Taiwan Reef Cichlid: Learn Everything About This Beautiful Species

in depth guide to taiwan reef cichlid

The Taiwan Reef Cichlid, also known as Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan, is a species that demands attention. Its vibrant colors and unique patterns make it a captivating addition to any aquarium. From its yellow body adorned with blue coloration to its striking spotted patterns, this cichlid is truly a visual delight.

But there's more to this beautiful species than meets the eye. In this discussion, we will explore the scientific information, physical characteristics, care and maintenance, tank setup and requirements, compatibility with other fish, breeding and reproduction, as well as population control measures.

Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of the Taiwan Reef Cichlid and discover why it is a species worth knowing about.

Key Takeaways

  • The Taiwan Reef Cichlid, also known as Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan or Chimoto Reds, is a beautiful Haplochromis species.
  • It can grow up to 7 inches in size and has a vibrant yellow body with blue coloration on the head and back.
  • Male Taiwan Reef Cichlids are more vibrantly colored than females, with red pelvic and anal fins, a white stripe from the head to the dorsal fin, and rich coloration in the pelvic fins.
  • Female Taiwan Reef Cichlids have a metallic silver body color with six lateral lines and two broken horizontal lines resembling the letter 'H' on their bodies.

Scientific Information

detailed scientific research findings

The scientific information regarding the Taiwan Reef Cichlid, also known as Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan, encompasses its taxonomy, physical characteristics, and natural habitat.

This species belongs to the family Cichlidae and is endemic to Lake Malawi in East Africa. It is known for its vibrant yellow body with blue coloration on the head and back, along with unique spotted patterns. Male individuals exhibit more vibrant colors compared to females.

The Taiwan Reef Cichlid is a herbivorous species that primarily feeds on algae and other vegetable matter. It is a territorial fish and displays aggressive behavior during breeding.

In its natural habitat, this cichlid can be found in rocky areas with sandy substrates. It is important to replicate these habitat conditions in captivity to ensure the well-being of the species.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of the Taiwan Reef Cichlid, also known as Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan, contribute to its distinct beauty and unique presence in the aquarium. This Haplochromis species can grow up to 7 inches in size, making it a visually striking addition to any tank. The male Taiwan Reef Cichlids exhibit vibrant colors, including a yellow body with blue coloration on the head and back. They also have red pelvic and anal fins, a white stripe from the head to the dorsal fin, and dull brown pectoral fins. In contrast, the female cichlids have a metallic silver body color with six lateral lines and two broken horizontal lines, resembling the letter 'H' on their bodies. These physical traits, combined with their unique spotted patterns, make the Taiwan Reef Cichlids a captivating species to observe.

In their natural habitat, Taiwan Reef Cichlids are commonly found in the rocky shores and sandy bottoms of Lake Malawi. They inhabit the intermediate to deep waters, where they establish territories and exhibit territorial behaviors. These cichlids are known for their moderate aggression levels, making them compatible with other Haplochromis species and peaceful Mbuna and Peacock cichlids. However, caution should be exercised when keeping them with highly aggressive fish species.

Understanding their physical characteristics and behavioral traits can help aquarium enthusiasts create an environment that mimics their natural habitat and promotes their overall well-being.

Care and Maintenance

tips for preserving and protecting

To ensure the well-being of Taiwan Reef Cichlids in an aquarium setting, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Water Parameters:
  • Monitor and maintain the tank temperature within the range of 78F to 82F.
  • Use a testing kit to regularly check and adjust the pH level, which should be maintained between 7.8 to 8.6.
  • Conduct moderate water changes, increasing frequency if other fish in the tank produce a significant amount of waste.
  • Feeding Regimen:
  • Provide a high vegetable matter diet consisting of algae wafers, spirulina-based flakes, and cichlid pellets.
  • Avoid overfeeding to prevent health issues, as Taiwan Reef Cichlids have a tendency to overeat.
  • Consider supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods for added variety and nutrition.

Tank Setup and Requirements

Continuing our exploration of caring for Taiwan Reef Cichlids, let's now turn our attention to the crucial aspect of tank setup and the specific requirements for this stunning species.

To provide the ideal environment for your Taiwan Reef Cichlids, it is recommended to have a tank size of at least 75 gallons per cichlid. This will allow ample space for swimming and the establishment of territories.

For substrate, it is advisable to use sand or fine gravel. Additionally, incorporating rocks arranged in caves and passageways will provide comfort and protection for these fish.

Maintaining water parameters similar to their natural habitat in Lake Malawi is essential. This includes a temperature range of 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH level of 7.8 to 8.6.

It is also beneficial to add aquarium decorations such as plants or driftwood to mimic their natural environment. By ensuring these tank setup requirements are met, you can create a thriving and visually appealing habitat for your Taiwan Reef Cichlids.

Compatibility With Other Fish

fish compatibility and coexistence

When considering the compatibility of Taiwan Reef Cichlids with other fish species, it is important to understand their temperament and social behavior. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Tank mates: Taiwan Reef Cichlids generally get along well with other Haplochromis species, as well as peaceful Mbuna and Peacock cichlids.
  • Aggression levels: While they are mildly aggressive, it is crucial to monitor aggression levels, especially in male fish. Avoid keeping them with highly aggressive fish species to prevent conflicts.

Maintaining a harmonious community aquarium requires careful selection of tank mates. By choosing fish with similar temperament and avoiding aggressive species, you can create a peaceful environment for your Taiwan Reef Cichlids to thrive.

Breeding and Reproduction

Taiwan Reef Cichlids are mouthbrooders, with the males growing larger in size than the females and displaying brighter colorations, while the females are silverish gray. When it comes to breeding and reproduction, understanding the spawning behavior and employing proper breeding techniques is crucial. One male should be kept with several females to encourage breeding. During the breeding process, the male becomes increasingly aggressive. The female carries the eggs and fry in her mouth for up to three weeks, providing them with protection. After this period, both parents become negligent towards the fry. It is important to note that Taiwan Reef Cichlids are highly prolific, so measures should be taken to control the population. Overall, the breeding process for Taiwan Reef Cichlids is normal for the species.

Breeding and Reproduction
– Males are larger and display brighter colorations
– Females are silverish gray
– One male with several females
– Male becomes more aggressive during breeding
– Female carries eggs and fry in her mouth for up to three weeks
– Both parents become negligent after this period

Population Control Measures

effective strategies for managing population

To maintain a balanced and sustainable population of Taiwan Reef Cichlids, it is essential to implement effective population control measures. Here are some methods that can be employed:

  • Sex ratio management:
  • Maintaining a proper ratio of males to females can help regulate breeding behavior and control population growth.
  • Keeping a smaller number of males compared to females can reduce aggression and competition for mates.
  • Selective breeding:
  • By selectively breeding individuals with desirable traits, such as vibrant coloration or larger size, the population can be controlled and improved simultaneously.
  • This can be done by carefully choosing breeding pairs and separating them from the rest of the population.
  • Culling:
  • Removing excess or unwanted individuals from the population can help maintain a manageable population size.
  • Culling can be done based on factors such as size, health, or genetic diversity.

Implementing these population control methods, while considering the breeding behavior of Taiwan Reef Cichlids, can ensure the long-term sustainability and health of the species.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Taiwan Reef Cichlids Typically Live?

Taiwan Reef Cichlids typically live for around 8 to 10 years in captivity. Factors such as proper care, a balanced diet, and a suitable tank setup can contribute to their longevity.

Are Taiwan Reef Cichlids Suitable for Beginner Fish Keepers?

Taiwan Reef Cichlids may not be suitable for beginner fish keepers due to their mildly aggressive nature and specific care requirements. However, with proper research, a large tank, and attention to water parameters, they can thrive in a beginner-friendly setup.

Can Taiwan Reef Cichlids Be Kept in a Community Aquarium With Non-Cichlid Fish?

Keeping Taiwan Reef Cichlids in a community aquarium with non-cichlid fish has its pros and cons. While they may coexist peacefully, there is a risk of aggression towards smaller or slower fish. Close monitoring and proper tank setup are essential for successful compatibility.

Do Taiwan Reef Cichlids Require Any Special Lighting in Their Tank?

Taiwan Reef Cichlids do not require any special lighting in their tank. However, providing them with a well-lit environment that mimics natural conditions will enhance their vibrant colors and overall health. Optimal tank conditions include stable temperature, pH levels, and appropriate tank size.

What Are Some Common Health Issues That Taiwan Reef Cichlids May Experience?

Common health issues that Taiwan Reef Cichlids may experience include swim bladder disorder, ich (white spot disease), fin rot, and bloat. Preventive measures include maintaining water quality, providing a balanced diet, and avoiding overfeeding. Treatment options vary depending on the specific health issue and may include medication, water parameter adjustments, and quarantine if necessary.


In conclusion, the Taiwan Reef Cichlid, Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan, is a captivating Haplochromis species known for its vibrant colors and unique patterns. With a maximum size of 7 inches, this cichlid makes a striking addition to any aquarium.

It is important to monitor tank temperature and maintain a consistent pH level for optimal care. Providing a well-balanced diet and suitable hiding spots in the tank are crucial for their overall health.

The Taiwan Reef Cichlid's compatibility with other fish and its distinct breeding behaviors add to its appeal.