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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 4 frontosa as of currently, I didn't know much about them when I purchased them from the store and have learnt much in the last two years. I have them in a 75 gallon tank (I know, it's too small and I am working towards getting a larger one in the next two months or so) and the people at the store said that 4 of them would be fine (now I know they were WRONG). My tank temperature is consistantly at 78 degrees, I do 10 percent water changes every two weeks (should I be doing more?), I have no idea what the ph of the water is or if that would make a difference in the coloration of them and I am running a 2 75 gallon filters in this tank. I feed them Dainichi XL Pro sinking pellets, a spirinula pellet (can't recall off hand the brand), peeled and deveined shrip as a treat once or twice a week. I also feed them some of the off spring from my guppies when my tanks become over crowded, never give them anything from the store. I changed the background from blue to black to try to bring out the blue in them (unsuccessful), I am thinking that changing from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent might help but I may as well wait for the new tank.

My question is . . . what type of frontosa could these be? Could they be so dark due to poor breeding? Is there something I should be doing to help enhance these colors? Other then their dark coloration they seem fine and I love them regardless. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Look like Burundi's to me and they look just fine. I don't understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish with them? You may want to do some more research as the coloration in them appear just fine in your second photo. If you want to make the whites/light blues brighter, you're doing it wrong with the black background and dark substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks VTwin60. I was fairly certain that the four of them were Burundi as there is only one shop in the city that carry them occasionally. The second pic is of them when I first got them in July of 2009 (I listed them in the wrong order), the first and last is of the male as of a week ago. He's now about 7 inches long.

I never even thought about the substrate, so you are saying that changing it to sand could make a difference? And changing the background back to blue or is there another color that would better help to enhance the lighter color? I guess I am looking for the best way to showcase their lighter bands . . . you're absolutely right!

I can't wait for my larger aquarium and I want to do it right :)

Thanks again for your help!
 

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If you have a lighter background and substrate chances are their lighter colors will be more visible. Fish in general will try to mimic their surroundings with their coloration. You're large male is very healthy looking with his dark coloration, he's not showing any signs of being stressed at all. He is doing a very good job of matching his surroundings. Know also that as they age, they do tend to get darker. The change of substrate and/or background would be a good starting point but not necessarily a 100% fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Vtwin60!

I tried putting just white paper (is all I have at present time) between the black background and the back glass of the tank . . . it was amazing how quickly one of the females stripes became more vibrant almost instantly, even some blue showing through on her finage. I wasn`t expecting much blue, so I was pleasantly surprised. So I am going to go on the weekend and get a blue background and I was thinking about getting CaribSea Moonlight White sand or the CaribSea Aragonite . . . Not much to choose from in a small city. I understand completely that this may not do the trick 100%, but to me it is worth the time and effort.

You've been an amazing help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just a quick update . . . I was finally able to buy a bigger tank, however finding a 120 gallon tank proved to be more difficult then I thought as the pet shops here only went as high as 70 gallons. Looking for a second hand one was almost as hard, but I did purchase a 90 gallon which was a steal of a deal and I was able to reuse my stuff from the 75 gallon. I will keep my eyes open for a 120+ gallon tank and will hopefully have it in a few months for the Fronts and use the 90 gallon for some Malawi cichlids later on.

I changed the Fronts over to the 90 gallon tank, transfering as much of the water from the 75 gallon as I could and everything seems well. I put in Moonlight White sand and a blue background, I changed the decorations to clay pots and my females seem to like that better. They should be breeding age in the next year or so and I am excited about that. My male stopped eating for a few days, but some of my guppies changed that rather quickly. The changes in the substrate and background have lightened up the males colors, the females even more so . . . it's rather amazing what it does with a simple change of this and that. That being said, thanks to VTwin60 for excellent advise! I have a feeling this site is going to teach me a lot about my fish!
 

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I'm glad it worked out for you and it sounds like you've got a great set up going. Your Fronts should be happy for years to come, congratulations!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi! Just another update . . .

Found a great deal on a 125 gallon long tank, 6' by 20" by 18" and purchased it for $200.00 (that's just the tank alone). I have to re-seal it though, but I figured with all the DIY articles on it that I have read that I can do that myself. I live in Northern Alberta, Canada . . . so finding deals like this are rare to say the least.

It will take me a few months I figure to get it up and running, but my current set-up isn't terrible for the time being so I think that will be okay. I'm thinking about running two 100 gallon hanging filter (waterfall type) as that is what I know, I don't have experience with the external filters although I have heard that they are great. I'm going to use glass covers with the hinges for the top . . . Any suggestions as to the best lighting for Frontosa? Can I set the light fixture right on the glass or should I raise it a bit off of it? I was thinking about suspending lights from the ceiling . . . but that may be a lot of work now that I think about it. My husband has offered to build the stand, so that's one less worry and he's a carpenter so why not! Then once it is up and going I plan on adding two more female Fronts to my tank, should I do a colony of 6 or could I do 8?

VTwin60 . . . I read some more about the coloration and I have added a tablespoon of salt for every 10 gallons in my current tank, I know that Frontosa don't need it but I decided to try it anyway for good measure. The blue seems to be more intense as does the white.

Thanks again in advance for any advise!!
 

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sounds like you really are on your way to a great hobby with Fronts, make sure you post up some pics of your tank once you decide how you are going to set it up. As for the number 6 or 8 either or will be fine in a 6ft tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well a little news on the Frontosa I wanted to share . . . I found that my two older Fronts (1 male and 1 female) have spawned. I don't believe that the eggs were good as she didn't pick them up, but I scooped up 9 of them and put them in a homemade tumbler in a hospital tank. I'm not expecting these to work out . . . instead I am hoping that she has some in her mouth that she will hold until I can strip them later. I would rather not have to deal with a tumbler and I would like to give her a few goes to see if she will figure it out herself. To be honest I wasn't expecting breeding for another year or so . . . I was wrong. Any tips would be appreciated, like should I strip and use a tumbler? Thanks everyone in advance!



The eggs in the corner . . . she never picked up so I did.



More eggs at the side of the tank . . .



The male and female together over the eggs . . . Sorry about the dirty glass, tank is in a bright room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So she is holding a small amount in her mouth and after some reading I am going to let her hold them (if she will) and leave stripping go until around the 20th day . . . If after several attempts she refuses to hold the clutch I will try the stripping method. This is her first time and I feel that stripping her will be too difficult right now, for her and for me as I am not prepared for this. I have to say that I am thrilled . . . Now hopefully the other two will follow the lead!

Sorry about the crappy pictures . . . they are from my cell phone.
 

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I also have Burundi frontosa and my alpha male is dark like yours. Mine have been breeding for about a year and I just let them spit in the tank. So far I have 5 survivors that are about 2" now. Even when they were small, the others didn't show an interest in eating them, plus I have a lot of small hiding places where the bigger adults can't reach. Good luck, soon they should be spawning regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for your reply Allierw . . . My male is really dark, although with help from VTwin60 he is much lighter now. I should try to get a picture of him when he is out and roaming the tank over the light substrate. Amazing the difference really.

I am thinking that following your advice and just letting them spit in the main tank is probably the best way for me to go. I don't have anyone interested in them and it is more for the enjoyment of watching them raise them on their own than for the money anyway. I do have some hiding places so . . . . I will wait and see what comes of it.

I think it was the water change that had prompted the spawn . . . The water I added was about 2 degrees cooler then the water in the tank. Like I said earlier, they are spawning younger then I though as they were about 2" when I got them two years ago.
 

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Wow he looks fantastic! Good colors in the fins and nice clean and distinct lines on the body. As said before, I'm really glad it worked out well, just surprised at how well though! :)
 
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