Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Haplochromis sp. "kenya gold"

Kenya Golds


Kenya Gold
Above: A male Haplochromis sp. "kenya gold". Photo by Rick Borstein.


Genus- Haploos= simple (Greek), chromis= a fish, perhaps a perch (Greek).


Haplochromis sp. "kenya gold" is an undescribed Victorian Cichlid. This smaller growing and passive cichlid was introduced to the hobby by Laif DeMason. This attractive fish, named after it's golden color and occurrence in Kenya is a welcome aquarium resident.


Kenya Golds are found in the rocky parts of Lake Victoria and there is a possibility that this fish occurs in Lake Edward. This fish is found at Hippo Point and Mbita Point.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 3 inches, Females- 2.5 inches
Maturity: .5 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and are a lot more colorful than the females which are brownish-gray.


This fish is easy to care for. They are not aggressive at all, and since they don't attain a large size, can be put in a rather small tank. I had five (2 males, 3 females) in a 20 gallon tank and they bred like crazy.  I had the fish in my community 75 with all other types of cichlids, (except other Victorians), and they never came out. It seems to be a shy species in my experience. I moved these fish to a species 20 galln tank and they still were not very outgoing.


Kenya Golds are omnivorous, so feed a bit of everything. This fish really loves brine shrimp.


One day while getting my sponge filter out of my tank for cleaning, I saw two females holding, I stripped them and the larvae were only a few days from free swimming, so I artificially hatched them. This was the only time I really got to see these fish because they were always hiding. They spawned again a week later. I let the female hold. I stripped her at two weeks and the fry were at about the same stage as last time. I would expect this fish to hold to term for about 2-3 weeks. Females are good holders and can be left to hold to term.

The fry are small but grow fast. First foods should be baby brine shrimp or a prepared fry food. The fish grow fast and in about 2-3 months are easily breeding size.


Haplochromis sp. "kenya gold" was not my favorite fish to keep. I never got to see them because they were skittish. This fish is an easy BAP though, so if you need a BAP and have a small tank open, I recommend this fish.