Perlmutt Cichlid: Labidochromis sp. Perlmutt Complete Guide

Perlmutt Cichlid


It has not yet been determined whether Perlmutt Cichlid (Labidochromis sp. Perlmutt) is a distinct species from the rest of the Labidochromis genus. The word Labidochromis is made up of two parts: labi anddochromis, which means “labidochromis” in Greek. In the bird’s name, labis, the word comes from the ancient Greek word for tang or tweezers, and it refers to the bird’s narrow beak. The name Chrmis was given to it since it comes from the ancient Greek word meaning “fish”. In honour of the pearl colour that appears on its flank, this species has been given the name “Perlmutt.”

Although the Perlmutt Cichlid is relatively small, its base colour is a kind of pearly white. The males can be more easily distinguished by the pearl-like sheen on top of the whitish background. Subadults and females have vertical dark stripes on the flanks of their bodies that run vertically across their bodies. Males with dark stripes are almost never visible in the wild, and females with dark stripes are almost never visible in the wild. The fins are a vibrant shade of yellow in colour. Males’ ventral, anal, and caudal fins are also trimmed with a black stripe, and females’ caudal fins are trimmed with a black stripe as well.

Females have a less distinct black stripe that is less noticeable than the males’ stripe. Additionally, the dorsal fin can have a black stripe, although in males, this stripe can sometimes disappear completely in yellow, resulting in the fin appearing completely white in colour. In length, the males reach approximately 10 centimetres in length, whereas the females remain slightly shorter, reaching approximately 8 centimetres in length. Since there isn’t a lot of food in the lake, they will eventually shrink around 2 centimeters.

Origin Labidochromis sp. Perlmutt

You can find the Perlmutt Cichlid along the rocky coast of the island. You can find them in locations like the Higga Reef, Mbamba Bay, and Ngkuyo Island, among others. In Lake Malawi, you will not be able to find them in large numbers because of the water temperature. It is a cichlid that is relatively uncommon in the environment.


Perlmutt Cichlid primary prey consists of small insects and invertebrates that live in the aufwuchs and on the lakebed’s substratum. It is possible that they consume a small amount of algae while on the prowl for insects and other invertebrates. They consume a wide variety of foods.

We must provide them with a varied diet of live and frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, Mysis, krill, and other foods, in order to keep them healthy in the aquarium. You can alternate between dry food, flakes, granules, and other forms of nutrition to get the nutrition you require. As a supplement to their diet, make sure they get some vegetable food, such as spirulina, to keep them healthy.

They should not be given any red mosquito larvae or tubifex at any time. When animals consume this type of food, they are at risk of contracting Malawi Bloat, which usually results in their death as a result of the disease.

labidochromis perlmutt

Tank Conditions:

The aquarium is a fantastic place to spend some quality time with your family.

Tank Size

If possible, the aquarium should have a length of at least 120 centimetres; anything shorter than that is not recommended.

It is necessary to keep a large aquarium in order to accommodate more males, which is why you should keep a large aquarium. Consider a length of approximately 200 centimetres as a starting point.

Read Related Topic: Albino Cichlid: Care Guide, Diet, Gender, Breeding

Tank Environment

Set up an aquarium for Perlmutt Cichlid, who lives on a rocky outcropping and will be visiting soon. This implies that there will be (filter) sand and rocks on the bottom of the pool. For the sake of staying hidden, make sure there are plenty of hiding places between the rocks.

In the space between the rocks, the males can establish a (temporary) territory for themselves. Alternatively, if a male spends an excessive amount of time with them or pays them an excessive amount of attention, females may seek refuge between the rocks.

Females who do not want to mate or brood their eggs may be hunted down and killed by the male if there aren’t enough safe havens for them to take refuge in. If the females are not present, males will not establish territories in Lake Malawi; however, if the females are present in the aquarium, this will occasionally occur, particularly during the mating season.

Tank Plants

Species of Labidochromis Perlmutt does not necessitate the presence of plants, but if you do, they will coexist harmoniously with them. The various species that live in a Mbuna aquarium do not leave the plants alone in their efforts to maintain their health. Anubias and Java fern are examples of plants with tough leaves that are suitable for use in containers to ensure a long life expectancy of the container.

Perlmutt Cichlid Behavior

A reputation for being aggressive toward one another has developed among Perlmutt Cichlid male over the years. We recommend that you keep only one male in a group of several females, rather than several males. It is sufficient to have a harem of one man and two or three women.


The Perlmutt Cichlid should not be kept with other Labidochromis species, including the more common Labidochromis caeruleus and the less common Labidochromis sp. Hongi, because they have the potential to crossbreed. As a rule, it is not difficult to keep up with the other Mbuna species because the Labidochromis sp. Perlmutt’s coloration and drawing are distinct from those of other Mbuna species.

Make sure to keep an eye out for larger predators, as you may find yourself prey to one of them!

Labidochromis sp. Perlmutt Cichlid

Perlmutt Cichlid Breeding

Breeding programmes for Labidochromis sp. are being conducted by Perlmutt.

When the female is ready to spawn, she allows the man to lure her to a specific location in the sand. There she will mate with another male. By spreading his fins, he demonstrates his flanking ability. In an attempt to get the woman’s attention with his words, he trembles a little. In order to get their bearings, the two of them begin to circle each other in the sand for a period of time.

Soon after, when the female is ready, she buries her eggs in the sand. The male then fertilizes them within minutes of their laying. She then places the fertilised eggs in her mouth and turns around to face the opposite direction.. According to the size and experience of the female, she can lay anywhere from 10 to 40 eggs in a single clutch.

The female is in charge of the entire incubation process from beginning to end. She takes care of the eggs, which hatch after approximately 3 days in the presence of her. The larvae will remain in the mouth of the female for approximately 3 weeks after hatching. It continues to grow inside her mouth, where it consumes the yolk sac of the other fry and continues to grow. During these three weeks you shouldn’t feed the female.

Three weeks after hatching, the female spits out the young Perlmutt Cichlid fry, after which they are left to fend for themselves in their new environment. To supplement the fry’s diet, finely crushed flake food and freshly hatched brine shrimp is a great source of protein.

See Related Article: Cobalt Blue Zebra Cichlid: The Complete Care Guide


Is a Perlmutt Cichlid a good fit for your aquarium?
Aquarists who have previously maintained fish will almost certainly be able to care for these species properly.
Their criteria are simple. Although, their harshness may be intimidating for novices who aren’t sure in their abilities to handle it.

Two of the most essential factors to consider are the size of your tank and the compatibility of your tank mates.

If you’re certain that none of these problems will be a problem for your setup, these fish will make great additions to your aquarium.

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