Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid
Latin name:
(Altolamprologus compressicep)

Care Level





Black, Tan, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

72-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 7.8-9.0

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

50 gallons


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In the vast and diverse aquatic realm of Africa, there exists a fish species that captivates the hearts of aquarists and nature enthusiasts alike: the Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid. With its striking appearance and intriguing behavior, this fish has earned a place among the most sought-after species in the aquarium hobby.

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid: A Profile

The Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid, scientifically known as Cyphotilapia frontosa, belongs to the family Cichlidae. Native to the waters of Lake Tanganyika in East Africa, this fish is renowned for its elongated body, vibrant coloration, and distinctive head shape. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism, with males typically larger and more colorful than females.

Habitat and Distribution

The Gold Head Compressicep Cichlid inhabits the rocky shores and depths of Lake Tanganyika, where it finds shelter among boulders and crevices. The lake’s unique ecosystem, characterized by its crystal-clear waters and diverse aquatic life, provides an ideal environment for this species to thrive.

Behavior and Social Dynamics

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, particularly during breeding season. Males establish and defend their territories, engaging in fierce displays and fights to protect their mates and offspring. Despite their aggressive nature, these fish can also exhibit cooperative behavior, working together to defend their territory from intruders.

Diet and Nutrition

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids are omnivorous feeders, with a diet consisting of various aquatic organisms. They primarily consume small fish, invertebrates, and zooplankton. In captivity, they can be fed a combination of live, frozen, and prepared foods, ensuring a balanced and nutritious diet.

Care and Maintenance

Keeping Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids in an aquarium requires careful attention to their specific needs. These fish thrive in spacious tanks with plenty of hiding places and a rocky substrate that mimics their natural habitat. Maintaining water quality is crucial, with regular water changes and filtration systems to ensure optimal conditions.

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids in the Aquarium

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids are a popular choice among experienced aquarists due to their captivating appearance and intriguing behavior. However, their aggressive nature and specific care requirements make them unsuitable for beginners. For those willing to provide the necessary care, these fish can be a rewarding addition to a well-maintained aquarium.

Tank Setup and Requirements

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids require a spacious aquarium, typically ranging from 50 to 100 gallons or larger. The tank should be equipped with a filtration system capable of handling the high bioload produced by these fish. A rocky substrate, along with driftwood and plants, provides hiding places and a natural environment for the fish.

Compatibility and Tank Mates

Due to their aggressive nature, Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids are best kept in a species-only tank. Introducing other fish species may result in territorial disputes and aggression. However, some experienced aquarists have successfully kept them with other large, aggressive cichlids, provided there is ample space and hiding places.

Breeding and Reproduction

Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids reach sexual maturity at around 12 to 18 months of age. Breeding occurs in the confines of their territory, with males attracting females through elaborate courtship displays. The female lays her eggs on a flat surface, and the male fertilizes them. Both parents guard and care for the eggs and fry until they are free-swimming.

FAQs About Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids

  1. Can Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids be kept with other fish?
    While it is possible to keep them with other large, aggressive cichlids, it is generally not recommended due to their territorial and aggressive nature.
  2. What is the ideal tank size for Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids?
    A spacious aquarium ranging from 50 to 100 gallons or larger is recommended to provide them with ample swimming space and hiding places.
  3. How often should I clean the tank for Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids?
    Regular water changes are essential to maintain water quality. Aim for weekly water changes of approximately 20-30% of the tank’s volume.


Gold Head Compressicep Cichlids are captivating fish that offer a unique and challenging experience for experienced aquarists. Their striking appearance, intriguing behavior, and specific care requirements make them a popular choice among those seeking a unique addition to their aquarium. With proper care and maintenance, these fish can thrive and bring years of enjoyment to their owners.