Demasoni Cichlid – Habitat, Care & Everything You Should Know

The demasoni cichlid was first discovered in 1994 by Ad Konings. It is an African cichlid and was named after Ad Konings’ friend LaifDemason.

Its scientific name is Pseudotropheus demasoni. It is also referred by other names such as midnight demasoni and the dwarf mbuna.

This fish can grow to a length of 3 inches (7.6 cm). It is sharp and beautiful. Its inquisitive nature and strong personality make it a very good addition for most aquariums. It is a very active fish as it can be observed doing various tricks such as swimming through the edges of rocks and at various odd angles.

Its body is covered with stripes in various shades of blue. This fish is often confused with the Pseudotropheusminutusdue to a similar body type.

The demasoni cichlid is like a zebra in its patterns and colours. It is usually classified under the group mbuna cichlid, which consists of 13 genera. Most mbuna cichlids are highly aggressive and active in nature.

The term mbuna itself means rock-dwelling fish. It is derived from the language of the people of Malawi. The name refers to the fish’s habits. They reside in rocks as opposed to other open-water fish.

Description

  • Name: Demasoni cichlid
  • Scientific name: Pseudotropheus demasoni
  • Alternative name: Dwarf mbuna
  • Family: Cichlidae
  • Size:3 inches (7.6 cm)
  • Care level: Moderate to hard
  • Minimum tank size: 55 gallons or more for larger groups (recommended to keep in large groups)
  • Temperature: 23 degrees to 27 degrees Celsius
  • Water conditions:5 to 8.5 pH
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Temperament: Aggressive

Habitat

The demasoni cichlid usually resides in Africa. It is found in great numbers in Lake Malawi near Pombo Rocks and the Ndumbi reef near the Tanzanian coast.

It is on the IUCN Red List because it is deemed vulnerable. Since it is only present in very limited regions, it can be in danger. However, it does not face any immediate threats to its existence yet.

It usually resides in rocks, and its diet consists of algae including Aufwuchs. These are algae that are predominantly stringy in nature that is attached to rocks.

The fish can find them while searching for food in their living space.

A viable food source is essential when picking a place to live. There are various things present in Aufwuchs that provide the fish with nutrients such as nymphs, insects, snails, zooplankton and mites. All of these make up the diet of this fish in its natural habitat.

Demasoni Cichlid Care

Caring for a demasoni cichlid can be hard and is not recommended for a beginner aquarist. The fish is highly aggressive in nature and small in size. It cannot be kept with other species of fish due to its aggressive nature.

It needs carefully selected mates for the tank and a change in water frequently.

The fish would be adversely affected by bad water conditions. Hence, in order to provide adequate care, a filter is absolutely necessary along with a weekly change of water.

Caring for a demasoni cichlid also includes taking care of its diet. If its dietary needs are not met or if it gets too many proteins, it could develop various diseases.

One of the biggest problems while caring for a demasoni cichlid is making sure it does not develop the Malawi Bloat. It can happen if the fish is not properly cared for or if the tank conditions are not optimal.

It is easy to take care of when it is small. It can usually adapt to various kinds of food offered to it because of its omnivorous nature.

The water in which this fish naturally resides in is full of minerals. It is important to provide the fish with stable and clear water. Salt can be used to add minerals to the water for these fish.

However, too much salt would be detrimental to their health, so be careful about that.

A singular fish will require at least a 40-gallon tank. However, this fish likes to live in groups, so it should usually be kept with 12 other fish of the same kind. As a result, you will need to get a much larger tank than a 40-gallon one.

Feeding

As stated before, the demasoni cichlid is an omnivore and can consume most food products. Its diet, however, should focus more on herbivorous food. Vegetables are essential to their diet.

High-quality cichlid formulas are usually used to provide the demasoni cichlids with all the required nutrients. This along with vegetable supplements can meet the needs of this fish’s diet.

These combinations can help the fish fend off various digestion-related diseases, particularly the ones related to the intestine. Some foods that can be fed to them are:

  • Flake food
  • Tablets
  • Pallets
  • Fish
  • Shrimps
  • Worms
  • Vegetables
  • Meaty food
  • Live foods

These fish require food various times a day. Small amounts should be used instead of big meals. The small amounts of food are vital in order to keep the tank clean for a longer period of time.

The wasted food from a big meal is usually harder to clean and can even cause over-eating.

Adding vitamins and various other supplements to the food can also have positive effects on the health of the fish.

They should not be kept with fish with a different diet. This could result in the demasoni cichlid eating other foods which would lead to various problems and diseases.

Demasoni Cichlid Breeding

The size and weight of both genders of a juvenile cichlid are the same. This makes it harder to keep track of their genders when they are young. However, as the male cichlid grows, an egg spot becomes visible, which can help spot the genders of the fish.

This fish has been extensively bred. Breeding a demasoni cichlid is considered easy. It is referred to as a mouthbrooder and needs to be in a group of at least 12. The male fish becomes highly aggressive during breeding time and can kill other male cichlids.

A large tank is, therefore, necessary to breed these fish safely. A lack of hiding places could also result in problems due to their highly aggressive nature during breeding.

The male usually changes colors during breeding. He will circle around the female and take her to his own territory to start the process.

The female can lay around 15 eggs. She will then take the eggs into her mouth. The eggs usually hatch in 7 days. They should be kept at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They start swimming on their own when they are around two weeks old.

Demasoni Cichlid Tank Mates

The demasoni cichlid is a highly aggressive fish. It should not be kept with other species of fish. It is not grouped in the category of community fish for this reason. It can only be kept with other demasoni cichlids.

The tanks where multiple cichlids reside need to have various rock formations. The fish should be able to use these rocks to hide.

They are highly territorial along with being aggressive. They will chase away any other fish from the territory they claim, even if the other fish are bigger than them.

They should not be kept with any fish that might have identical hues, bars or colors. They can be kept with yellow mbunas because they are not similar in color.

The best way to keep this fish is in a group of 12 or more. There should be more than one male in this group.

The large group helps divert the fish’s aggressive tendencies so that it can’t focus on particular fish. If they can’t be provided with the room they require, they should not be kept as they will keep fighting.

Diseases

The Malawi bloat is one of the biggest problems a demasoni cichlid can encounter. This disease can be easily contracted if the dietary needs of the fish are not met. Thus, quality food needs to be provided in order to prevent this disease.

Stale and poor-quality water can result in various diseases such as ich. If a fish gets ich, it can be treated by increasing the water temperature to 30 degrees Celsius for a three-day period.

If this does not help, copper needs to be used. Various copper-based medicines are easily available in the market. The copper levels, however, need to be monitored as too much copper in the water could result in other problems.

The demasoni cichlid can also attract various other diseases that are common to most fish. Skin flukes and parasite infestations can seriously harm this fish.

In order to avoid most of the diseases, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms and keep an eye out for them to provide adequate care and medication at the required time. These diseases can be avoided by keeping the water clean and making sure the dietary needs of the fish are met.