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Pseudotropheus demasoni 

 

Overview: The Pseudotropheus demasoni, commonly known as the Demasoni, is a vibrant dwarf cichlid endemic to Lake Malawi. Named in honor of Laif Demason, it was identified and described by Dr. Ad Konings in 1994. The species is known for its striking blue and black vertical stripes and its requirement for specific care to thrive in an aquarium setting.

Pronunciation:

  • Pseudotropheus: soo-doh-TROH-fee-us
  • Demasoni: dee-mah-SON-eye

 

Natural Habitat:

  • Location: Pombo Rocks, Lake Malawi
  • Environment: Rocky areas with hard alkaline water, high dissolved oxygen, and low nitrate levels
  • Diet in the Wild: Feeds on aufwuchs, a mix of small animals and plants on surfaces

 

Tank Setup:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 90cm (36 inches) in length, with additional height and width to increase volume
  • Substrate: Use calcareous rocks and substrates to maintain water hardness and pH
  • Aquascape: Create caves and hiding spots using large rocks
  • Filtration: Powerful filtration with one or two large external filters, supplemented by an air pump and air stone for additional oxygenation
  • Water Parameters:
    • pH: 7.5 – 8.5 (alkaline)
    • Temperature: 24°C (75°F)
    • Hardness: Hard water

Diet:

  • Primary Diet: Vegetarian diet with high-quality Spirulina flakes for digestion and coloration
  • Supplemental Foods: Occasional frozen foods like brine shrimp; avoid red meats like beefheart which can cause digestive issues

 

Behavior and Compatibility:

  • Social Structure: Keep in groups to prevent hyper-aggression from territorial males; ideally, ensure females outnumber males by at least two to one
  • Tank Mates: Other mbuna species that are mild-mannered and different in pattern from demasoni. Good choices include:
    • Labidochromis
    • Iodotropheus
    • Smaller Pseudotropheus
  • Avoid: Large aggressive species like Melanochromis, Labeotropheus, and aggressive Metriaclima species

 

Breeding:

  • Breed Type: Mouthbrooder
  • Breeding Size: Can breed at under 5cm in length
  • Setup: Provide a conducive environment with plenty of hiding spots and caves for spawning sites

 

Maintenance:

  • Water Changes: Regular maintenance to keep nitrate levels low
  • Water Hardness and pH: Use buffers or calcareous rocks to maintain appropriate water hardness and pH if not naturally provided by tap water

 

Additional Notes:

  • Crowding Strategy: Crowding is necessary to disperse aggression, so maintain around 20 similarly sized fish in a 90cm tank
  • Compatible Catfish: Suitable non-cichlid tank mates include dwarf species from Lake Tanganyika, such as Synodontis petricola
  • Aesthetic Pairing: A mix of demasoni with brightly colored species like Electric Yellows (Labidochromis caeruleus) creates a stunning visual display in the aquarium

 

Species Information:

  • Species: Pseudotropheus demasoni
  • Common Name: Demasoni
  • Origin: Lake Malawi
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • pH Range: 7.5 – 8.5 (alkaline)
  • Water Type: Hard
  • Temperature: 24°C (75°F)
  • Breed Type: Mouthbrooder
  • Maximum Size: Approximately 7cm (2.75 inches)
  • Sex: Un-sexed

Demasoni

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