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Chindongo demasoni

P. demasoni location map

Former name: Pseudotropheus demasoni
Distribution: Lake Malawi, Pombo Rocks and Ndumbi Reef
Size: 8 cm

Conditions in my tank:
Temperature: 25 °C, 29 °C in summer
Temporary hardness: 8 °dKH
Total hardness: 15 °dGH
pH: 7.46
NO2: 0 mg/l
NO3: 40-60 mg/l

Pseudotropheus demasoni - maleColoration
Chindongo demasoni belongs to the so called mbuna cichlids genus. The fishe have a dark-blue white coloration. Unlike other malawian fish species both sexes have the same coloration. The intensity of the color is fading very rarely. Thanks to that these fishes are very expressive in the tank and remind of the marine coral fishes. The male is a little bit bigger than female and his color is more vibrant. The same coloration of both sexes makes them very attractive but their behaviour makes them difficult.

Chindongo demasoni differs from other Chindongo species in their size which is about 8 cm. Despite the smaller size, these fishes should not be kept in a smaller tanks, i.e. in 100 litre tank. It is better to use bigger tank (250-300 litres or more) and the base is to get group about 30 fishes. It seems to be a high number but almost every cichlid keeper will find that keeping these fish in a small number leads to the gradual fish elimination. When kept in small number (i.e. 6-10), the gradual elimination of other fishes of that small group by the dominant male takes place. He haunts the males and also females. Steady aggressive haunting winds the vitim to death. The subsequently adding new fish will not solve the situation. In the aquarium, some hierarchy is created and adding new, especially younger, fishes ends with the new fish dying. These expressions of aggressivity are fully manifested when they mature. There are relative peaceful situation a few weeks or months after the young fish are introduced into the tank that can make the fish keeper content. I added another 5 fish to my group of 6 fish later. They were attacked from the beginning but they survived without serious problems. They grew gradually but after some time the dominant male killed them all and I ended up with only one pair which spawned regularly. This can't be a purpose of keepeng these cichlids, so, if aquarist is not able to provide the suitable condition for these cichlids, it means the adequate tank size, it will be better to reconsider to keep them.

P. demasoni - femaleThe aquarium decoration is best arranged in a rockpile with many caves but also with some sandy areas. The male hovers in his cave defending the territory against any intruder most of the time. He is swimming in the open water time to time and catches the other fishes. This species can be kept with many of the malawian cichlids.

Ch. demasoni spawns near the rocks in a small depression in the sand. I have never found the Ch. demasoni to be big nest building and sand moving fish like other cichlids. The male and female are in T-position during the spawn. The male attracts the female to the selected place shaking his body and showing the belly. He banish all the fish from the spawning place very aggressively and immediately is swimming to the female to continue the action. The female may be left in the tank after the spawn and the fry can be released in there. The egg incubation and larvae development in the mother’s mouth lasts around 21 days. The amount of fry released depends on the age and size of the female and is about 20 but often smaller, particularly when female releases them in the main tank. If there are many of the hidding places in the tank the female will defend her cave against other fishes and behaves aggressively to all the fishes except of the dominant male. If the fry are released in the main tank some of them will hide in the crevices and can survive. It is better to move the holding female to another empty tank and let her to spit the youngsters there.

The fry are able to eat immediately after they are released and the live food is the best. The newly hatched brine shrimps are a very good first food. It is also possible to feed them the dry food like crushed flakes or granules. The ideal food consists of the hatched brine shrimps at the beginning, then add frozen cyclops (better is to use the live cyclops from the safe source). The young fishes grew much better than with dry food. The feeding should be provided few times a day.

The adults should be fed like herbivores. The best are the quality flake foods like Sera Flora, O.S.I. Spirulina, Tetra Phyll, Tropical spirulina and other vegetable based foods. I add also the frozen cyclops regularly. No other live food, like blood worms or warm-blooded animal flesh (no heart!). As with all common endemits of Lake Malawi it is advisable to feed them few times a day with small doses of food.

Only the experienced fish keeper should decide to keep these beautifully colored fishes because the beginings can be very painful and discouraging for the beginners.

P. demasoni - male P. demasoni - young P. demasoni - young

Copyright © 2003 - 2017 Robert Toman

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