Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan Reef

Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan Reef, a beautiful Malawi cichlid with a beautiful color range

This very beautifully colored Malawi cichlid is commercially available under many different names including Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan Tanzania, Protomelas steveni, Protomelas Taiwan, Protomelas Taiwan Reef, and of course Protomelas sp. Steveni Taiwan Reef is also the most commonly used name.

The location has so far been limited to 3 locations above rocks with very clear water. The fish are almost identical in all these locations: Taiwan Reef, Higga Reef (Tanzania), and Mbamba Bay where the Chimoto Red (red anal fin) and Chimoto Yellow varieties come from.

The Taiwan Reef has a somewhat fuller and shorter body than most other Utaka. The females keep their youth plumage, a somewhat dull silver/gray with gray-black vertical stripes that sometimes form an H due to spots between the stripes. The men, on the other hand, get a very nice color pattern (see the photos below). Some fish can take up to 2 years to show all their colors. This is why you don’t often encounter this species at the local aquarium store. It takes too long before they have enough color to sell at an attractive price.

In the wild, this species combs the algae, so when feeding, do not give too much live and frozen food but more vegetable food and, for example, spirulina flakes.

This is not a very dominant species. When kept together with busy and bossy fish it will be difficult to get Protomelas sp. steveni Taiwan Reef breeding. An aquarium with other peaceful Malawi cichlids will certainly benefit its health and longevity.



John de Lange

Copyright images

Malawi’s Unlimited


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