Kenyi Cichlid (Metriaclima lombardoi)

Kenyi cichlid or Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi is an African cichlid that belongs in the Mbuna cichlid family. Kenyi cichlid originates from Africa’s Lake Malawi. It is characterized by its zebra stripes with a variation of coloring depending on gender and sexual maturity. Male Kenyi cichlid turns yellow at maturity while the female Kenyi cichlid remains greyish-blue. Similar to other Mbuna cichlids, Kenyi cichlids are rock dwellers. They are fairly aggressive and territorial. Kenyi cichlids are probably not the best for a beginners tank. Kenyi cichlids are mouthbrooders and can be bred at home.

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How Big are Kenyi Cichlids?

Kenyi cichlids are medium sized cichlids and can grow to 5 inches in length or 13 cm.

Are Kenyi Cichlids Schooling Fish?

No, Kenyi cichlids are not schooling fish. They may look like schooling fish because they swim in groups. You should keep at least 8 Kenyi cichlids in a tank. Having a big group of Kenyi cichlids in your tank will also help manage aggressive cichlids because they will have a harder time picking on one if there are a lot of cichlids in the tank.

Are Kenyi Cichlids Aggressive?

Kenyi cichlids are aggressive and territorial. It’s not the top choice African cichlid for a beginners tank.

What Water Parameters are Ideal for Kenyi Cichlids?

Kenyi cichlids will thrive in hard water tank that is set at 78-82 F at a PH level of 7.8 to 8.6.

Aquarium Set Up for Kenyi Cichlid

Kenyi Cichlids are rock dwellers, they prefer to swim and forage around rocks rather than swim in the open water. The ideal aquarium set up for your Kenyi cichlids is to recreate the rocky environment that they are used to in Lake Malawi. Kenyi cichlids are aggressive fish and will usually swim in groups (although not schooling fish). In order to recreate the Lake Malawi rocky environment, set up the aquarium with plenty of rocks and caves for hiding with a sandy bottom. You can buy caves and rocks from amazon or go out and find some in your backyard. Be careful, don’t stack rocks precariously, they can fall on your cichlids!

Minimum Tank Size for Kenyi Cichlids (Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi)

Kenyi Cichlids are fairly big and can grow up to 6 inches long. You should house your Kenyi cichlids in a big aquarium at a minimum 60 gallons, ideally 150 gallons.

How Many Kenyi Cichlids (Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi) in a 75 gallon tank?

You can have around 19 Kenyi cichlids in a 75 gallon aquarium. Use our Mbuna cichlid tank calculator to calculate how many mbuna cichlids to house in your tank.

How Often to Change the Water of Kenyi Cichlid Aquarium?

Kenyi cichlid aquarium water should be changed weekly. Change 25% of water weekly. It’s important to keep up with water changes to maintain good water quality.

What to Feed Kenyi Cichlid (Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi)

Kenyi cichlids (Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi) are herbivores. In the wild, they feed on aufwuchs. Aufwuchs are algae that grows on rocks. Feed your Kenyi cichlids vegetarian pellets. Be careful, don’t overfeed your Kenyi cichlids, they may develop digestive issues.

How to Breed Kenyi Cichlid

Kenyi Mbuna cichlids are mouth brooders. The eggs are laid in caves and then scooped up by the female. She then incubates and carries them for 25 to 35 days. Even when the fry are free swimming, if there is danger or at night, she will keep her babies in her mouth for safety.  Mouth brooding Kenyi Mbuna cichlids can be bred at home with ideal water conditions and aquarium set up. 

Here is an infograph showing the step by step process of the breeding process of Kenyi Mbuna cichlids.

mbuna cichlid breeding

Are Maylandia Cichlids the Same as Metriaclima Cichlids?

Yes, both Maylandia Cichlids and Metriaclima cichlids are the same. Scientists disagree on the name that’s why Maylandia and Metriaclima are used interchangeably. Kenyi cichlids can be called Metriaclima lombardoi or Maylandia lombardoi.

What are the Other Names of Kenyi Cichlids ?

Kenyi cichlids are also called Kenyi mbuna or lombardoi mbuna. The spelling of Kenyi cichlid can also be Kennyi cichlid. Kenyi cichlid scientific names are Maylandia lombardoi or Metriaclima lombardoi.

Infographic on Metriaclima Cichlid

Below you will find an infographic on Metriaclima cichlids.

Metriaclima Cichlid facts infograph

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