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Pseudotropheus socolofi


Article by Paul Laurence

Species information

Species: Pseudotropheus socolofi

Synoma: Pseudotropheus pindani

Common name: Pindani, Eduard's Mbuna

Origin: Endemic to Lake Malawi, Africa (East African Rift Lake)

Localities/Morphs: Occurs along central eastern shore of the lake between Cobue (Cobwe?) and Tumbi Point

Maximum size: 12cm

Natural habitat: Shallow, intermediate (ie sand/rock interface) habitat, in depths between 2 and 10m

Natural foods/prey: Herbivore. Feeds from the biocover on both rocks [aufwuchs?] and sand

Water chemistry in the wild: pH: 7.7-8.6; GH 6-10dH (110-180ppm)

Predators: No idea - perhaps RTBB zebras if poor tankmate selection is part of your set-up

Brood size: 35-50 (75 exceptionally)

Sexual dimorphism: Both sexes powder blue, but males tend to have larger, more clearly-defined, more numerous yellow-orange ocelli (egg-spots) on their anal fin

Breeding method: Maternal mouthbrooder

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: Standard 3ft for 2 colonies

Sex ratio: 1 male to 2-4 females

Tolerance of conspecifics: Ps. socolofi is definitely territorial. Some (IMO less well-informed) sources describe the males as highly aggressive in defence of their territories, Konings and Loiselle both consider them to be considerably less aggressive than other mbuna (eg Ps. lombardoi). The breeding territories can be very close (20cm) to one another and are only about 45cm square.

Tolerance of heterospecifics: They seem quite happy in my tank with Labidochromis caeruleus and Melanochromis maingano and two Loricariidae catfish. The LFS where I bought them suggested that they might kill everything else in my tank, but I took that with a large dose of Lake Salt

Water chemistry in aquaria: pH: 7.6-8.1; GH: 10-12dH; CH: ~100ppm. Water must be well-oxygenated and well-filtered.

Temperature range: 24-26 degC (possibly higher eg 28 degC, for breeding)

Foods accepted: Wide variety: HBH Veggie Flake (Spirulina), Tetra Bits (purchased BEFORE Nemo debacle), FishFuel Cichlid Dinner (frozen), Brine Shrimp (frozen)

Special requirements: Mix of open sand AND rock


I think they look like powder blue versions of electric yellows. Same shape, and the black highlight in the finnage is similar too. They're happier to swim about in the open water than my other mbuna.


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