What can you tell me about Coptodon bythobates?

Discussion about cichlids from Africa other than Rift Lake
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What can you tell me about Coptodon bythobates?

Post by slimbolen99 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:25 pm

Picked up six F2 Coptodon bythobates at our local club's auction yesterday. I believe they were formerly in the genus of Tilapia? After they spend some time in quarantine, I plan on setting up a 75 gallon for them. I am unable to find much information on them at all anywhere.

Can anyone tell me a good setup/aquascape for them in a 75, water conditions (the guy I got them from kept them in "hard, medium pH" water...not very specific), and what their diet consists of? How big do they get, temperament, tank mates, etc? How about dithers? Are they too aggressive for some good ole fashioned West African killis or barbs?

It's my understanding they are on the IUCN Redlist?


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Re: What can you tell me about Coptodon bythobates?

Post by duanestuermer » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:39 am

Is this the species you have?
I had them a few years back as Tilapia bythobates, from Lake Bermin.
They spawned regularly for me in neutral to moderately hard water, in community tanks, where they ruthlessly guarded fry against larger cichlids. Males reached 7" females 5". They first spawned as small as 3". Mostly vegetarian, too much protein caused bloatish symptoms.
In the above pic, those are eggs on the front glass.

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Darrell Ullisch
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Re: What can you tell me about Coptodon bythobates?

Post by Darrell Ullisch » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:18 am

Coptodon was a subgenus last time I looked, can't find any sign that it has been elevated to genus. Tilapia bythobates is part of the Lake Bermin species flock, which is why it is listed, as this is the only place these species occur. In the aquarium, it is supposed to be very easy to keep, water chemistry not important as long as you stay away from extremes. In the Lake they prefer to live at depths over 8 meters! It has adapted to tolerate the greater depths and reduced dissolved oxygen levels.

It should be noted that some people have been mislabeling Tilapia snyderae as T. bythobates because the snyderae, which stay under 2 inches in the wild, were growing to more than 4 inches in aquaria, and some folks thought they had been misidentified. Anton Lamboj said that this was because they get much better food in aquaria, and a lot of it; in the wild, they live in areas that are practically barren of food. Duane's fish are almost certainly the real bythobates - I think.
There are two kinds of error: blind credulity and piecemeal criticism. Sound skepticism is the necessary condition for good discernment; but piecemeal criticism is an error. - Egyptian proverb

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