Rare fish breeding success at Blue Planet


staff reporter

A SPECIES of fish that is found in only a single lake in Africa has bred successfully at an Ellesmere Port aquarium.

The zoological team at Blue Planet Aquarium, in Cheshire Oaks, are celebrating after a pair of fairy cichlid adults bred for the first time in three years.

The species, which is endemic to Lake Tanganyika in East Africa, gets its name from its colourings and lyre-shaped tail.

Blue Planet Aquarium’s Joe Chattell said: “The lake is home to around 250 species of cichlid in total, most of which are found around the rocky shoreline.

“Ninety-eight per cent of the species are endemic to the lake, making it an important biological resource in evolutionary terms.

“Massive shoals made up of more than 100,000 individuals have been recorded in just a 50 metre-square area of the lake.”

He added around 50 fry have hatched and staff are confident that more will be born over the coming months.

The fairy cichlids spawn and lay their eggs among rocky rubble and set up collective nurseries for their babies.

Joe added: “This particular species participate in multi-generational rearing of the fry, keeping a watchful eye on the young, and any adults spawning.

“It is not unheard of to find adults, sub adults and even half grown fry looking after newly hatched fry.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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