The 5 Most Popular Dimorphic Mbuna Cichlids

Albino Auratus

The 5 Most Popular Dimorphic Mbuna Cichlids

If you have a freshwater tank at home or in your office, consider introducing the five most popular dimorphic mbuna cichlids to the habitat. These fish are lovely to look at and intriguing to watch! You need to distinguish aggressive cichlids from other species to maintain harmony in your tank- so plan on one male with several females in a tank, no smaller than 100 gallons in size, if possible. This will prevent conflict and territorialism.

In terms of being dimorphic, there are some inherent distinctions between the male and female African cichlids that makes it easy to identify males from females in an aquarium. In this case, the males appear different in color- often with black egg spots on their fins- while the female fish are often a duller or solid color. At a glance, the aquarist is able to tell which fish are males and females in the tank.

According to industry experts, the 5 Most Popular Dimorphic Mbuna Cichlids are:

Auratus (Golden) Cichlid

The Auratus (Golden) Cichlid is perhaps the most popular choice for home aquarists looking for mbuna cichlids to add to their tanks. Interestingly enough, there will be one dominant male in any communal tank, and they will be black, often with pale yellow or light blue stripes. The submissive males tend to look more like females with yellow coloring and no stripes. Also, this variety of cichlid is among the smallest topping out at around four-inches.

Auratus (Golden) Cichlid
Kenyi Cichlids

Kenyi Cichlid

The Kenyi Cichlid is a more aggressive species so, again, opt for one male and several females in your tank to keep the peace and prevent conflict. The males and females are highly dimorphic- you will easily distinguish the white, light-blue females from the bright yellow male fish simply by looking.

Pseudotropheus saulosi

Pseudotropheus saulosi are also easy to identify when it comes to males and females of the species. Males are blue and black, while females are yellow. This African cichlid prefers strong currents in a rocky environment, ideally, so provide lots of rocks and plants at the bottom of the tank for these fish.

Pseudotropheus saulosi (Taiwan Reef)
Pseudotropheus johannii

Pseudotropheus johannii

Similarly, females of the Pseudotropheus johannii species of cichlids are yellow while the males- considered aggressive and sexually dimorphic- are purple, blue, and black, in color. The males also feature a stripe on their forehad and along their body, typically blue.

Metriaclima sp. Msobo

Metriaclima sp. Msobo are grass eaters so they tend to hang on the floor of the tank, often eating the grasses and plants found there. They are also fond of digging and can create quite a mess in the wrong habitat. Metriaclima sp. Msobo are yellow when young. The females remain yellow through adulthood, but the males turn to blue. This species typically reaches around 12 centimeters in length.

Use these tips to introduce popular dimorphic African cichlids to your communal tank. The colors and features of these fish are spectacular- and when paired properly, these cichlids will get along harmoniously.

Msobo Magunga Cichlid

Share this post