Giant Demasoni Metriaclima Cave Manda

Discover the Metriaclima sp. ‘cave manda’, a vibrant cichlid from Lake Malawi’s Manda region, renowned for its striking colors and active behavior. Perfect for adding a touch of natural brilliance to your aquarium.

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The Metriaclima sp. ‘cave manda’, commonly known as the Giant Demasoni, is a unique and fascinating cichlid species from the Lake Malawi region in Tanzania. Its intriguing characteristics and history make it a notable species among cichlid enthusiasts.

Discovery and Taxonomy:

  • The Giant Demasoni was first recognized and provisionally named as Pseudotropheus ‘Elongatus Robust’ by Spreinat in 1994. It was later named Pseudotropheus sp. ‘kingsizei manda’ by Konings in 1995, and eventually as Metriaclima sp. ‘cave manda’ in 2007 by Konings.
  • This species belongs to the Cichlidae family and the Pseudocrenilabrinae sub-family, and its genus is Metriaclima.

Physical Characteristics and Habitat:

  • The Metriaclima sp. ‘cave manda’ is part of the Mbuna group, a name that refers to the rock-dwelling cichlids of Lake Malawi.
  • Notably, this species is not yet evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The males and females of this species can be distinguished by differences in size and color intensity, with males often being larger and more vividly colored.

Breeding and Behavior:

  • Like many cichlids from Lake Malawi, the Giant Demasoni is a maternal mouth-brooder. The breeding process involves the females carrying the eggs in their mouths for incubation.
  • Their mating system is described as polygynandrous, where both males and females have multiple mating partners.

Conservation Status:

  • While not currently evaluated for the IUCN Red List, the specific habitat requirements and popularity in the aquarium trade suggest a need for careful management to ensure the species’ sustainability.

Aquarium Care:

  • Given its origin in Lake Malawi’s unique ecosystem, the Giant Demasoni requires specific water conditions that mimic its natural habitat. This includes maintaining water temperature, pH, and hardness levels suitable for Malawi cichlids.
  • An understanding of its behavior, especially during breeding, is crucial for those looking to keep this species in home aquariums.

Cultural and Aquaristic Significance:

  • The Giant Demasoni has become a popular species in the aquarium hobby due to its striking appearance and interesting behavior. It represents a small part of the incredible biodiversity found in Lake Malawi, making it a valuable addition to any cichlid enthusiast’s collection.

Manda Region in Lake Malawi:

  • The Manda region in Lake Malawi, Tanzania, offers a unique and rich ecosystem for a variety of cichlid species. Lake Malawi itself is known for its incredible biodiversity, hosting over 1000 species of cichlids. This diverse range of species includes mbunas (rock-dwellers), peacocks, and haplochromines (haps), each with distinctive characteristics and behavior.
  • The Manda region in Lake Malawi is characterized by its rocky substrates over sandy bottoms, creating a perfect habitat for a diverse array of cichlid species. This rich environment is home to numerous cichlids, each adapted to specific niches within this ecosystem. Some of the notable species found in this region include:

    • Copadichromis borleyi
    • Copadichromis sp. ‘kawanga’
    • Copadichromis trewavasae
    • Copadichromis trimaculatus
    • Copadichromis virginalis
    • Labeotropheus trewavasae
    • Labidochromis caeruleus
    • Melanochromis kaskazini
    • Metriaclima fainzilberi
    • Metriaclima sp. ‘cave manda’
    • Metriaclima sp. ‘dolphin’
    • Metriaclima sp. ‘dumpy tanzania’
    • Metriaclima sp. ‘msobo’
    • Metriaclima sp. ‘zebra yellow tail’
    • Metriaclima zebra
    • Otopharynx spelaeotes
    • Petrotilapia sp. ‘nigra tanzania’
    • Petrotilapia tridentiger
    • Pseudotropheus benetos
    • Pseudotropheus sp. ‘lucerna north’
    • Pseudotropheus sp. ‘minutus tanzania’
    • Pseudotropheus sp. ‘williamsi north’
    • Rhamphochromis longiceps
    • Tropheops sp. ‘mauve yellow’

    Each of these species has evolved with specific diets and behaviors, which allows them to coexist by minimizing competition for resources. This fascinating variety of cichlids contributes to the ecological diversity and the overall health of the Lake Malawi ecosystem.

  • In terms of water conditions, Lake Malawi is known for its relatively stable and unique parameters. The average water temperature is around 77°F, and it has an alkaline pH of about 8.5. The general hardness (GH) is around 7, and the carbonate hardness (KH) is between 10-12. These conditions indicate hard and alkaline water, which is typical of the lake’s natural environment.
  • The lake’s depth varies greatly, with some areas being quite shallow and others reaching significant depths. This variation allows different species to inhabit various niches within the lake. The cichlids from Lake Malawi, including those in the Manda region, are mostly maternal mouthbrooders, meaning the females carry the fertilized eggs and fry in their mouths for protection until they are ready to fend for themselves.

General Information & Care

Additional Information & Care

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