Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Socolofi Cichlid is endemic to the intermediate zone of Lake Malawi, where it transitions from rocky to sandy substrate. Socolofi may be referred to as a ‘mbuna’, which is a general term to characterize various Malawian cichlid species that share a similar body shape and belligerent temperament. However, Socolofi are rather mild-mannered compared to other mbunas, making this fish an ideal cichlid for beginner hobbyists. Socolofi are blue in color, with faint dark bands across its body and some black may be observed in the dorsal and anal fins. Most African cichlids do best in an overcrowded tank to spread out or reduce aggression. There are few diagnosable differences between male and female Socolofi, though males tend to develop more of a pointed edge to their dorsal and anal fins. An adult Socolofi can reach a size of approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: Socolofi are primarily herbivorous and such foods should make up a large portion of their diet. Various high quality vegetable and spirulina based flake foods and sinking pellet foods are ideal. Frozen spirulina brine shrimp can be fed in moderation. Blanched vegetables are excellent options. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Socolofi should not be fed a diet high in protein, and avoid beef heart altogether, as this disturbs their digestive system.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for Socolofi. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters up to standard (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should be aquascaped generously with stacked rocks to create many hiding spaces and caves, but some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Malawi. Socolofi will do well with other Malawian cichlids that are not overly pugnacious. Recommended water conditions, 74-80° F, KH 10-25, pH 7.5-8.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/4” to 1-1/2”, Medium: 1-3/4” to 2-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.