Cobalt Zebra Cichlid (Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos)

Cobalt Zebra or Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos is an African cichlid that belongs in the Mbuna cichlid family. Cobalt Zebra originated from Africa’s Lake Malawi. It is characterized by its attractive cobalt blue coloring growing up to 6 inches in length. Like other Mbuna cichlids, Cobalt Zebra cichlids are rock dwellers. They are fairly aggressive and territorial Mbuna cichlids so probably not the best for a beginners tank. Cobalt Zebra cichlids are mouthbrooders and can be bred at home.

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Aquarium Set Up for Mbuna Cichlid

Cobalt Zebra 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 cobalt zebra cichlids is to recreate the rocky environment that they are used to in its natural habitat in Lake Malawi. Cobalt Zebra 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.

Minimum Tank Size for Cobalt Zebra Cichlids (Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos)

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

How Many Cobalt Zebra Cichlids (Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos) in a 60 gallon tank?

You can have around 15 Cobalt Zebra cichlids in a 60 gallon aquarium. Use our Mbuna cichlid tank calculator to calculate how many mbuna cichlids to house in your tank.

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How Often to Change the Water of Cobalt Zebra Cichlid Aquarium?

Cobalt Zebra 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 Cobalt Zebra Cichlid (Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos)

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

How to Breed Cobalt Zebra Cichlid

Cobalt Zebra 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, the mother Cobalt Zebra cichlid will keep her babies in her mouth for safety.  Mouth brooding Cobalt Zebra Mbuna cichlids can be bred at home with ideal water conditions and aquarium set up. It’s a fun and rewarding process!

Here is an infograph showing step by step the breeding process of Cobalt Zebra cichlid.

Cichlid Mouth Brooding Process

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. That’s why Cobalt Blue Zebras can be called Metriaclima callainos or Maylandia callainos.

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