Sam Borstein's Cichlid Page

Pseudotropheus sp. "polit"

Pseudotropheus sp. "polit"
Above: A male Pseudotropheus sp. "polit". Photo by Sam Borstein.


Genus- Pseudotropheus= False Tropheus (Latin).
Species- sp. "polit"= politic (Greek).


Pseudotropheus sp. "polit" is one of the elite species available in the hobby today. This fish, which is just as nasty as it is beautiful, drives a high price, and a high demand. There is a similar undescribed species, Pseudotropheus sp. "polit thumbi".


Pseudotropheus sp. "polit" is found in Lake Malawi, in relatively deep water, around rocks.

Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:

Size: Males- 4 inches, Females- 3 inches
Maturity: 2 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and attain a light blue color with a dark blue face. Females stay brown.


Pseudotropheus sp. "polit" can be difficult to care for because it can be extremely aggressive. Males are very intolerant of their own species, but not other fish. I kept mine with larger Malawi Haplochromines and had no issues. You will want to load the tank up with rocks for success. Also, try to create vertical rock formations in the tank. This will cause males to have a harder time seeing each other.

Another option you can do to manage aggression is to start with a large group of at least 10 fish.

I'd recommend a minimum tank size of 40 gallons to keep this fish. You are best off keeping them in a 75 gallon or larger.


This fish is an herbivore, feeding off of algal gardens in nature. Feed food that has fiber. Mine did well on Dainichii and HBH veggie pellets and flake products.


This fish was not very hard to spawn. The problem is keeping females alive to spawn because of aggression stated above. They breed like typical Malawi mbuna. Before spawning, males color up a lot and the light blue becomes almost a white.

Spawns were about 30-35 eggs per spawn. The females were good holders, and held for about 24, which is a few days over full term. Fry were small, but easy to raise on baby brine shrimp, and laterĀ  flake.


Pseudotropheus sp. "polit" is one of my favorite mbuna. This fish is around in the hobby, and you will even find it in pet shops on occasion. Expect to pay $25 dollars for a young trio of fish. Fry usually go for $5-$8 each.