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I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby Frontosa Mark » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:04 pm

of there Latin name but the reason I'm here is because they have changed from been blue and white
to just been a dark colour all the time???
I'm aware they try and match there surroundings and the back of the tank is painted black but this never use to bother them as younger fish, they are currently about 2 and half Years old so still a Iong way to go yet. And I'm in for the long haul I do a water changed every week of about 25% of a 65 Gallon tank pretty small I know but will infesting a bigger tank in time to come
I feed them krill religiously which they have gone off NO WORRIE'S there as I have just swapped to dry flake spirilina fish food.(The owner of the local aquarium shop tends to think this is good that I feed them krill most of the time.
The water P.H is 7.6 and High range the P.H is 7.8 but I'm puzzled to why they have changed colour for what seems to be permanently any advise help one confused Frontosa keeper

Thanks frontosa Mark
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:12 pm

I will guess stress coloration. Ten 2-year-old frontosa in a 65 sounds like a problem.

Up the partial water changes to 50% per week (over a couple of weeks). What are your test results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?

What are the genders of the fish? Are they all dark or just some? How long is the 65G? Do you have caves for them?
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby ken31cay » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:36 pm

DJRansome wrote:I will guess stress coloration. Ten 2-year-old frontosa in a 65 sounds like a problem.

Up the partial water changes to 50% per week (over a couple of weeks).


+1.

I've seen the color in my Frontosa change in the past from blue to dark grey/black when my nitrates have increased. When I am religious about 75% weekly water changes and keeping every thing that's part of the water column (filters, tank walls) clean then the Frontosa stay with the nice blues.

Krill is a good food for them. I used to feed only Northfin but when I started supplementing raw, peeled shrimp (cut into bite-sized pieces) this improved their color even more. Vary their diet; raw shrimp & fish, Northfin or New Life Spectrum pellets, stay away from land animal meats. Frontosa are carnivores so I wouldn't think spirulina as a staple would benefit them.

How big are they now? 65gal (3 foot x 1.5 foot?) is too small. I would get them into a bigger tank asap, a 6 foot tank with caves would be good for them.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:41 pm

I love krill as a food, but feed a staple that has vitamins and minerals as well as krill.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby sir_keith » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:56 pm

Your tank is too small for this C. frontosa colony, and your fishes are exhibiting symptoms of chronic stress. You can fuss with water changes, diet, etc., but to get at the root of the problem you will need to move them into a much larger tank as soon as possible. Good luck.
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby Frontosa Mark » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:13 pm

Yes I have caves for them.the 65gallon tank is120mm l x 50w 50 h I've been looking at bigger tanks in the local aquarium shop and while browsing I rattled the owner for information and he says that 65 Gallon is quite ample for 10 Frontosa he also says I'll never get them to the colour they was when babies this was my aim (they all look so perfect on youtube) of I'm hoping it's because of the black background they have there not all dark colour all the time just the big ones are consistently dark which could as you say be stress colouration (the Frontosa don't utilise the space they have now they seem to spend their time in one corner altogether
Am I been mean by not infesting in a tank immediately??? I have not checked the Ammonia, Nitrite levels I will this next. the Genders of the fish are 3 Males 7 females
Can I expect them to breed at 2 and half or is it the 4 year old mark they breed If there unhappy they won't breed at all I know
I've thought of building my own Aquarium but still playing with the idea.

Thanks Frontosa Mark
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby DJRansome » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:43 pm

I would not ask your LFS for advice if this is an example. IME the LFS may have a specialty (mine was SW) and the cichlid rep may have as much or more to learn from you as you have to learn from them.

Not moving about the tank is fear.

Did you mean 120cm? That would be 48 inches.

I would first test the water, and then if that cannot be improved, I would buy either a 72" tank or swap out the frontosa for a fish that works well in a 48" tank.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby ken31cay » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:57 pm

Frontosa Mark wrote:Yes I have caves for them.the 65gallon tank is120mm l x 50w 50 h I've been looking at bigger tanks in the local aquarium shop and while browsing I rattled the owner for information and he says that 65 Gallon is quite ample for 10 Frontosa he also says I'll never get them to the colour they was when babies this was my aim (they all look so perfect on youtube) of I'm hoping it's because of the black background they have there not all dark colour all the time just the big ones are consistently dark which could as you say be stress colouration (the Frontosa don't utilise the space they have now they seem to spend their time in one corner altogether
Am I been mean by not infesting in a tank immediately??? I have not checked the Ammonia, Nitrite levels I will this next. the Genders of the fish are 3 Males 7 females
Can I expect them to breed at 2 and half or is it the 4 year old mark they breed If there unhappy they won't breed at all I know
I've thought of building my own Aquarium but still playing with the idea.

Thanks Frontosa Mark


I have found very few local fish stores that will advise correctly due to various reasons. 10 small Frontosa would be ok in your 65gal but at their age your Frontosa are bigger and do need more room.

RE: Color: what type of Frontosa do you have? Ex/ Blue Zaire Frontosa fins will turn darker in a dark environment but their blue color areas will deepen and look really nice. With age the blue color becomes more uniform and IMO looks at least as good or better as when they were young. This is assuming they have ample space with optimal water conditions.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby ken31cay » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:18 pm

Frontosa Mark wrote:...I'm hoping it's because of the black background they have there not all dark colour all the time just the big ones are consistently dark


The dominant male will be the darkest (and most shy) but the others should loosely congregate near his cave. Subdominate male(s) can also be darker but will usually try to put distance between them and the dominant male.

(the Frontosa don't utilise the space they have now they seem to spend their time in one corner altogether


IME they are gregarious but should also move about the tank quite a bit.

Am I been mean by not infesting in a tank immediately??? I have not checked the Ammonia, Nitrite levels I will this next. the Genders of the fish are 3 Males 7 females


This ratio is fine but more space is needed, especially for the subdominant males. I'd be surprised if the dominant male doesn't display aggression toward the other males since they have little tolerance for them in the immediate vicinity as they mature.

Can I expect them to breed at 2 and half or is it the 4 year old mark they breed If there unhappy they won't breed at all I know
I've thought of building my own Aquarium but still playing with the idea.


I believe they need 3yrs or more before they're mature enough to breed.

Hope this helps.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby Frontosa Mark » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:46 am

Yes I do mean 48inches not 120mm I've applied for a loan son can buy a bigger tank
the Frontosa I have are cyphotilapia ( I hope this is correct name)

Thanks for your info Frontosa mark
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:40 am

What are your test results for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates?
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby ken31cay » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:07 pm

Frontosa Mark wrote:I've applied for a loan son can buy a bigger tank
the Frontosa I have are cyphotilapia ( I hope this is correct name)


Most likely Cyphotilapia gibberosa. Have a well thought out plan with minimal distractions when switching to the bigger tank. This is in order to ensure a smooth transition and avoid mistakes.

Post any other questions you might have, and remember to post your water parameters like DJ said.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby Fogelhund » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:32 pm

These are most likely Cyphotilapia sp. "North"... the Burundi type, which are the type that's been in the hobby the longest.


http://tanganyika.si/Tanganjika/Cyphoti ... rundi.html

It is very common for Burundi "frontosa" to go very dark, and for dominant males to be almost completely black. Often, you can have more than one male go that dark... but the others concerns about the size of the tank are still valid.
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby Frontosa Mark » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:49 am

Hi it's me again.
The general hardness of the waters 180 mg/l
The carbonate Hardness is 40mg/l
The nitrite is 0
The nitrate is 80
The PH is 6.6 And high range 7.8

I know the PH is fine but have no idea about the nitrite/Nitrates soil you could direct me
they've gave me access to a loan soy's going to be building my very own 6ft 2 ft aquarium all for about £250 I'm looking forward to re-housing my Frontosa thanks for your help/directions ALL that have contributed
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Re: I have 10 frontosa's I'm not sure

Postby ken31cay » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:43 am

80ppm nitrates is way too high and in my opinion alarming. I try to keep my nitrates at 10-15ppm, but anything under 20 is fine. Use higher %/increased frequency water changes to get you nitrates down to the acceptable levels, but you need to start small so you don't shock your fish. For now keep doing the 25% water change but increase the frequency to 3 times spread throughout the first week - ex/ do the water change every other day. The second week you can increase to 50% through the week. Then increase as necessary. For my normal routine I do 75% water change every 5 - 7 days.

GH is fine. KH of 40mg/l is about 2dH and is low but if your water stays at the high pH above 7.8 then there is no problem. But if I would personally get a high pH tester and monitor my water's pH over a couple of weeks to be sure - from the tap, after 24 hours sitting (ex/ in a container), and in my tank over time between my water changes.

Good luck with the bigger tank, I hope all goes well.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & haps
180gal school of Red Rainbowfish
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