Frontosa or Her Majesty the Queen of Tanganyika

Frontosa Cyphotilapia frontosa or Queen Tanganyika (formerly Paratilapia frontosa cythotilapia frontosa) is a very beautiful fish, and very popular among cichlid lovers.

Large sizes and bright colors immediately attract attention, even in an aquarium where the rest of the fish are full of colors. The size of the fronts is really impressive, up to 35 cm, and the color is interesting, in the form of black stripes on a blue or white background. This is a beautiful fish, but is intended for voluminous cichlids.

It's easy enough to take care of the fish, but it needs a rather spacious aquarium and high-quality equipment. It’s best to get Queen Tanganyika an aquarist with some experience.

They are not too aggressive, so they can be kept with other large fish, but better in a separate aquarium, in a small group. Typically, such a group consists of one male and three females, but it is better to contain fronts in a group of 8 to 12 individuals, however, this requires a very large aquarium.

One fish can be kept in an aquarium with a volume of about 300 liters, and several fish need an aquarium of 500 liters or more.

Sandy soil and shelters made of stones and sandstone will create ideal conditions for fronts. They don’t need plants, but you can plant some, as fronts affect plants less than other cichlids.

The Queen of Tanganyika is generally a livable fish, and does not touch her neighbors, but only until they encroach on her territory.

So it makes no sense to keep them in a cramped aquarium. Of course this applies to large fish, if there are fish in the aquarium that frontoza can swallow, it will not fail to do so.

Living in nature

Queen Tanganyika or cythotilapia frontoza was first described in 1906. It lives in Lake Tanganyika in Africa, where it is quite widespread. Unlike other cichlids, who like to live in shelters and rocks, fronts prefer to live in large colonies along the sandy shores of the lake.

They live almost throughout Tanganyika, but always at great depths (10-50 meters). This made frontoza fishing not an easy task, and for a number of years it was quite rare and expensive.

Now it is quite successfully bred in captivity, and it is often found on sale.

They feed on fish, shellfish and various invertebrates.


Frontoza has a large and strong body, a large and forehead, and a large mouth. In the aquarium, they can grow up to 30 cm in length, the females are slightly smaller, about 25 cm.

In nature, they are larger, the average size is 35, although individuals are found and more than 40 cm long. Life expectancy is about 20 years.

Both the male and the female have a fat growth on the forehead, but in the male it is more and more pronounced. Juveniles do not have such a growth.

The body color is gray-blue, along which six wide black stripes pass. Fins from white to blue. The fins are elongated, pointed.

Difficulty in content

Fish for experienced aquarists, since frontoza needs a spacious aquarium with clean water and regular changes, as well as properly selected neighbors.

This is one of the calmest cichlids that can even be kept in an aquarium with other large fish, but, like any predator, it will eat small fish.


Predatory, fronts eat all kinds of live food. In nature, it is a small fish and various shellfish.

In the aquarium, they eat various foods - fish, worms, shrimp, mussel meat, squid meat, beef heart and various home-made minced meat. And also smaller feed - bloodworms, tubule, coronet, artemia.

It is better not to feed live fish if you are not sure that it is healthy. Nevertheless, the risk of introducing a pathogenic infection is very high.

To compensate for the lack of vitamins, you can feed with special feed for cichlids containing various additives, such as spirulina.

Frontozoans do not eat in a hurry, and it is better to feed them several times a day in small portions.

Aquarium Maintenance

A leisurely and large fish that swims throughout the aquarium and needs a large amount.

For one frontoza, you need an aquarium of 300 liters, but it is best to keep them in groups of 4 individuals. For such a group, an aquarium of 500 liters or more is already needed.

In addition to regular water changes, a powerful external filter should be installed in the aquarium, since all cichlids are very sensitive to the purity and parameters of the water.

In addition to filtration, it enhances gas exchange and saturates the water with oxygen, which is important for fronts, which in nature live in water very rich in dissolved oxygen. So, even if you have a good filter, additional aeration will not hurt.

In addition, it is necessary to regularly check the quality of water with the help of tests and avoid overfeeding and overpopulation.

Lake Tanganyika is the second largest in the world in size, which means that the temperature and pH fluctuations in it are very low and the environment is stable. All Tanganyika cichlids need a stable temperature and a large amount of dissolved oxygen in water.

The ideal temperature for the content of fronts is 24-26C. Also in the lake is very hard (12 - 14 ° dGH) and acidic water (ph: 8.0-8.5). Such parameters create problems for aquarists who live in regions with very soft water and they have to resort to means to make it harder, for example, add coral chips to the aquarium.

In the aquarium, fronts are fairly well established if the content is close to the specified parameters. It is important that the water parameters do not change dramatically, the water should be replaced in small portions and regularly.

Plants for the content of fronts are of little importance, but you can plant hard-leaved and large species. Sand will be the best choice of soil, and some shelters are needed in the aquarium, for example, large stones or driftwood.

Despite their size, the fronts are somewhat timid and like to hide. But, make sure that all the stones stand firmly and will not fall when this large fish tries to hide in them.


In general, they are not too aggressive. But, territorial and very zealously guard it, so it’s better to keep them alone.

Naturally, one should not forget that these are predators and will eat any fish that they can swallow. In addition, these are leisurely fish that eat slowly.

Often they are kept with the Malawians, but such neighbors for fronts are sheer stress. They are active, fast, scurry everywhere.

So it’s ideal to keep the frontose separate from other fish in a small school, one male and three females, or in a large school of 8-12 fish.

Gender differences

Although it is difficult to distinguish a male from a female, it is possible to focus on size - the male is larger and has a more pronounced fat cone on his forehead.



Frontoz is bred for a long time, and as we said earlier, this has been a problem for many years, since in nature they are not easy to catch. A male can mate with several females.

It is best to buy a mature couple or 10-12 teens. As adolescents grow, they sort, removing the smallest and palest ones. Do this every half year, leaving one of the largest fish (most likely it will be a male) and 4-5 females.

To achieve maturity, fronts need 3-4 years (moreover, males mature more slowly than females), so this sorting requires a lot of patience.

Spawning in fronts is quite simple. Spawning must be large, 400 liters or more, with stones and shelters, so that the male can find territory. Water - pH about 8, hardness 10 ° dGH, temperature 25 - 28 C.

The female lays eggs (not more than 50 pieces, but large) in the place that the male will cook, usually between the stones. After which the male fertilizes her. The female hatches caviar in the mouth; on the third day, the male is hatching.

The female continues to incubate the fry in her mouth, and the male protects the territory. They will take care of the fry for about 4-6 weeks. You can feed the fry with nauplii of brine shrimp.

Watch the video: Fish Tank Showdown: 55 Gallon vs 75 Gallon - Which is Better? (April 2020).

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