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Cyphotilapia frontosa
Frontosa Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Frontosa Cichlid - Cyphotilapia frontosa

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Cyphotilapia_frontosa_3.jpg (26kb)
Photo Credit: Aaron Alcantar

Name: Cyphotilapia frontosa
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Lake Tanganyika (Africa)
35 cm 300 L 8.3 27C


The cichlid Cyphotilapia frontosa (aka: frontosa/front) is a magnificent looking species from the great lakes of East Africa. They are found in the deep waters of Lake Tanganyika at depths up to 100 feet. Frontosas are a large cichlid with males growing from 14 to 16 inches long and females from 9 to 12 inches long.

Cyphotilapia frontosa will eat almost anything. They are primarily meat eaters so that should be considered when planning their diets in the home aquarium. Diets of the frontosa varies with each aquarist but some common diets include krill, adult brine shrimp, worms (blood, black, earth, etc.), silversides, spirulina, and more in live, frozen, flake, and pellet form.

Cyphotilapia frontosa are commonly bred in the home aquarium and many captive bred species are available from breeders. Frontosa are mouth brooders. Mouth brooding is a method of reproduction common among lake cichlids. After fertilization, the female frontosa will carry the eggs in her mouth for the incubation period. After the fry (babies) have hatched and consumed their yolk they will begin to swim outside but will retreat to the safety of their mother's mouth if threatened. After a couple of days the mother will no longer accept the fry back into her mouth. The parents will protect the fry for awhile but they will soon be on their own for survival.

Contributed by Mike

I have two Frontosa. Both are juveniles. 1 " in size. They are very happy with the new cave I made for them. Going in and out all the time always taking turns. I bought them because I missed my previous two that had passed away due to old age. They were 5 " and 4 " in size. They were the strong silent type. Never aggressive and always breaking up any dispute going on in the tank. They were shy and liked to have their own special spot in the tank, but would give it up for my loaches any time they wanted it. For me my tank would not be complete with out these beautiful gliding giants.

Contributed by Joanne H.

Awesome fish. They can grow quite large, and are always extremely beautiful. Very peaceful, do well in 200 liters or more. Can breed fairly easy, in the "right" conditions. Give them a nice rocky basin in your aquarium. If you can afford it, "Zaire" Frontosa is the way to go.

Contributed by Andrea Harrell

Frontosa is one of the most beautiful fish I've kept in my tanks. They're also the first of many African Cichlida I've owned. Now I own 22 very beautiful frontosas in my tanks. My goal is to have a pair of albino frontosas, but the dream may never come true as they are very rare. Right now I just enjoy the ones I have. They vary from 3 cm to 20 cm, with variations of 6 and 7 stripes. I do have a weird one, one side is 6 stripe and the other side is 7 stripe.

Contributed by a visitor

Zaire Blue is nice, but IMO you can't beat the Mpimbwe frontosa. Also, for the record, they are night hunting piscivores. They feed off of sleeping Cyprichromis. Just imagine how many thousands of dollars of cyps a frontosa eats in its lifetime.

Contributed by Alan

I currently own 2 frontosas and they are the largest, but most peaceful of all my African Cichlids. They are great fish for a semi-aggressive cichlid tank as long as they are the largest. My largest Frontosa is the keeper of the peace and makes sure no one gets too aggressive. I would recomend this fish to everyone, as long as their other cichlids aren't too aggressive.

Contributed by John Farley

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