Name: Tropheus duboisi
Origin: Lake Tanganyika (Africa)
I had a bad experience with this wonderful and interesting cichlid. They are very hard to raise and I don't suggest this for beginners. Besides, they are quite expensive. I lost several batches of duboisis that I bought and I never was able to raise duboisis for more than 1 year. One thing I learned - never feed them bloodworms, these cichlids are strictly vegetarian. They'll die of bloat and intestinal blockage when you feed them bloodworms. I tried Tetra Flakes - or Tetra bits, and it works fine. But still I lost most one by one and I can't figure why. I had much better success with tropheus mooris. Still they are wonderful cichlids and quite interesting.
I have two of these fish in my tank. Can be aggressive towards each other sometimes but never towards other species. They are a very interesting fish with lots of character. Grow up to 12 cm. Like a vegetarian diet as well as an occasional brine shrimp.
A blue-faced Duboisi is probably the coolest fish I have ever owned. They are very active and interesting fish. They can be aggressive but they seem to do very well with other Africans, especially Frontosas.
I have 2 Tropheus dubosi in a 350 liter tank. One of them is highly aggressive and terrorizes several of my other cichlids. It mortally wounded a jack dempsey within 48 hours after I added it to the tank, and constantly beats up the other Tropheus. The books I've read say that they're generally not aggressive toward other species, but not this particular fish. I still like this fish very much since he has lots of personality and is a very attractive fish. I highly recommend the Tropheus dubosi, but they are not beginner fish and it is best to keep only one in a tank, as they are not tolerant of their own kind.
I have 1 large male duboisi (maswa) in a 380 liter mixed Malawi tank and I have recently acquired one dozen juveniles (all maswas) in hopes of establishing a small breeding colony. My large male shares his tank with 15 other Malawi cichlids (8 to 15 cm) and generally will not bother his tankmates unless provoked. I have learned great care needs to be taken when feeding tropheus duboisi. They need a 100% vegetable diet and should not be fed only one kind of food for extended periods. Also, never feed as much as they can consume in one feeding as they are prone to intestinal blockage. My large male has gone as long as 23 days without eating any food. As for the juveniles, I hope to get at least 6 (hopefully 8) females and will then keep the 2 most dominant males. All other males will be sold back to the fish store I buy at, as males are extremely territorial to one another. These fish should only be kept alone or in a large breeding group of more then 10. However their high cost makes it difficult to achieve this. My dozen cost $400.00. They are beautiful fish, with great personality, that just require a little different care than some other cichlids. I say go for it. I would also recommend a bare minimum tank size of 200 liters for 1 Tropheus and 380 liters for a group.
This is my method of caring for Tropheus: Rule one, never, ever, feed meaty food. Only feed spirulina flakes containing less than 45 percent protein. Rule two, keep them in a species tank. They can be kept with some of the more peaceful mbuna and peacocks, but if they get physical, the Tropheus will quickly loose the fight. Rule three, keep them in colonies of at least 8. Tropheus are on the whole social animals, although they do create strictly enforced heirarchies withing their groups. It has been my experience that group behaviour is essential to proper development. Rule four, at the slightest sign of bloating, fin clamping or lethargy dose them with Hex-a-mit or any medicine designed to kill intestinal bacteria (particularly Hexamita). The condition generically called 'bloat' is the number one problem with tropheus. While I'm no fan of haphazard medicating, this is the one sure way to prevent it.