Saulosi Cichlid (Pseudotropheus saulosi): Care & Tank Mates

Common Name(s)Saulosi Cichlid
Scientific NamePseudotropheus saulosi, Chindongo saulosi
OriginLake Malawi
Temperature73-80°F (23-27°C)
Size3-4 inches (8-10 cm)
Minimum Tank Size50 gallon
Food & DietAn algae-based diet consisting of spirulina, algae wafers, and nori. Brine shrimp and other protein-based food can be fed occasionally.
Lifespan5 years
Water pH7.4-8.4
Tank MatesIt can be kept with other mbuna of similar size.
BreedingThey are bred in sand pits dug by the males. Females will hold fry in mouths for a couple of weeks.
DiseaseThey may be prone to ich and other disease common to cichlids.
saulosi cichlid
Saulosi Cichlid (Pseudotropheus saulosi)

Saulosi Cichlid (Pseudotropheus saulosi) is an African Cichlid species that originates from Lake Malawi. More specifically, these fish are found in an area of the lake called Taiwan Reef. They are found in depths of 7-15 meters. Enormous schools wander near the algae-covered rocky structures of the reef, curiously exploring and searching for food. These schools house mostly yellow fish, indicating that they are female or juvenile specimens. Blue coloration would indicate that they are males. The ones with the most vibrant blue coloration are often the dominant male fish. Mature males would also have black bars on their blue bodies.

Saulosi Cichlid Care

Saulosi Cichlids are considered hardy aquarium fish that are easy to care for. However, there are a few basic requirements that entail keeping these fish.

Saulosi cichlids are often referred to as Dwarf Mbuna Cichlids since they only reach about 4 inches in size. However, despite their relatively small size, they should not be kept in a small aquarium. A minimum tank size of 50 gallons and tank length of 4 feet is recommended since this will allow them to be housed in groups. Keeping Saulosi Cichlids in a minimum group of 5 fish is recommended. This would help manage the males’ aggression.

By adding plenty of rock structures, you can mimic their natural habitat in Lake Malawi. Solid rock structures stretching from the tank’s base to the tank’s surface is ideal. These rock structures should be built with the intention of making numerous crevices for the fish to explore. Keep in mind that the fish may dig around or under these rocks. Therefore, it is important to construct a stable hardscape. In addition to the rockscape, the tank should also have open areas for the fish to swim freely.

Regarding the substrate, the bottom of Lake Malawi is often covered in sand. To mimic this, a sand substrate would be ideal. Coral sand or Aragonite is often used to help maintain a high water pH. These are both light-colored substrates. If a darker substrate is preferred, coral sand or Aragonite can be placed in a mesh sack and placed in the filtration system near the outflow. This would help maintain the high pH.

Water pH

Saulosi Cichlids require alkaline water and should be kept at a pH range of 7.4-8.4. If the water pH is too low, it can be raised by using various methods.

In addition to adding coral sand or Aragonite, there are other methods as well. An alternative method of raising pH is by using buffering products such as Seachem’s Malawi/Victoria Buffer. For a 50-gallon tank, 2.5-5 teaspoons can be dosed until the desired pH is achieved. Once the desired pH is achieved, the tank can be continued to be dosed routinely to maintain the pH level. A dose every 2-3 weeks is required to maintain a pH level. Please refer to Seachem for more specific details regarding dosing.

Saulosi Cichlid Temperature

Saulosi Cichlids require water temperatures of 73-80°F (23-27°C).

For most fishkeepers, this would mean that an aquarium heater is required. For larger aquariums, a heater with a capacity of approximately 3.5 watts for every gallon of water is ideal. For example, for a 55-gallon aquarium, a 200-watt heater can be used.

Once the optimum water temperature is reached, it is important to maintain this temperature. Sudden fluctuations in the temperature and other water parameters can harm the fish.

Saulosi Cichlid Size

Saulosi Cichlid size can range from 3-4 inches in size.  The males are larger than the females. Males often reach 4 inches in size. The females usually do not reach this size, only growing to around 3-3.5 inches in size.

Pseudotropheus saulosi Care and Breeding: A Dwarf Mbuna Cichlid!!

Saulosi Cichlid Tank Mates

Saulosi Cichlid can be kept with other similarly sized mbunas, such as Labidochromis and Tropheops species. Tank mates that are larger and more aggressive should be avoided. In addition, species with blue or yellow coloring should also be avoided.

Here’s a list of potential tank mates for Saulosi Cichlids:

  • White Top Hara (Cynotilapia sp hara)
  • Maingano Cichlid (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos)
  • Rusty Cichlid (Iodotropheus sprengerae)
  • Red Zebra Cichlid (Maylandia estherae)
  • Acei Cichlid (Pseudotropheus elegans)
  • Other species of Labidochromis and Tropheops

When considering additional tank mates, be sure to do so with careful consideration. Both compatibility and tank capacity must be considered.

Saulosi Cichlid Aggression

Male Saulosi cichlid can become territorial and aggressive with other males, so a tank of adequate size is required. Aggression and tension can rise, especially during mating. A dominant male in the tank will often aggressively chase after other males. Therefore, limiting the number of males in the tank is best.

However, overcrowding is another strategy for managing aggression. By purposely adding lots of fish, it is difficult for the aggressive fish to pursue a specific fish. Of course, overcrowding a tank

Additionally, overcrowding assists with controlling aggression by making it hard for one specific fish to zero in on another. With so numerous Saulosi cichlids in the tank, it is hard for the predominant ones to single out others. Notwithstanding, you should be cautious while overcrowding a tank. You will require additional filtration to deal with the additional heap, and you should be exceptionally ordinary with your water changes.

Most rock-dwelling species are sometimes aggressive and should be held under states of ‘controlled overcrowding to condone territorial conflicts that can end in a lot of fatalities – extra filtration may likewise be needed to manage with a hefty bioload.

The Saulosi cichlid is a hostile animal species, and it is ideal to keep one male in a group of female circumstances with a few females (keeping only one female with a male will bring about consistent assault and perhaps demise). This species can be kept effectively close to other active Mbuna, though avoiding fish with comparable color patterns is ideal.

Saulosi Cichlid can live in a 200 liters tank (55-gallon) tank alongside a gathering of comparable estimated Labidochromis caeruleus and a couple of little synodontis. However, males are genuinely lenient toward one another whenever given satisfactory room for territorial issues, yet having one male with a gathering of females gives an extremely conducive environment. Female Pseudotropheus saulosi will school together in groups of up to 50 in the lake to look after each other, and they also get along remarkably well in the aquarium.

Are Saulosi Cichlids Aggressive Fish?

As mentioned, Males Saulosi Cichlids can become territorial and aggressive with other males. Females and smaller males without territories have the yellow color, while the males with predominance/territorial will be blue with black bars.

They can be very captivating and territorial, particularly when they pair off and begin to spawn. Some will endure tank mates, and some must be kept as solitary individuals or in exceptionally aggressive species tanks. A few retailers and breeders will generally keep them overcrowded in show tanks to attempt to restrict the hostility, and without a doubt, it does appear to work.

Moreover, there could be numerous factors at play in this situation. The water quality could be exceptionally poor, likely high in smelling salts (and perhaps nitrites) in this manner, making them show up more docile. Research has shown that a crowding circumstance keeps a solitary fish from becoming predominant over others. There are simply such a large number of other fish to dominate in a crowded tank. The circumstances could be totally different when you get a couple of them adjusted and at home in your aquarium.

Saulosi Cichlid Tank Size

Even though Saulosi Cichlids are popularly referred to as dwarf mbuna cichlid, only coming to about 3.4 inches as adults, Saulosi Cichlids actually need a tank that is somewhere around 55 gallons or bigger to give swimming room and to permit you to keep them in a school.

With regard to finding the right tank arrangement, you simply need to adhere to the basics. Ensure all the fish in the tank have adequate room and the water is agreeable for everybody. However long you deal with these fundamentals and keep a solid tank, all of them should be okay.  Since Saulosi Cichlids are extra active and fairly aggressive species, they should have a lot of room and space.

Additionally, it’s critical to have your tank on a steady surface. The actual tank ought to be fixed well, without any breaks. Saulosi cichlids have been known to leap out of the water sometimes, so it’s smart to have a sturdy lid on your tank.

Saulosi Cichlid Food & Diet

Saulosi cichlid feeding care is very like that of other Mbuna. As they eat algae, a vegetable eating regimen with an extra protein snack (krill, Mysis, artemia, hacked shrimp, … however, NO mammal meat!)

Saulosi appears to be ready to endure a more extensive scope of food than other dwarfs Pseudotropheus, for example, demasoni. This isn’t to propose that you go wild and feed them on krill or bloodworms, as their essential food should, in any case, be a decent quality green flake joined by little particles of acceptable higher protein food sources, for example, the ones referenced above (cyclops, daphnia, squashed snails, and child saline solution shrimp). The diet should likewise be enhanced with fresh new green vegetables like spinach, romaine lettuce, peas or Zucchi.

To abstain from overfeeding, the fish ought to be given no more than they can eat shortly. This won’t just lessen squandering but also keep the tank cleaner.

Saulosi Cichlid Breeding

Saulosi cichlids are maternal mouthbrooders, implying that they lay eggs, which are then taken into the female’s mouth, where they are brooded, hatched, and afterward spat out as full-grown fry.

When attempting to breed saulosi cichlids, you’ll need to have a male and female in the same tank without help from anyone else. For ideal reproducing chances, the tank’s design, furniture, and size should not be changed during this cycle. It’s simplest to utilize developed fish to guarantee their capacity to breed.

Continuously monitor the tank for battles between males and females, as breeding can bring out more hostility and aggression. Saulosi cichlids perform mating rituals in which they show their colors and move in unique ways. When fertilized, your fish will either lay their eggs and safeguard them in a safe cavern/tank hole or hold them in their mouth for around 21 days (mouthbrooding).

How to Breed Saulosi Cichlids?

Saulosi Cichlid is a maternal mouthbrooder. The male will choose a breeding site, typically in a location with a sandy base. Brood sizes will generally be under 20 fry, and 10-15 is normal.

Saulosi Cichlid fry can be raised in a grow-out tank of 10-20 gallons. Regarding filtration, an aquarium filter with a gentle flow is recommended. The intake of the filtration system should be covered with a mesh or sponge material to prevent the fry from getting sucked in as well. Since this is a grow-out tank, it does not have to be heavily decorated. However, when the female is taken out of the tank, and the tank is absolutely bare, it can make the fry feel unsafe. Therefore, keeping at least one large stone in the tank is recommended.

Saulosi Cichlid Growth Rate

Saulosi cichlid species can develop at a length of 8.6 cm (3.4 in) TL. The fish are born yellow, yet as they develop to mature, males become blue with a few vertical dark bars.

Now and again, it truly relies upon a lot of factors, including aggression, what else is stocked in the tank, water conditions, and so forth, that will decide saulosi cichlid development rate. Yet, center around keeping up with the best water conditions you essentially can, without adjusting water science through synthetic substances or something else. If you’re doing everything right, there isn’t anything else you can do. Ultimately, the development will be fast!

Saulosi Cichlid Lifespan

The normal life span of saulosi cichlids is eight years with appropriate care. Very much like any fish, this can differ radically in the event that saulosi cichlids live in a problematic tank circumstance with a poor eating routine and water quality.

Is Saulosi Cichlid Right For You?

Now that you have all the information and guidance to settle on a choice, it’s an ideal opportunity to sit down and think. Possessing saulosi cichlids can be loads of fun and exceptionally fulfilling. They are lovely, dynamic, and exceptionally astonishing fish!

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