the tank tolerate juvenile fish, but spawns
can number in the hundreds, so removing
the babies to another tank is necessary to
keep the main aquarium from becoming
The genus Paretroplus is endemic to the
island of Madagascar, where there are 13
described and one undescribed species.
The adaptive radiation of species that has
eluded the Asian etropline cichlids has
happened to some extent on Madagascar.
There has not been the relative explosion
of species that can be found in places like
Lake Tanganyika or Lake Victoria, most
likely because the cichlids of Madagascar,
known as Malagasy cichlids, are riverine.
This collection of interesting species
ranges in size from the diminutive P.
kieneri, which only grows to 6 inches ( 15
cm), up to the large P. menarambo, which
can reach more than a foot ( 30 cm) in
length. Most of the species have a tall,
laterally compressed body shape with a
pointed face that is similar to the Asian
chromides, but a few of the species are not
All of the Malagasy etropline cichlids are
threatened or endangered in the wild due
to habitat loss and overexploitation for
food. All of them have proven challenging
to breed in an aquarium, although there
have been some successes, with at least
a few species being bred in ponds on
commercial fish farms, most notably Old
World Exotic Fish, Inc., in Florida.
The etropline cichlids of Madagascar are
similar in appearance to the Asian cichlids
but very different in terms of requirements
and behavior. They really deserve a Cichlid
World article of their own! D
20 www.tfhmagazine.com Jul/Aug 2017
Paretroplus menarambo, one of the endangered etropline cichlids from Madagascar.