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Fish Guide


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Altolamprologus calvus
Altolamprologus calvus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Altolamprologus
Poll, 1986
  • Altolamprologus calvus
  • Altolamprologus compressiceps

Altolamprologus is a small genus of cichlids with only two species. Both species are laterally compressed cichlids which prey primarily on invertebrates, though will also consume fry of other fish. The species both inhabit areas of the lake with large amounts of rock, most frequently in water two to ten metres in depth. Some authors (eg: Konings, 1998) include Neolamprologus fasciatus in the genus Altolamprologus.


Altolamprologus calvus

A. calvus (Poll, 1978) is a cichlid endemic to Lake Tanganyika in east Africa. The species has greatly laterally compressed body and a high dorsal fin. The fish may grow to 13 cm (5 inches), though are normally smaller. While not highly sexually dimorphic males tend to grow more quickly and to a larger size than most females.

Altolamprologus compressiceps

Altolamprologus compressiceps (Boulenger, 1898) is physically similar to A. calvus, though it is deeper bodied and has a shorter snout than A. calvus.

a young Altolamprologus compressiceps (gold form), in an aquarium
a young Altolamprologus compressiceps (gold form), in an aquarium

In the aquarium

Altolamprologus species is not difficult to keep, if given the standard Lake Tanganyikan water parameters. The species can be a challenge to breed for the novice. It is a very slow-growing species that can take two years to grow from 2.5 cm (1 inch) to sexual maturity. The fish are both cave spawners and will spawn under terracotta pot saucers or in shells.


  • Altolamprologus (TSN 648018). Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed on 6 June 2006.
  • Konings A (1998) Tanganyikan cichlids in their natural habitat. Cichlid Press.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.