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Acei Cichlid

(Pseudotropheus sp.)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 7"
• Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons   • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, pH 8.0-9.0, KH 9-19
• Diet: Herbivore   • Origin: Lake Malawi   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

Acei Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Pseudotropheus Acei are typically found on the Northwestern areas of Lake Malawi in Zambia, Africa. Their bright blue and yellow coloration and interesting banded markings on both their fins and body have made them a long time favorite of African Cichlid enthusiasts. Pseudotropheus Acei tends to become highly aggressive towards the same species when they do not have sufficient space to claim a suitable territory, but are otherwise considered to be fairly peaceful.

However, many hobbyists have great success with crowding African Cichlids, which means that no one individual can establish their own territory. This essentially creates a balance within the aquarium and spreads any aggression from dominant specimens amongst many tank mates, which keeps any one fish from being stressed to death. Overall there is little to differentiate a male Acei Cichlid from a female, other than the males bearing egg spots on the back edge of the anal fin.

Overall the Pseudotropheus Acei is a popular species and definitely worth a chance for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike. They are generally easy to find at local and online retailers and sell for very reasonable prices.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Acei Cichlid in the home aquarium.

Pseudotropheus Acei will do best when housed in an aquarium of 75 gallons or more, and are provided with a fine sand substrate, multiple rocky formations or along with moderate water flow and small amounts of vegitation, that will simulate their natural environment.

They prefer open space and should be provided with enough room to swim around freely. They should be fine with live plants, but have been known to eat them sometimes in their diet. Pseudotropheus Acei are normally fine with tank mates that do not share their appearance or species, but they should be similar in size and disposition.

A larger tank, 6 foot long or more, will be needed if another male Pseudotropheus Acei is ever planned as a new addition, unless the tank is crowded with specimens and no one dominant male is able to establish his own territory.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Acei Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.

Acei Cichlid are herbivores who in their native habitat feed primarily on algae covered rocks and submerged wood. They are also known to graze on multiple types of aquatic vegitation, thus making them not as well suited as most African Cichlids for a planted aquarium environment. However, they should be fine with tougher plants like Java Ferns or many Anubias plant species.

Hobbyists typically provide Acei Cichlids with a quality herbivore flake or pellet food, along with supplemental algae wafers and of course naturally occuring algae growth on the rock and wood aquarium decor.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Acei Cichlid in the aquarium environment.

For hobbyists looking to breed Acei Cichlid, they will more quickly facilitate spawning by keeping a single male specimen with at least three females. Pseudotropheus Acei are maternal mouthbrooders, with the female cichlid laying her eggs and immediately gathering them up in her mouth.

The female will then be attracted to the egg-like spots on the males anal fin, thinking that they are more eggs to gather up in her mouth; she will then try to gather and will receive sperm from the male, thus fertilizing the eggs. The female will carry the eggs (usually a clutch of 25-50) for around 25 days before she releases free-swimming fry. The fry can then be fed newly hatched brine shrimp, Artemia nauplii, daphnia, or crushed flake food.

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