Placidochromis Phenochilus

The Placidochromis sp. Phenochilus, or Star Sapphire Cichlid is a popular species of Haplochromis which are found along the shoreline between Makonde and Lupingu, Tanzania, and at Kasinda in Lake Malawi. Males of these species are highly sought after by aquarists for their stunning metallic blue color with glittering white and blue spots. Though females do not get the glittering spots, but instead display vertical bars and may develop the blue coloring over their entire body as they mature. Males can get to be about 10″ in length and females are usually slightly smaller.

Star Sapphire cichlids are generally peaceful and only show minimal levels of aggression. They are best kept with other Haplochromis of a similar size and temperament. Dominant males may show increased levels of aggression towards other males, and may also show increased levels of aggression when actively breeding.

The Star Sapphire cichlid is an open water swimmer. This species will swim back and forth and provide plenty of movement in your freshwater tropical fish tank. 

The coloration of the mature males is nothing less than breathtaking. It may take 1 year before you see the “change”-taking place. Once they are fully grown and colored, this might be the BEST cichlid in your tank.

  • Scientific Name:  Placidochromis sp. Phenochilus Tanzania
  • Common Name:  Star Sapphire Cichlid
  • Origin:  Africa, lake Malawi
  • Care Level:  Easy
  • Size of fish:  8-10 inches
  • Temperament:  Peaceful
  • Diet:  Carnivore
  • Breeding:  Mouth Brooder
  • Ideal Substrate:  Sand
  • Water Region:  All region of the tank


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