Buy Aulonocara and Malawi at Vegas Valley Cichlids

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Feeding: As other members of the Placidochromis electra species group, Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' roams over sandy substrate in search for food particles. It is assumed that it also acts as a 'blue follower', taking advantage of the food particles stirred up by larger species of the genera Taeniolethrinops and Fossorochromis.

Breeding: Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' is a maternal mouth-brooder. There are no precise records in the wild, but in aquarium, males usually choose a spawning site against a rock and attract females displaying and quivering all around them, then leading them swimming towards the pit with undulating movements of the unpaired fins. Other fishes (conspecific or not) are chased away from the spawning territory during the spawning phase, which lasts for some hours, though the spawning itself takes less than an hour. During spawning, both partners turn around, dabbing alternately to the anal fin of the opposite sex, which stimulates the emission of eggs and sperm. The eggs are taken by the female into her mouth, where they are fertilized when she sucks the males' semen at regular intervals in the spawning process. Once spawning is over, the male loses interest to its spawning site.

In aquarium, the numerous eggs and young (several dozens) are incubated for three weeks (at about 25 °C) inside the female's mouth. Fry is then released within one week, depending on the safety perceived in the tank. The young show very early the typical color pattern with an oblique band across the flank.

Aquaristics: Though it has been known for more than one decade, Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' is a relatively new introduction to the hobby. Since it is caught in rather deep water, it is still rather rare in imports, but it should easily meet the same popularity as other members of the P. electra species group. The general behavior is similar to that of other blue followers, namely very quarrelsome among each other but with very low damage caused, since these species' bites are weak. Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' may be kept with any Malawi haplochromine (and some peaceful mbuna). They usually stand being dominated without loosing their magnificent dress, provided that they have enough room to escape and to spawn in peace. Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' may repeatedly harass smaller species, but rarely to a damage causing extent. In short, P. sp. 'phenochilus gissel' is a really easy to care for fish, and except for its usually high price and need for space, it could be recommended for Malawi cichlids beginners.

Regardless they are dominant or not, for maintaining a constant contesting mood between the males, a group of at least 5-6 individuals is preferable. That's why a minimum tank size of 500 l is to be chosen for them. In case of a mixed tank with a blue followers host, such as Taeniolethrinops praeorbitalis or Fossorochromis rostratus, the tank must be at least 800-1000 l with large patches of sand and only some few stones, in order to allow the host to forage into the sand layer.

Since blue followers are rather sensitive to skin diseases, the water should be clean, well-filtered and oxygenated; with a pH around 7.8-8 and a water temperature around 25 °. Contrary to many Malawi fishes, P. sp. 'phenochilus gissel' is not a big eater, and to maintain it in good health, it is preferable to give it small amounts of food at higher frequency. Frozen small shell fish (Artemia, Cyclops) together with dried foods constitute a good basis as a main diet.

Conservation: Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' is not evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species.

Comments: Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' looks like a mix between some varieties of P. electra found in the southeastern part of Lake Malawi and P. sp. 'phenochilus Tanzania', which comes from the northeastern part of the lake. The overall body shape and melanin pattern is very close to that in the so called Gome or Malopa electra, with a brighter coloration in males (intense turquoise instead of electric blue), while males of the local P. electra show a darker mask than in the typical Likoma form. Females of Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' with age also show the same turquoise hue than in males, though less intense. The maximum size is possibly also larger. Anyway, they cannot be conspecific since they live sympatrically.

On the other hand, P. sp. 'phenochilus gissel' differs also from P. 'phenochilus tanzania' in the coloration, which is uniformly blue in the latter, in the body shape, on average more slender and less pronounced back in Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel', with a shorter snout and concave forehead in large males. Also, Placidochromis sp. 'phenochilus gissel' does not show the very peculiar glittering coloration of P. sp. 'phenochilus tanzania'.

 

Pic Courtesy of Billy Smith

Q: I just completed my order, what's next?
A: Before shipment, we quarantine all fish for at least 24-48 hours. During this period, we closely monitor the fish to make sure they are healthy. We also do not feed them during this time in order to 'clean out' their digestive system and limit their ability to soil the water.  This helps reduce the amount of waste in the bag and will keep the water clean.

Q: When can I expect my order to be ship?
A: Please see Chart below

Order Placed on:

Ship Date:

Arrival Date: UPS Overnight

Arrival Date: Southwest

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Southwest: Depending on your location some cities have limited amount of flights per day. I will normally communicate this with you via email or text the arrival date and arrival time.

Note:  If the arrival date above don’t work for you please let me know on the note section upon check out on when you prefer to receive the package.

Q: Who delivers my order and how much?
A: UPS Next Day Air:
     For a low flat rate of $45 any where in the US with any size box.          

    Southwest:
    
For any order over $200 or order containing mostly large 4+ Males,
    we recommend Southwest Air Cargo for flat rate of $55.

   Delta Cargo:
  
This is available to all customers that does not have the option to use
   Southwest Air Cargo. Buyer will pay shipping at Delta Cargo Station upon pick
   up. (Usually around $75 - $80)

Q: Some or all of my fish arrived dead - what do I do?
A: We offer a Live Arrival Guarantee service for four hours after door delivery. In the event that a fish arrives dead in the shipping bag, you must take clear digital pictures of the fish in an unopened bag and email it to vegasvalleycichlids@gmail.com within four hours of receiving your package. Live Arrival Guarantee is voided after the bags have been opened.

VegasValleyCichlids.com will also refund (Not Store Credit) on any DOA'S that involve carrier mishandling, which includes delays (Less than 48 hours), damaged boxes or water temperature extremes. DOA's must be reported the day of arrival and be accompanied by an emailed photo to ensure refund.

    25% DOA
    We will refund 25% of shipping and the price of the DOA fish. 

   50% DOA
  
We will refund 50% of shipping the and price of the DOA fish.

   75% DOA
   We will refund 100% of shipping and 100% of all the fish.
   You keep the fishes that made it for FREE.

 

Placidochromis sp. Gissel

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