Pseudotropheus saulosi

Konings, 1990

Family: Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae

Synonyms:  Pseudotropheus sp. "Taiwan"

 Distribution: Southeast Africa: Lake Malawi.  The type locality is Taiwan Reef, (9 km north-west of Chisumulu Island).   P. saulosi is one of the most common cichlids found there.  They will forage for food in groups of up to 100 individuals.

Max. size: 8.6 cm TL (though they can grow up to 10 cm in aquariums)

 Sex differences: Males are blue with black vertical markings.  Females are bright orange-yellow.  Note: Males resemble male Pseudotropheus minutus but have a smaller snout and the vertical bands are wider.  Females look similar to P. sp. ‘Newsi' but have a deeper body with a solid orange colour.

Requirements: pH range: 7.4 - 8.4; dH range: 7.0 - 30.0; 23 - 27°C (73-80°F)

P. saulosi was named it for Mr. Saulos Mwale, a collector of aquarium fish.

P. saulosi occurs in sediment-free rocky habitat. It inhabits the upper part of the reef where the current is strong. It feeds on algae from the biocover.

I received my first group of these fish from a fellow hobbyist and proceeded to grow them out.  After selling off several extra males I discovered that they had all become male!  This was no good to me.  I ended up selling these males since my only source of getting these fish was from other breeders and I'd have to grow out these fish to breed them.  Several months later, I again bought another 6 fry to grow out.  I grew these out and discovered that 5 of the 6 were male and I did indeed have 1 female that did spawn.  However she laid oddly shaped eggs that never hatched.  I waited several batches and every time she laid these odd shaped eggs.  I was foiled yet again.  I sold this batch as well.  Eventually I was visiting a hobbyist that had a group of saulosi adults.  He said there were 3 females and 2 males.  He was getting in some wilds and this group had never spawned for him.  I placed this group into my 225 gallon tank.  This tank is filtered by 2 Aquaclear 500's.  The temperature is about 78°F with a pH of around 7.8.  This tank receives biweekly water changes of around 30%.  There is a sand bottom with rocks, broken clay pots, pots and shells for territory markers and hiding places for the fish.  The fish were fed a good quality basic flake with pellets, brine shrimp flake and frozen foods.  After a few weeks, it turns out that I had 1 female and 4 males.  The one female held shortly after that.  I only got 6 fry from her.  After this spawn she decided to not spawn anymore.  I continued to grow out the babies since I figured that was my last chance on getting more females.  When the babies were reaching spawning size, the female finally spawned again.  This time I got 15 fry from her.  I placed the babies in a separate tank and they were fed baby brine shrimp and crushed flake.  The babies are the colour of the females.  These fish make a colourful addition to an African cichlid tank and they make a good inhabitant since they don't grow too large.

© Copyright 2000-2003 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved

Suggested Reading:

Malawi Cichlids in their natural habitat - 2nd edition Ad Konings

Fishkeepers Guide to African Cichlids by Paul Loiselle

The Cichlid Aquarium by Dr. Paul Loiselle

Success with Cichlids from Lake Malawi & Tanganyika by Sabine Melke, U. Erich Friese

Baensch Aquarium Atlas vol. 2 by Dr. Rüdiger Riehl & Hans A. Baensch

Guide to Malawi Cichlids (Back to Nature) by Ad Konings

Enjoying Cichlids by Ad Konings (editor)

Offshore Cichlids of Lake Malawi by George F. Turner

To see more references on cichlids:

Cichlid Book List

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