Tilapia Zillii

Q&A about cichlids from Africa other than from the rift lakes

Moderator: Pam Chin

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Tilapia Zillii

Post by clangtry »

Hi Pam, I currently have 8 of these pretty fish and was wondering just how big they really get, havent found them in my Baensch as yet and trying to find stuff through Google is not helping. They are currently residing in my 55g Tanginykan tank and are doing really well. The other species in the tank with them are as follows, Synodontis Eupterus, Synodontis Nigreventis (upside down cat), Synodontis Petricola, Telmatachromis Vitatus, Siamese Algae Eater (True), Albino Bristlenose Pleco, Julidochromis Transcriptus Gombe, Neolamprologus Multifasciatus, 1 Brichardi, 1 unknown, and some Bosemani Ranibows. So far I have had no fatalities with this combination. What I want to know is how big do they get, how hard are they to breed, and how big of a tank will they need once they get to full size.

Chris Langtry
Pam Chin
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Post by Pam Chin »

Hi Chris,

The most current info on this cichlid is in the book: The Cichlid Fishes of West Africa, by Anton Lamboj

The are quite adaptable as they are found in a wide variety of different water conditions from Rivers and Lakes in West African, North Africa and even into the Middle East. However they are not found in the Lake Tanganyika, and I don't think it is good to mix cichlids from two different locations like that. All may be fine now, but you have 8!! They can reach a length 10", to compound the situation they are primarily vegetarians, while your other fish are meat eaters. If you want to work with them, you are definitely going to need to get a larger tank. I don't think they are too hard to breed, the are a substrate spawner and both parents will care for the fry. In addition, they have quite large spawns. They are sexually mature at a very small size, maybe even as small 2", long before they are full grown. They can be a bit nasty when they are pairing off, and preparing to spawn.

I highly recommend this book if you can find it. The ISBN# ISBN3-9228819-33-X

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