Sunday, December 18, 2011

C. Frontosa Cichlid Can't Deal With Loneliness

C. Frontosa Cichlid
 Cyphotilapia frontosa 
Is a fish from the cichlid family native to Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. C. frontosa lives in Lake Tanganyika and is widespread in the northern half of the lake, whereas the closely related Cyphotilapia gibberosa inhabits the southern half of the lake.

Unlike many cichlid species C. frontosa is a pelagic fish (Science Dictionary
pelagic (pə-lāj'ĭk) pronunciation is the key relating to or living in or on oceanic waters. The pelagic zone of the ocean begins at the low tide mark and includes the entire oceanic water column. The pelagic ecosystem is largely dependent on the phytoplankton inhabiting the upper, sunlit regions, where most ocean organisms live.
Big Boy C. Frontosa Cichlid
Biodiversity decreases sharply in the unlit zones where water pressure is high, temperatures are cold, and food sources scarce. Pelagic waters are divided, in descending order, into the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic and hadopelagic zones) and they rarely ventures close to the shoreline.

The species generally resides at greater depths of 98 feet to 164 feet (30–50 metres sub-surface) (1 Feet (ft) = 3.28083 Meters (m)) (30 meters = 98’ ) to  (50 meters= 164’) than most other cichlids and rises to shallow waters in the early morning to feed on shoaling fish such as Cyprichromis species. C. frontosa can grow to a significant size even captive specimens can grow to 35 cm in length or 1’.15” and this fish can live for over 25 years old.

C. frontosa has distinct markings 
They have 6-7 black vertical bars adorning a white or blue body and head and trailing fins with a distinct blue hue. The species also develops a nuchal hump that is more pronounced as they become older specimen in other words the older the fish the bigger the hump becomes

C. frontosa is a sexually monomorphic species 
Although the hump is occasionally are more pronounced in males. (Monomorphic is talking about the secondary sex characteristics are features that distinguish the two sexes of a species, but that are not directly part of the reproductive system. Example the male peacocks tail feather are tied to attraction; male lions mane long and full is more attractive to the lioness the mane is tied to attractiveness; the proboscis monkeys  bigger his nose the more attractive he is to the female proboscis monkey; in humans, visible secondary sex characteristics include enlarged breasts of females and facial hair and adam's apple on males.

As is the case with many of the cichlid species found in Lake Tanganyika, parallel evolution between distinct breeding colonies has resulted in several different color variants developing.

C. Frontosa in the Home Aquarium
 C. frontosa is popular aquarium fish and several naturally occurring color morphs are frequently available for sale to hobbyists. Due to its size C. frontosa needs a relatively large aquarium; however, it behaves relatively sedately and is tolerant of both con- and heterospecifics. To house a single frontosa you need at minim of 29 gallon tank however frontosa do not like being alone and they will not thrive alone they require additional C. Frontosa. 

A Single C. frontosa Requires Cave 
Cave is a must for your frontosa to live in; this will ensure the frontosa feels secure. If a cave is not present to satisfy the frontosa's need for security it will begin to attack the other fish in the tank and this is especially true with male frontosa however the female frontosa are more likely to be satisfied with ground territory and they are best kept with other cichlids or semi-aggressive fish.

C. frontosa are best kept in at least 150 gallon tank (550 L);  
The 150 gallon tank can house 6-8 frontosa. Their water chemistry and temperature should mirror those found naturally in Lake Tanganyika and the PH should be 7.8 to 9.0 and the temperature of the water should be 79 to 82 F (26-27 C).

In addition to rocks or other ornaments such as pipes which allow the fish to hide and reduce stress.

C. frontosa is an opportunistic feeder in the wild:
Their diet in the home antiquarian should consist of good quality prepared foods like frozen foods such as krill and earthworms occasionally, crickets, white worms, water fleas.

C. frontosa when spooked or frightened:
They have been known to break thermometers, filters, and even crack tanks. Frontosa do not grow to the size of the tank, they will grow to about 10-14” (25–35 cm). The C. frontosa these majestic giants have roamed the depths of Lake Tanganyika for millions of years and only within the last three decades have we come to know them as King of the Aquarium.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Cyphotilapia frontosa

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:       Chordata
Class:          Actinopterygii
Order:          Perciformes
Family:        Cichlidae
Subfamily:   Pseudocrenilabrinae
Genus:         Cyphotilapia
Species:       C. frontosa
Binomial name
Cyphotilapia frontosa
Boulenger, 1906

Bigirimana (2005). Cyphotilapia frontosa. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and a brief justification of why this species is of least concern

"Cyphotilapia frontosa". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 April 2006.

Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Cyphotilapia frontosa" in FishBase. November 2005 version.

Maréchal, C. and M. Poll, 1991. Boulengerochromis.. p. 27-28. In: J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teasels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4.

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Deanna Balestra said...

I love striped fish, I always have. I think that the Frontosa is beautiful to watch. This article has provided me a lot of reference material as we prepare to start a new tank of these fish with tank mates. I like that we can do frozen foods with this breed as it will save us some time and work as well. This is a solid non-aggressive fish which would be good in a lot of tanks.

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