Tips for Keeping Demasoni Cichlid
The Demasoni cichlid is a rather interesting fish that has recently become more popular with home aquarium hobbyists. They have a number of attributes like their bright colors, interesting personalities and ease of care that have made these fish a highly sought after species. Known as Pseudotropheus demasoni, the Demasoni cichlid was discovered in the Lake Malawi region of Africa. These fish are considered to be a dwarf mbuna, and while they are small in size, they can be housed with larger fish due to their aggressive nature.
A Demasoni cichlid has very bright crisp blue stripes over a light green and blue body. They are extremely attractive and with proper lighting and diet their colors can really shine. Choosing the right size tank for keeping these mbuna cichlids is easy- the larger the better. Because they are relativity small in size, usually reaching about 2.5-3 inches in length, the minimum tank size for this type of fish should be at least 36 inches long. It is also recommended to keep a good number of these cichlids together, at least 12 per tank. The reason for this is because these fish are so aggressive; the dominant male fish will harass and run to death other fish. By keeping them in groups of 12 or more, it allows each fish a chance to escape into a crowd and avoid having just one particular fish being hassled to death.
These fish are relatively hardy, but as with any fish, large amounts of stress can cause diseases. It is also a good idea to keep three females to every one male, to prevent the male from systematically running a female. Demasoni cichlids will also chase and harass any fish within the same tank that has similar markings or colors, so you will want to keep that in mind when choosing tank mates. When designing the furniture of your tank, add lots of niches and hiding places. Rocks work extremely well for this. Hiding spots and caves allow females and lesser males to hide from the dominant male, and these fish will become very territorial over their hiding spots so it is best to have many of them. They are curious swimmers and will explore any features you give them.
Water quality is important for raising any type of fish, including cichlids. These mbuna cichlids prefer a water temperature of about 75-82 degrees F and a pH level between 7.5 and 8.5. Keep track of your water quality and cleaning procedures to make sure you keep the water quality at an appropriate level. Demasoni cichlids are vegetarians, so a high quality spirulina based flake food works best. An all purpose cichlid food may also suit these fish. Some people enjoy giving their cichlids mysis treats, but you will want to avoid over feeding them.
Breeding the Demasoni cichlid is usually hard to accomplish but they may begin to breed in your tank if the conditions are right. Sexing these fish is difficult as well. These types of fish are mouth breeders, meaning the female holds the eggs inside of her mouth to protect them. It is possible to tell if a female cichlid has bred as her mouth will appear swollen and she will not eat. Typically she will produce about 6-20 small fry. It is a good idea to separate the mother from the rest of the group to avoid the other fish eating her fry, but return her to the tank quickly to prevent problems with her social status. Fry may survive inside the tank as well, but they have a better chance if they separated. Demasoni cichlid fry will eat just about any type of food.