Scientific Name:Protomelas Taeniolatus
Pronunciation: pr-t-m-ls t-n--lt-s
Common Name(s): Red Empress
Geo. Origin: Aquarium line-bred strain of the Namalenje variety
Habitat: Sediment-free rocky habitat
Gender Differences: Dimorphic
Breeding: Maternal Mouthbrooder
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 9"
Temperature: 78 - 82°F
pH: 7.8 - 8.6
Water Hardness: Hard
Protomelas taeniolatus namalenje aka Red Empress are a stunning fish with its blue face and bright red body they are simply breathtaking. Red empress are primarily herbivorous feeding by sucking algae from small rock pockets like most Cichlids however these are opportunistic feeders and will happily feed on plankton and invertebrates when supply is plentiful.
Aquarium behavior: Large open swimming space should be provided for this species and a small amount of rock work the substrate should be a fine grade sand. This species will hybridise with other Protomelas species so mixing them with other Protomelas species should be avoided if you do not want this to happen.
Observed spawning habits:Males will guard a flat rock quite aggressively and entice in a female to breed once bred the female will hold for a period of 28-30 days and can produce up to 40 fry.
Summary: Protomelas taeniolatus (Red Empress) are a stunning species mildly tempered most of the time are a joy to watch and they would make an excellent addition to any Hap and Aulonocara tank, but avoid mixing with females of a similar appearance as this species will hybridise. If you get the chance to own one of these spectacular looking fish jump at it you won’t be disappointed.