Pseudotropheus demasoni

The Pseudotropheus demasoni are magnificent and impressive ornamental fish from Lake Malawi. They occur here in the wild in the rock littoral. The white-blue and black stripe pattern is clearly recognizable and distinguishes the species.

Both the female and the male have almost identical patterns, so it is almost impossible to distinguish between male and female.

Feeding / Nutrition

Pseudotropheus demasoni
Pseudotropheus demasoni © Mirko Rosenau

The nutrition is almost exclusively provided by algae. But microorganisms are also a source of nutrition. In order to imitate living conditions as perfectly as possible, you should set up a particularly stony tank and feed it with spirulina algae. If the feeding is carried out with dry food, one should make sure that this provides a high vegetable content. Planktische crabs and shrimps are also possible, but please pay attention to the quality. Basically the fish need nothing more than vegetable food.

Keeping in the aquarium – size and equipment

This impressive tropical ornamental fish belongs to the mbuna. Pseudotropheus demasoni is also known as Malawi cichlid. Apart from the beautiful ornamentation, the fish is not recommended for beginners or diverse species tanks, as it is incredibly aggressive. Therefore it is advisable to keep the species in a larger group of the same species. This way you can keep the aggressiveness within limits. Furthermore it is absolutely necessary to offer many hiding places, these can be created by rock formations and stone formations. They should be provided with crevices and tunnels so that the fish can swim through. Sand is the best substrate.

This cichlid from Lake Malawi is one of the smaller species, so you can start keeping it already with a relatively small tank from 1 meter length. Pseudotropheus demasoni is a distinct group fish, otherwise the aggression is focused on individual aquarium inhabitants and ends with fish loss or with frightened fish. We strongly advise against this. The group can be occupied with 10-20 animals, this is a healthy group size. By the way, the Malawi perch is actually an ornamental fish with a distinctive social behaviour, even if this sometimes contradicts the aggressiveness. But a single keeping is not species-appropriate. When socializing you have to proceed carefully. In question are fishes that also occur in the natural habitat of Lake Malawi. These are for example the rock cichlids like Pseudotropheus saulosi. If one limits oneself to this society, the neighbourhood is usually very harmonious.

The profile of Pseudotropheus demasoni

Size: up to 8 cm
Aquarium size: small, from 200 litres
Difference between male and female: difficult
Group behaviour: aggressive – pure species tank recommended
Facility: many hiding places, stones
Food: Green fodder like spirulina
Water temperature: ideal 24° – 28 ° C
pH value: 7,5 – 8,5
Water hardness: 5° to 20° dGH

Habitat of Pseudotropheus demasoni

Pseudotropheus demasoni is an endangered fish species and a cichlid. If you keep it species-appropriate, you contribute to the survival of this wonderful fish species. Pseudotropheus demasoni is not found in the whole Lake Malawi. A comparatively particularly rocky area is the home of this tropical fish. It is the rocky littoral at the southern mouth of the Ruhuhu River at the height of Pombo Mountain at Ndumbi Point. Lake Malawi lies in Africa.

The habitat of Pseudotropheus is very endangered and the fish species is in danger of extinction. Even though it is always difficult to say whether it is good if fish from the wild suddenly become aquarium inhabitants, this fish species was lucky. Over 20 years ago (1993) the species was discovered by Andreas Spreinat and one year later in 1994 it was transferred to Germany.

Since September 2016 it is declared under the newly introduced genus Chindongo.

Appearance – shape and colour

As already mentioned, at first glance it is impossible to distinguish between male and female cichlids. Both have the typical blue-white-black stripe pattern. With some incidence of light the bluish colouring even looks purple. The pattern does not always have to be as even as in the picture. As always in nature there are irregularities. Often in the course of life the coloration of the male becomes a little stronger than in the female. The ornamental fish already show their typical appearance at birth.

Breeding of Pseudotropheus demasoni

In contrast to butterfly cichlids, for example, Malawi cichlids do not think of “forever and ever”. As soon as the mating is completed, the pair separates. The rearing of the young fish is taken over by the female. The perches are mouth breeders, who has not yet seen this rearing, will surely have his joy. The breeding is very easy and does not require any special skills.

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