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Pseudotropheus socolofi (Powder Blue Cichlid)

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Pseudotropheus socolofi is a brilliantly coloured mbuna with a bright blue body, prominent yellow egg spots on the anal fin, and black-and-turquoise blue fringe to the dorsal, anal and pelvic fins. Regional varieties occur in different parts of the lake, having more or less visible vertical bars on the flanks and differences in fin colouration. There is also an albino variety.

Sexual dimorphism is weak. Mature males tend to be slightly bigger and sport a more brilliant blue colouration, but this will not be apparent with juvenile fish. Females sometimes have egg spots, so by itself the absence of egg spots does not prove a fish to be female.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

A typical mbuna in terms of care. Needs an aquarium with lots of space, because these fish are extremely territorial and very aggressive. A dominant male will kill any other males kept with him if the tank is too small (less than 240 litres). Males are best kept singly with multiple females.

This species is herbivorous, and its diet must be mainly made up of algae and other green foods. Use meaty foods, such as bloodworms and brine shrimp, only occasionally.

Breeding is as for other members of the mbuna group. Females incubate relatively small clutches of eggs in their mouths. The male plays no part in broodcare.

Family Group: African Cichlids
Distribution Africa: Lake Malawi
Temperature 24-28 C
Size Around 12 cm, females smaller than males
Water Parameters Hard, alkaline water essential
Water PH 7.5-8.5
Sociability Aggressive
Care Level Easy
Water Chemistry More than pH 7 - Alkaline
Schooling Fish No
Diet Special Needs