Name: Pseudotropheus saulosi
Origin: Lake Malawi (Africa)
This is one of my favourite african cichlids because both the male and female have beautiful colouring. Juveniles are all born bright yellow and the males tranform to blue with black barring as they approach sexual maturity. This transformation is fascinating to see. The juveniles can supposedly be sexed by venting. I'm told that the egg spot is not a reliable way to identify the males because some females aquire egg-spots due to in-breeding, but so far all my juveniles with egg spots have turned out to be male. It's worth checking the gender when you buy these fish because, as with most cichlids, only the dominant male has good quality colouring so it is best to have more females and only one or two males. The Saulosi has a pretty good temperament and is compatible with with other africans in my tank.
I bought four of these cichlids as babies. They grew up quickly and started to breed about 1 year later. To get them to breed I changed the water 15% a week. They had a batch of 8 babies, then a second batch of 8 a month later. Six weeks later another batch of 7 appeared. I had so many I had to give the babies away! They are aggressive towards each other and to some smaller fish. I have a plecostomous that fights with the male all the time. The 2 Three-Spot Gouramis do not fight with these fish at all. They do like to dig up the gravel quite a bit.
I think that this cichlid needs a little more space to swim. I keep mine in a 250 liter tank and they're swimming all the time back and forth. So 100 liters may be a little bit too small for these fish. These are very beautiful fish and quite peaceful towards other cichlids of equal size. A must have for the mbuna lovers. One drawback of these fish is that they spawn like rabbits, if the right water conditions are provided. Once they started, they can't stop anymore.
I have 6 of these in a 200 litre and agree with Matheiu's comment about 100 litre being too small. Mine are all young and only one the dominant male is changing colour. It's great, he is still a little bit more yellow than blue black, but it's fun to watch. Can't wait till they start breeding!
Pseudotropheus saulosi is a great beginner cichlid, and one of my personal favorites. The nice thing about this species is that the females retain a beautiful orange/yellow, while the male attains the pictured blue/black coloration. A single species tank provides plenty of color, and 4 (1m/3f) can be successfully kept in a minimum tank of 75 L. I find it best to keep 6 in a 200 L tank, the ratio being 2m/4f. The reason for this is that there are plenty of females to spread the aggression from the males evenly and the two males will compete for the females, ensuring that the dominant male will always show his true coloration. Make sure to feed a high quality pellet food, such as New Life Spectrum or Omega One. Occasionally supplement this diet with Frozen Brine. These fish will also accept fresh vegetables, such as cucumber, Romain lettuce, or zuccinni. I find it is a fish preference, as mine only accept cuccumber. Acceptable tank mates are L. Caeruleus, I. sprengarae, and M. estherae. Basically, any species of similar size that will not attain a blue/black barred coloration. I highly reccommend this species to everyone.
I have a breeding pair of full grown Pseudotropheus saulosi in a 230 L, but I have not yet had a successful batch of fry (very unlucky). We needed to move the tank and we lost the first batch of eggs while she was still holding. Her second batch was doing well and then we had a black out for 10 hours. The oxygen content in the tank was not sufficient so she let the eggs go. I am hoping in a month that she will have another batch of fry.
Pseudotropheus saulosi is a gorgeous Mbuna, and will thrive best when kept in colonies of at least 12 fish, or a breeder colony. They produce very small fry (most Mbunas produce larger fry), and tend to brood the eggs for a long time. It's worth the effort; the fish produced are a beautiful yellow, and the males mature to turn blue, with vertical black bars.
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