Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Paralabidochromis chilotes
(Boulenger, 1911)

Thick Lip Victorian
Haplochromis chilotes

Paralabidochromis chilotes
Above: A male Paralabidochromis chilotes in breeding color. Note the damaged lip due to fighting. Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Para= similar (Greek), labis= tongs (Greek), chromis= perch (Greek). Meaning it is similar to Labidochromis.
Species- chilotes= lip like (Greek).


Paralabidochromis chilotes isĀ  mouth brooding Victorian cichlid. This species exhibits striking colors when spawning, but otherwise is drab. This species has many different color varieties depending on where they come from. The Zue Island form is quite popular.


Paralabidochromis chilotes is found in rocky zones of Lake Victoria.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 5 inches, Females- 3.5 inches
Maturity: 1.5 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and are a lot more colorful than the females which are silver.


Not a very aggressive fish. Keeping this fish poses few to no problems. A full grown group of 6 could be kept in as small a tank as a 40 breeder.


This fish is not picky and will eat anything. In the wild it is an insectivore and uses its large lips to gain leverage in scraping insect larvae off rocks (Seehausen, 1996). A varied diet of flakes and pellets is recommended.


This fish is not that easy to spawn, but what I found was when you get them going, there is no stopping them.

They bred in typical Haplochrmis mouthbrooding behavior. Female held 35 fry for about 24 days. What was very cool was this fish cared for the fry in the tank (55 gallons), the female allowing them back into her mouth when they were free swimming for a week.

The fry are tiny, so feed them baby brine shrimp to get them going. These fry when in good conditions will grow real fast.


Paralabidochromis chilotes are nice fish. For a Vic they are different. If you like Vics and see them around, give them a try.