Red Tail Sheller Cichlid: Platytaeniodus sp. Complete Guide

Red Tail Sheller Cichlid General Description

The Victorian cichlid Playtaeniodus sp. “red tail sheller” is a peculiar species. This fish are found at Hippo Point, which is located off of Lake Victoria, Africa in Kenya.  Red Tail Sheller Cichlid s colors are particularly vibrant, especially during the spawning season. Females of this species have even been known to display some spectacular coloration in their fins.


This fish is a relatively new addition to the hobby and is closely related to the Playtaeniodus degeni. It is possible that Playtaeniodus sp. “red tail sheller” is in fact a subspecies of Playtaeniodus degeni, which is a more widespread species.

Read Related Topic: White Knight Cichlid

Brief Summary

Scientific name: Platytaeniodus sp.

Popular name: Hap Blue Neon, Red Fin Blue Neon

Synonyms: Haplochromis sp. “Blue Neon”, Haplochromis sp. “Red Tail Sheller”

Etymology:  Platy – Flat (Greek), Taenia – Stripe (Latin), Odus – Teeth (Greek)

Adult size: Male: 5 1/2 inches /14 cm, Female 5 inches /13 cm

Species: Red Tail Sheller”

Origin: Hippo Point, Lake Victoria, Africa

Diet: Snail Extractor (Molluscivore)


Red Tail Sheller Cichlid Habitation

Red Tail Sheller Cichlid s are found at Hippo Point which is off of Lake Victoria, Africa in Kenya.

The creatures inhabiting the sandy bottom areas of the lake live at the bottom of Lake Victoria, where they can be seen swimming.


Red Tail Sheller Cichlid Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism

Size: The males are 5 inches long, while the females are 4 inches long.

They mature at an inch long

Sexual Dimorphism: In terms of physical size, the males are significantly larger than the females and they are also significantly more colorful than females. The fins of females do develop a lovely red coloration, which is particularly noticeable.

See Related Article: Tangerine Tiger Cichlid

Red Tail Sheller Cichlid Care

Red Tail Sheller Cichlid s are easy to take care of and are non-aggressive in general. They were only aggressive when they were spawning, and even then, it was only a small amount


Any of these three West African animals can be kept in a 40 breeder with mild Malawians, Tanganyikans, or other subtle West Africans.




The name of this fish is because it feeds on snails by removing them from their shells before eating them. In captivity, they eat whatever they can get their hands on.

This fish will benefit from a diet consisting of a variety of flake and pellet foods, as well as occasional feedings of frozen fish.

In a tank, they spend all day crouched over the gravel, rarely getting any higher than 3 or 4 inches above the bottom.


Red Tail Sheller Cichlid Breeding

It is possible to purchase a group of Red Tail Sheller Cichlid s from a local pet shop. These fish will most likely be sold under the common trade name of Haplochromis sp. “Blue Neon.”


Males will generally gain their full colorations when they are around 1.5 inches in length.. A group of five fish can comfortably coexist in a single tank, and a dominant male, a sub-dominant male, and three females is an excellent combination.

The mature fish will be ready to begin reproducing in just a few days after you bring them home from the store.


When breeding, the fish carry it out in the traditional Haplochromis matter, which makes it easier to remember and you don’t need to up a bunch of extra breeding tanks.

The male excavates a pit a few days before spawning and guards it against other males while they are there. The females are excellent keepers. The eggs are small and in small numbers, with only about 6-12 eggs laid per spawn.

Because the buccal cavity of this species does not expand very much, it can be difficult to tell when females are holding in this species. The most reliable way to tell is to observe the fish’s behavior and looking for signs of “chewing”. In just over two weeks after the fish were removed to a separate tank, we discover the fry swimming freely.



Red Tail Sheller Cichlid holds a special place in keeper’s hearts. This fish is peaceful and bright in color. They are simple to breed and simple to care for. Since it is quite difficult to find these fish locally they are classified as a hobbyist fish, which is heart wrenching because they are such a beautiful fish to have in your aquarium.

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