The nicholsi cichlid (Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi) is a small cichlid native to the Democratic Republic of Congo where it inhabits ponds, creeks and drainage ditches and is usually found around the banks or among the stems of aquatic plants. This fish grows to an adult size of 3.04 inches long. Male fish are slightly larger and much more colorful than females.
The nicholsi cichlid should be maintained in an aquarium of 30 gallons or larger. Provide plenty of hiding places includingr rocks, driftwood (ZM2000) and live or artificial plants, as well as a sand substrate (CS7538). These fish can look great in a heavily planted tank with a dark substrate and floating plants to diffuse some of the light.
The nicholsi cichlid prefers a temperature of 72°F to 77°F, a pH of 6.0 to 8.0, and a hardness of 5 to 20°H. Be sure water is clean and well oxygenated.
The nicholsi cichlid is not suitable for a typical community aquarium as it can be quite aggressive to other species that also inhabit the lower portion of the aquarium. Good tank mates include larger African tetras, rainbowfish, and surface dwelling species such as hatchetfish or butterfly fish. Male fish are very aggressive towards one another and only one should be kept in a harem situation with several females. If more than a single male is maintained, only one dominant fish is likely to form a territory and spawn with the available females unless the tank is very large.
The nicholsi cichlid will readily accept most foods. A good quality cichlid pellet can be fed as staple, but ensure the diet is varied with regular feedings of live and frozen foods (SF4792). For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.