Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Cynotilapia sp. "hara"

Blue Reef Afra
Synonyms: Cynotilapia sp. "blue reef", Cynotilapia sp. "gallireya", Cynotilapia sp. "white top hara"

Cynotilapia sp. "hara"
Above: A male Cynotilapia sp. "hara". Photo by Rick Borstein.


Genus- Kyno= dog (Greek), tilapia= African for fish (Bechuana).


Cynotilapia sp. "hara" is an undescribed Lake Malawi mouth brooder. This is a new fish to the hobby, and is similar in many ways to other members of the genus, although more docile. Although a relative newcomer, it has become fairly popular in the trade.


Cynotilapia sp. "hara" is found at Gallireya Reef.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 4 inches, Females- 3.5 inches
Maturity: 2 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and are more colorful. They also have longer pelvic fins and show much intense striping.


Cynotilapia sp. "hara" is easy to care for. Rocks should be put in the tank for hiding and to give the fish a breeding surface. This fish is not real aggressive and can be kept with other fish. They are active, so make sure whatever you put them with won't be bothered by their activity. They do tend to be shy at first, so provide plenty of hiding spot.


This fish is a planktivore in the wild. Feed a healthy mix of fiber and protein rich foods. Mine were well conditioned on spectrum and Spirulina flake.


This fish was not very hard to spawn. The male will display to the female, and the fish spawn typical mbuna style. The females are good holders, even at a young age. They hold about 18-20 days, at which point free swimming fry can be stripped from the female. Spawns are relatively small, between 20-30 fry.

Fry are easy to raise on baby brine and crushed flake. They begin to show color very young age.


This is a good community mbuna, and is colorful. This fish is gaining popularity, which is good as it is a nice mbuna. You rarely find an mbuna where the females are very pretty.