Black Diamond Cichlid (Paratilapia polleni) CareSheet

Buy Black Diamond Cichlid The Black Diamond Cichlid grows to a stunning jet black and dazzling white colour, and it is one of the world's most hardy and adaptable cichlids! The Black Diamond Cichlid (Paratilapia polleni) is a magnificent cichlid endemic to Madagascar, where it may be found in a broad range of altitudes, temperatures, and pH levels, even some that are somewhat brackish! It develops to a complete black color with nearly glittering white dots throughout its whole body as it grows to a pretty big size. Males usually acquire a distinctive nuchal hump. Many aquarists see this species as a prize cichlid.

The Black Diamond Cichlid will flourish in an aquarium with plenty of hiding places, such clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It is unlikely to consume ornamental plants, although it is known to dig, therefore plants that adhere to driftwood and rockwork are advised. It gets along well with a wide range of other African river and rift lake cichlids of similar size, especially in a bigger tank where it has been nurtured with its tankmates from infancy. It should not be maintained with invertebrates for decoration. During spawning, territoriality is usually at its height. If spawning is desired, other species should be avoided unless the aquarium is quite large with enough of cover and decor.

The uncomplicated Black Diamond Cichlid is easy to feed. Dry, frozen, and live meaty items of high quality will all be welcomed. It, like other cichlids and most other predatory freshwater fish, should never be given beefheart or any other mammalian meat or fowl, since these items are not part of its natural diet and may cause obesity and fatty liver disease. This species should not be fed dry items entirely since quality and diversity are the keys to a diet that will guarantee that it maintains maximum health and color. A variety of high-quality vegi flakes, freeze dried plankton, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.

Requirements for keeping Paratilapia polleni

Temperature: 62° - 82.4° F
pH: 6.5 - 8.0
KH: 5 - 25 dKH
Minimum tank size: 75+ gallons for a single adult or mated pair
Origin: Indigenous to Madagascar
Average adult size: 11 inches

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The Most Beautiful Cichlid in the World the Paratilapia Polleni


What is Paratilapia polleni, and where is it from?

Paratilapia polleni, commonly known as the Polleni Cichlid or Marakely, is a freshwater fish species native to Madagascar, particularly found in the rivers and lakes of this region.

2. What are the key characteristics of Paratilapia polleni?

Paratilapia polleni is known for its striking appearance, characterized by a distinctive pattern of black and white bands on its body. They have a relatively elongated body shape and can grow to be moderately large, with males reaching around 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) in length.

What is the recommended tank setup for Paratilapia polleni?

These cichlids require a spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding spots, rocks, and driftwood to mimic their natural habitat. A tank of at least 75 gallons is advisable to accommodate their size and territorial nature.

What water parameters are ideal for Paratilapia polleni?

Paratilapia polleni thrives in slightly alkaline water with a pH range of 7.5 to 8.5. Maintain a water temperature between 76-82°F (24-28°C) and moderate water hardness.

What is the diet of Paratilapia polleni?

These cichlids are omnivorous and will accept a varied diet. Provide them with high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and also include some vegetable matter in their diet.

Can Paratilapia polleni be kept with other fish?

Paratilapia polleni can be territorial and aggressive, especially during the breeding season. It is recommended to keep them with other large, robust fish species that can tolerate their behavior. Avoid housing them with smaller or more passive fish.

How do you breed Paratilapia polleni?

Breeding Paratilapia polleni can be challenging due to their territorial nature. To encourage breeding, provide a separate breeding tank with proper hiding spots and water conditions. The female will lay eggs, and both parents may guard the nest and fry.

Are Paratilapia polleni suitable for beginners in the aquarium hobby?

Due to their territorial and sometimes aggressive behavior, Paratilapia polleni are better suited for experienced aquarists who can manage their specific care requirements and potential temperament issues.

Are there any specific health concerns for Paratilapia polleni?

Like many cichlid species, they can be susceptible to common fish diseases. Regular water changes, excellent filtration, and a balanced diet are essential to maintain their health.

Is Paratilapia polleni a threatened species in the wild?

Currently, Paratilapia polleni is not classified as a threatened or endangered species. However, like many freshwater fish, their natural habitats in Madagascar face environmental challenges and habitat degradation. Conservation efforts to protect their native ecosystems are important.