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Pseudotropheus saulosi


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Article by Daniel Lesich

Species:Pseudotropheus saulosi

Synoma:Pseudotropheus sp. "Taiwan"

Common name:saulosi

Origin: Lake Malawi, Africa, Taiwan reef,

Localities/Morphs:Taiwan Reef, 9 km NW of Chisumulu (Chizumulu) Island

Maximum size:males 9-10cm females same or slightly smaller

Natural habitat:It inhabits the rocky biotope of the reef at a depth of between 5 and 20 metres

Natural foods/prey:It feeds from the biocover, from which it nips and combs algae

Water chemistry in the wild:?

Predators:as these fish are the most commonly found in the reef predators are unknown but would assume larger fish

Brood size:10-60

Breeding method:maternal mouthbrooder

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size:standard 3ft for a small colony with two preferably three males

Sex ratio:ideal would be 3m/4-7f

Tolerance of conspecifics:can be aggressive towards others

mostly at spawning times the male will chase off other males and females and can be very protective of females a good balance would be having one dominant male and two sub dominant to balance out aggression

Tolerance of heterospecifics:low - can be very aggressive towards other fish nipping and chasing constantly and do not tolerate other fish invading their territories

Water chemistry in aquaria: pH 7.4-8.6, general hardness 15-20 gH, carbonate hardness 4-9 dKH

Temperature range:24-28 degrees Celsius, can tolerate slightly higher temperatures temporarily but optimum is 26

Foods accepted: omnivorous, they will take almost everything offered. Pellets, flakes, live black worm, and their favorite live or frozen brine shrimp but should only be fed seldom as a treat

Special requirements:keeping a balanced ratio of males and females as mentioned above otherwise stress and/or fatalities can occur from server harassment and aggression, so having lots of caves and hiding places is a must. Also making sure a good balance in food is fed ie. lots of veggies and spirolina. Feeding foods such as frozen blood worm should be avoided particularly with fry as feeding this food can cause bloat due to the worm having a hard spiky exoskeleton that pierces the lining of the intestine hence the fish developing bloat

Notes

some interesting points:

- these fish are a gem and extremely enjoyable as they enjoy interacting with my hand when cleaning the tank (like playful little children), they are far from skittish and are always at the front of the tank wanting food.

When young (fry) they are all the same colour (orange) and at around 3-4 cm usually you will find a male that will start changing into adult colour, this process can take quite a few months to achieve full colouration (usually up to 6 months)

Males end up being a brilliant solid blue with black baring and slight black underbelly, females stay a strong solid brilliant orange all round which makes these dwarf mbuna so desirable.

One of the most unusual things that can happen with these fish is with the absence of a male a female can start changing her colours into a males colouration, this odd behavior can also occur when a female is not willing to breed and the male keeps persisting, the female never fully changes to the males colouration and ends up having a dark purple to violet body with dark baring which still does not appear too fool the male.This behavior is often unexplainable why a female will stop breeding and try to take on a males colouration but can be partially put down to the female trying to avoid constant harassment.

Another major problem with these magnificent fish is that the quality has declined considerably due to inbreeding and hybridization so when purchasing allot of consideration should be taken into acquiring quality, always try to get different fish from different trusted breeders to ensure good bloodlines are used so that this little gem stays pure as best as can be kept for future generations to enjoy

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