Cyphotilapia frontosa - Fast Fact
by Francesco Zezza
Biotope: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Likely, one of the biggest
cichlids living in the Rift Valley Lakes. Lot of intalacustrine
endemism is known.
Tank: BIG, period. And probably big isn’t enough! 100 US gal (about
400 lt) should be considered the bare minimum for a
trio of C.frontosa (1M/2F). At least double that size if you plan to have breeding
colony. Think even bigger if you plan to have two (or more?) adult
male in the same tank. Got the idea? Despite the fact that those fishes are lazy
swimmer they DO need a lot of space to thrive.
Water chemistry: Lake Tanganyika is the lake in Rift Valley
with the highest alkalinity. Its pH level can be
measured above 9.0 in some places. Keep this well in mind when setting up
where you plan to keep your Fronts and choosing tankmates
Spawning: Female mouthbrooder as most of the East African Cichlids
I have no direct experience on their spawning and won’t go any
longer on the matter but I’ll refer to the experience of a friend of
mine. An excellent group of juveniles: 7 specimens – with two
males – is kept in an 800 liter tank without any other tankmates
except two small “plecos”. Till now those fishes stubbornly
refuse to spawn despite the fact that they are fully matured (they are aged well over two
years). After a check
with the “supplier” (another fellow hobbyist) it came out
those fishes were stripped … Despite this fact you can’t make a
rule from ONE such report but this make me think of an
old, sometimes, forgotten rule: NEVER STRIP YOUR FISHES!!!
Food: Pellets (either floating or sinking), tablets, animal matter
(i.e.: raw shrimps) is OK! Avoid
keeping Fronts with fast swimmers otherwise feeding them could
become a “tricky” game.
Tank Mates: No special
requirement to report, except the fact that those fish grow big and, despite
You feed them tons of food, chances are they will decide to get a
snack on their own! I know a fellow complaining about heavy losses
in the shelldweller colony. Asked where those tiny beauties were
kept in he calmly, answered: “ ... in the Front’s tank!”
About Pic(s): I took those pics with my digital camera. The fish shown are
kept by my dear friend Simona Santini.
next page for more photos.