Aquarium Fish

Red Empress Cichlid

The Red Empress Cichlid (Protomelas taeniolatus) is also known as the Spindle Hap or the Red Empress. This cichlid gets to around 4.5 inches, maybe slightly large as adults. A 55 gallon with lots of rock cover would be a very good setup to start with.

The Red Empress cichlids are quite popular because of the male's rainbow like colors. It is noteworthy that they are considered by many as one of the less aggressive cichlids. You can usually find one to buy online and they go for $10 to $50 depending on if it is a male or female and the size.

Red Empress Cichlid


Cichlid Care

Scientific Name : Protomelas taeniolatus

Common Names : Red Empress Cichlid, Haplochromis Red Empress, Spindle Hap, Super Red Empress

Care Level : Easy

Size : 4.5 inches (11.3 cm)

Water Parameters : pH 7.5 - 8.5 | dH range: 5 - 15 | Temperature : 75°F - 79°F (24°C - 26°C)

Lifespan : 5 years or longer

Origin / Habitat : Africa, Laka Malawi (endemic), rocky areas less than 10 m in depth (ref: fishbase)

Temperament / Behavior : Relatively peaceful for a cichlid, more aggressive when spawning

Breeding : Can become quite aggressive during spawning. They are egg guarders and really need their own tank for breeding.

Minimum Tank Size : 55 gallons or larger

Tank Mates : Similar sized fish, will fight with other cichlids

Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease

Diet / Foods : Feeds on aufwuchs which is small animals and plants that encrust hard substrates. Primary diet can be cichlid pellets, give them thawed and live foods periodically. A flake food or pellet food with an algae/spirulina base is recommended.

Tank Region : All over the aquarium.

Gender : May have to wait until they are mature and the males will become more colorful.

Similar Species : Cichlids

Photo Credit: Derek Ramsey

Site References :

More Cichlid Fish Profiles

Krib Cichlid
Pelvicachromis pulcher
Kribensis Cichlid - Krib
Another one of the easier to breed cichlids.
Oscar Fish
Astronotus spp.
Oscar Fish
Often sold to new hobbyists that should now better. Oscars need larger tanks than most hobbyists can provide.
Parrot Cichlid
A hybrid
Blood Red Parrot Cichlid
An interesting hybrid cichlid that needs some hiding places and an established tank.

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