Pseudotropheus is a highly speciose genus which includes a large range of personality types, from hyperaggressive bullies to those who know how to be chill. And sitting comfortably on the milder side of the spectrum is the Acei Cichlid, a scientifically undescribed species that has been common in the hobby for many years now.
This fish originates from several sites along the western shores of Lake Malawi, and, depending on where it is sourced from, it can have either a white or a yellow finnage. The Whiteail Acei is said to come from Ngara and Karonga, near the northern end of the lake, and features a bright white caudal fin and mostly black throughout the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins. The body of mature males often turns an almost inky black, which creates a beautiful contrast to the white of the caudal fin, as well as the white margin which develops in the dorsal and pelvic fins.
The Yellowtail variety of this fish is a remarkably different looking creature, with a pale blue body and yellow throughout most of the fins. Seen side by side, one would have a hard time recognizing them as belonging to the same species, and it may turn out that they are merely close relatives rather than a single species.
The Acei Cichlid is said to have an affinity for grazing upon algae that develops on fallen logs. It’s also noted that this fish is more apt to swim high into the water column. This make it an especially welcome addition to the traditional mbuna aquarium, as most species in this informal group are primarily bottomdwellers. As with any herbivorous cichlid, a diet high in vegetable matter is necessary to avoid long-term digestive problems (the dreaded “Malawi bloat”).
Note that you’ll often see this fish treated as a belonging to Gephyrochromis, though there seems to be quite a bit of uncertainty here. Hopefully one of these days the Acei Cichlid is given a proper name.