The Buttikoferi is among the most belligerent of African Cichlids
by Mike McEwan
Tilapia buttikoferi is a large and popular Cichlid. It comes from West
Africa and is one of the largest of all African Cichlids.
This is one of the most belligerent African Cichlids. In its natural state it holds a large territory, and if you wish to house one in an aquarium with other fish, you must provide a suitably large tank. Provide large rocks as territories for the fish.
In nature, it spends its time among rocks, pecking over the bottom in search of food. In the aquarium it is a less specialized feeder, greedily accepting worms, beef heart, raw fish, pellets, and peas.
This fish thrives in most waters and does not require the same hard, alkaline conditions that most other africans do. They are not shy fish, so bright lighting isn't a problem either.
T. buttikoferi is an open-breeding substrate-spawner. Once a pair is
formed, both of them excavate a large pit with the intention of spawning on
the solid base below. Spawning takes place with the pair alternating egg
laying and fertilization. In the wild, the fry are preyed upon relentlessly
and so spawns are big. The fish is highly aggressive at spawning time and
pairs often fight in the confines of an aquarium.