Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

The Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”) is an endangered species found in Lake Nawampassa, a lake north of Lake Victoria that is part of the Kyoga Basin/ Victorian Nile drainage system.

Unfortunately, due to pollution and the introduction of the Nile Perch in it’s waters, the Kyoga Flameback like many other Lake Victoria species is a difficult acquisition for tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Male Kyoga Flamebacks acquire beautiful colors when fully mature.   Brilliantly colored with a mixture of yellow, lime green, and red; they have a broken lateral line and bars on their head and face that disappear and re-appear as their mood changes.

Female Kyonga Flamebacks also have a broken lateral line and bars on their head and face, but like most females of the species, have a plain silver to gold body color.

Although Kyonga Flamebacks are considered only mildly aggressive and are not a community fish, they can be housed with other less aggressive Cichlids.   Do not house them with Pundamilla or Mbuna type cichlids as these guys are way to aggressive for Kyoga’s.

A small colony of Kyonga Flamebacks can be housed in at least a 40 gallon aquarium with a sand or fine gravel substrate and several stacked rocks configured into caves, overhangs, and other hiding places.   Although plants are not necessary in this type of rocky Victorian type setup, Kyonga Flamebacks appreciate a couple of pieces of African Driftwood in their tank.   A wet/dry trickle filter or canister type filtration system along with a small power head and regular water changes is recommended to maintain the necessary water quality for this species.

Kyonga Flameback Cichlids are polygamous maternal mouth brooders that like most African Cichlids will readily breed in an aquarium environment with good water parameters.

Males will smooth out a spot for the female to drop her eggs and then try to entice ripe females to the spot by flashing their brilliant breeding colors and shaking their bodies.   When the eggs are deposited, the male fertilizes them as the female picks them up into her mouth.   She will hold the fertilized eggs in her mouth until the fry have developed and are ready to be released; typically a couple of weeks.    The fry are fully developed when released and are able to eat very finely crushed flake food.

In their natural habitat, Kyoga Flamebacks are omnivores that feed on vegetable matter and a variety of meats that they come across.   In an aquarium environment, they will eat just about anything, but a combination of Spirulina flakes, frozen foods, and a good quality African cichlid pellet will keep them healthy.

Like most omnivores, they should be fed a good balance of meaty foods with vegetable matter like fresh spinach, romaine lettuce, and fresh, frozen, or freeze dried brine shrimp fed as a “treat”.

Because of their endangered status, the Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”) is not common in the aquarium trade. Tropical fish keeping enthusiasts may acquire them from breeders, through on line cichlid forums, and specialty fish shops at a variety of prices.

Kyoga Flameback (Xystichromis “Kyoga Flameback”)

Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons
Care Level: Mildly Difficult
Temperament: Mildly Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 74-79°F, Gh 200 ppm, pH 7.5-8.6
Max. Size: 5″
Color Form: Red, Green, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Single species or Victoria community
Origin: Lake Nawampassa, Africa
Family: Cichlidae
Lifespan: 4 -10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Advanced

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