Hemichromis frempongi

My H. frempongi pair are breeding again.  This is their second spawn.  The first time around it was interesting to see how long they doggedly protected their fry.  All of the other jewel cichlids I have kept tended to lose interest after 4-6 weeks, eat whatever fry were still around and then spawn again.  This pair were still caring for their offspring twelve weeks after spawning, and the fry were starting to lose their juvenile color pattern.  At the end there were only 10 juveniles left (because I had been removing them steadily over a couple months), but the parents would still come charging out to defend them when anyone would appear in front of their tank.

H. frempongi is a very aggressive 5-spot jewel cichlid that is endemic to Lake Bosumtwe in Ghana.  Of the three 5-spot species (the other two are H. fasciatus and H. elongatus), this one is medium in size (the largest male I have ever seen was about 9″), the most ‘cleanly’ colorful and (in my opinion) the meanest.  Establishing a pair requires a lot of fry to grow out and more than a little luck.  I started with 24 one-inch fish, and six months later I was fortunate to have two left that were male and female… and not trying to kill each other.  It still took another 4 months before they spawned for the first time.

When the pair does not have fry they are shy and hide a lot.  When they have babies they are the polar opposite, as this video will show you.  These have become my favorite cichlids in my fish room.  They are entertaining, to say the least.  Enjoy.

31 Replies to “Hemichromis frempongi”

  1. White silica sand mixed with a little size 30 red flit gravel to darken it. The tank with the H. frempongi hs more red flint than I normally use.

      1. This tank is actually a 40-breeder. It is filtered with a Poret foam wall filter on the left side of the tank. A powerhead drives the filtration, though in most tanks with foam filters I use only air.

    1. Unfortunately, no. I returned home from my trip to Gabon and the only significant casualty was the female H. frempongi. That pair is no more, and I did not have any fry saved back.

  2. sorry to hear you lost your female , I am down to four from the fry I got from you, I had to separate one because he was killing all the rest and three I have together pretty much dont bother each other hopefully I can get a pair

  3. Do you still have or know someone who does have the hemichromis frempongi? I have these two and think they are probably males i thin them are the same species the ones you had but there are a few species that look a little alike. Can’t raise babies that way! Thanks, I hope all is well with your family and your fish.



    1. Jack… are you sure those are H. frempongi? The color in the video makes it hard to see, but they do not look very yellow and the spots are not very even. They look like they may be H. fasciatus. The color in the video makes them look pinkish, which is a color you will see on H. fasciatus, but I have not seen on H. frempongi. There are a few people who have them, but I have not seen anyone listing any for a long time. I would also like to find a group of 20-30 fry to raise out to get a new pair (my female was slaughtered last winter).

  4. Sorry I missed your reply. Scrolled too fast. Not absolutely sure of the species on the fish I have. Lighting is really poor in that tank. Still looking. Thanks. Jack

  5. [IMG]http://i715.photobucket.com/albums/ww154/Dannelsjack/SSC_5474.jpg[/IMG]


    They are pretty olive looking but do have some red cast to their lower sides. I am not that familiar with with subtle differences in the species but I would like groups of either or both. Jack

  6. Ted do you still have some of the Pelvicachromis taeniatus ‘Moliwe’ F1. Kevin, Michael and I are trying to place an order from your stock room. Thanks. Jack

  7. I found a guy with a couple spawns of elongatus if you are interested in getting some fry I can get extra. Probably 3 to 5 each plus shipping for small ones.

    dannelsjack@gmail,com is my email


        1. Hi Jack,

          Check with the members of MASI in St. Louis. That is where I got mine from, and someone there may still be breeding them.

  8. I think that guy quit but I will check again. One guy there has one as his avatar but he is not raising them any more. Thanks. Jack

  9. Hey Ted, still no luck here in KC or from the St. Louis folks. Hope all is well there. I am interested in your progress with the wild oscars. They are one of my favorite fish. Jack

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