Ice Blue Zebra Cichlid (Metriaclima greshakei)

ice blue zebra cichlid

The ice blue zebra cichlid, Metriaclima greshakei, also known as Greshake’s zebra, african zebra cichlids, blue zebra cichlid, blue zebra mbuna, ice blue cichlid, red top zebra cichlid, red top ice blue zebra cichlid, or the william’s mbuna, is a species of fish in the Cichlidae family. It is found only in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania where it occurs in Lake Malawi and the upper reaches of the Shire River.

What’s in a name? In the case of Metriaclima greshakei, the name of this newly discovered species refers to the fish’s ice blue color, its native Lake Greshakei, and the fact that it belongs to the same genus as mbuna cichlids from Lake Malawi and other lakes in Africa
Metriaclima greshakei, commonly known as the ice blue zebra cichlid or ice blue comet, is a species of African freshwater fish from the Cichlidae family.

It shows bright blue coloration on its sides and belly, with a white-tipped dorsal fin.

Origin and description

This fish is found in Lake Malawi, Africa. Its name comes from the blue and white stripes that cover its body. These stripes form a sort of zebra pattern, hence the name zebra cichlid.

This species can reach lengths up to three inches long. In order to survive in their natural habitat, these fish must live in water with a pH level between 8 and 9.5 and temperatures between 71 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

They feed on both plant matter and animal matter like invertebrates. Ice blue zebra cichlids have been known to show aggression towards other fish, especially when they are defending territory or resources.

Species profile

ice blue zebra cichlid

The ice blue zebra cichlid is a freshwater fish native to the African Lake Malawi. The mouth of the fish is lined with sharp teeth and its body has a bluish color.

The ice blue zebra cichlid gets their name from their distinctive stripes that are reminiscent of a zebra’s stripes. They are relatively small, growing to about five inches in length. In addition, this species prefers an environment with plenty of hiding places for potential predators.

Red Zebra Cichlid (Maylandia estherae)

Scientific name

The scientific name of the ice blue zebra cichlid is Metriaclima greshakei

Common names

The ice blue zebra cichlid is also commonly called African zebra cichlids, Greshake’s zebra, blue zebra mbuna, blue zebra cichlid, red top zebra cichlid, ice blue cichlid, william’s mbuna, or the red top ice blue zebra cichlid.

Ice blue zebra cichlid habitat

Their habitat is located in the southeast arm of Lake Malawi, in Makokola, which is endemic to the lake. The species can be found on Makokola reef and Crocadile reef south of Boadzulu Island.

Ice blue zebra cichlid size and weight

The ice blue zebra cichlid can grow up to 4.7 inches (11.99 cm) in length, and they weigh around 0.1 kg (3.5 oz).

Ice blue zebra cichlid tank size

A good size tank for Ice blue zebra cichlids would be at least 55 gallons (208 liters).

Ice blue zebra cichlid tank mates

The ice blue zebra cichlid is a fascinating fish that can be kept in an aquarium. These fish are best kept in a tank with other Metriaclima cichlids.

Pindani Cichlid, Auritaus Cichlid, Red Zebra Cichlid, and Kenyi Cichlid are some of the most compatible options. Lake Malawi tanks are popular, but Peacock Cichlids cannot be kept with these fish because they’re too aggressive. Male Blue Zebra Cichlids will also be aggressive toward each other if kept together.

Ice blue zebra cichlid breeding

ice blue zebra cichlid

The species can breed in captivity. It is recommended that you have one male and three or four females. It is important to keep the aquarium clean and to set the parameters correctly.

It is a male’s responsibility to establish a territory where he will mate with his partner.

When the female releases a few eggs, she picks them up in her mouth, and the male fertilizes them with sperm.

Females repeat this process until they have 50 eggs in their mouths. Eggs are kept in her mouth for one week before hatching.

Flavescent Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara stuartgranti)

Until they are strong enough to survive on their own, the fry will retreat into their mother’s mouth for up to a month. A mother is solely responsible for raising the fry, so while mouthbrooding, she will eat less.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Although moderately aggressive, Pseudotropheus Ice Blue cichlids are not considered community fishes. It may be possible to keep them with other Malawi cichlids that are less aggressive or have similar temperaments.

Ice blue zebra cichlid care information

ice blue zebra cichlid

This fish is a freshwater fish that prefers a temperature range of 72-82 degrees. It is a great addition to any aquarium and can live in both fresh and salt water. This fish needs to be kept with other zebra cichlids or it may become aggressive. The ice blue zebra cichlid is a great addition to any community tank because they are peaceful, hardy, and beautiful!

Ice blue zebra cichlid diet

The ice blue zebra cichlid is an omnivore, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. They will eat algae and invertebrates such as worms, brine shrimp, and crustaceans. They should not be fed too much protein since it can cause health problems.

Tank requirements

The tank should be at least 45 gallons, and it is not recommended to house this species in a tank smaller than 55 gallons. The pH range should be between 7.5 and 8.5; however, they can tolerate a pH range of 7-9.

The water temperature should be around 82°F to 84°F, with a hardness level of 10-20 dGH and a specific gravity of 1.020-1.025. A good filter would help keep the tank clean and comfortable for the fish. Rocks or pieces of bogwood may also be used as decoration in order to create more hiding places for the cichlids. A light-colored gravel or sand substrate would best suit this aquarium, as well as plenty of hiding places for your fish.

Cobalt Blue Zebra Cichlid (Maylandia callainos)


The average lifespan of the ice blue zebra cichlid is about five years. In captivity, they can live up to 10 years.

Parasites and diseases

The ice blue zebra cichlid is vulnerable to ich, an opportunistic parasitic protozoan that infects the skin and intestine. It can be treated using formalin, malachite green, or copper sulfate.

The fish also suffers from a number of diseases that resemble ich, such as mouth fungus and columnaris. Symptoms include white or grayish patches on the body and fins with cottony or granular growths at the base of the fins.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

The ice blue zebra cichlid is preyed on by predatory fish and birds. The light blue zebra cichlid’s natural predators include ospreys, hawks, herons, egrets, kingfishers, and other larger predatory fish that may be present in the habitat.

Do they make good pets?

The ice blue zebra cichlid is a popular fish that makes a good pet. They are beautiful and relatively easy to care for. Their most recognizable feature is the white stripe that runs along their body from head to tailfin. The ice blue zebra cichlids originate from Lake Tanganyika in Africa.