General information - Tropheus Pemba/Bemba is maybe one of the
most common and well familiar tropheus species all over the world and
one of the most striking species. It has semi elongated dark black body
with a shiny wide diagonal orange/red stripe. Like its entire genus the
bemba/pemba must be kept in large groups in the tank in order to
spread its natural aggressions.
Common Name – Orange flame, red flame, Bemba
Scientific Name - Tropheus sp. “Black” Bemba/Pemba
Family – Cichlidae
photo by: philip
Origin - Lake Tanganyika, Africa
Size – Up to 15 cm (6 in)
First discovered - Marlier 1959
Nutrition - Herbivorous, All Tropheus share the same diet; they are all herbivores, in the wild they scrape
algae and feed on small invertebrates found on rocks. They should be fed with veggie based foods. In
captivity it requires a varied diet, quality veggie flakes should be supplemented with fresh and frozen
green food. It can feed with "light" frozen foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia 1-2 times a week but
feeding it on a daily basis or with rich protein foods such as bloodworms can lead to Malawi bloat or to
internal parasites. Feeding the Pemba/Bemba with nori algae can enhance its natural colors.
Behavior - Aggressive
Maintenance and care - This beautiful cichlid should be kept in groups in large aquariums. The
aquarium should be decorated with lot of rocks that creates a lot of hiding places but also requires
plenty of room to swim. The tank can be decorated with only few rocks that placed randomly in the
tank. To be accurate the tank can be decorated with heavy rock formation or with 3-4 rocks but
poor rock formation will lead to territorial fights. In nature, the Pemba/Bemba found in rocky
environments, in its natural habitat the water is rich in oxygen and its fish tank should therefore
have vigorous water movements. Good filtration system is also essential to this magnificent cichlid.
Water Parameters – Temperature: 24C-27C, PH: 8-9, dGH: 8-20
Breeding - Males are usually bigger but it is difficult to sex between them. Tropheus Pemba/Bemba
are mouthbrooders. The female will take the unfertilized eggs in her mouth; eggs will be fertilized after
the male release his milt into her mouth. This process occurs when the female follow the male very
close to his anal fin. Fry are released within 27-30 days and can be feed with fry foods, brine shrimp or
with crushed flake food.