Pseudotropheus White Tail Acei

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Acei - Pseudotropheus 

Scientific name: Pseudotropheus sp Acei

Common name: White Tail Acei

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 7 - 14 cm 

Recommended pH range for the species: 6.8 - 7.9

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 11 - 21°N (196.43 - 375ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Africa

Temperament to its own species: peaceful to females

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

Food and feeding

It will accept most foods offered but vegetable matter in the form of spirulina flakes, blanched spinach, nori etc. should form a large proportion of the diet. This can be supplemented with live and frozen varieties. Never feed beefheart or any other red meat as it interferes with the digestive system of these fish.


Endemic to Lake Malawi. It is found on the lake’s western side, around Nkhata Bay, Senga Bay, Ngara, Ruarwe, Bandawe, Karonga and the South Rukuru River.

It inhabits both rocky and sandy shorelines but tends to be associated with submerged rocks and other objects in the latter case


Not easy to sex. Both sexes exhibit similar colouration and possess egg spots in the anal fin. Male fish however tend to grow larger and are more brightly coloured when inbreeding condition. The egg spots in males tend to be more numerous and more intense in colour. The easiest way to sex it is by observing its behaviour. As with other mbuna males are the more territorial sex and are often seen chasing females and other species in the tank. Obviously it can also be sexed by examination of the vents, but this approach is for experts only.

Possible. Maternal mouthbrooder. It should be spawned in a species tank in a harem of one male and at least 3 females. A 48″ Aquarium is a good size (although larger is preferable) and this should be furnished as suggested above, along with some flat stones and areas of open substrate to act as potential spawning sites. The ph should be around 8.2-8.5 and the temperature 77-80°F. Condition the fish with a high quality diet composed mainly of vegetable matter.


The expected life span for Pseudotropheus  is 5-8 years.

Short description

This is an excellent beginner’s speciesas it is relatively peaceful and easily bred. Despite being undescribed to science it is widely available in the hobby. It is sometimes sold as Gephyrochromis acei. Several colour forms are available, including “yellow tail acei” and “white tail acei”. None of these should be kept together in aquaria to prevent hybridization

In nature it feeds specifically on algae and other organisms growing on submerged wood, and is the only known mbuna to do so exclusively. It can be seen gathering in schools around tree branches and logs. As with other members of the genus it possesses flat, bicuspid teeth which are designed for scraping algae from the surface of rocks, or in this case, wood. Interestingly although male fish are territorial in the aquarium and may build nests in which to span, this behaviour has not been recorded in the wild.