Aquarium fish: Pindani (Pseudotropheus socolofi)
Size: 10.5 cm
Origin: Malawi
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 160 l

Pindani (Pseudotropheus socolofi ) – a beautifully blue-colored, small aquarium fish from the cichlid family.


Africa. Endemic species found only in Lake Malawi. It lives in a rock littoral along the Mozambique coast, between Cobue and Tumbi, in the relatively shallow waters of the transition zone at depths of 2-8 m.

Characteristics and disposition

In an aquarium, adults usually reach approx.

10 cm in length. Gender is hard to tell. Both males and females have a body of a light “powdery” blue color and have yellow egg mockups on the anal fin – males usually have more of them (3-5), they are larger and more intense in color, although this is not a rule. Males are also usually larger, more massive and have more elongated pectoral fins. The easiest way to distinguish between the sexes is by observation .

As in other mbuna males, males are more territorial and they often chase after females. Two colorful varieties of the species are known, occurring in the vicinity of Cobwe and the vicinity of Mara. The first one lacks the black contrasting edge of the dorsal fin – rare in the trade. In young fish, the blue is clear and can have a purple tinge under the right light. Adults have a metallic sheen.

Dominant males, apart from a black border and a few discolorations on the tail, are practically uniformly light blue. Dominated males and females may have dark discoloration on the torso, and in the case of those at the end of the hierarchy, even dark stripes. Coloration is variable and the fish may look completely different during the day. A species that is severely degraded , commercial fish can vary quite significantly in quality. As a result of the protracted civil war in Mozambique, exports stagnated, which only resumed in the 1990s.

Fish from unreliable sources can be weak, emaciated and gray from years of inbreeding. A good quality male has all the fins elongated and his body color is truly blue. Fish are considered to be moderately aggressive , but it is quite individual matter and there may be both mild and very aggressive individuals. In the aquarium, it is recommended to keep a male with several females.

Nutrition and feeding

In the natural environment, it eats mainly periphyton (invertebrates, algae, fungi) on rocks and sand.

In the aquarium, it can be fed dry foods in flakes and granules with a high content of spirulina. The granules should be soaked beforehand to prevent them from swelling in the fish’s digestive tract. Additionally, the diet should be regularly supplemented with live or frozen food of animal origin, e.g. brine, krill, hydro and vegetable, e.g. scalded spinach, seaweed.

Foods with a high protein content, such as bloodworm, for example, are not recommended. Under no circumstances should they be given meat from warm-blooded animals.


For a male harem and 3-4 females, an aquarium min. 100 cm and 40 cm wide, with a sandy base and rock decoration, with numerous caves and crevices. Durable plants, such as Anubias, can be attached to the decorations.

They require efficient biological and mechanical filtration . Some growers use two bucket filters or one biological bucket and the other internal mechanical. The water should be well-oxygenated and its regular water changes (15-25%) should be observed. Fish feel best in water with a temperature of 24-26 ° C, pH 8.0-8.4 and a hardness of 10-14 dGH. A coral grit filter cartridge can help maintain the carbon hardness buffer at the appropriate level.

Fish react to the deterioration of water parameters by curling their fins and making swaying movements – do not ignore these symptoms and make a quick change. They are considered to be moderately aggressive and will not be a good choice for general aquariums. They should not be kept with large and aggressive species of the mbuna group. Aulonocara, Copadichromi and gentler mbuna, eg Yellow Mouth, can be good roommates.


Reproduction is not too difficult .

It is best to breed them in a species aquarium in a harem consisting of one male and at least 3 females, but they can also be reproduced in a social aquarium. In an aquarium set up as described above, there should be flat stones and open sandy spaces as potential spawning grounds. The water should have a pH of approx. 8.2-8.5 and a temperature of approx. 25-27 ° C.

Before the planned spawning, the fish should be given larger amounts of good-quality food, mainly plant-based. The male selects and cleans the spawning site, acquires intense coloration and begins courting the females. His behavior should be monitored closely, as he can be quite aggressive. The encouraged female moves to the place chosen by the male, where she lays eggs (about 60), and immediately collects them in her mouth. He also tries to collect egg mockups placed on the male’s anal fin, then he releases the dandelion, fertilizing the eggs.

Before the female releases free-swimming fry, she incubates the eggs in her mouth for about 3-4 weeks. During this period, her mouth will be clearly distended and will not eat food. If we decide to separate the female, we should be careful at the same time because when exposed to stress, she may spit out the fry too early or simply eat them. It should also be remembered that if she stays outside the colony for too long, she may lose her position in the group. Some experienced breeders artificially collect the fry after a period of about 2 weeks and transfer them to a separate tank, which results in obtaining more fry.

After leaving the female’s mouth, the fry are large enough to receive brine shrimp larvae, micro nematodes and powdered dry food.


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