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Nanochromis transvestitus


General Information: The Nanochromis transvestitus is the smallest known cichlid, with adults barely reaching over an inch in length. Both males and females are striking, with an olive brown body topped with light brown vertical bars that extend into the dorsal fin. The female is particularly colorful, featuring a pretty red belly and a black and white striped tail fin.

Habitat and Distribution: This West African Dwarf Cichlid is found only in Lake Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The lake is a “black water” lake with tannin-stained waters from decaying organic matter, resulting in soft and acidic water with a pH of 5.0 – 6.0. The lake has a sandy bottom with rocky areas where this fish prefers to live, feeding on water fleas, midge larvae, mites, and detritus.

Care and Maintenance: Nanochromis transvestitus can be both easy and difficult to keep, depending on how well their needs are met. They thrive in tanks that mimic their natural habitat, which should include rocks, driftwood, and plenty of vegetation in the background or middle ground for security. The substrate should be a mixture of sand and small pebbles. Maintaining a low pH is crucial for their well-being. Clean water and stable parameters will result in happy and healthy fish.

Breeding: These fish breed easily in the right conditions. A pair will peacefully rear their offspring together if the water is perfect for their needs and their diet is varied and healthy.

Behavior and Compatibility: Nanochromis transvestitus is relatively peaceful and tolerant, making them suitable for community aquariums with other acidic water dwellers that can hold their own. However, they do not tolerate other fish that look similar and are aggressive toward their own species and others of their genus. Like most cichlids, they become very aggressive and territorial when spawning.



Nanochromis transvestitus is a stunning and manageable dwarf cichlid that can be a great choice for enthusiasts who can provide a moderate-sized tank with specific water conditions. Their peaceful nature, combined with their striking appearance, makes them a rewarding addition to a well-maintained aquarium.

Species Information:

  • Species: Nanochromis transvestitus
  • Common Name: Transvestitus
  • Origin: African - Congo
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • PH Range: 5.0 - 6.0
  • Temperature: Tropical 25°C - 30°C
  • Breed Type: Egg layer
  • Maximum Size: Approximately 4cm
  • Sex: Un-sexed


Nanochromis Transvestitus

AU$45.00 Regular Price
AU$40.50Sale Price

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