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Cichlids / Africa / Lake Malawi / Mbuna / Elongatus

Elongatus, Slender Mbuna
Pseudotropheus elongatus

Synonyms: None
Physical description: The Elongatus is especially elongated for a mbuna. The body is very slender and there is a small hump on the forehead. Several different color morphs are known. Two morphs are seen more than the others. The first has a black body with eight transverse bands that are dark blue in color. The second commonly seen morph has an indigo blue body with six to 12 black bands. Sometimes fewer bands are present because they fade. In most morphs the fins are black in color.
Size/Length: Males to 5.3" (13.5 cm), females to 4" (10 cm)
Similar species: One population of P. gracillior is fairly similar.
Habitat: Eastern Africa; widespread throughout the rocky coasts of Lake Malawi
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 40" (101 cm) or 45-55 gallons (170-209 L). The tank should have a rocky set-up with caves and out-cropping. Retreats must be provide for hiding. Leave open swimming areas and use coral sand substrate. Use a strong light to promote the growth of algae.
Water chemistry: pH 7.5-9.0 (8.2), 12-25 dH (16), 72-81°F (22-27°C)
Social behavior: A fish that is territorial and aggressive towards all species. The Elongatus is considered by many to be the most aggressive of the Pseudotropheus genus. Males are strongly polygamous and will likely kill a single female. Combine a male with at least four females. Retreats will help tank mates to escape when they are persued.
Suggested companions: Small Haplochromines, mbunas, Synodontis
FOOD: Algae; flake; live; snails, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, microorganisms, crustaceans, snails, Tubifex ; pellets; tablets; plant matter; vegetables; peas, lettuce, spinach; fruit.
Sexual differences: Males are larger and have brighter egg-spots on their anal fin.
Breeding techniques: Use water with a pH around 8.2 with a water temperature from 79-82°F (26-28°C). Keep at least four females with the male. The female is an ovophile mouth brooder who lays as many as 35 eggs. The eggs are incubated for three weeks and the fry are guarded for two to three days after emerging from the mouth. Start feeding with Artemia and Cyclops .
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is difficult, partly because of the male's aggressive nature.
Remarks: About one-third of the fish available to the hobby are tank-bred.
Difficulty of care: 5. An aggressive fish that should be combined with other aggressive and robust mbunas.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com