Pseudotropheus sp. Polit Lion's Cove


Pseudotropheus sp. Polit Lion's Cove

Matt Clarke looks at Pseudotropheus sp. Polit Lion's Cove, an attractive, and currently undescribed species of mbuna from Lake Malawi.

Scientific name: Pseudotropheus sp. "Polit Lion's Cove"

Origin: This undescribed species is found in the Lion's Cove area of Lake Malawi, on the central western shore. The yellow form of Labidochromis caeruleus and Cynotilapia afra "Lion's Cove" are found in sympatry with it.

Size: Up to 10cm/4" in the aquarium, but probably only 8cm/3" in nature.

Diet: A vegetable-based flake food with a high spirulina content, such as Nutrafin Spirulina Cichlid sticks or flakes, is a good choice. Standard flakes could be too high in protein. Frozen cyclops will heighten their colour.

Aquarium: Best kept in a crowded mbuna community with plenty of rock and additional filtration (and with extra water changes) to cope with the wastes. Said to be quite aggressive, so they should be OK with larger or more boisterous mbuna. Get several females for each male.

Breeding: Spawns in typical mbuna fashion, so not too challenging. The female broods the eggs for around 26 days, depending on the temperature, and then releases the fry. Best results come when the female is removed from the main system to release the young, or when the fry or embryos are removed for artificial incubation or tumbling. However, this is only safe for experts in fish husbandry as it can cause stress if done incorrectly.

Sexing: Males are more brightly coloured than the females. Females sometimes have anal occelli (egg spots), but they lack the clear ring around the outside of them that is present in males.

Availability: Rarely sold. As far as I know, they aren't yet being bred in the same way as many mbuna in the Czech Republic, so prices remain high. These would make excellent brood stock.

Price: These wild fish were on sale at Aqua Blue Zaire in Peterlee for around 50 per pair.

This article was first published in the October 2004 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.