Sciaenochromis fryeri (Electric Blue Cichlid)

Sciaenochromis fryeri

Last updated on July 23rd, 2022 at 06:49 am

The Sciaenochromis fryeri, commonly known as the electric blue cichlid, is a freshwater fish native to Lake Malawi in Africa. It’s named after David Kinsman Fryer, who discovered it and three other species in 1931. A relatively large fish growing up to 14 inches long, the electric blue cichlid belongs to the family of mbuna cichlids, which are known for their bright colors and active behavior when compared to other African Cichlids like barbs or tilapia.

Sciaenochromis fryeri, also known as the electric blue cichlid, belongs to the family of fish called Haplochromine and lives in Lake Malawi in Africa. This fish got its name from its color, which shifts from gray to electric blue depending on the mood of the fish. Sciaenochromis fryeri can reach up to 12 inches long and can live up to 10 years in captivity with proper care and feeding.

They are brilliant electric blue cichlids originally from Lake Malawi, Africa, which makes them an ideal option for aquarists looking to create an African biotope within their aquariums. This fish should not be kept with smaller or easily intimidated fish or with other Cichlids from Lake Malawi, as it will readily eat them and/or become territorial towards them over time as it becomes more comfortable in its surroundings.

Learning how to take care of Sciaenochromis fryeri can be challenging, but with the right information, you’ll be able to properly care for your fish, leading to their full growth and health. If you’re unsure about how to do this, keep reading for more information on Sciaenochromis fryeri requirements.

Why get the electric blue cichlid?

Sciaenochromis fryeri

While there are many Cichlids for sale, sciaenochromis fryeri is a beautiful addition to any aquarium. Known for its bright electric-blue coloring, sciaenochromis fryeri is a very hardy fish. This type of Cichlid can handle a wide range of water conditions and will adapt easily to new environments.

Sciaenochromis fryeri has been found in freshwater streams in Kenya and Tanzania in Africa. These Electric Blue Cichlids are generally peaceful with other species in an aquarium; however, they can become aggressive towards their own kind over food. If you’re thinking about adding these cichlids to your home aquarium be sure that each tank contains at least two different males.

Electric Blue Johanni Cichlid (Pseudotropheus Johannii)

These males need an established territory and should not be put into an environment that already contains another male with a territory.

Origin and descriptions

Sciaenochromis fryeri are electric blue cichlids native to Lake Malawi. They’re medium-sized fish, with males reaching up to 4.5 inches and females at 3 inches. They’re hardy fish, adaptable to varying water conditions, and easy to keep. Because of their beauty and relative ease of care, they’re very popular in aquariums around the world. Due to their coloration and size, they can be kept successfully as pairs or in harems.

They do require large tanks of at least 75 gallons per pair due to their territorial nature but can be housed together successfully if provided with enough hiding places amongst rocks or plants. Due to their popularity in aquariums and small size when young, many breeders have begun cultivating them for sale around the world; it’s possible that there may even be local breeders nearby you could contact about acquiring some locally bred Sciaenochromis fryeri!

Species profile

Sciaenochromis fryeri

Sciaenochromis fryeri, also known as electric blue Malawi cichlid or electric blue hap, is an herbivorous species of Lake Malawi. It belongs to a group of haplochromine fish characterized by their bright coloration. This species can be kept alone or in community tanks with medium to large peaceful fish. They will feed on vegetable-based flake food and occasionally brine shrimp pellets.

They are relatively easy to care for; however, they do require warm water and plenty of open swimming space. They should not be housed with aggressive cichlids because they lack adequate means for self-defense.


The electric blue hails from Lake Malawi and does best in waters that are slightly alkaline at a pH of 7.5 to 8.0, with hardness levels of 18 to 20 dH and temperatures between 22°C and 28°C (72°F and 82°F). They typically grow to around 13 centimeters in length but have been known to reach lengths of up to 18 centimeters in captivity.

Electric blue cichlid size

Sciaenochromis fryeri can grow to be as large as 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) in length.

Andinoacara Pulcher (Blue Acara Cichlid)

Electric blue cichlid tank size

The minimum recommended tank size is a 55-gallon (208 Liters) aquarium. Any smaller and you will not be able to keep a sufficient number of adult fish. Space is needed between adults to avoid fighting because they are not active swimmers or fighters. They don’t move much at all, so a small space means more competition for territory and food.

This can lead to physical fighting, which often results in injury or death from being exposed to ammonia/nitrite poisoning from waste building up in such an enclosed environment.

Sciaenochromis fryeri tank set up

Sciaenochromis fryeri are not schooling fish. The recommended tank size is 55 gallons or more, with a mbuna sand substrate and rockwork. The Electric Blues can tolerate a wide pH level of 6-8.5 but prefer between 7-7.5. Water temperature should be kept at 76 degrees Fahrenheit with an optimal range between 77 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

The water should be kept well oxygenated especially when first introduced into an aquarium. A minimal amount of plants may be used to help maintain a healthy environment for these fish; however, they will use them for breeding if available. Although they have been noted to successfully breed in aquariums up to 250 liters in size, it has been found that they are less aggressive if kept in smaller volumes.

Electric blue cichlid tank mates

The most important thing to keep in mind when keeping Electric Blue Cichlids with other fish is that they should never be kept with other similar-looking types of fish because they will think it is their mate. They should also not be kept with aggressive or territorial fish of any kind. This could cause a problem for your Electric Blue Cichlids or for your other fish, depending on which one wins.

It’s best to avoid mixing species just to prevent any problems. If you do end up getting more than one electric blue cichlid, you should always put them in separate tanks, and make sure both tanks have rocks and live plants so they can hide if needed.

The Electric Blue Cichlid is compatible with other fish of comparable size. Scatophagus spp, Synodontis decorus, Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, Pimelodus blochii, and smaller species of Copadichromis and Altolamprologus are a few options. It will not work well with much smaller or less pugnacious fish as these are liable to become food for an adult male Sciaenochromis fryeri. Keep more than one male per tank unless you wish to breed them, as they will fight given half a chance.

Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)

Electric blue cichlid breeding

Sciaenochromis fryeri

Fryer’s are a popular fish in large part due to their flashy colors and ease of breeding. They are very easy to breed, and it is usually recommended that you start with at least three females and one male, although more can be added if desired. For breeding purposes, you’ll need an aquarium or tank about 36′′/90cm long for each female. If adding more than one male to your tank, try to add them within 24 hours of each other so they will fight less often.

Also, provide plenty of live plants and create caves where fry may hide until they grow old enough to avoid predation. The ideal water temperature range should be 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit or 25-28 degrees Celsius, while pH should fall between 7.5-8.5; good water flow is also important as fry have been known to eat anything available—including themselves!

Are Electric blue cichlid aggressive or peaceful?

Sciaenochromis fryeri are very territorial and may attack other fish in their aquarium, as they are moderately aggressive. It is best to keep one male per tank, or several females, or to house them in a large tank by themselves. These fish are suitable for advanced aquarists who have experience keeping African cichlids. While they have similar care requirements as Mbuna, they require more space and cannot be kept with less aggressive tank mates.

Electric blue cichlid care

Sciaenochromis fryeri

Sciaenochromis fryeri are among some of the most interesting and popular aquarium fish available to aquarists. Because they are mouth-brooders and maternal mouth-brooders at that, proper care and breeding are required to ensure their happiness. If you’re thinking about purchasing electric blues, it’s a good idea to know how to keep them healthy and in tip-top shape!

Electric blue cichlid diet

Like other omnivorous Cichlids, Sciaenochromis fryeri will eat just about anything. In their native habitat of Lake Malawi, they feed on detritus and algae. They are also known to prey on small invertebrates and scavenge larger ones. In captivity, these fish are not fussy when it comes to food. A varied diet of pellets, frozen foods, and live foods will provide them with all they need. This versatility is yet another reason why these fish are a favorite among aquarists!

Blue Peacock Cichlid Care (Aulonocara Nyassae)

Water parameters

Sciaenochromis fryeri

Sciaenochromis fryeri should be kept in a freshwater aquarium with a pH of 7.0-8.5, a water hardness of 5-19 dGH, and an ideal temperature range of 75-84 degrees Fahrenheit. Wild fish are found in rivers and streams; therefore, avoid overstocking their aquariums or allowing them to fight for territories. However, many captive-bred specimens do fine when kept as community fish.

They’re very peaceful towards other tank mates as long as they aren’t threatened; they’ll also only bite if provoked. Additionally, males can become territorial during the breeding season but won’t harm other fish outside of attempting to mate with them. This species is considered difficult to care for by aquarists not experienced with these cichlids.

Electric blue cichlid lifespan

They can live up to 10 years in captivity.

Parasites and diseases

As with other freshwater species, the most common disease of this fish is velvet and white spot diseases. The fish should be closely monitored in order to detect the infected fish early on and take precautionary measures before other fish are infected.

Do Electric blue cichlid make good pets?

Yes. The electric blue cichlid is a very hardy fish to keep in your display tank. They are not overly aggressive and can adapt to any water conditions.