Black Chinned Xenotilapia (Xenotilapia melanogenys)

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Black Chinned Xenotilapia

Black Chinned Xenotilapia

Xenotilapia melanogenys

208 Litres (55 US G.)

12-15 cm (4.7-5.9")




7.5 - 8.5

23 -25 °C (73.4-77°F)

15-20 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

3-5 years



Additional names

Black Chinned Xenotilapia

Additional scientific names

Enantiopus melanogenys, Ectodus longianalis, Ectodus melanogenys, Enantiopus longianalis, Enantiopus melanogenis


Endemic to Lake Tanganyika.


Males become much more vibrantly coloured than females during spawning. Females are smaller than males.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Best kept in a group in a large species tank. Can be kept with other Xenotilapia species, or Ophthalmotilapia and Cyathopharynx, but prefer to have a tank to themselves. Keep in groups of 8 or more.


A carnivorous Cichlid that will take cichlid pellets and flake, as well as insect larvae, artemia and daphnia.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day. The feeding of meaty foods over flakes or pellets means the fish will be in optimum condition for breeding.

Environment specifics[edit]

Must have a sand substrate as they will nest build. Sharp decor is not recommended in case this fish gets startled and injures itself in panic. All they really need is the sand substrate, and maybe some light planting around the edges, but nothing more. They really need a long tank, so a long shallow tank, around 5', with a secure lid would suit them well in order to have several males. They also love bright light. A dim tank will result in no breeding activity.


An active cichlid that can be easily startled by sudden movements near the tank. Will dig nests in the sand during spawning.


This is a very slender, elongate cichlid with a body being 5-6 times as long as high and with a rather long snout. It reaches a total length of approximately 15cm in the wild, but it can grow slightly bigger in captivity. The colouration on the males when they are displaying is quite striking, the body is iridescent silver in both sexes, but when displaying the male has yellow, blue and black coloured dorsal, caudal, anal and pectoral fins, he will also puff out his gill plates which are yellow with a black bar.



External links[edit]