Enantiopus - Males grow up to 15 cm of
length, females are about 20 – 30 % shorter. It is ideal to breed them in
tanks which are about 150 cm long ( or longer ) because they are fish of a
sandy shallow zone, where there are no shelters. In case of danger they try
to save their lives by zipping away as fast and far as possible. Their
genuine hydrodynamic shape suggests they are able to reach very high speeds
when needed. That is why I recommend, if possible, to breed these fish in
tanks which are accessible from the front. They can see us from a longer
distance. We should approach the tank from the front to avoid the shock fish
would suffer if we came from the side. It is, of course, necessary, to cover
the tank to avoid finding an increasing number of dry dead fish around the
- It is also advisable to have
more than one male in a breeding group. When impressing females, they will
parade their colourful beauty. The inner species aggressiveness is not so
dramatic in this species, so a dominant male does not kill its competitors,
which is something we are familiar with, for instance, in genera
Tropheus, Neolamprologus etc., unless we provide them with not enough
space. There are dozens of offspring from every spawn.
I have experienced even spawns with 70 – 80 fish but the usual number
varies from 20 to 50 fish. I recommend to keep the quality of water at a
very high standard, which is, by the way, a rule that should be followed by
all sand cichlids from the lake.
Enantiopus melanogenys – When spawning, males make
several dozens cm depression in the sand. They try to tempt females willing to
spawn in them.
- Enantiopus spec. Kilesa
- This species is similar in appearance to E. melanogenys, but its behaviour
is rather similar to genus Xenotilapia. When spawning, males build typical
towers or pyramids from sand, which we know, for instance, from Xenotilapia
ochrogenys. They use these structures to border the spawning territory.
- Breeding offspring in En.
species Kilesa is more demanding than in