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Cyprichromis sp. "leptosoma jumbo" (Kitumba)

No scientific description


Kitumba males. Image quality is poor, but it does illustrate the multitude of colour-schemes, characteristic for this variant

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Distribution and variants: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika, at Kitmuba.
Size:

Male 13-16 cm Female 9-11 cm.

Sex differences: Adult males are clearly more colourful than females, which are mostly brownish, sometimes with a little colour to the anal and dorsal fins.
Natural diet:

Animal plankton, caught in mid-water, with the highly protrudable mouth.

Biotopes and general behavior: This species lives in large schools in the open water along steep rocky slopes. The schools often consists of more than 10000 specimens, typically made up from several different species. The school is divided into different "classes", with dominant males keeping stationary territories, whose borders are defined in both horisontal and vertikal direction, exclusively based on their mutual position. Fertile females roam together through these territories, to let themselves get lured into breeding by suitable males. A female is perfectly capable of breeding with more than one male in a batch of eggs. Brooding females forms a third part of the school, and stick together until they release the fry.
Breeding behavior: Maternal mouthbrooder. The males form large schools, with each specimen holding a territory of roughly 3x3x3 feet. With a complex system of signals, using mouth and fins, the male lures the female into His territory, where the breeding takes place. For the actual breeding, the couple positions Themselves with the male above and behind the female, which deposits an egg, and immediately collects it. The male slides down in front of the female, signalling with the characteristically coloured abdominal fins, making the female snapping at them, and in this moment releasing a cloud of semen, fertilizing the newly collected egg. This is repeated (not necessarily with the same male) until the female has released all eggs. The female is brooding for about 3-4 weeks, after which the fry is released into the schools of juveniles, always abundant along the shore, and the parenting is over. A batch of fry can be anything from 4 to 20.

Typical brooding female
Temperatures and water:

24-27 degrees Celsius. PH: 7-8 DH: 12-30

Feeding: Dry food with predominantly protein-rich content, frozen cyclops, artemia and mysis. Shrimpmix is a fine additive, adding to the intensity of colours.
Tank size: 530L/150 cm.
Best kept as: A school, consisting of no less than 10 specimens, preferably more.
Tank decoration and behavior: The tank, ideally 2 meter or more in length, and preferrably fairly heigh, should be decorated with emphasis on free swimming space, but also with opportunities for the fish to get out ofsight of each other, should the need arise. A few large rocks, with a couple ofsmaller rocks stacked together,perhaps with an artificial background or some modules will do fine. Water movement should be fairly strong 5-6 times the tank volume/hour).  "Leptosoma jumbo" is cnsiderably more aggressive than the smaller relative C. leptosoma, which necessitates more care, regarding the tank`s decoration and the number of specimens in the school. Typically the fish gather in a school, keeping a distance to the one or more territorial males, which in turn try to keep a part of the tank free of competitors, aggresively defending their territories.
Suggested tankmates: Kitumba`s do fine with most other fish, provided these are not big enough to eat them, but ideally their tankmates should predominantly be selected from bottom/rockdwelling species. Good subjects could be hardy species of sand-dwellers from the genera Callochromis, substrate breeders of almostany kind, different catfish of the genera Synodontis and the goby-cichlid Tanganicodus irsacae. Adversely, the more delicate sand-dwellers are not particularly suited, as they often tend to be bullied by the lively Kitumba`s, and the sames goes for Paracyprichromis nigripinnis, which will mostly do OK, but never show itself in full splendor.
Breeding: If the fish thrive, fry is almost inevitable, but if a high survival rate is desired, the broding females should be isolated, 14-18 days after breeding. The fry is capable of ingesting both cyclops- and artemia nauplia right from the start, and this can be supplemented with crushed dry food.
As with other Cyprichromis, the males display more than one colour-scheme, even if they are collected at the same spot, but it is even more pronounced, since it does not only involve the typical difference of yellow or blue tail, but covers the entire fish, in an endless variation of schemes in colours of blue, yellow and even black, from an even colour to the whole body, to variations in all three. Furthermore, these schemes vary on the particular specimen most of it`s life. According to Ad Konings, they end up as unicoloured, either yellow or blue, but this information is not confirmed from anyone else.

Examples of the multitude of colour schemes found with "Kitumba"
Extra information The fish we know as "leptosoma jumbo" could probably turn out to be several different species, when in time they are properly described. Hence, this profile was made specifically for the variant from Kitumba in Congo (Democratic republic of Congo). From an aquaristic point of view, it is safe to say, that the conditions stipulated here, will also do fine with any other variant, as the Kitumba is the largest and most aggressive of them all.
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