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Scientific Name:  Cyphotilapia frontosa      
Min. Tank Size:   135 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-80°F      
pH:   7.5-9.0/10-25°dGH      
Size:   14"      
Diet:   Omnivore     
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a biotype tank with other Lake Tanganyika species; should not be kept with fish small enough to be considered prey.


The Frontosa Cichlid is endemic to Lake Tanganyika is eastern Africa and can usually be found in the nothern half of the lake. These fish tend to prefer deeper waters and rocky habitats, though they can be found in a variety of locations within the lake. Frontosa Cichlids are easily identified by their white bodies adorned with 6 or 7 thick, black vertical bands. Both sexes also tend to develop a hump on the head, though it is often more pronounced in males of the species. These fish also exhibit trailing fins that may be either white or bright blue in color.

Tank Set-up

Tanks for Frontosa Cichlids should be designed to mimic the conditions in Lake Tanganyika. Ideally, they should be decorated with sandy substrate as well as plenty of caves and other rockwork. Because these Cichlids are fairly large, a large tank capacity may be necessary - a single Frontosa Cichlid should not be kept in a tank smaller than 30 gallons. In the wild, these fish tend to live in large groups so they should be kept with others of their own species.


Frontosa Cichlids have a varied diet in the wild, feeding on fish, algae and invertebrates. Thus, in the home aquarium, this species tends to accept a variety of foods. Offer Frontosa Cichlids a staple diet of high quality Cichlid pellets supplemented with live and frozen foods as well as gut loaded feeder fish. If you choose to feed gut-loaded feeder fish caution should be taken to prevent introducing any disease to the aquarium. Therefore, it's best to raise your own feeder fish or quarantine any obtained from an outside source.


Breeding Frontosa Cichlids is relatively easy. These fish are mouthbrooders and are best spawned in groups consisting of 4 or 5 females for every male. When the male selects a female from the group to breed with, the pair will select a breeding site such as a cave or depression in the substrate. Once spawning has occurred, the female will take both the eggs and the sperm into her mouth, incubating the eggs for 5 or 6 weeks.

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