Pseudotropheus sp. ‘elongatus usisya’
by Nick Laferriere

Location: Mara Rocks, Usisya

Biotope: Sediment-rich Rocky Habitat from 5-20 metres

Size: 12cm for males, slightly smaller for females (9cm)

Diet: It grazes mainly on algae by nipping at the aufwuchs. This method isn’t as effective as some other mbunas. They also feed on plankton when available.

Related Species: Ps. sp. ‘elongatus mbenji brown’

Temperment: Not overly aggressive in the aquaria and a well, accomplished digger. Males dig a tunnel beneath a rock in which they coax females to spawn in. During breeding in the wild, they become very aggressive chasing away all intruders from their territory. They are the largest species of ‘elongatus type’ mbuna and one of the least aggressive.

Spawning Behaviour: Males are very good diggers and will move large amounts of substrate both in the wild and in the aquaria. They aren’t overly aggressive to tankmates but when spawning will defend the spawning site. They’re one of the more docile herbivorous species of elongatus. They enjoy a treat of spinach or lettuce leaves.

Breeding: Females are bred in the typical mbuna egg spot fashion. Males aren’t very relentless in their spawning compared to some other species. Females hold between 15-30 eggs for about 25 days. Fry are very dark and will hide and blend in very well with dark gravel and plants. Male coloration ranges from brown to a bright yellow color with a blue face and dark brown markings during spawning. Females stay a very dark brown unless stressed, then they’ll lighten up.


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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