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back into cichlids with new 6x2x2


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just had the loverly people from xtreme lug in my new 6x2x2 tank (at a very resonable price) so its all set up now and I am drawing a blank on what to put in after its cycled....

SO looking for a few good combos of what will work. I have always wanted to keep frontosa but never tried finding the cost of the fish prohibitive!

Now I have reached a point where I want to keep them as the central fish in the tank, but of course I want some nice tankmates too, but I want these tankmates to be peaceful with the fronts (within a reasonable degree) and not cost an arm and leg. I expect to pay a bit for the fronts so I need some less expensive options for the other tank inhabitants. Keeping the more common species does not bother me if they are good colour and character.

Presently I have a 10 inch common plec and a 7" gibbicep plec waiting in another tank.

I have not set up decor in the tank other than some white gravel and the moulded 'rocky' backdrop.

With the Fronties i was hoping someone could give me some info on what I might expect to pay for 1-2 inch specimens.... and which ones I should be going for.

I particularly like the look of the 'Zaire Blue' (i think thats right) I have seen on here before...

anyway i must stop this rambling essay.


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Zaire's are very new to the country. And by far the most expensive frontosa varient currently available. There are also alot of fish being sold under that label at a small size which are not in fact Zaire's.

I'd be looking at maybe burundi for starters. They are SOOO much cheaper (1-2" at about $20-30 depending on breeder/quality etc) COmpared to Zaire which recently reached over $200ea for 2-2.5" fish in an auction here.

As for tankmates, I like the look of electric yellows in a fronty tank. Not ideal for the purist (ie Malawi and Tang mix) but since your talking about plecos (Softwater South American fish) that is what I suggest. Also they are cheap enough so that if your frontys chomp a few it wont be heartbreaking laugh.gif

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I have been through the the setting up a tank with frontosas in mind a few years ago and one of the biggest mistakes I made was trying to put different other fish in with them. Especially Mallawi cichlids. Frontosas get big but they are generally quite timid. They have a go at each other every now and then but are intimidated by smaller more aggressive fish. Especially at feeding time. I had breed some Venustus at one stage and I got rid of the parents (which were beauties) to get more Frontosas. Even the juvenile Venustas would get the food before the Frontosas. I now have smaller Lake Tang cichlids like Leleupi, Malieri, Calvus which have been going well so far.

The best tank mates I have found for Frontosa are other Frontosas.

Also if you set the tank up with heaps of caves then the Frontosas will hide in the caves. Which makes a pretty boring tank. I have recently put in tall rocks

staggered through out the tank. The fish swim around the the rocks if they get freaked out but are on the move more often. I have also just put sand in the tank instead of gravel and they seem to like that a lot more.

regards, JDHOGG

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yes the plecs have been in a somewhat harder water setup all their life so will be fine to continue in a fronty tank....

so you say fish as small as leulupi (spelling) will work with them? I thought the fronties would eat them for a snack when larger?

i found this page of info HERE saying stuff like more than one male, several females and a few other fish for a bit of variance such as electric yellows and calvus...

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I have a tank which has 4 fronts, one of which is about 30-35 cms. About a year or more ago i threw in 4 julies and 5 leulepi. First off i didnt feed them for a few days and next thing two leleupi were gone. Then progressively over a year the frontosa seem to have hit growth spurts where their regular food doesnt keep them happy. Soon i noticed only 3 julies. then two. Then i found one with a big section taken out behind its gills on the bottom. Somehow though there is one remaining. Survival of the fittest i guess???

But now I want to do what your'e thinking. In a 5*2*2 i have been wondering if electric yellows and malawi dolphins might work with the fronts? If i start with juveniles will the fronts stand up for themselves?

My fronts are VERY VERY pushy at feeding time at behave more like oscars than ANY other frontosa I have seen. They steal food from one another and from the smaller fish. They are cool. THe big guy hides by day but atnight comes out and cruises majestically around the tank its awesome.

One tip. Invest in the best heater and filter you can afford. Esp the heater. Three weeks ago my mate came home from the pub to a foul odour in his room. He then discovered all his 7 bars floating and water of about 40-50C in the tank. the thermostat broke. Needless to say it was one of those really cheap skinny numbers. Avoid them like the plague! I have been shocked by these b4.

If ur gonna spend 400+ on fish DONT SKIMP ON THE EQUIPMENT or you will end up with a sob story like ant did!


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