This is one of the “keystone” species of the African Rift Lake cichlid hobby. Numerous morphs occur in the wild, and male coloration is very different to that of the female. Some of the types are incapable of interbreeding, and this has given rise to the belief that they may constitute separate species, rather than morphs. As a result, the collection of all these intimately related species/morphs is referred to as the “zebra complex.” The new name, Metriaclima, was erected in 1997 and now includes several new species that would formerly have been regarded as Pseudotropheus.
[Ebook] The New Guide to Aquarium Fish – Ciclilids – GROUPS OF CICHLIDS – East African Lake Cichlids
The water of the East African lakes is generally hard and alkaline, although actual conditions vary from lake to lake. Lake Victoria is only moderately hard with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH; water clarity is poor and quality unexceptional.