Monday, February 15, 2010

Cyphotilapia frontosa

Cyphotilapia frontosa are commonly know as Zaire blue because you can see a blue markings below its body runs to its fins. They possess hump like a flowerhorn with a big mouth and huge eyes. Frontosa are friendly and lovable fish. Cyphotilapia frontosa is one of the largest of the cichlids collected from the Rift Lakes, Lake Tanganyika, specifically. The most common are the "Six-stripe" and the "Seven-stripe". Others include the "Cape Chaitika", "Mpimbwe Blue", "Samazi Blue", "Zambian" and the "Zaire Blue"

Frontosa is present in different populations (color variations) in all parts of Lake Tanganyika. They are found in both sandy and rocky parts of the lake. They are deep water inhabitants, ranging between 40 and 350 feet, and when collected have to be brought to the surface in stages so they don’t get the bends or end up with swim bladder problems.

This fish likes hard alkaline water around 76-82 degrees, although they will tolerate slightly higher or lower temperatures. Some salt may be added but they do fine without. As stated, C. frontosa likes a sandy to rocky habitat and caves and/or large flower pots should be included. Minimum tank size is a 29 or 30 gallon tank for one fish. They do best when kept in groups. For a group of 5 or 6 adults a 75 gallon tank would be overcrowded. I recommend no less then a 125 gallon tank, the large, the better.

Cyphotilapia frontosa is a monomorphic species with little or no difference between males and females. Males usually have a larger hump than females, but this characteristic is by no means a garauntee. Frontosa can only be sexed reliably by venting, and even this method cannot always be trusted. Venting frontosa accurately requires experience. Males also tend to be larger - they can grow to over 12 inches while females are lucky to reach 10 inches - but this too is not always true. In short, be cautious of any one ready to sell you sexed frontosa; make sure they're experienced and reputable.

The Zaire blue frontosa is a predatory fish and needs protein rich food. Shrimp, fish meat, crayfish etc makes good food choices for picky frontosa but most specimens can be trained to accept cichlid pellets as well. A varied carnivorous diet is important.

Frontosa cichlids are best kept in a colony of their own species. They can be very aggressive to other fish, especially those with a similar striped pattern to their own.

Adopt a fish and take good care of them. Good Luck with your frontosa.