Fish For Your Aquarium: Overall Profile Of Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Cyphotilapia frontosa photos

Zaire frontosa

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Location unknown frontosa

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  • Common Names:
  • Location Collected From: Has a wide distribution in the lake.  Each location has a different coloration, with some locations having 7 stripes instead of the more common 6 stripes.
  • Approximate Size: Males reach a size of about 14 inches with females staying around 10 inches.
  • Food: I Will eat just about anything.   Mine eat large flakes, pellets, brine shrimp (frozen and live), and will eat smaller fish that they can easily catch.  In the wild, this species eats Cyprichromis leptosoma.
  • Water Conditions: pH between 7.8 – 9+ and a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees.
  • Breeding Behavior: Mouthbrooder.  Males will defend a cave and chase other fish away from their territory.  My frontosa would go to an open area of the tank free from rocks and other decorations and the male would pick up a mouthful of sand and throw it at the female.  He would then act like he was laying on his side in the sand and then quickly come off of the bottom of the tank and chase the female to the other side of the tank.  When the female came back over to the male he would then bend his body around towards the female until his body resembled an “L” shape.  After this the whole process would start over again and the next day when I would turn on the lights in the tank the female would be holding a mouthful of eggs.  My 8 inch female held for about 24 days and produced 12 fry.
  • Care of the Fry:  Frontosa fry can eat crushed flake, baby brine shrimp, and other small foods.  They are not picky about their water conditions.
  • Tankmates: I have had mine in with Lipochromis parvidens, Altolamprologus compressiceps, Synodontis petricola, Chalinochromis brichardi, Julidochromis transcriptus, and Protomelas taeniolatus “Red Empress” without problems.  I have seen them kept with Tropheus and Neolamprologus brichardi, and Julidochromis marlieri without problems.

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