Pseudotropheus sp. ‘elongatus ornatus’
by Nick Laferriere

Location: Ndumbi Rocks, Likoma Island

Biotope: Sediment-free Rocky Habitat from 10-40 metres

Size: 11cm for males, slightly smaller for females (9cm)

Diet: It feeds from the aufwuchs and from the plankton. Large foraging schools are frequently seen in the rocky habitat. Color enhancers bring out yellow coloration in females and juveniles. Also frozen shrimp mix is accepted.

Related Species: Ps. sp. ‘elongatus ornatus tanzania’

Temperment: A nice addition to any mbuna community. These are best kept in larger groups to spread aggression, as males can be quite belligerent. Territorial males dig a small tunnel or guard a rock as a territory. In the wild they chase away all conspecific males, especially during spawning time. Females are more docile and may stay together but rarely school in aquaria.

Spawning Behaviour: Males will defend a small tunnel or cave and will spawn females in his territory. The males can be quite aggressive on females and conspecific males and thus many females are best kept. I keep 1m 7f without too many problems. I’ve noticed in the absence of a male, a dominant female will emerge and become a bluish colour, lacking the dark stripes like breeding males possess. I’ve also noticed that males grow much faster than females and separating them and allowing females to catch up may be necessary.

Breeding: Breed in typical mbuna fashion using the egg spot method. Females hold for about 22-27 days and have anywhere from 10-25 eggs. Fry are yellow when they are released and will stay much like the female coloration. Males will grow more quickly and will exhibit a bluish tinge and will show prominent egg spots. Females will often take on a darker subdued coloration in order to blend in or in some cases the female will exhibit male coloration to keep others from bothering her.


Konings, Ad. (1990). Ad Konings's Book of Cichlids and All The Other Fishes of Lake Malawi: NJ: T.F.H. Publications Inc.

Konings, Ad. (1997). Back to Nature Guide to: Malawi Cichlids: Germany: Fohrman Aquaristik AB

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