Easy Pseudotropheus Demasoni Care And Species Profile

Pseudotropheus demasoni

Last updated on August 6th, 2022 at 10:15 pm

The Pseudotropheus demasoni, or Demasoni Cichlid, is one of the most attractive cichlids available in the hobby today. It’s also one of the easiest to care for – with the right equipment and routine maintenance, you can enjoy your Demasoni in just about any freshwater aquarium setup you want.

The key to enjoying this fish, however, begins with understanding its basic needs and choosing your tank appropriately.

The Pseudotropheus demasoni is also commonly known as the Demasoni Cichlid and it’s native to Lake Malawi in Africa. Their habitat lies in rocky areas of the lake with weed beds and lots of room to swim around in. They will grow up to 6 inches long, and they are very similar to their cousins, the Mbuna Cichlids.

Not many people can say they’ve owned a Pseudotropheus demasoni (Demasoni Cichlid), but you can soon change that by following these easy steps to properly care for this beautiful African fish.

This article will provide you with information on how to care for a Pseudotropheus demasoni so that you can take good hold of this beautiful fish and enjoy your time with them!

Origin and description

Pseudotropheus demasoni

The Pseudotropheus Demasoni, also known as Lance Cichlid, is endemic to Lake Malawi, Africa. The largest Demasoni can reach 12 cm in 2 to 3 years of age, with females larger than males. This is one of several types of fish that are described as Cleaner Fish, meaning they will tend wounds and other infected areas on other fish.

Pseudotropheus demasoni seem to be immune from many diseases seen in freshwater aquariums and so are often used as treatment fish. The main diet should be based around vegetable foods such as blanched lettuce and cucumber.

Larger pieces of meaty foods like earthworms and bloodworms may also be accepted but check carefully first before introducing them into an established tank. Supplement their diet with frozen food such as Mysis shrimp or brine shrimp once or twice a week. Any more frequent feeding is likely to result in the excessive waste build-up which can quickly damage water quality.

It’s best to offer frozen food near the surface where it won’t sink directly onto your rocks below since these fish have been known to collect discarded pieces on their heads until they either melt or are eaten by another tank inhabitant.

Species profile

Pseudotropheus demasoni

The Pseudotropheus demasoni, or Demasoni Cichlid, is one of many species of African fish. These fish are native to Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe in Africa. They inhabit shallow waters near rocky areas where they often bask on rocks and wait for food to pass by.

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Their bodies are also elongated with a pointed snout. They grow up to 5 inches long and have mainly olive-green hues with diagonal barring that may be spotted over their body. Although most wild cichlids eat algae and detritus, these particular ones will eat most any small organic matter that passes by them.

Common names

Common names are Demason’s Cichlid, Demasoni Cichlid, Congo Peacock. The name Demason is also used in some regions as synonymous with variatus, but these are two distinct species that are often confused with one another. In captivity, both come in striking blue color morphs and make beautiful aquarium specimens.

Habitat and distribution

As Lake Malawi is one of three African Great Lakes, along with Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika, its environment can be compared with that of other lake ecosystems. The lake basin was formed in geological times by a large block fault which uplifted rocks from the Earth’s crust and broke them apart (detachment), creating a rift valley which extends to about 700 km wide at its maximum, still widening today at about 2 to 5 mm per year.

It has depths ranging from 20 m near-shore areas to around 280 m in deeper waters. The average depth is about 140 m although it varies between 120 and 150 meters deep; it is approximately 570 kilometers long but just 45 kilometers across at its widest point. In short, it is an extreme habitat with numerous small islands separated by channels both shallow and deep.

Because so much water comes into contact with sunlight, near-surface temperatures reach up to 27°C or 80°F during daytime in shallow coastal zones in summertime (December through February).

Pseudotropheus demasoni size

Males average 3 inches (7.5 cm) and females are typically 2 inches (5 cm). A pair kept in an aquarium of 10–15 gallons can reach up to 6 in. (15 cm) at maturity, but most specimens do not grow that large without ample room or food.

Pseudotropheus demasoni tank size

Pseudotropheus demasoni can be kept in tanks that are 30 gallons or larger. Although they are more tolerant of smaller spaces than some cichlids, there needs to be enough room for both of them and their tank mates.

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Tank setup

Pseudotropheus demasoni are fairly easy to care for and don’t require much maintenance. To be healthy, they need plenty of open swimming space and lots of hiding places. They also need good filtration, so you should use a medium-sized filter that can handle an average bioload. Ideally, there should be plants in your tank as well.

If you decide to put them in with other cichlids or fish from different families, make sure you do your research first! Some fish can fight with Demasoni Cichlids and end up hurting them or making them very ill! And before adding any new fish to your tank, make sure all of your existing ones are in tip-top shape!

The last thing you want is something going wrong with one of your pet fish only days after introducing it to its new home. Also note that when adjusting water conditions, do not change anything too quickly; sudden changes might stress out your pseudotropheus demasoni and cause issues such as constipation, fin rot, or swim bladder problems.

Demasoni cichlid tankmates

Demasoni cichlids are aggressive and will readily eat their tankmates. However, they don’t always have to be kept alone. There are certain tankmates that can work with them well in large enough aquaria.

Good choices for pseudotropheus demasoni include Julidochromis marlieri or Julidochromis ndole; West African Cichlids such as Pelvicachromis pulcher; Lake Malawi species such as Tropheops sp., Copadichromis rhoadesii, Copadichromis mbenjii, Copadichromis pleurospilus or Copadichromis spilurinus; Tanzanian Mbuna such as Maylandia callainos kimbundu or Maylandia thomasi stuartgranti; Red Zebra Plecos like Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus (Red Zebra) or Scobiancistrus beggini Electric Blue Pleco (although note that many will not do well on a fully vegetarian diet).

Most of these should stay away from adult demasoni cichlids unless kept in larger aquariums of over 250 gallons – though some red zebras can make it work at smaller sizes.

Pseudotropheus demasoni breeding

Pseudotropheus demasoni

A lot of people who have Demasoni cichlids do not know how to breed them. These fish usually pair up on their own and do not require any specific maintenance in order to spawn. You can tell your Demasoni are ready to spawn when they become more aggressive towards each other, chasing each other around constantly.

If you want your pseudotropheus demasoni couple to start breeding, then simply place their tank in a dark room or closet where it will get no light at all for about 24 hours. This should trigger them into spawning. Demasoni will lay eggs that look like little white blobs.

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The female lays her eggs and then she moves away from them while the male fertilizes them. The female then takes over guarding duties until they hatch which takes roughly 7 days depending on water temperature levels.

At hatching time make sure to remove both parents because if left alone, sometimes one parent may eat their young. Sometimes if there is only one egg left after hatching then you may want to leave just one parent in with the remaining egg so that he/she does not eat it either.

Is Pseudotropheus Demasoni aggressive or peaceful?

The pseudotropheus demasoni is a relatively aggressive cichlid that will defend its territory. They tend to be territorial and will flare out their gills, lips, and fins when defending themselves from other fish in an aquarium environment. Males tend to get even more aggressive when it comes to mating which can lead them to battle with one another for dominance.

Demasoni cichlid care

Pseudotropheus demasoni

The Demasoni cichlid is an aggressive African cichlid that does well in slightly cooler aquariums. They require at least 55 gallons and prefer rocky areas for spawning. Breeding these fish can be difficult. Provide them with plenty of space to minimize aggression and improve breeding results.

Pseudotropheus demasoni should be fed a variety of foods including beef heart, tubifex worms, bloodworms, brine shrimp, or some sort of sinking pellet food as a staple with occasional feedings of flakes or frozen foods.

What they eat

Pseudotropheus demasoni enjoys staple foods which include flake foods and pellets. They are highly adaptable, so they can eat many types of food, but like most fish, they must have some vegetable matter in their diet. Make sure that you’re getting them appropriately frozen or freeze-dried vegetable supplements.

These are usually rich in spirulina and chlorella. They also should get plenty of live food when available; brine shrimp is ideal but daphnia and bloodworms are acceptable substitutes.

Demasoni cichlid water parameters

Pseudotropheus demasoni

The Demasoni Cichlid prefers water with high oxygen content (hard water), pH between 7.5 and 8.0, and temperatures that are not too cold or too hot. It is susceptible to ich, so be sure to monitor your fish carefully when you first introduce it into its new tank in order to avoid any issues due to stress from temperature changes, shipping, or handling.

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Always acclimate your fish to their new environment slowly; sudden spikes in temperature can cause shock, which will almost certainly lead to death. Be careful if adding tap water directly into an aquarium; make sure it has time to sit and condition before introducing any new fish into the aquarium. A rapid change of water conditions can also cause harm to sensitive fish.

If you need to add fresh tap water directly into an aquarium, mix in some bottled spring water at a ratio of about half-and-half fresh/bottled until your aquarium’s parameters match those of natural freshwater bodies like lakes and streams.


The pseudotropheus demasoni lives an average of 6 years. In captivity, they can live up to 8 years with proper care.

Common health problems

The common diseases that affect pseudotropheus demasoni are Fungal Infections and Ich. It is possible for them to get bacterial infections, but they are less likely than fungal or parasitic infections. They are also prone to get monogenic diseases that usually only affect males.

Some of these include Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE) and Black Spot Disease (BSD). HLLE is erosion on either side of their head where their lateral line ends.

These spots may be flat or raised and can cause severe damage to your fish if left untreated. BSD has similar symptoms; however, it appears as black spots on your fish’s body along their body line instead of on their head as HLLE does.


Pseudotropheus demasoni are small fish, making them vulnerable to numerous predators in their environment. These include larger fish like Tilapia, Barbs, and some Loaches, as well as many other water-dwelling predators. Therefore, it is important that any tank containing Demasoni Cichlids have plenty of plants or rockwork available for hiding places.

Do they make good pets?

Although it’s not recommended, it is possible for aquarists with extensive experience in cichlid care to keep these cichlids as pets. Due to their aggressive nature and tendency towards fin nipping, they are usually not recommended for beginners.