Mbasi Rainbow Cichlid

  • Vibrant African cichlid with peaceful personality (for cichlids).
  • Thrives in hard, alkaline water (pH 7.8-8.6).
  • Needs a minimum 55-gallon tank with tank mates of similar size.
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SKU: 10029

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Mbasi Rainbow Cichlid: A Colorful Addition to Your Aquarium

The Mbasi Rainbow Cichlid, also known as Lethrinops Mbasi “Tanzania”, is a stunning freshwater fish native to Lake Malawi in East Africa. With its vibrant colors and interesting behavior, this cichlid is a popular choice for aquarists.

Scientific Name: Lethrinops Mbasi

Care Information

Water Quality: Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids thrive in hard, alkaline water conditions. Mimic their natural habitat by aiming for the following:

  • pH Level: 7.8 – 8.6
  • GH Level: 12 – 18 dGH
  • KH Level: 8 – 12 dKH

Feeding: These fish are omnivores and enjoy a varied diet. Offer high-quality flake food, pellets, and frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mysis shrimp.

Tank Mates: While peaceful compared to other African cichlids, Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids can be territorial. Choose tank mates carefully. Consider other peaceful African cichlids of similar size, such as Aulonocara species or other Lethrinops species. Avoid housing them with smaller fish or overly aggressive tank mates.

Substrates and Tank Decorations: Provide a rocky substrate with hiding places for these bottom-dwelling fish. Decorate the tank with caves made from large rocks or driftwood.

Suitable Plants: Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids may nibble on plants. Opt for sturdy African cichlid-safe plants like Anubias or Valisneria.

Sexing and Breeding: Differentiating males and females is challenging for beginners. Males are typically more colorful and have a more pointed dorsal fin. Breeding can occur in a well-established tank with caves. Males will claim a territory and display to attract females.

Maximum Size and Longevity: Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids grow to about 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) in length and can live up to 8 years with proper care.

Behavior: These are relatively peaceful fish for African cichlids. However, males can be territorial towards each other. They are active swimmers and will explore all levels of the tank.

Before You Buy

  • Tank Size: A minimum of a 55-gallon tank is recommended for a group of Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids.
  • Filtration: Strong filtration is essential for these fish, as they produce a good amount of waste.

General Information

  • Mbasi Rainbow Cichlids are relatively easy to care for once the tank is established.
  • Regular water changes are crucial to maintain good water quality.

Fun Fact

The vibrant coloration of the Mbasi Rainbow Cichlid helps them establish dominance and attract mates.


My Family

Family Cichlidae

Where I am from

Origin Africa

My behaviour

Social Peaceful

How do I breed

Breeding Egglayer

Can you keep me

Care Level Easy

Potential of Hydrogen

pH Level Aquarium pH measures water acidity/alkalinity. 7 is neutral. Fish have pH preferences; maintain ideal levels for their health and stability. 7.8 – 8.6

General Hardness

GH Level GH (General Hardness) in aquariums measures minerals like calcium and magnesium. It affects fish health by showing water\'s mineral content. 12 – 18 dGH

Carbonate Hardness

KH Level KH (Carbonate Hardness) in an aquarium stabilizes pH. It acts like a shield, keeping the water conditions just right for fish. 8 – 12 dKH


Temperature Ideal temperature needed for fish 24°C – 27°C

How long will I live

Life Span 8 Years

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