Pseudotropheus Ice Blue Cichlid (Maylandia greshakei)

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The Pseudotropheus Ice Blue Maylandia greshakei, also known as William’s Mbuna, is a pretty zebra-type cichlid from Lake Malawi, Africa. It has a very appealing coloration of an ice blue body contrasted with a bright orange top fin. It makes a great fish to add variety in a Mbuna cichlid Tank.

This cichlid has been in the hobby since the early 1980’s. Prior to being scientifically described they were sold as the Pseudotropheus “Red Top Ice Blue”. It was first described by Meyer and Foerster in 1984 as Pseudotropheus greshakei and then several other common names evolved. This cichlid may be found as William’s Mbuna, Ice Blue Zebra Cichlid, Red Top Ice Blue Zebra, Red Top Cobalt, Ice Blue Malawi, Ice Blue Cichlid, Ice Blue Red Top Zebra, Pseudotropheus sp. “Makokola”, and Greshakei Zebra.

This fish is zebra-type member of a group of cichlids called Mbunas. There are 13 genera full of very active and aggressive personalities of Mbuna cichlids. The name Mbuna comes from the Tonga people of Malawi and means “rockfish” or “rock-dwelling”. This name aptly describes the environment these fish live in as opposed to being open water swimmers like the Utaka cichlids and other “haps”.

In more recent taxonomical revisions the Pseudotropheus genus has been split into three sub-genera with this fish being placed in the sub-genus Pseudotropheus Maylandia. After much debate between the naming of this sub-genera Maylandia or Metriaclima, this species is currently considered valid as Maylandia greshakei. Yet in the aftermath there are still three scientific names commonly used for this fish in the hobby, including Pseudotropheus greshakeiMaylandia greshakei, and Metriaclima greshakei.

This cichlid is also sometimes mistaken for its very close relative, the Pseudotropheus “Red Top Zebra Mbenji”, which is not yet scientifically described. These two fish have very similar physical and behavioral traits, however the Pseudotropheus Ice Blue has only been found in the southeastern arm of Lake Malawi near Makokola, while the other is from the Mbenji Islands.

The Pseudotropheus Ice Blue is only moderately aggressive compared to other Mbuna. It is not a community tank specimen to be kept with fish other than cichlids, but it can be kept in a tank with similarly tempered Mbunas. Do not house with fish of the same color and shape though, as the male will look at these others as trespassers and attack them.

For the aquarists who is willing to do frequent water changes and provide appropriate tank mates, the Pseudotropheus Ice Blue is easy to care for. It will quickly adapt to prepared foods and is readily bred if not kept with overly aggressive tank mates. To house one male and two to three females, a minimum sized tank of 48″ long with a lot of hiding places is needed for success. A much larger tank is needed for mixing Mbunas.

Stocklist of our Cichlids Fish (Click the picture below) :

Cichlids Stocklist

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Video of Pseudotropheus Ice Blue Cichlid (Maylandia greshakei)

Infographic of Pseudotropheus Ice Blue Cichlid (Maylandia greshakei)

Stocklist of our Tropical Fish / Aquarium Fish / Ornamental Fish (Click the picture below) :

Angel Fish Stocklist

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