The Frontosa unlike other cichlid fish which like living in covers and rocks, the frontosa prefers to live in a big colonies along the sandy coasts of the lake.
The Frontosa Cichlid has a high and elongated body, flat on both sides. In a tank the Frontosa Cichlid max size can be up to 30 cm, however the female size is rather small – about 25 cm long.
The cranial hump develops on the fish forehead once the fish is more then 10 cm long. The Frontosa Cichlid male has a larger hump then the female. With aging the forehead bump becomes larger and it also indicates fish age and strength.
The older the fish is, the darker is its coloring and the longer are its fins. The mature frontosa male dorsal and pectoral fin have kind of stings at their ends. The female fins are relatively short.
The Frontosa Cichlid body is pale blue with 5 vertical black bands, the 6th one goes from the forehead along the fish eye to the opercle insertion.
The Frontosa Cichlid requires a spacious tank with clean water and frequent water renew and also frontosa cichlid tank mates should be chosen correctly. This is one of the most calm cichlids that can be even kept with other large fishes, however as any large raptorial feeder and it’ll feed on small fish.
The Frontosa Cichlid is a carnivore fish type, but in a tank it can be fed on dry food. Frontosa diet can consist of prawns, earthwarm, artemia, small fish (fresh or frozen one), but don’t feed it with bloodworms. When being fed with bloodworms the frontosa fish bowel can get inflated, motion coordination suffers and the fish floats to the water surface. Granules, pellets and flakes can serve as an additional feed, though flakes are better for juveniles, since large mature fish may ignore such feed type.
The Frontosa Cichlid tends to overfeed, that’s why it’s desirable to introduce a hunger day for it once a week. Also the fish is rather demanding as for the food quality.
The Frontosa Cichlid is a large and slow fish that swims around all the tank and needs it to be in a rather spacious aquarium. For one frontosa cichlid the tank capacity should be 300L, but it’s better to keep them in groups of 4 fish. Apart from the fact that a frequent water changes are needed, also a powerful canister filter or sump filter should be used, since all types of cichlid fish are rather sensitive to water purity and parameters.
All these measures increase water breathing and saturate the water with oxygen which is important for frontosa fish that in the wild inhabits water rich with dissolved oxygen.
So, even though you have a good powerful filter additional aeration won’t hurt.
Besides, it’s necessary to check the water quality using tests and to avoid overfeed and overpopulation of the fish.
Lake Tanganyika is considered to be the second largest lake in the world which means that its water temperature and pH changes are rather small and the environment is a rather stable one.
All Lake Tanganyika cichlids require a stable temperature and high amount of oxygen dissolved in the water.
The ideal temperature for keeping frontosa fish is 26-27°c. Also the water in the lake is rather hard (12 – 14° dGH) with a high ph: 8.0-8.5.
Such parameters are troublesome to maintain for aquarists who live in the areas with very low hardness water and therefore they have to take some measures to make the water more hard, for example, they add coral sand or rubble into the filter or aquarium.
The Frontosa Cichlid survives rather well in a tank if the water is close to all above mentioned parameters. At that it’s important that water parameters don’t change abruptly. Therefore water should be changed frequently with small portions.
- Species – Cyphotilapia frontosa “Black Widow”
- Common Name – Black Widow Frontosa
- Origin – Lake Tanganyika in Africa
- Diet – Carnivore
- PH Range – 8 – 8.5
- Temperature – Tropical 26°c – 27°c
- Breed Type – Egg Layer
- Current Size – approximately 4cm (Grows to approximately 30cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed