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Spotlight On Pundamilla Nyerei

Blake B

Posted on December 02 2019

Each species of African cichlid has its own unique charm, quirks, and of course beautiful coloration. As America’s premier cichlid purveyors and enthusiasts, we’re taking some time to speak in detail about some of the cichlid species we specialize in. Continuing our series of spotlight posts, this month I’m covering  Pundamilla Nyerei  a beautiful striped cichlid from Lake Victoria with rainbow coloration. 


Pundamilla Nyerei are a popular, medium-to-large African cichlid, and are primarily known for their bright, showy colors. As with most cichlids, this coloration is generally found on the males primarily, and the females tend to be more dull and brownish. They are from the shallow waters of Lake Victoria, and are accustomed to bright and rocky environs. They come in several varieties, with slightly varying color schemes. 

Appearance and Behavior

What stands out most about Pundamilla Nyerei is again their bright coloration, and particularly the contrast of multiple colors which occurs in many varieties. Some popular varieties include the “Super Red” or just plain “Red”, and what is so striking about many breeds is their red upper/dorsal half of their body, and then the green, yellow, or even blue coloration along their lower half, all connected with black stripes. This gives them a very luminescent beauty, and males can grow up to around five inches long. 

These are some of the medium aggressive varieties of cichlids, and therefore some caution must be taken with whom you place them in your tank. They are also mouth-brooders, which is good to know if you ever plan to breed them. 

Care and Requirements

 Pundamilla Nyerei require hard, alkaline water to mimic those of their native Lake Victoria, and since they typically dwell in the shallows, they are fine with the water being a bit warmer and brighter than some other species who come more from the depths. This is great, because they are so colorful, it allows you to show them off to the max, with brighter LED lights. Ideal water conditions are within 5 degrees of 82°F, and around 8.3 pH. 

For maximum coloration and health, as with many African cichlids, these are omnivorous fish, and so either a combination of vegetable and plant proteins you make yourself, or pellets designed specifically for omnivorous cichlids will keep them in tip-top shape. 

Tank Community Needs

As a somewhat aggressive species, you’re better off keeping your Pundamilia Nyererei cichlids either with a ratio of one male to 3-4 females, or to simply keep an all-male tank. Of course, the only visually appealing ones are the males, so keeping an all-male tank avoids having to feed several females in order to just keep one handsome male. Either way, they should be kept in a tank with plenty of rocks and crevices to claim as their own, and with plenty of space, to avoid conflict.

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