Labidochromis freibergi (Freibergi Cichlid)

Labidochromis freibergi

Labidochromis freibergi are also known as Freiberg’s Haplochromis, Freiberg’s Mbuna, or simply Freibergi Cichlid, and they’re easily recognizable thanks to the unique body stripes and blotches on their face. They’re small fish with elongated bodies that reach sexual maturity around 10 to 12 months of age and usually live no longer than 8 years.

The males are larger than the females, reaching 3 to 4 inches in length while the females only grow to be around 2 to 3 inches long when fully grown.

The Freibergi Cichlids are endemic to Lake Malawi where they live in lagoons. This fish species displays sexual dimorphism which means that male and female Labidochromis freibergi look different from each other and the difference can be quite significant with their males growing larger than their females.

The Labidochromis freibergi is one of the very rare and beautiful Cichlid fishes also endemic to the rocky shorelines along the south-east coast of Tanzania, where it has been found at depths ranging from three to thirty meters below the surface of the water.

Origin and description

Labidochromis freibergi


The Labidochromis freibergi cichlid is a species of fish that comes from the waters of Lake Malawi in Eastern Africa. The most distinguishing characteristic of this cichlid is its bright blue coloration, which it typically uses to camouflage itself against underwater vegetation. As an omnivore, this fish feeds on both plant and animal matter.

When first hatched, they feed mostly on insects; as they mature, their diet switches more to zooplankton and small invertebrates. They are found at depths of around 10 feet, although they can move up to 50 feet below the surface if necessary. They have been introduced into bodies of water outside their natural range for sport fishing purposes and for stock enhancement programs in other African lakes.

Common name

The common name of the Labidochromis freibergi are Freibergi Cichlid, Freiberg’s Mbuna, or Freiberg’s Haplochromis.

Labeotropheus fuelleborni (Fuelleborni Cichlid)

Labidochromis freibergi habitat

The Labidochromis freibergi is endemic to Lake Malawi and is found near rocky shores or rocky substrates around Likoma Island. In the lake, they feed on algae, plankton, and small crustaceans.

Labidochromis freibergi size and weight

The Labidochromis Freibergi is a small fish with an average length of 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) and a weight of around 1 ounce (28 g)

Labidochromis freibergi tank size

The Labidochromis freibergi is a relatively small African cichlid. This species should be kept in tanks of at least 30 gallons with plenty of hiding places and plants to reduce the aggression that they often show.

Labidochromis freibergi tank mates

Freibergii is aggressive fish, so they need tank mates that can hold their own. They should not be kept with any type of fish that is small or slow-moving. They also do not get along well with other bigger cichlids, which is why they should be kept in a single species tank. However, labidrochromis would be a good tank mate for any of the smaller mbunas.

Labidochromis freibergi breeding

Labidochromis freibergi

Cichlids like this are relatively easy to keep, being a smaller species from Lake Malawi. Caves and crevices should be created in the aquarium by placing rocks and stones. Decorations can also be made with plants. Keeping multiple males and several females is a good idea if you want to divide aggression.

Regular water changes (about 20% every 2 weeks) are helpful if you have a high-quality filter. They eat a variety of foods. A large portion of the diet should be composed of vegetables. The larvae of red mosquitoes can easily cause enteritis, so it’s advisable to avoid feeding them with it. Breeding is not difficult.

The average number of eggs laid is 20 to 30. As soon as the eggs are ready, the female takes them in her mouth. Using the dummy egg method, the male fertilizes them. Towards the end of the third week, the young fish leave the mouth of their mother and are forced to take care of themselves. Finely crushed dry food and baby brine shrimp can be used to raise them.

Kenyi Cichlid (Maylandia lombardoi)

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

It is important to note that Labidochromis Freibergi can be a very aggressive fish, and that they will not tolerate other similar species. If you are looking for a peaceful cichlid, this may not be the right fish for you.

Labidochromis freibergi care information

Labidochromis freibergi

The Freibergi cichlid is a beautiful fish that is easy to care for and can be housed in a community tank with other fish. These cichlids are very popular among freshwater hobbyists because of their vibrant colors. They will also make an excellent addition to your aquarium if you have the space for it!

Labidochromis freibergi diet

These fish are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They can be fed a diet of meaty foods such as snails, mussels, shrimp, and crabs. They also enjoy live or frozen foods like blood worms, brine shrimp, plankton, and Mysis shrimp. In addition to their regular diet, they will also eat plants including lettuce or cucumber slices. You should feed them at least twice a day with small portions of food to keep them healthy and full.

Tank requirements

The Labidochromis Freibergi is a freshwater fish. It needs to be in a tank that has plenty of live plants, hiding places, and rocks for it to swim around. The temperature in the tank should be between 76-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Rocks need to be arranged so they create caves and crevices in which the fish can hide from other fish or predators.

When selecting rocks, try not to use ones with sharp edges as these may hurt your Labidochromis Freibergi when swimming past them. A sandy bottom is also recommended because these fish will bury themselves in the sand when threatened by an attacker.


The lifespan of Labidochromis freibergi is 5 to 7 years.

Parasites and diseases

The diseases that Labidochromis freibergi are susceptible to are Ich, White Spot Disease, Costia, Uronema, and Chilodonella.

Maingano Cichlid (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos)

Some parasites that the fish is susceptible to include Gasterophilus intestinalis and Ichthyocotyle tapeworms. They are also susceptible to infection with Protozoa such as Cryptobia and Hexamita. They can also get an infestation of Copepoda, Ostracods, Cladocera, and Epidermidae crustaceans which can create irritation on the body of this species of cichlid.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

Predators of the Freibergi cichlid include the Nile tilapia, silver arowana, and peacock bass. These fish are also preyed upon by birds such as hornbills and herons.

Do they make good pets?

Yes, Labidochromis freibergi make good pets! The Freiberg’s cichlid is a rather small fish and can be kept in tanks as small as 30 gallons or larger. The environment should have rocks and plants for hiding places, not to mention the water needs to be filtered and the tank needs to be cycled. A single male will do well in a community tank with other types of fish that enjoy similar environments.