The Flavus Cichlid comes from Lake Malawi and has been found at Chinyankwazi Island and Chinyamwezi Reef. They are found at depths of 8-15 m over a variety of medium to large sized rocky substrate at Chinyankwazi Island where their diet consisted of phyto- and zooplankton, and aufwuchs.
Flavus Cichlids are medium sized, moderately aggressive mbuna that are well-suited to cichlid aquariums. Males begin to colour at approximately 6-7cm and obtain full adult coloration of a golden-yellow body with a black face mask and eight vertical black stripes on the body at approximately 8-9cm. Both males and females have a black dorsal sub-marginal band and black bands on the ventral and caudal fins, though the coloration is usually darker in males. Male color can change rapidly from a faded yellow/black to a vivid dark yellow/black particularly when defending a territory or courting females. Female colour is a drab yellow-brown and sometimes includes dark bars on the body.
The Flavus Cichlid will accept most foods offered, but vegetable matter in the form of spirulina flakes, blanched spinach etc. should form a large proportion of the diet. This can be supplemented with live and frozen varieties. Never feed beefheart or any other animal meat as it interferes with the digestive system of these fish.
The Flavus Cichlid will spawn readily in the aquarium. Courtship and spawning is similar to other maternal mouthbrooding species. The female will carry the eggs for around 3-4 weeks before releasing the free swimming fry. She will not eat during this period and can be easily spotted by her distended mouth. If a female is overly stressed she may spit out the brood prematurely or eat them, so care must be taken if you decide to move the fish in order to avoid fry predation or harassment by the males. The female will usually have 10-30 fry per spawn. Juveniles are coloured similarly to adult females. Most commercial foods are readily accepted by the Flavus Cichlid and supplementation with frozen foods usually presents no problems. Juveniles to young adults can be housed in aquaria up to 120 litres. Adults generally require aquaria of 160 litres and larger. Adult ratios of one male to three or more females will provide safety from male aggression. Suitable tankmates include a range of Malawi mbuna -with the notable exception of members of the P. elongatus group as male disputes or hybridization may result, Malawi “Haplochromines”, and Victorian cichlids.