Here at Frontosa we are devoted to the Frontosa and Gibberosa Cyphotilapia species variants and their respective collection points. These “gentle giants” have inhabited the deepest parts of Lake Tanganyika and only within the last few decades are they now inhabiting our freshwater aquariums and becoming “tank bred” and being called by some the “Kings and Queens” of the Aquarium.

In the Wild

Frontosa can live at depths between 65 and 100 feet in Lake Tanganyika, which makes them a difficult fish to collect. Today many are bred in captivity, but they still command a fairly high price. Frontosa are majestic and have a commanding presence, pronounced coloration and a large size, easily up to 12 inches (30 centimeters)!
The Frontosa’s body has six or seven black stripes on a white background.The male & female develop a cranial hump on the forehead however this hump is larger for the male.
In general they are a tolerant community fish with no trouble, but they will defend a territory once established.

Frontosa in the Aquarium

Frontosa are best kept in groups of 6-8-(or)10 with a minimum of a 125 gallon aquarium unless they are small fry that you are raising up, in which case you could keep them in a 55 gallon or 75 gallon for up to a year. Larger colonies will need 150-200 gallon aquariums, depending on how large the colony and size of fish. Consider using a pebbled or sandy bottom with rock structures creating caves for sheltering the male frontosa. Alternatively you can use large PVC elbows or terra cotta pots and they’re easy to keep clean and the frontosa like them just the same.

Water Changes

When it comes to Water changes….they are an essential part of maintaining the quality of the captive environment. Nitrates are not as toxic as ammonia or nitrites but they are harmful and will stress your frontosa at possibly dangerous levels. The best way to remove the nitrates is through a partial water change. Ideally you want to have test kit readings of less than 20 ppm in your frontosa tank. Nitrate is the leading cause of slow fish growth. To reach the full potential for rate of growth, keep the nitrates at a minimum. Without water changes,foods and waste both would accumulate in the substrate, additional pollutants such as phosphate and dissolved organic acids would increase to unhealthy levels, and the pH and alkalinity of the eco-system will decrease dramatically. Essential minor and trace elements would be depleted as well. Water changes remove the above mentioned (and other) pollutants while at the same time replenish diminished elements and restore both alkalinity and pH.


I feed 1mm New Life Spectrum Cichlid sinking pellets and supplement with mysis shrimp brine for young frontosa.There are other foods like black worms, glassworms and silversides,that are also good for supplements. Don’t be fearful to invite your frontosa to feast on a variety of foods, however be sure of what you are feeding them will be something that promotes good health and happiness for the fish. When frontosa are young and small, flakes or 1mm pellets work best. As they get larger, flakes become messy and pellets are the food of choice. There are many good brands of prepared foods out there. Use what gives your fish the best results and maintain a healthy look.