Electric Blue Cichlid (Sciaenochromis fryeri): Ultimate Care Guide


Electric Blue Cichlids (Sciaenochromis fryeri), also known as Electric Blue Hap, is a type of African Cichlid that is native to Lake Malawi.

As their name suggests, Electric Blue Cichlids have bright blue coloring and tend to have blue stripes of different hues. Electric Blue Cichlids can grow pretty large, upwards of 8 inches. They also are a somewhat aggressive species. Their larger size and temperament means their tank mates need to be picked carefully if you plan on putting them into a community tank. But despite their size and temperament, they are not a challenging species to care for; keep reading to find all the information you’ll need to take care of these blue beauties.

Electric Blue Cichlid Care

Most African cichlids have roughly the same requirements when it comes to care, so if you’ve owned one before, you’re in a great spot to care for Electric Blue Cichlids. Most experts recommend a tank size of at least 75 gallons for a single Electric Blue Cichlid. That size gives them enough room to grow and get comfortable. You need to make sure you set up the tank to emulate their native waters. That means a high pH level and temperature, as well as plenty of rocks and driftwood to help the tank feel natural.

Electric Blue Cichlid
Electric Blue Cichlid (Sciaenochromis fryeri)

Temperature for Electric Blue Cichlid

All fish want their tanks to be reminiscent of their native environment, which means you have to do your best to help them feel at home. Electric Blue Cichlids are native to Lake Malawi, a tropical lake in Africa. That means that Electric Blue Cichlids prefer the water in their tank to be a bit warmer, around 75-82°F or 24 -27°C. If you manage to keep your tank within that range, you’ll give your fish the best chance at a healthy and happy life.

Water pH for Electric Blue Cichlid

Lake Malawi is slightly more acidic than most other bodies of fresh water. That means that Electric Blue Cichlids need their water somewhat more acidic than average. The preferred pH level for Electric Blue Cichlids is 7.6 -8.8. That range may be hard to sustain, so it is recommended to use supplements such as crushed coral. Crushed coral is preferred because it dissolves faster than other options. Check the pH level regularly to ensure it isn’t fluctuating too much.

Electric Blue Cichlid Size

Electric Blue Cichlids are a large species, so they need a tank around 75 gallons in size. Male Electric Blue Cichlids can grow up to 8 inches, usually around 7 inches on average. Females, on the other hand, grow a bit smaller than males. Female Electric Blue Cichlids typically average between 5 -6 inches when fully grown.

Electric Blue Cichlid Tank Size

Electric Blue Cichlids need a tank to accommodate their size and tank requirements. They can grow up to 8 inches when fully mature, and they need their tank to emulate their native waters of Lake Malawi. With that in mind, Electric Blue Cichlids require a tank of at least 75 gallons. 75 gallons is the perfect size for them to grow and enjoy themselves among the required rocks and driftwood that help remind them of home.

Electric Blue Cichlid Food & Diet

Electric Blue Cichlids are primarily carnivores, which means you need to feed a diet that consists mainly of meat and proteins. That diet can usually be achieved by providing them a combination of high-quality flakes or pellets and frozen food. You can also feed them live food, which they’ll definitely enjoy. Some live food options for them are; worms, krill, and brine shrimp. You should also be careful not to overfeed them, leading to severe digestion and health issues.

Electric Blue Cichlid Lifespan

The lifespan of any pet, especially fish, is directly related to the care they receive. Electric Blue Cichlids are no exception to that rule. If they are cared for properly, they can live up to 10 years old. On average Electric Blue Cichlids live to be around 7 years old. That number is easily lowered by poor care and neglect. So be sure to take care proper care if you want to experience the whole life of these beautiful blue fish.

Electric Blue Cichlid Tank Mates

Electric Blue Cichlids are a somewhat aggressive species, which means they can be housed in a community tank if you do the proper research. It isn’t too challenging to find compatible tank mates; continue reading, and we’ll even name a few for you to consider.

Are Electric Blue Cichlids Aggressive?

Electric Blue Cichlids are semi-aggressive, which means they won’t traditionally go out of their way to bully other fish species. Their semi-aggressive nature doesn’t mean they have to be kept in a tank alone. They actually spend most of their among the rocks in their tank, which means they may not even come into contact with other species very often.

Compatible Tank Mates with Electric Blue Cichlids

Due to the Electric Blue Cichlid’s aggressive nature and unique conditions, it may not be easy to find many compatible tank mates. The first place to check for compatible tank mates is Lake Malawi, the home of the Electric Blue Cichlids. Many of the species that call lake Malawi home are very aggressive, which means they aren’t the best choice of tank mate. Cuckoo catfish and deep-water haps are the best options for Electric Blue Cichlid tank mates.

Incompatible Tank Mates with Electric Blue Cichlids

Electric Blue Cichlids are a somewhat aggressive species. That temperament means they shouldn’t be housed with any species that much more timid or aggressive than it. Most other species that call Lake Malawi home would not be great tank mates. An excellent example of species not compatible with the Electric Blue Cichlid is the bumblebee cichlid. Bumblebee cichlids are incredibly aggressive and territorial, and they likely bully and fight the Electric Blue Cichlid.

Electric Blue Cichlid Tank Setup

Making sure the tank setup is perfect is one of the most important aspects of owning fish. You want to ensure that it emulates their native environment. For Electric Blue Cichlids, that native environment is Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is a body of fresh water in Africa. It is one of the largest freshwater bodies in the world, ranking at number four. It is home to over 1000 different species of fish, including Electric Blue Cichlids. Lake Malawi is known for its rocky habitat, which means your tank needs to have plenty of rocks, as well as a sandy substrate. Water temperature and pH levels also need to be considered and appropriately maintained to allow the Electric Blue Cichlids the best chance at a happy and healthy life.

Electric Blue Cichlid Breeding

Breeding your Electric Blue Cichlids isn’t something you should do if you aren’t experienced. You shouldn’t breed any species of fish without the experience and knowledge to do so. But if you’d like to try your hand at breeding Electric Blue Cichlids, read on for some tips and tricks on how to do it.

How to Breed Electric Blue Cichlids

Electric Blue Cichlids are not too difficult to breed, so much so that they may even reproduce on their own. That is, if your tank is held under the proper conditions. To start the breeding process, you should have 4 females for every one male, as well as plenty of caves for your mating pairs to hang out in. The male will start by doing a breeding dance to show off his colors and size. The female then lays eggs on a rock, where the male fertilizes them. Once the eggs are fertilized, the female takes them in her mouth to incubate for three weeks. Once they hatch, the female will continue to protect them in her mouth. But if she is stressed during this time, she could swallow them.

How to raise Electric Blue Cichlid Fry

Electric Blue Cichlid fry are surprisingly easy to raise. That is because they are larger than other fry, which means they can be fed more easily. They can almost immediately be fed brine shrimp and smaller worms. Before too long, you can switch to more significant foods such as flakes.

Electric Blue Cichlid Male or Female

If you look closely, it is straightforward to tell the difference between male and female Electric Blue Cichlids. Females are usually a lighter hue of blue and sometimes have darker bands across their bodies. Some female Electric Blue Cichlids also have a hint of yellow on their fins. An easier way to tell them apart is by size; the male is significantly larger than the female, usually around an inch or two.

Electric Blue Cichlid Disease

Any fish that calls Lake Malawi home is susceptible to a disease known as Malawi bloat. Electric Blue Cichlids are native to Lake Malawi, which means they can fall victim to Malwai Bloat. Malawi bloat starts with lethargy, swelling, and a loss of appetite. If not treated, it can advance quickly and lead to liver and kidney damage and even death. Another common illness for freshwater fish is Ich. Ich can be spotted quickly by the appearance of white spots along the body of the afflicted fish.

Where Can I Find Electric Blue Cichlid for Sale?

Electric Blue Cichlids aren’t the most popular freshwater fish species, which means generic pet stores likely won’t have any in stock. If you’re looking to purchase one, your best bet is to buy one online or at a specialty aquarium store. Electric Blue Cichlids cost around $10 regardless of where you are buying them from. But keep in mind if you buy them online, you’ll likely have to pay for shipping as well.

Hopefully, this information has helped convince you that an Electric Blue Cichlid is a perfect choice. Their rich colors and larger size make them an excellent pet for anyone. That easy to care for nature means that you don’t have to be an expert to own. Just follow these guidelines, and your gorgeous fish will be very happy.

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With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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