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Deepwater Hap

deepwater hap

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Scientific Name:  Placidochromis electra      
Min. Tank Size:   70 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   7.5-8.5/5-20°dGH     
Size:   7"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a Lake Malawi biotype tank with other peaceful Lake Malawi Cichlids; can be kept in groups with its own species as long as there are several females for each male.

Deepwater Hap

The Deepwater Hap was given its name because it was once believed to only inhabit deep water. This species is endemic to Lake Malawi in Africa where it has been spotted near several of the islands including Likoma Island. These fish tend to live near the sandy bottoms of the lake in waters as deep as 7 meters or more. Deepwater Haps exist in several color morphs but most specimens have an overall blue coloration. This coloration may extend to the fins and, in males of the species, is offset by darker blue stripes running vertically along the body. Females of the species are usually silver in color, having colorless fins, and they do not grow as large as the males.

Tank Set-up

Deepwater Haps are a fairly gentle species and thus should not be kept with Mbuna Cichlids. These fish are best kept with members of their own species, especially in groups of several females for each male. Tanks for Deepwater Haps should be decorated with plenty of rockwork to form caves and crevices, but there should also be open spaces for swimming. Sandy substrate is preferred and these fish will not disturb live plants.


Though they are primarily carnivorous by nature, Deepwater Haps will accept a variety of foods in the home aquarium. Offer these fish a varied diet of dried, live and frozen foods including brine shrimp, bloodworms and Daphnia. Supplement this meat-based diet with vegetable matter such as Spirulina flakes and blanched spinach.


Breeding Deepwater Haps is best done in a species tank. For the best results, raise a group of 6 to 8 juveniles and wait for them to pair off naturally. The breeding tank should be maintained at a temperature between 77 and 80 degrees and at a pH between 8.0 and 8.5. These Cichlids are maternal mouthbrooders - once the female lays the eggs, she will take them into her mouth. The males of the species possess several egg-like markings on the anal fin and when the female is drawn to them, thinking they are eggs she needs to pick up, the male will release his sperm thus fertilizing the eggs. The female will brood the eggs for up to 3 weeks then will release the free swimming fry.

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