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Fish Of The Month - Metriaclima Hajomaylandi

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#1 Stormfyre


    PCS President, Secretary & Sponsor Liaison.

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 02:38 PM

As the Fish of the Month for July, there will a bag of 6 x Metriaclima hajomaylandi around 4-5cm available at the PCS Meeting for auction. These are special lots to raise money for Stuart Grant Fund for Cichlid Preservation and have kindly been donated by one of our PCS Members - Poncho (Brett).




Metriaclima hajomaylandi

This species is from Africa: Lake Malawi. Particularly noted from Chizumulu Island and Pombo Rocks.


Common names: Hajo, Maylandi Hajomaylandi (some still use this), Greeberi, Zebra Greeberi, Maylandi Zebra Greeberi
*** Metriaclima hajomaylandi is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (2006).





Maximum length is around 6″ (15cm).



OrderPerciformes FamilyCichlidae



Metriaclima hajomaylandi is a Mbuna from Lake Malawi. It is a rock dweller. It can be found in rocky habitats across the lake and on lake reefs.



Omnivore, takes both pellets and flakes and occasionally frozen foods. I feed mostly vegetable matter to avoid bloat



Active rock-dwelling Cichlid, provide plenty of hiding places. Lots of filtration would be best to keep the water clean. Tank should be setup with lots of rocks so the males can have territories to avoid too much aggression.


Water Changes: Weekly - Water changes of 30% weekly are recommended.


Temperature: 78-82°F (25-27°C)   pH: 7.8 - 8.6  Hardness: 8-25°H



Metriaclima hajomaylandia can be quite territorial, keep with other agressive Rift Lake Cichlids of equal size. This behaviour can be very aggressive whilst spawning.
Mostly stays on the bottom of the aquarium digging in caves. Average lifespan is usually 4-10 yrs but can live longer.
Female and Fry pictures - 
HO75re.jpg l2nwLk.jpg


Mouthbrooder: after spawning, the females incubate the eggs in their mouth until the fry are free-swimming. Males will mate with multiple females. The fry are easily raised with first foods such as baby brine shrimp.
The males will begin to court the females when he wants to breed and will take over a spot in the tank and begin to dig. Shortly after the pair will breed and since these fish are maternal mouthbrooders, the females will hold the eggs in her mouth(bucal cavity). The females will continue to hold the eggs in their mouth until the eggs become wigglers which can take about 18-21 days.



This is a very beautiful species of Mbuna, at least to me. Males are generally yellow and lavender but when in breeding mood they tend to turn pale/white and yellow. Females are not as bright as the males but are as well yellow and grayish/lavender. Juvies are as well yellow and lavender. They way I tell the differences between the males and females is that the males anal fin will turn white where on the females they remain yellow. These species of Mbuna do tend to be very aggressive as most other Mbunas especially during spawning. I recommend having a large aquarium with lots of rocks and caves for hiding spots. Make sure to have a good amount of females for the males as he will harass them when he wants to breed.


Pombo Rocks variant - 


#2 Mattia


    1st International Club Member

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:13 PM


#3 Mr_docfish

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  • Location: Canning Vale WA

Posted 09 June 2017 - 09:24 PM

These were close to being lost to the hobby in the whole of Australia over the last couple of years - in the mean time, hybrids turned up and they tainted the name for a while.... but some deddicated few with the last remaining individuals in Oz have managed to put these guys out there again....
It has taken some time and dedication, but worth it IMHO - these are a larger Mbuna with the nicest temperment, so they fit into nearly every Malawi tank. Look it up, read up on them, or better still, try them - and support this species for the long term - they are good for the hobby.

#4 humbug

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  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:07 AM

I'll second those sentiments wholeheartedly!  

I was lucky enough to receive some of these fish a while back from WA.  They are an absolute pleasure to have in my tanks.  I've found them to be incredibly easy going fish for a mbuna species.

I currently have a group of 14 sharing a tank with a small colony of a "softer" hap species.  The haps are completely unphased by the mbuna.  I've seen little to no real aggression between the mbuna.  I did find that I needed to reduce the number of males in the tank before they started breeding (I started with 20), but the remaining group still has a relatively high number of males.  In my experience they a pretty robust fish - I've had zero health concerns with them in the time they have been in my hands. They are breeding steadily, and I've found that the fry grow relatively quickly.

These are STUNNINGLY beautiful fish when breeding, and that's really something coming from a hap fanatic like me.   :)



The hobby has a real debt to the guy responsible for saving these fish.  I know its not been an easy road for him.  Too easy for someone to give up and move on to an "easier" prospect when difficulties are faced, but in this case the dedication of this genuine dinky-die hobbyist has saved a gorgeous species for others to enjoy.  Hats off to him and his supporters, and my heart-felt gratitude!!!!!!

Be aware that there is a second "strain" of these fish recently surfaced in the eastern states (wink, wink).  I've not personally seen them in the flesh, but it appears they too are probably the real deal.  Their appearance is different to the WA fish.  Photos I've seen show considerably less distinct stripes.  Some of the guys over there have put considerable time into research and have identified what are possibly the two different collection sites for these two strains.  The photos in Stormfyre's post show how variable the fish are between collection points.  Hopefully someone can pipe up and provide details.  Just mentioning this as I feel its REALLY important that people take great care of these precious gems.  Please don't mix fish from different sources unless you are confident of what you are working with.  These fish are far too important to lose!!!!


Edited by humbug, 10 June 2017 - 09:34 AM.

#5 Poncho


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Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:54 AM

The ones up on offer at the next meeting are the type as depicted in humbugs photos and the first photos in the article stormfyre has posted, not the pombo rocks variant.

Also a different "strain" to the fish from the bloke humbug is talking about and the eastern states source. So we're in a good position to bring these guys back from the brink with some help from other hobbyists wanting to give them a go.

Didn't realise they were also listed as vulnerable in the wild. With any luck I'll spot some at Chizumulu this November :)

#6 humbug

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  • Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Posted 10 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

That's great news if these have survived through more than one source!  Hopefully that points to higher genetic diversity amongst what we have in the hobby.  Keep up the great work guys!!!!

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