Nanochromis: Latin, nannus = small + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch
Nanochromis transvestitus are small challenging but peaceful cichlids which can be kept in a species aquarium or in a specialised community aquarium with other fish which will tolerate the very soft acidic water required by Nanochromis transvestitus. They should be kept in compatible pairs with a minimum of 2ft² per pair in order to avoid territorial disputes. They should be kept in a well decorated aquarium with lots of stone or pot caves, bog wood branches and plant thickets because Nanochromis transvestitus can be quite shy and if kept in a tank without hiding places they will be very nervous and you won't see them behaving naturally. Ironically have access to lots of hiding places makes them more confident and less likely to hide.
Wild Nanochromis transvestitus feed on feeds on small crustaceans, midge larvae, mites and detritus. In captivity their diet should reflect this and their staple diet should be made up of suitably sized live or frozen food: Daphnia, cyclops, adult brine shrimps, blood worms, glass worms along with a good quality flake food to ensure a balanced diet.
Nanochromis transvestitus will squabble with its own species but is otherwise considered to be quite peaceful. Compatible pairs could be housed in a species tank of about 60 litres or in a larger community tank with other species which require the same soft acidic water.
Females are more brightly coloured than the males are when adult.
Being cichlids Nanochromis transvestitus doesn't need anything more than good care in order to encourage spawning. But unless the water is very acidic at pH 5 and with almost no hardness it is unlikely that the eggs will hatch. They will use a cave for a spawning site and both parents will care for the brood. The initial courtship of a new pair can be quite aggressive and it may be necessary to intervene and separate the fish for a while or the female may be injured or even killed.
Nanochromis transvestitus is endangered in the wild due to the use of very fine (catch all) fishing nets. There are large pockets of methane under their endemic Lake bed which are expected to be exploited at some point in the future.
Normally it is the male fish which is the more colourful of the sexes but with Nanochromis transvestitus it is the female. It is in recognition of this reversed coloration which is the authors reason for their species name.
Transvestite refers to a person who cross-dresses.
pH: 5 - 6.5
dGH: 0 - 7
Temperature: 24 - 26°C (76 - 78°F)
Size: 3.4cm (1.5in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Species/Community
Swimming level: Lower
Origin: Africa: Lake Mai Ndombe
Habitat: Black water in stony areas with a sand substrate.
Species: N. transvestitus Stewart & Roberts, 1984
Other common names: