Cichlids have seen some solid growth in their popularity within the fish keeping community in recent years and as usual, some types of cichlids have been more popular than others.
One of the winners is the frontosa cichlid that has continued to climb from strength to strength and although it was once an obscure, niche cichlid, it is now one of the top ten cichlid types kept within the hobby.
This has resulted in more and more people reaching out about caring for their pet frontosa cichlid with some people specifically asking about their frontosa cichlids growth rate recently.
Some of these questions are about their frontosa cichlid growing slowly too so we wanted to go over how you are also able to speed up your frontosa cichlids growth rate.
What Is The Standard Frontosa Cichlid Growth Rate?
The standard growth rate of a frontosa cichlid is around one inch per two months from fry to jouvanile but then the growth rate of the fish will slow to between one and two inches per year depending on the tank setup and diet.
Most male frontosa cichlids will top out at a maximum length of 12 inches and females will usually max out at around 10 inches in length when fully grown but there are some exceptions to this.
If you have a perfect environment in your tank while also offering the perfect diet, you may be able to help your frontosa cichlid grow at around three inches per year but for the most part, this is just not worth the time, effort, and money required.
It is totally natural for the frontosa cichlids growth rate to slow for both males and females once they get to the four to five inch length mark and the fish will usually eat far less than it used to too.
This can sometimes worry people who are new to keeping a frontosa cichlid in their tanks but there is usually nothing to worry about.
Does Frontosa Grow Slowly?
The vast majority of frontosa cichlids will grow quite slowly but this is not really anything to worry about too much.
As we mentioned above, the frontosa cichlid has a standard growth rate of around one inch per two months when fry but this growth rate does slow down as they mature.
Other types of cichlid can grow much faster than this but the other types of cichlids that grow at a faster pace can often be far more aggressive than a frontosa cichlid.
You have to factor this in when considering keeping a frontosa cichlid vs another type of cichlid as the frontosa cichlid tends to be calm as far as cichlids go unless its their breeding window so they tend to work better in more tank setups as the list of tank mates you can keep with them without issue with aggression is far larger.
How Do You Speed Up The Growth Of Cichlids?
As we touched on earlier in the article, in some situations, there are a number of things that you are able to do to increase your frontosa cichlids growth rate.
Depending on the current growth rate of your frontosa cichlid, this will only increase the growth rate to one to two inches per year while also taking a surprisingly large amount of time and effort so most people will be better off just leaving their frontosa cichlid to grow at the rate that it is.
Offer An Optimal Diet!
One of the things that you are able to do that will help your frontosa cichlid to grow faster is offer them an optimal diet and this usually comes in the form of live foods.
The vast majority of people who own a frontosa cichlid tend to feed their fish a diet that consists mostly of pellets with maybe the odd bit of frozen food but this diet is not going to offer the nutrients that are needed for your fish to grow at its fastest possible rate.
To help your frontosa cichlid grow as fast as possible, you need to be feeding them a diet that consists mostly of whole foods that are meat. The don’t have to be live as freeze dried or frozen products can work well too.
The frontosa cichlid is an ambush predator that is a carnivore too, a very common mistake that we see is people feeding their cichlids generic fish food pellets designed for omnivores rather than pellets designed for carnivores.
As you may be able to expect, the frontosa cichlid is not able to process plant based foods so they get a very small amount of usable calories from these omnivorous pellet foods so if you do take the pellet path, be sure that they are pellets designed for cichlids or at least carnivorous fish.
Avoid Overfeeding The Fish!
You may be wondering how overfeeding your fish can actually be a bad thing when you are trying to get them to grow as quickly as possible but it really is something that you need to avoid doing.
Overfeeding your fish will not help them grow any faster and will usually result in the fish growing at a slower pace than it would have if you had been feeding it the correct amount.
This is a very common mistake and many people seem to think that more calories will increse growth rate but the more calories your frontosa cichlid has to process, the more natural hormones that its body will release and some of these are able to stunt growth.
Overfeeding your fish will also result in a lot of uneaten food sinking to the bottom of the tank and decaying which will lead to a spike in ammonia levels which is something that can be very harmful to your fish too and stop your frontosa cichlid growing quickly as we will cover in our next section.
Maintain Suitable Water Parameters!
One of the most important things that you need to do if you want to help your frontosa cichlid grow quickly is maintain suitable water parameters as unsuitable water conditions are often one of the main reasons why a fish is unable to reach its full potential growth rate.
Now, depending on your tank setup and the various tank mates that you keep in your tank with your frontosa cichlid, you may have to keep your frontosa cichlid in unsuitable parameters for growth to protect the other fish in the tank.
This is very common and usually has no other side effects on your frontosa cichlid other than slowing its growth rate but keeping a frontosa cichlid in a community tank with fish that require drastically different water parameters is not a good idea if you want your frontosa cichlid to grow as fast and as large as possible.
Reduce Stress In The Tank!
One of the things that you need to do if you want your frontosa cichlid to grow quickly is try to reduce stress in the tank as much as possible.
Stress is one of the main reasons why fish are unable to reach their full potential growth rate and there are a lot of things that can cause stress in a fish tank.
One of the most common stressors in a fish tank is high levels of ammonia and nitrites so be sure to keep these at 0 ppm as much as possible.
Other stressors include bullying from other fish, poor water quality, hunger and many more so be sure to try and identify any potential stressors in your tank and remove them if possible.
Deal With Parasites Quickly!
If your frontosa cichlid does become infected with parasites, it is important to deal with them quickly as parasites are one of the main reasons why fish are unable to reach their full potential growth rate.
Parasites can rob a fish of vital nutrients that it needs to grow and they can also cause a lot of stress which we have already covered is one of the main reasons why fish are unable to reach their full potential growth rate.
So, if you do notice any parasites on your frontosa cichlid, be sure to treat them quickly with a suitable parasite treatment.