Dimidiochromis Compressiceps

Scientific NameDimidiochromis Compressiceps
Common Name(s)Malawi Eye Biter
Geographical OriginAll around Lake Malawi
HabitatAmong Reef stands and Vallisneria beds in sediment-rich bays
Where yooung prey can be found.
DietCarnivore
Aquarium TemperamentPeaceful, can be kept with other Haplochromis
Gender DifferencesDimorphic | Males will get a wonderfull blue/red collor
while Females will remain silver.
BreedingMaternal Mouthbrooder
Maximum Size~ 11 inches | 27 cm
pH7.8 – 8.6
Water HardnessHard
Temperature 78 – 82°F | 25 – 27°C
Recommended Aquarium~ 100 Gallons | 350 Liters
Aquarium Notes These are non-territorial fish, meaning you can keep them with a lot of
other fish species.
The species prey on juveniles.
They will often hide from sight if the aquarium decorations allow this.
  • Dimidiochromis Compressiceps is literally the most compressed Malawi Cichlid.
  • Its streamlined body makes this species a perfect predator; often referred to as the Malawi Eye-biter, it is the only known predator to eat its prey tail first. It has also been observed biting the eyes out of other fish prior to devouring them, hence its common name.
  • You will see this fish in aquariums with smaller fish constantly hunting them, it takes an approach from above the prey and launches at them at incredible speed.
  • This species requires a tank as large as possible, but a minimum of 100 gallons (~350 liters) is required, and it should be densely planted along the tank’s perimeter with Vallisneria or similar reefy plants. Include a deep, sandy bottom, numerous rocks for hiding, and good filtration.
  • The Compressiceps is a mouthbrooder with the fertilization of the eggs outside the female mouth (external fertilization) but can also fertilize partly in the mouth like most Mbunas.
  • A small group of 5 to 7 females and one male will provide the optimal breeding opportunities.
  • If you decide to breed them, know that the mouth formation accommodates extra large spawns of even 200 fry.
  • The Compressiceps requires a diet of live or frozen meaty foods, or a good quality flake or pellet food designed for African Cichlids.
  • Dimidiochromis Compressiceps should be kept separate from any other member of the Dimidiochromisfamily since hybridization can and will happen in a closed environment like an aquarium. Be warned that Juveniles of these species are very hard to tell apart when buying them.

Special thanks go towards people that provided pictures and videos to make this article possible:
A Drop of Malawi (you can find him here: Facebook), Mathew Moore (you can find his channel on youtube here), Binh Le, Marcu Gabriela, Tiu Marius Marian and Ecko Mihai.

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