Placidochromis Phenochilus Mdoka “White Lips”

Dominant Mdoka White Lip Male. ~ 16 cm in length | 2 years old.
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Scientific Name Placidochromis Phenochilus
Common Name(s)White Lips
Geographical OriginMdoka, Chesese, and Chirwa Island
HabitatShallow Sediment
Aquarium TemperamentPeaceful, can be kept with other Haplochromis
Gender DifferencesDimorphic | Both Males ans Females have same coloring
BreedingMaternal Mouthbrooder
Maximum Size~ 10 inches | 25 cm
pH7.8 – 8.6
Water HardnessHard
Temperature 78 – 82°F | 25 – 27°C
Recommended Aquarium~ 100 Gallons | 350 Liters
Aquarium Notes These are very shy fish.
If you want to breed them, they should be kept as a
colony without any other aggressive fish.
Being very peaceful they will often get bullied around.
They thrive in colonies of 8 or more.

  • Placidochromis Phenochilus Mdoka aka “White Lips”
  • Ad Konings referred to them as a very conspicuous cichlid from the sand: The blue sand-dwellers.
  • In contrast to most sand-dwellers, there is a group of conspicuously colored cichlids which usually live solitarily or in very small groups, these five are Cyrtocara moorii, Protomelas annectens, Otopharynx selenurus, Placidochromis electra, and Placidochromis phenochilus.
  • These are one of the most beautiful and coveted Malawi Cichlids due to their species gender differences having males and females with the same color pattern.
  • They are also very gentle by nature and thus making them great fish to keep with other Haplochromis cichlids.
  • Males tend to grow much bigger than females and reach sexual maturity in an aquarium by the age of 1 year.
  • They will accept almost all kind of food (flakes, pellets, frozen) just be aware that they are a
    carnivore by nature and will need food with extra animal protein (krill, shrimps are the best source).
  • Try to keep them in a family of over 6 individuals since they are very social and like to play with their own kind.

References: Ad Konings The Cichlid Yearbook Volume 1.

Placidochromis Phenochilus Mdoka “White Lips”
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  1. Hello, I have a breeding group of 6 mdoka 3 males 3 female / only one dominant male and female were breeding with exemption to one other female I saw once hold eggs.
    The dominant male died of age, one week later one of my other females I found dead,
    Now I notice the other two males and the dominant female are not allowing the other female into the group.
    Have you witnessed any behavior like this.?

    1. Hello Ronald. Yes it is common to see some problems if the dominant male dies. All the subdominant probably fought for dominance and the females got in the crosshair. It’s hard when this happens, I had a bigger group of 12 and after the dominant male dies I lost also 2 more. In 3 years the group went down to 6 only. That is why it’s a good ideea to start with 16 juveniles so that in 2 years you can enjoy at least 10 12 mature ones

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