Cyphotilapia Gibberosa vs Frontosa: Detailed Comparison

Both cyphotilapia Gibberosa and Frontosa are well charming for an aquarium. But before buying them for aquariums or tanks, getting confused is normal. Because their looks are almost the same.

A million dollar question from an aquarist is-Cyphotilapia Gibberosa vs Frontosa, which one to choose?

The family is the same in gibberosa and the frontosa. So, the differences are not much. Cyphitilapia gibberosa are bluish than the frontosa. gibberosa’s lifespan is 5-8 years and frontosas is almost 15+ years. The average size of gibberosa is approximately 30 cm and frontosa are approx. 40 cm.

Let’s know their differences in detail.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa vs Frontosa : Short Comparison

We can’t only rely on the looks of the fish, right? We need to think about their nature, food habits, the average size of an adult fish, the required environment, etc.

So, before choosing between cyphotilapia gibberosa and frontosa, let’s know their features first.

            FeaturesCyphotilapia Gibberosa    Cyphotilapia Frontosa
Common NamesCichlid gibberosa, Frontosa blue zaire,Mpimbwe blue frontosa cichlidHumphead cichlid,Front cichlid, Frontosa cichlid
OriginTanganiya Lake, East AfricaTanganiya Lake, East Africa
FamilyCichlid Cichlid
Color and LooksBlue ( more bluish than the frontosa) or purple Less hump in the headBlue, gray,white Humpheaded
NatureGenerous for cichlid, Rapacious to small creatures (more preyed fish than frontosa)More generous than gibberosa,Active, sometimes shy.
Food HabitCarnivorous, sometimes omnivorousPiscivorous, carnivorous 
Required Environment of the aquariums or tankMinimum Tank Size – 208-210 Litter (55 US Gallon) Water type-Fresh water Temp. ( 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit) PH level -7.5-8.Minimum tank size- 283-285 liters (75 US Gallon) Water type- Fresh Water Temperature (72-82 Degrees Fahrenheit) PH level – 7.8-8.2
Average size; Breeding way22-25.5 cm( approx.); mouth brooding23-30 cm (approx); mouth brooding
Lifespan5 to 8 years15+ years
Average Size price40-50 dollars(approx.)30-40 dollars (approx.)

Now let’s know these characteristics in detail to understand more clearly.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa vs Frontosa: In Details

We need to think about whether the fishes can be raised with other families or species or not.

So, which cyphotilapia is perfect for our lake or aquarium? To choose the right one, we need to know the difference between both fishes.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa and cyphotilapia frontosa, by name, we know the genus of both fishes are the same. As their genus is the same, the family is also the same, which is cichlids.

For very many similarities, the cyphotilapia gibberosa are known as blue zaire frontosa sometimes.

So, the species is different in cyphotilapia gibberosa and frontosa. Because of this, there are not many differences between cyphotilapia frontosa and gibberosa.

But still their size, nature, price, and color differs slightly. Sometimes the food habits of frontosa and gibberosa don’t match.

Common Names

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa,Cyphotilapia Frontosa are the scientific names. Sometimes local sellers may not know these names. For this reason we need to know the common names also.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

The common names of the cyphotilapia gibberosa are cichlid gibberosa, frontosa blue zaire,Mpimbwe blue frontosa cichlid etc. 

The gibberosa looks almost like a frontosa. But, it is more blue than a frontosa.That’s why the cyphotilapia is also known as blue zaire frontosa.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

The cyphotilapia frontosa is commonly known as humphead frontosa. Also they are known as front cichlid,frontosa cichlid.

As the head of the cyphotilapia frontosa is humped, they are called humphead cichlids.


Both cyphotilapia gibberosa and frontosa’s origin is East Africa,in a lake named Tanganiya.

But there is a twist that the cyphotilapia gibberosa was found 100 years after cyphotilapia frontosa in the same lake.


The family of cyphotilapia gibberosa and frontosa are the same. And it is Cichlid.

That’s why they have similarities. For the similarities, they are called cousin fish too.

Color and Looks

For an aquarist, the color of the fish matters the most.Because colorful fishes increase the beauty of aquariums or lakes. 

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

Cyphotilapia gibberosa is dark blue in color. Sometimes you may find some purple cyphotilapia gibberosa.

So if you like these types of dark colors then you definitely should go for cyphotilapia gibberosa. Because of their dark bluish shade, they are commonly known as frontosa blue zaire.

Also the stripes number on the body of the cyphotilapia gibberosa are more than the cyphotilapia frontosa.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

The colors of cyphotilapia frontosa are blue,gray or white. But,the blue shade of the cyphotilapia frontosa is less than the cyphotilapia gibberosa.

 Also, the stripes numbers on the body are less than the cyphotilapia gibberosa. Chyphitilapia gibberosa has 3 to 4 stripes on their body.

But, the humphead has made the cyphotilapia frontosa more unique.


The nature of a fish is a very important matter to think about. Because, in the aquarium or in a lake or tank, we pet or raise various kinds of fish together.

So if the cyphotilapia is dangerous or predatory to other species,it will not be a happy incident for other fishes. So, let’s know their nature.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

Cyphotilapia gibberosa is generous to his own family. Like if you pet any other cichlid with cyphotilapia gibberosa, there will be no problem.

But for a tiny size creature the cyphotilapia gibberosa can be played as a prey.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Like cyphotelapia gibberosa,Cyphitipaia frontosa also behave friendly with the cichlids and cyphotilapia.

But Cyphitipaia’s are less predatory than the cyphotilapia gibberosa.

With cyphotilapia, we can pet clown loaches,synodontis catfish, peacock cichlids etc.

Food Habits

Knowing food habits is important before buying a new kind of fish for the aquarium.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa is mainly carnivorous. They eat redworms or shrimps or mixed fish foods.

But sometimes they behave like omnivores. That’s why they sometimes eat the plants in the aquariums.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Cyphotilapia Frontosa is mainly piscivorous and carnivorous.

They love to eat shrimp or any other small-sized fish. Also, they eat prawns, krill, earthworms.

Required Environment of The Tank or Aquariums

A suitable environment in the aquarium is important for both cyphotilapia gibberosa and cyphotilapia frontosa.

Without a suitable environment, they may die earlier.

So, always keep a pH meter with temperature Sensors. So that, if the temperature or pH downs or falls you get notified to take action.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

For the cyphotilapia gibberosa, the water type of the aquarium should be fresh water.

As they are fishes of deep water, the tank or aquarium should hold 208-210 Litter (55 US Gallon) of water. The temperature of the water should be 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. And the Ph level should be around neutral. Kind of 7.5-8.

There must be rocks or small caves made of rocks. Because cyphotilapia gibberosa’s nature is staying near rock caves.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Cyphotilapia is also a deep, freshwater fish. So the minimum tank size for the cyphotilapia Frontosa should be 283-285 Liters( 75 US Gallon). The temperature should be 72-82 Degrees Fahrenheit.

And the PH level should be 7.8-8.2. They also need rocks on the tank or aquariums like the cyphotilapia frontosa.

Average Size and Breeding Way

If you want to buy the Cyphotilapia for breeding, then you must know about their average size.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

The average size of cyphotilapia gibberosa is 22-25.5 c.m. But the male fish can grow more in length. Sometimes they can be 30 c.m.

The breeding process of cyphotilapia gibberosa is mouthbrooding.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

Cyphotilapia Frontosa’s average size is 23-30 Cm. The female fish can grow up to 25 cm and the male fish can grow up to 35 cm.

The cyphotilapia frontosa’s breeding way is similar to the gibberosa.


The lifespan of cyphotilapia gibberosa is less than the cyphotilapia frontosa. So if you want more long-living fishes in your tank, buy the cyphotilapia frontosa.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

The normal or natural lifespan of the cyphotilapia Gibberosa is 5-8 years.

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

The natural lifespan of the cyphotilapia frontosa is more than 15 years.

Average Size Price

Price and budget is always a matter before buying new fish for your aquariums.

Cyphotilapia Gibberosa

The average Size cyphotilapia price is around 40-50 dollars. 

Cyphotilapia Frontosa

The price of the average size of cyphotilapia frontosa is approximately 30-40 dollars approximately.

Final Verdict

The Cyphotilapia gibberosa is the bluest one among the genus cyphotilapia. So, the demand for it is comparatively more. That’s why the price of gibberosa is more than the frontosa.

On the other hand, cyphotilapia frontosa lives more than the gibberosa. The lifespan of the cyphotilapia frontosa is more than 15 years. Also, they are more peaceful than the gibberos.

Here is some good news. As both are from cichlid families they are humble towards each other. If you have the budget to buy both fishes then you can pet both of them together in one tank or aquarium.


Which Frontosa is the Most Blue in Color?

Blue zaire frontosa is the bluestone. This one is known as cyphotilapia gibberosa too.

What are the Different Types of Frontosa?

There are many types of frontosa. But mostly 8 types are common. Burundi six stripe frontosa,kipili frontosa,blue zaire frontosa are the most common.

Do Frontosa Like Rocks?

Yes. To give them a good environment, the aquarium must have colorful rocks and caves.

Wrapping Up

I hope now you know the differences between the cyphotilapia gibberosa vs frontosa.

You know that they are similar in many ways. But, if you want the bluish one then gibberosa is the perfect one. If lifespan and budget matter then cyphotilapia frontosa is the perfect one for your aquarium.

Howard Parker
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