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After finally setting my 180G I was ready to add some fronts.

I faced the usual dilemma it seemed; either go with an online breeder or retailer and have more selection, or try to scour the fish stores and probably only find some heavily bred Burundi.

I called some breeders, after they asked me how old I was, if I knew what I was doing, what size fish I should buy, how many i should buy, and of course what they thought I needed was more expensive than the online advertised price, it really put me off.

I made some calls and a local LFS (in UK), called MaidenHead Aquatics had 4 Mabilibili. One 3-4", two 6" and one 9"-10".

I never heard of them before, and there's very little info on the net, except that they are tanzanian.

I checked them out, and looking at how they were being kept, I had not choice but to buy them, it felt more like a rescue operation, plus I instantly fell for them. I got the price down to 120GBP for all four.

I have had them for two weeks, the first week they did not eat, on the second week I introduced bloodworms, that was enough to make them eat like pigs! I think they are getting more color now.

Here's photo's of three of them, the other 6" one, hardly ever comes out of his hiding spot.

I have two questions, are they mabilibili? What's that black spot behind the eye?

Here's the little one

_DSC6365 by lucrent, on Flickr

Here's one of the mid-sized ones, with the black spot

_DSC6386 by lucrent, on Flickr

This is the big guy

_DSC6370 by lucrent, on Flickr

Size comparison between the little one and the big one.

_DSC6375 by lucrent, on Flickr
 

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Very nice Fronts! Mabilibili is one of the less common Fronts but is comparable to the Light neon blues of the Kavala's. I like the Mabilibili better though as I have 2 Kavalas that dont have as distinct stipes. Those are beautiful black stripes and look great. The black dot just looks like a part of the fish, I doutb its any kind of sickness or parasite and it is not a distinguishing mark for the species, so that leads me to beleive its just the fishes genes to have one.
It is hard to tell if they are really Mabilibili's for two reason:
1. they are still young and as they grow older their color will become more intense and so give a better picture as to what part of the lake they are from (or if hybridized)
2. There are little visual differences to some of the Frontosas in that area. (ae, the Kavalas)

Either way, those look like beautiful fish!
 
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