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Pinstripe Damba 5" (Paretroplus menarambo) (fwf odd pinstripe damba)

Pinstripe Damba 5" (Paretroplus menarambo)

Common name: Pinstripe damba

Scientific name: Paretroplus menarambo Allgayer, 1996

Origin: This species was endemic to a single locality in Madagascar, where it lived in Lake Sarodrano in the Sofia basin. However, it hasn't been seen in the wild since the late 1990s, despite specific attempts to track it down. It is now on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is classed as 'extinct in the wild'. Deforestation, the introduction of non-native species and overfishing for food are cited as the probable cause of its demise.

 

Best viewed in HD. (Click Play, bottom right hand side of video, click on settings, click HD)

Size: Fairly large at 20-25cm/8-10".

Diet: Accepts most foods, including frozen, flakes, pellets etc. The unicuspid dentition suggests that it was a snail eater in nature.

Water: Adaptable, but most people keep them in hard, alkaline water. According to Tom Williams these do best at high temperatures, a minimum of 28 C.

Aquarium: This is probably the best looking of Madagascar's paretropline cichlids and looks rather like a marine fish when mature. It's a graceful cichlid and reaches a fairly large size, so it deserves very spacious quarters (say a 180 x 60 x 60cm/6'x 2'x 2'). Given the conservation status, it would be best to go for a group of six or so with the intention of raising them to adulthood and trying to breed them. Pairs should form naturally if you raise a large group together.

 

 

Furnish the tank with plenty of bogwood and river worn boulders to provide cover. Do lots of large partial water changes (say 30-50% per week), as Madagascan's are typically rather intolerant of pollutants. Add a sand substrate, as these fish sift for their food.

Like most Madagascan cichlids it is a slow grower and takes nearly two years to reach sexual maturity, which means captive breeding attempts are rarely quick to yield results.

Sturdy catfishes and other Madagascan cichlids make suitable tankmates.

 

Best viewed in HD. (Click Play, bottom right hand side of video, click on settings, click HD)

Youtube video courtesy of Jim Cumming

 

Notes: Paretroplus menarambo has been the subject of cichlid conservation projects for a while, and British cichlid enthusiasts, such as Sonia Guinane and Dave Tourle, have played a big part in learning more about how to keep and breed these fish. They use artificial incubation techniques for the eggs and fry which led to the fish being reared quite successfully.

Author: Matt Clarke   http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/



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