Afra Cichlid (Latin Cynotilapia Afra)

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afra cichlid Cynotilapia afra
SpeciesAfra Cichlid
Other namesDogtooth Cichlid
Latin NameCynotilapia Afra
Length 10 cm
Temperature24 - 28°C
Water Hardnessmedium hard - hard
pH7.5 - 8.5
Aquarium Size100 L
Foodlive, frozen, dry, plant

Afra Cichlid (Cynotilapia Afra)
Other names: Dogtooth Cichlid


This freshwater species lives in Niasa Lake (Malawi Lakes) with rocky substrate with a lot of cracks and gaps between rocks.

Body description

Body of the fish is fusiform. Colour of the body is blue-yellow. There are dark, transverse stripes on the sides of the fish. These stripes are visible on the dorsal fin. The pelvic and anal fins have opalescent blue border. The dorsal fin has white border. There is several variants of this fish. Those variants differ in amount of yellow and blue color. This species is often confused with Pseudotropheus genus but they have different teeth. Female is brighter than male and her transverse stripes are poorly visible. Male has few light dots with dark border on the tip of the anal fin. Colour of the male is variable and it depends on the position of the male in the hierarchy or on his mood. Dominant is always the most colourful and the weaker position is, the paler colors male has.

Temperament and behaviour

This is aggressive and territorial species, especially towards other cichlid species. It can attack any animal in small aquarium. Males in the group are forming social hierarchy and fight for dominance. Male spreads his fins, open wide his mouth and attacks intruders when he protects his territory. You need very large tank if you want to have a group of the males or you should keep single male and few females. These fish dig in the substrate – they create dens for them self and nests to breed. Dens and nests are used to mark their territories.

Aquarium decoration

The aquarium should have a lot of hiding-places among rocks, stones, caves, soft and fine substrate. This species is sensitive to water quality.


This is an oviparous species. The fish breeds in the male’s territory. Male intensively courts for female and at the same time he prepares nest/hideout where they will spawn. He lures female. Female lays eggs and she immediately collects them in her mouth. Male fertilizes the roe. Female retreats to secure hideaway where the eggs incubate in her mouth. Incubation of the eggs takes up to 30 days. Female doesn’t eat during that time. When the offspring leaves females mouth you must start to feed them. The young grows fast.