups in open water. Borleyis belong to the Utaka group of Cichlids, a group of open water-dwelling Cichlids from the genera Copadichromis and Mchenga. Males of this species are typically blue and orange in color - the blue coloration is primary along the head and fins while the majority of the body is orange. Females of the species are usually grey or brown in color, having three black splotches on their sides. Males may also exhibit yellow edging on the dorsal fin along with yellow coloration or egg spots on the anal fin.

Tank Set-up

Borleyis are popular in the aquarium hobby and make great additions to Lake Malawi biotype tanks. These fish prefer sandy substrate and require plenty of open swimming space in order to thrive. To decorate the tank, use several flat rocks to provide hiding places and spawning sites - these will also be helpful if you plan to keep rock-dwelling Cichlids in the same tank.


These fish feed primarily on zooplankton in the wild, but are likely to accept a variety of foods in captivity. Offer these fish small live and frozen foods like Artemia, Daphnia, Cyclops, bloodworms and brine shrimp as a staple diet. This diet should be supplemented with Spirulina flakes and blanched spinach to ensure that the fish receive adequate vegetable matter as well. For optimum health and coloration feed a regular varied diet.


Breeding this species in the home aquarium is best accomplished in harems with 3 or 4 females for each male. The breeding tank should be decorated with sandy substrate and plenty of flat rocks for spawning sites. Becasue these fish are maternal mouthbrooders, the female will gather the eggs into her mouth after spawning and brood them for several weeks. Males of the species possess egg-like spots on the anal fin and when the female mistakes them for eggs, trying to gather them into her mouth, the male will release his sperm thus fertilizing the eggs. Females of this species typically brood their eggs for 3 to 4 weeks and release them once the fry become free swimming.

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