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Pseudotropheus demasoni

Konings 1994

Known in the hobby as "Demasoni".

Last update: 12/1 2007


The male is trying to lure the female to the selected spawning site
Distribution and variants: Endemic to Lake Malawi, at Ndumbi reef and Pombo rocks. There are no discernible differences between fish from the two localities.
Size:

Male: 9 cm. Female 7 cm.

Sex differences: No obvious differences, but dominant males may be more intensively coloured. Full-grown males have more elongated fins, and females appear more "rounded".
Natural diet: Aufwuchs.
Biotopes and general behavior: P. demasoni is found in the upper part of the sediment-free rocky coast-zone. Males and females holds feeding territories between and on the rocks. there are no special breeding territories, contrary to most other Mbuna. Females lead a more secluded life than the males.
Breeding behavior: Maternal mouthbrooder, with fertilization of the eggs after pickup of the female. The spawning is typical for Mbuna, taking place at a fairly secluded spot, selected by the male. The female is lured to the nest by the male, with a series of encouriging postures and fin movements (see image above) The female carries the eggs/fry for 20-23 days,after which they are released, and the parental care is over. A typical spawn is about 10-20.
Temperatures and water:

23-26 deg. Celsius. PH 7-8,5/DH 12-30

Feeding: Allround- and green dry-food, frozen cyclops, shrimpmix.
Tank size: 250L/100 cm.
Best kept as: 1 male for 2 or more females.
Tank decoration and behavior: The tank, which ideally has a length of 150cm or longer, is best decorated as a typical Mbuna tank with lots of holes and crevices, but also a lot of free space. Good water movement (4-5 times tank volume/hour) is necessary for the well-being of the fish. Demasoni`s are very self-confident, and rarely bullied by any fish not large enough to swallow them. Even then, their incredible speed and agility usually enables them to avoid damages from fights against opponents many times their own size. Due to this, it is important to make sure, that the tank is large enough, not least out of consideration for their tankmates. If space allows, the best way to keep them might be in a small school, maybe in a species tank, as it allows for optimum possibilities for experiencing their intraspecific behavior.

Brooding female
Suggested tank mates: This is a "must have" for any Mbuna tank of a reasonable size! P. demasoni is compatible with almost any Mbuna, no matter what size, and to My knowledge, there have never been encountered any hybrids with  this species in the mix.
Breeding: If no decidedly predatory fish are present in the tank, a few of the fry, which will almost inevitably appear, usually survives, but if a larger number of fry is desired, it is necessary to move the brooding female to a tank of her own, app. 18 days after spawning. The mother should be removed from this tank, as soon as possible after releasing the fry.
Extra information

A myth exists among aquarists, that it is not possible to keep P. demasoni and P. saulosi in the same tank, because the males look too much alike, and, due to this, will fight. This is NOT true. I have known several (and have also done it myself), that  have kept the two together, without anymore aggression than would be regarded as normal in a Mbuna tank.

A little history:
P. demasoni is one of the latest newcomers to the hobby, and already a classic! The first specimens we saw, was traded for more than 1200 USD for one pair. This led to some concern, for the possible extinction of the species due to overwhelming pressure to the small areas from which they are collected. Fortunately, P. demasoni is almost impossible to prevent from breeding, and it is now estimated, that there are more than 1000 aquarium specimens for each wild. Prices, and thereby pressure, has fallen drastically, so they are now available at the same price as any common Mbuna.

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