Golden Tropheops

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Tropheops tropheops - Regan, 1922
Golden Tropheops

Male Golden Tropheops showing barred pattern.


A typically beautiful and aggressive Lake Malawi cichlid that will need a rocky aquascape, hard water, and an aquarium of 50 gallons (189 L) or more. One male is typically kept with several females to diffuse his aggressiveness.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: These fishes are found among caves and crevices in nature and should be provided similar shelters in the aquarium in the form of rockwork to form caves. They require hard, alkaline water, so a dolomite or coral-based gravel substrate is best.

Maximum length: 14 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 189 L (50 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom to midwater.


Omnivore. Feed a diet heavy in vegetable matter, including Spirulina, leaf lettuce, dried seaweed, and herbivore rations. Supplement with meaty foods such as enriched brine shrimp, mysid shrimp, live black worms, freeze-dried insects and crustaceans.

Aquarium Compatibility

Start with a small group and let them pair up. They can be housed with some other Lake Malawi cichlids, but belligerent encounters may happen.

Special Care

African cichlids need a tank with alkaline, hard water: pH 7.8–8.5 and KH 10-20.


Spawns in caves, with the female incubating the eggs in her mouth for approximately three weeks. Newly emerged fry can be fed finely powered dry food and Artemia nauplii (baby brine shrimp).

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW