Dwarf Mbuna

* Dwarf Mbuna

– Pseudotropheus Saulosi – Saulosi Cichlid – This is a great cichlid to have and it is one of the smaller ones of the species only growing to around 4inches. Both the male and female are attractive fish so hobbyists can reap the rewards of keeping both sexes and perhaps raising the fry if you want to take your hobby a little further. Adult males display a beautiful deep blue colour with black vertical stripes along the length of the body along with a whitefish blaze on the tip of the dorsal fin and tail. The females however couldn’t look any more different! They display a plain yellow/orange colour on the entire body and lack the stripes of the male.

The fry and juvenile fish start off with female colouring with the males transforming to their adult colours later as they reach an age when they start maturing. This is classified as a dwarf Mbuna – although it can grow up to 4inches – however, Saulosi can become quiet aggressive and territorial so as with most Mbuna set ups plenty of rocks are required with the difference being this species likes to have a lot of open swimming space too.

Size: 10cm/4inches // Temperature: 24C’-28C’ // Water Hardness: 10-20dGH

PH: 7.8-8.6 -// Aquarium size: Aquarium size: 35ImperialGallons (160L)

Difficulty: Beginner

– Cynotilapia Zebroides Afra – Afra Edwardi – The Cynotilapia genus includes a wide variety of dwarf Mbuna found in abundance throughout Lake Malawi. The Afra Edwardi is one such species, growing only to around 3inches, it requires much less space than the  bigger Mbuna available in the hobby whilst keeping all the amazing patterns and vibrant colourings of it’s larger relatives. The males of this species develop beautiful purple and yellow colouring across the body along with black vertical stripes. Females are dull in comparison, displaying plain brown colouring. Juvenile males go through a transformation of colours as they mature.

This is not a particularly aggressive species but even so avoid keeping it with fish of a similar colour and pattern to reduce male aggression and crossbreeding if keeping both sexes. It’s ideal tank mates are other Mbuna, dwarf or otherwise along with less aggressive larger species from Lake Malawi such as Peacocks.

Size: 8cm/3inches // Temperature: 24C’-28C’ // Water Hardness: 10-20dGH

PH: 7.8-8.6 -// Aquarium size: 26Gallons (120L)

Difficulty: Beginner

– Pseudotropheus Demasoni / Demasoni Cichlid – One of the smaller varieties of Mbuna what this fish lacks in size it makes up for it in colour! This is a striking fish with electric blue vertical stripes and a deep purple/black body the fins also have a electric blue hue to the tips but are otherwise black. Although small in size reaching only around 7cm this fish pretty aggressive and care should be taken when housing them. The most successful method of keeping them is in a tank of their own with a group of 12+ individuals to spread the aggression. It is possible to keep a single specimen in a mixed aggressive Mbuna tank provided you have lots of hiding places.

Size: 7cm/3inches // Temperature: 24C’-28C’ // Water Hardness: 10-18dGH

PH: 7.8-8.6 -// Aquarium size: 40Gallons (180L) for species only, for mixed tanks 370L or larger.

Difficulty: Intermdeiate