Ophthalmotilapia nasuta from Lake Tanganyika

Ophthalmotilapia nasuta

Ophthalmotilapia nasuta. Photo by Dave Hansen

Found in various locations throughout the Lake Tanganyika, Ophthalmotilapia nasuta prefers shallow, rocky coastlines where it can feed on plankton. In the aquarium this species needs plenty of room to swim and reach upwards of 8″ in size. A minimum of a 5-foot tank is best. Rocks that provide caves and a sandy bottom is recommended, especially if you hope to breed them. Peaceful tankmates are recommended for O. nasuta, otherwise they will become stress, hide and never show their colors. Unlike other Ophthalmotilapia, O. nasuta will develop a fleshy growth above the upper lip.

Ophthalmotilapia nasuta is a herbivore and care should be taken that they do not eat too much protein-based foods. Spawning takes place in a large depression in the sand created by the male and females will hold the eggs until they are free-swimming. Because of the tank size, diet and tankmate requirements, O. nasuta is not recommended for beginners. Water conditions should be stable and free of toxins. To discuss this out-of-the-ordinary species, visit the Lake Tanganyika Species forum.

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