Menu ▼
Log In
Greater Seattle Aquarium Society

Placidochromis milomo

by Kevin Foxen
December 1998

Placidochromis milomo is one of those fish that people don’t keep that often. It is a very interesting fish that people should give another look. What first caught my eye was those big lips in all of the pictures. Later I found out the lips were only found on the wild individuals. The thick lips are used to suck prey out of openings. In the aquarium, the fishes lips are not used for what they are intended for and the large lips recede.

P. milomo can get about ten inches. Juveniles and females have black and white stripes, with the males getting a blue head and depending on how the light hits the body it could be a bright red or blue. The lips look swollen but not like the wild fish’s lips. Unfortunately, there are no good pictures of male P. milomo in spawning colors. It is a very easy fish to take care of, but not an easy fish to spawn. The dominant male is aggressive to other conspecifics and other species when wanting to spawn.(Ed note, when isn’t a male wanting to spawn?) When not spawning it is peaceful with the black bars of the females and juveniles showing. Given proper conditions it is easy to spawn, but the female does not carry the eggs very well. The male probably gets too aggressive towards the female and she either eats or spits out the eggs. The first time I saw them spawn, the male attracted the female to a flat rock and they did their circle there. He spawned with two females that day. The fish have spawned three more times since then over a five week period, with the females carrying about three days. Today, one of the females tube has dropped and the male is brilliantly colored. He has however dug a pit to the bottom of the aquarium. But again, when the male and female started to do their circle it was on a flat rock at about a 450 angle. In the wild P. milomo eats invertebrates. In the aquarium the fish will eat anything, with a good variety of food being the best. It is an active and attractive fish that will show off nicely in a aquarium if given the chance.