Saulosi Mbuna (Pseudotropheus saulosi)

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Saulosi Mbuna

Saulosi Malesm.jpg
Saulosi Mbuna

Pseudotropheus saulosi

114 Litres (30 US G.)

7.6-10.2cm (3-4 ")




7.8 - 8.2

23.9-25.6°C (75 -78 °F)

8-12 °d

1:3 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Other (See article)

6-8 years




Endemic to Lake Malawi.


Saulosi Mbuna are dimorphic, meaning that males are one colour and females another. All juveniles start off by showing female colouration, which is yellow in pure bred stock or slightly orange in less pure bred stock. Over time when a hierarchy is established, the dominant males will colour up: they become pale blue, with dark blue/black striped vertical bands. Females will remain yellow/orange. Less dominant males may retain female colouration to hide from their dominant counterparts.

Tank compatibility[edit]

These fish will live in all levels of the water column (top, middle and bottom) but establish territories usually within rock formations along the bottom level of a tank. Territories form part of the aggression displayed by this species: it is essential that each fish is able to select its own territory, and surplus hiding places should be offered. Lava rock is often used for Malawi species such as Saulosi. Territories and aggression levels also lead to tank size recommendations: a large footprint is more important than volume of water.


This species is part of the Malawi Mbuna family; that is, they are vegetarians. Diet should consist of high levels of vegetable matter(such as spirulina algae). Recommended brands and foods might include: New Life Spectrum cichlid pellets, spirulina flake food, cucumber, zucchini, peas, and fruit such as apple and pear.

Feeding regime[edit]

As with most fish, feed only what the fish will consume within two minutes, up to twice a day (i.e. feed sparingly, but often). It is perfectly acceptable to skip a meal one or two days a week.

Environment specifics[edit]

Lake Malawi is one of the African Rift Lakes. Water in this environment is hard, and alkaline. Recommended pH levels are 7.8-8.2.


Paulosi are maternal mouthbrooders: females will develop eggs which males will then fertilise. This is done through the use of egg spots on the males: when a female collects her eggs into her mouth, she will try to collect the egg spots on the male at which point he will fertilise the real eggs in her mouth. Mouthbrooding females are said to be 'holding'. This can be identified by the distended face/jaw of the fish. Females will not eat while they are holding and are therefore at risk of starving during prolonged periods of mouthbrooding. Some aquarists recommend removing the female from the main tank and 'stripping' her of the fry, but this is also a risky procedure: she may swallow the fry in the process.


An elongated African cichlid, the two sexes are different colours. The males being a vivid blue in base colour, with several vertical dark blue/black down the flanks. The females are a bright yellow in base colour with faint darker vertical bands down the flanks.



External links[edit]