Cichlid Lovers Tropical Fish

Cyprichromis leptosoma "Yellow Head Tricolor"

Trade name: "Yellow Head Tri Color" 

Distribution: Tanzania in Lake Tanganyika.

Max size: Males 5" females 4".

Sex differences: Adult males have the brightest colors and are slightly larger, females have the same colors as the males but are more subdued (see comments at the bottom). 

Habitat: Found in the open water close to the rocky shores in huge schools, numbering as many as 10,000.

Food: Zooplankton. Will accept small dry foods but prefers live or frozen small meaty foods in captivity. 

Behavior: A very interesting and different type of cichlid that don't look like or behave like a typical cichlid. A fast moving, intense schooling fish that likes to live in mid water without an over abundance of large rocks in which it may bump into. Not very aggressive towards other fishes but can put on a great show when courting or sparing with their own kind.

Maintenance: Best kept in in a 3'+ long tank without a lot of large rocks. Not a delicate fish but compatibility can be a problem if kept with larger more aggressive species. Make great tank mates for many of the more delicate Tanganyikans such as the Featherfins or sand dwellers. But can be kept together with many other Cichlids and even non-cichlids. Being a mid water schooling fish, they do best in a tall tank with at least six or more Cyprichromis types. But I have kept them solitary and they do fine but we will miss much of their very interesting behavior when they are kept alone.

Breeding: A polygamous mouthbrooder in which the male defends small territories in mid water. They will breed right in mid water, with the female laying a single egg at at time while the male is pressed against her fertilizing the egg. The egg drops towards the bottom and the female will quickly swim backwards and or down and pick it up before it gets a few inches from where she laid the egg and then the process starts all over again. The eggs are very large and few in number. 10-12 is considered a large spawn but they do spawn about every month or so. The fry are very large upon being released by their mother and grow fast and reach sexual maturity at about 8 months. 

Comments: The "Yellow Head Tri Color" is a "Jumbo Leptosoma" getting larger than the other normal sized leptosoma species. The pictures above are of the yellow head and tail morph but being a "tri color" it may have other color varieties in it's genes. A true tri color has at least three differently colored males in each school. All are found together in the same school and come both come in together when imported as the same species. When you raise the fry up, you may have a few differently colored males. I believe our strain here is all of the yellow tailed variety because even the females have color and they all show yellow tails. When I first got them I thought they were all males, some just in subdominant colors. I do know of at least one other color morph and that's of a male with no yellow head but we are breeding that out of the strain. It becomes the favorite Cyprichromis of almost everyone that sees it.