Pseudotropheus saulosi

Aquarium fish: Pseudotropheus saulosi (Pseudotropheus saulosi)
Size: 8 cm
Origin: Malawi
Water temperature: 26-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 100 l

Pseudotropheus saulosi (Pseudotropheus saulosi ) – freshwater aquarium fish from the cichlid family, belonging to the group of herbivorous mouthbugs Mbuna.


The species is native to Africa . It lives in the rocky littoral of Lake Malawi. It swims in large shoals at the depths of 7-15m.

Characteristics and disposition

They are one of the gentlest and smallest mouthbrooders – they are small, up to 8 cm long.

The sex of the fish is quite easy to distinguish. Males that took over the territories are blue in color with black vertical stripes on the body, females are yellow in color. Young fish are yellow in color – the male can then be distinguished by the spots on the anal fin. Depending on the size of the reservoir and number, there may be only one dominant male clearly colored with a deep blue shade. The remaining males will be pale blue.

The intensity of the male’s blue color will change with the situation in the aquarium. Saulos mouthbroods are best kept in a group of 6 or more individuals, thanks to which the aggression of the dominant male will spread more.

Nutrition and feeding

In nature, it eats mainly zooplankton, algae and small invertebrates. Requires a low-protein diet . Its composition should be mainly plant foods.

Granules and flakes with spirulina are particularly recommended. We supplement the diet with frozen artemia, daphnia and cyclops. Eating meat should be avoided. It is better to feed the fish more often and in smaller quantities. When we put our hand into the aquarium, the curious fish will not fail to check if we have something tasty to eat on it.


For one male and 2-3 females, an aquarium of about 100 liters with a sandy substrate will be sufficient. For decoration, it is best to use rocks and stones, creating numerous crevices or caves, but not forgetting to leave a place for swimming. The fish dig in the ground, so the stones should be placed at the bottom of the aquarium. They require high water current, efficient filtration and frequent changes. Like other mouthbrooders, they can be sensitive to rapid changes in water temperature , which can lead to egopen eyes.

In a sufficiently large aquarium they can be kept in larger numbers or with other similarly sized, peaceful cichlids from Lake Malawi, eg Pyszczak Yellow , Pyszczak Zebra Red .


Breeding Saulosi’s mouthbroods is relatively easy . The fish mature at 7 months of age or when they are about 5 cm long. They should be bred in a species aquarium in a harem consisting of one male and at least 3 females. For reproduction, an aquarium 80-100 cm long is required, decorated with rocks, stones with numerous hiding places, crevices, caves.

You also need flat stones and a sandy base where the fish can spawn. Alkaline water, preferably in the range of 8.2-8.5 and a temperature of 27-28 ° C. Fish should be fed copiously with plant, live and frozen foods. The male selects and prepares a spawning site. During this time, it takes on more intense colors, stands up and flexes its fins in front of its potential partner.

The male can be quite insistent during courtship, which is why the mouthbrood is best bred in harems . When the female succumbs, she swims to the place prepared by the male and lays the eggs, which she then collects in her mouth. The confused female also tries to collect eggs (dummy) from the male’s anal fin. At this point, the milk is released and the eggs present in the female’s mouth are fertilized. The hatching takes place in the female’s mouth.

The female carries about 20 eggs, but usually less than 10-15, for a period of 13-18 days, which is easy to see from her distended mouth. During this time, he eats little or no food. Be carefulif we want to, for example, transfer the fish to a separate tank, when it is stressed, it can spit out or eat the young. It is worth mentioning that if the female is outside the colony for too long, she may lose her position in the group. We wait as long as possible to separate the fish, unless it is disturbed by other inhabitants.

Sometimes, after about 2 weeks, breeders artificially collect the fry from the female’s mouth, thanks to which they can raise larger numbers of young mouthbrooders. After giving birth, the female recovers quite quickly and is ready for the next spawning after about a month. The floating fry are large enough to be immediately fed with e.g. artemia.


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