Temperature: 73-81°F (23-27°C)
It will accept most foods offered but vegetable matter in the form of spirulina flakes, blanched spinach, nori etc. should form the basis of the diet. This can be supplemented with small feeds of live and frozen varieties. Never feed beefheart or any other animal meat as it interferes with the digestive system of these fish.
Behaviour and Compatibility
It has a somewhat dubious reputation for aggressive behaviour but this is undeserved. In fact, it is relatively peaceful towards other species but will squabble with conspecifics. The fish are very active however and should not be kept with shy species. Possible tankmates include Julidochromis, Eretmodus and Tanganicodus species, as these require a similar diet to the Tropheus.
Obtaining a peaceful species group of T. duboisi is, unfortunately, rather difficult. The fish do not school in nature, and will usually fight amongst themselves in the aquarium, until a natural pecking order is established. However, in smaller groups (5-6 fish), the fish do not settle easily and may fight to the death. It is therefore generally recommended to purchase a group of 15-20 fish in order to reduce territorial behaviour. There are exceptions to this and we have seen small groups and even pairs of Tropheus living peacefully together, but these are exceptions to the rule. The main problems associated with successfully keeping a Tropheus colony are thus cost and tank size, with a 60? x 18? x 18? tank being the minimum size for a group. If it is maintained in a large group, the social interactions between the fish are truly fascinating. New individuals should never be introduced into an established community of Tropheus, as they will not be tolerated.
The sexes are hard to distinguish. There are some subtle differences in growth rate and body shape, but the only guaranteed method is to examine the genital papillae of the fish, but this is recommended to experts only. The genital papillae is pointed in the male and rounded in the female.