Metriaclima estheraeThe Red Zebra
Synonyms: Maylandia estherae, Pseudotrpheus estherae
Photo of a male Red zebra (Red Morph) by Rick Borstein
Meaning of Name:Genus- Metriaclima= Metri= average (Latin), clima= slope (Latin).
Species- estherae= Names after Esther Grant.
M. estherae is
a mainstay in the cichlid hobby. Because of this fishes overall good
looks, care requirements, and availability, this is often a beginning
There are a few color morphs of this fish:
Blue- Blue Males and Orange Females (Male pictured below)
Orange- A pinkish orange looking fish, where males get a hint of light blue
OB- Blue males with Orange Blotched females
Red- Orange males with blue fins, and orange females (Pictured Above)
M. estherae is found in Lake Malawi around rocks. Many of the location varieties are from Minos Reef.
Size: Males-6 inches, Females-5 inches
Sexual Maturity: 2 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females, and have either a
different color, or depending on location points a much more intense
color than females.
Since M. estherae
to care for, it is a popular fish. While these fish are aggressive,
they will not harm each other to the point of death. A young trio could
be put in a 40 breeder, but as they get to the large 4-6 inch stage you
should move them to a 55-75 gallon tank, as aggression intensifies.
This fish is good for a mbuna show tank.
This fish is an omnivore, but will bloat unless given a hefty amount of veggie items.
This fish was not very hard to spawn. The males display in typical
mbuna fashion, and the fish spawn.
females are excellent holders, but because the male will harass them,
I recommend moving holding females into a 5 or 10 gallon tank.
The fish held for about 25 days. Usually a Red Zebra spawn will contain
30-35 eggs, but my pair was pretty large, the female was nearing 6
inches, and I got over 60 out of her, so size is important when
figuring out spawn numbers. Fry were good sized, and easy to raise This
fish grows at a relatively good pace.
Red Zebras are
very beautiful fish to keep. They are readily around, and in hot
demand. You can usually find this fish in local pet shops. So if you
are just getting into keeping cichlids, or have just never kept this
species, I reccomend it.
Photo of A Male Red Zebra (Blue Form) taken by Sam Borstein