Mike Schaffran, 2001
Cichlid Room Companion
Breeding tanks

Tropheus duboisi

By , 2001. image

Classification: Captive maintenance, Lake Tanganyika.

Tropheus duboisi

Tropheus duboisi male in the aquarium. Fish and Photos by Mike Schaffran.

Tank décor

My substrate consists of very small pebbles, with about 5 lbs. of crushed coral to maintain a higher ph. On the left and right side of the tank, I have large rocks piled high to create spaces for hiding. The rocks are of a smooth surface.

Water chemistry

I maintain a ph of 8.6 consistently. My kh comes out of the tap very high. I use a carbon filter at my water source to reduce the amounts of Chloramine and other metals. I do not condition the water. I try very hard to keep things as natural as possible.

Tank maintenance

This is the key to my overall success. I do a 25% water change every 7 days. I clean no more than 33% of the gravel per water change. It is important to maintain and not interrupt the biological standing in the tank. I never change or replace any media pads all at one time. When I rinse highly saturated filter pads, I use the tank water to rinse. The key to my Tropheus tanks is to follow the schedule like clockwork. I also use ammonia chips in my Tropheus tanks and change that media every 21 days. Even ammonia that is not detected can result in the death of your Tropheus.

Tank lighting

I usually keep my tank lit for 3 to 4 hours a night. I do this because my Tropheus are used to it. When a group first arrive I always start with brief periods of light, and only at night. Cichlids like to sleep, so never leave your lights on all night.

Tank temperature

78 degrees F. consistently.

Tropheus duboisi

Tropheus duboisi in the aquarium. Fish and Photos by Mike Schaffran.

Breeding signs

In my Tropheus duboisi tank there are 18 in the group. There are 2m & 16f. Any more males in that tank would inhibit the chances of successful breeding. Too much aggression in a controlled environment makes the group uneasy. Generally the dominant male will spar with the other male. He then will lead the female most ready to accept the invitation. As she releases her eggs she will quickly retain them in her mouth where they will be fertilized. After fertilization, she will detach herself from the group as she will need to save her energy for the month or so she will carry. The Tropheus duboisi are nice in that the males will not continue to pester the female after fertilization, unlike the Tropheus moorii who often will kill the female if the tank décor is not well though out. The female will carry for 30 to 40 days. The fry are then let go for brief periods of time. The Tropheus fry are safe in the tank especially in the Tropheus duboisi tank because of the different pattern of the young. I usually will pull the fry at one inch.


Breeding the Tropheus takes good maintenance practice, and time. You must watch your fish to detect certain tendencies and behavior. I currently have three females carrying. They are a very healthy group and also quite young (16 months).

Tropheus duboisi

Tropheus duboisi in the aquarium. Fish and Photos by Mike Schaffran.


Schaffran, Mike. (Feb 18, 2001). "Tropheus duboisi". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: