OB Red Zebra Cichlid, FishTankWeb.Com – Those who are eager to learn the things about OB red zebra cichlid must have fallen for the exotic species.

The first thing that makes so many people love the OB Red Zebra is the color.

However, not many know the difficulty level of its care is quite high.

OB Red Zebra Cichlid Facts

The “OB” in the species name means Orange Blotch. It refers to the orange color pattern which spreads unevenly on the fish body.

Aside from the red zebra cichlid, some tank owners called the species as “Mbuna” fish.

In African language, the nickname means “rock fish”, which point out the local habitat.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Habitat

The red zebra cichlid is commonly found in Lake Malawi water, Africa.

Compared to the other cichild species, red zebra is considered the most fragile one.

Even ICUN already has recorded it in the rare species list. It is because the fish cannot be found just anywhere, only in certain part of the river.

It is considered illegal activity to catch the OB zebra directly from the river. Most species sold in the market comes from a breeding area somewhere in Florida.

In the fish farm, the breeders have successfully raise bright colored fish. It is surely brings more pretty variants for the hobbyist.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Lifespan

Both male and female species have similar lifespan. It is approximately ten years with proper care.

In the other words, how the tank owner treat the fragile fish plays an important role for its life.

Keep it mind that the red zebra cichlids are not suitable for beginner.

Those who can handle the fish are the intermediate fish keepers or the experienced ones.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Size

Compared to the other zebra cichlid, this species has stockier body. However, it doesn’t mean that they have smaller figure.

Thanks to torpedo shaped body, they might look bigger than expected. In the natural habitat, they could reach up to four inches or 10cm long.

Strangely, living in a tank allows the OB zebra to grow one inch longer: five inches or 12.5 cm long.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Color Morph

Another thing that makes the fish more appealing among hobbyist is the color morph. The tone variation in female is less compared to the male ones.

For instance, the male has two most common colors. The first one is called red-blue types.

It has light blue body and blurry vertical bars. Looking at the anal fin, there are four to seven egg spot.

The second one is red-red variant. This one has orange colored body with no strain. As for the female, it only has one tone: yellow and its shades.

The most common one is yellow. Another variation includes orange combined with dark pattern.

If the care takers take a proper look, there are around three spots on the anal fin.

OB Red Zebra Cichlid Diet

Before learning about the diet and behavior of red zebra cichlid, the tank keeper should understand that taking care of the species is a challenging thing to do.

The little aquarium pet cannot survive for long without proper experience or thorough care.

Be prepared for detailed lists of dos and don’ts.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Food

It might be surprising to learn that the red zebra cichlid is an omnivorous. Even so, this little species prefer to have more greens and less fat and protein.

The menu in the wild river is tiny invertebrates and zooplankton. For the tank habitat, the most favorable fresh menu is lettuce and romaine.

They also love flake foods, spirulina flakes or cichlid pellets.

The high quality herbivorous feeding is meant for the bright color. To meet the protein needs, the tank owners could give mysis and brine shrimps.

Don’t give it too often, as the red zebra easily gain weight. It is also important to avoid giving live worms.

They may float and kill the red zebra.

Once in a while, the pretty fish also requires vitamin and supplements, which can be mixed in the food.

The feeding itself should be done several times a day. Giving small portions several times is better than throwing a bunch of treat at one time only.

The feeding time is approximately three minutes. Within this period, the fish keeper might add more food until the pet satisfied.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Behavior

The red zebra cichlid is famous for its semi-aggressive behavior.

Therefore, throw away the dream of introducing the red zebra to the other fish speciesr.

It is the genes from cichlid family that doesn’t allow them to get along with any other fish, especially the ones that comes from the same family.

OB Red Zebra Cichlid Tank

Now the fish keeper is already halfway to learning the detail about the OB red zebra. The only thing left is how to set the tank right and choose the friendly pairing.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Tank Mates

When compared to the other cichlid species, red zebra is not as aggressive. However, it doesn’t mean that the little fish are good friend for the other species.

In order to maintain a balanced tank, the owners only need one male with two or three females.

Putting in another cichilds will trigger a huge fight. Practically, there is no “mates” that could get along with it.

  • OB Red Zebra Cichlid Tank Set Up

For preparing the tank ready for the red zebra cichlids, the first challenge would be the water.

To mimic the real condition in the wild, the water should be filled with oxygen and rich mineral content.

The water Ph should be around 7.7 to 8.6 and the temperature is 22.8 to 27.8 degree Celcius.

Pour the water into a 55 gallon tank. It is the minimum size for a pair of red zebra.

If the owners plan to have more pairs, then buy bigger tank. Don’t forget to provide rocks bed and some shelters as hideout.

Putting live algae would be bad idea, since the fish will nip on it. Replace it with hardy plants instead.

Images for OB Red Zebra Cichlid

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Photo Image OB Red Zebra Cichlid Tank Mates

Photo Image OB Red Zebra Cichlid Tank SizeThe other goby you have to know the facts:


Without doubt, OB Red Zebra Cichlid has special charm that could be a feast to the eye.

To keep it healthy, the tank owner should pay attention to the details mentioned in the care sheet.

Otherwise, the pretty pet fish will get sick. If the owner cannot keep up with the things about OB red zebra cichlid, it is better to drop the choice.

source: animal-world¹, allaboutaquariums²

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