Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan"

Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan"
Above: A male Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan". Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Proto= first (Greek), melas= black (Greek).


Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" is a beautiful Lake Malawi mouth brooder. This undescribed species of fish got its name from it where it is found, Taiwan Reef. The reef actually has nothing to do with Taiwan. The name actually comes from the local word "Taiwanee" meaning lost child.


This fish is found at Taiwan Reef and Higga Reef in Lake Malawi.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 7 inches, Females- 6 inches
Maturity: 3 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and are far more colorful than the females which are gray.

Femals Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan"
Above: A holding female Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan". Photo by Sam Borstein.


Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" is not hard to care for. This fish is not overly aggressive towards others or their own species. I kept mine in a community 75 and had no problem. They mix very well with mild mbuna and other haps. Water changes should be done weekly at 50%.


Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" feeds on algae and inverts in the wild. The fish will eat just about anything, but a healthy mix is advised. Mine loved spectrum and HBH graze.


These fish breed like rats. All you really need is a male and female, water, and a breeding surface. Females hold for around 20-23 days, then she releases the babies. The fry are extremely small, but grow fast. Raising them is unproblematic and they do well on baby brine shrimp and then crushed flake.

Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" breeding
Above: A male Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" displaying to a female. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Protomelas sp. "steveni taiwan" is becoming more and more popular. You can easily get this fish. There is a new albino variety out, but you can expect to spend a lot of cheddar if you want them.

This beautiful fish is a great addition to any tank. If you like Malawi Haps, then you should get this fish.