Send your inquiry of Compressed Cichlid (Altolamprologus compressiceps) to our email :
The Compressed Cichlid Altolamprologus compressiceps is specialized for life in its natural habitat with some distinguishing features. The species name “compressiceps” is derived from its very laterally compressed head and body. It also has a high back and deep mouth. Other common names it is known by include Compressiceps Cichlid, Lamp Compressiceps, and Comps Cichlid.
This cichlid’s unusual body shape is adapted for the only environment it inhabits in the wild, rocky rubble areas. It is not found where there are sandy substrates or even where the rocks are covered with silt or sediment. Its shape allows it to to slip easily through narrow cracks and crevices in rocks. There it hides and preys on small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
It is closely related to a very similar looking relative, the White Pearly CalvusAltolamprologus calvus. But although these two look much the same, there are several differences. The Compressiceps has a pattern of bold pronounced vertical barring with very subdued, indistinct spots while the Calvus is brightly spotted with less distinct stripes. In body the Compressiceps is thicker in width, has a higher back, and has a sloping forehead with a blunt upturned snout. The Calvus has a longer, shallower body giving it a more streamlined appearance. The Compressiceps also grows larger, reaching up to 6 – 7 inches, while the smaller Calvus is only attains a length of about 5 – 6 inches.
There are several geographic color variations of this cichlid. Overall its body is patterned with between 8 to 12 dark vertical bars and white to bluish spots. But its color can range in a variety of hues from dark browns, to reds, yellows or rusty oranges. Different variations are often named for their locality and/or color, some of which are the Altolamprologus compressiceps “Gold Head Muzi”, “Chaitika Orange”, “Gold Head Kasanga”, “Gold Head Mutondwe”, and “Nangu”.
One of the most unique Compressiceps is a dwarf, shell dwelling variant. It is commonly known as the Altolamprologus compressiceps “Sumbu Dwarf” or “Sumbu Shell”. In looks pretty much like the others, but with yellowish orange pectoral fins and it is usually smaller. Reportedly it can grow almost as large as the others in captivity, but in the wild the males will only reach about 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) in length and the females between 1 3/4 to 2 inches (4.5 – 5 cm). In behavior it is similar as well, except for its preferred home. The Compressed Cichlids will inhabit the deep crevices of rocks and boulders and occasionally large shells, so can be called “opportunistic shell dwellers”. But this variant is a natural shell dweller, inhabiting and breeding in shells.
This is a good fish for the intermediate and experienced cichlid keeper. It is moderate to easy to care for, however it can be a somewhat picky eater until established and is susceptible to disease. Many specimens are wild caught, and a wild caught fish is as fragile as it is handsome. Captive breed specimens are generally more durable and easier to acclimate. An aquarium best suited to this fish would be at least 40-50 gallons with a sandy bottom and lots of rock formations for hiding places. Though plants are not essential, this cichlid does not burrow and will not harm them.
These cichlids are usually quiet and peaceful with other fish. They can be kept in a community aquarium as long as the tank mates are not too small. Only a single pair should be kept in a community tank with other Lake Tanganyika cichlids as it can get territorial with its own species. To keep more than one will take a larger aquarium to make sure there is lots of room.
Just a word of caution, despite the quiet fragile nature of the Compressed Cichlid it does have some defenses. They are not usually an aggressor, but if attacked by another fish they do have tough sharp scales on their flanks. They will defend themselves by bending their body to extend these sharp scales. They need this protection because they are sensitive to any type of jaw locking. Their jaws are sensitive and easily dislocated. Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod also cautions when handling this fish, to do it carefully. In his book, Starting Your Tropical Aquarium, he says, “its dorsal fin spines are very sharp and cause an unpleasant itching if the skin is pierced”. So if you do handle it, do so with care.
Stocklist of our Cichlids Fish (Click the picture below) :
Video of Compressed Cichlid (Altolamprologus compressiceps)
Infographic of Compressed Cichlid (Altolamprologus compressiceps)
Stocklist of our Tropical Fish / Aquarium Fish / Ornamental Fish (Click the picture below) :