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Tropheus Red Lupota – Tropheus sp. Lupota



Common name: Tropheus Red Lupota

Scientific name: Tropheus sp. Lupota

Average Adult Fish Size: 15cm / 6 Inches

Place of Origin: Lake Tanganyika

Typical Tank setup: Rocky Tanganyika tank

Recommended Minimum Aquarium Capacity: 200 Litres

Compatibility: Tropheus cichlids should really be kept with other Tropheus however the following are also compatible:

  • Petrochromis
  • Julidochromis
  • Lamprologus
  • Spathodus
  • Eretmodus
  • Tanganicodus
  • Mbuna Malawi Cichlids

Take a look at our guide to keeping Tropheus cichlids with other fish.

Temperature: 24-27 Deg C / 74-79 Deg F

Water chemistry:  pH 7.6-8.6

Feeding: Spirulina-based flake food supplemented with fresh green vegetables such as romaine lettuce and spinach.

Sexing: Males tend to have a turned-up nose while females tend to have a greater slope and rounded nose. Males will also grow at a faster rate (generally) and display their adult colours sooner. Males’ coloration is also often more bold than females’ because they like to show it off when courting females. Adult males will also tend to have a deeper body, whereas females appear more slim and streamline. While these characteristics may help an experienced hobbyist, venting is the only sure way to determine gender with Tropheus.


Breeding: Males are quite territorial and are aggressive in their attempts to coax females to spawn. They never seem to tire of this either – males want to spawn every minute of the day. This fish should never be kept in 1:1 ratios. One male to three or four females is an ideal ratio, but keep in mind that the only correct way to keep this species in captivity is in a group of ten or more individuals. The most difficult challenge to breeding Tropheus is bringing the females into spawning condition.

Additional Information: Even though Tropheus species are hearty, keeping them is not without challenges. The Tropheus fish can be the most rewarding of cichlid to keep though due to the rich colouration and constant activity of the fish.

Coming from the south part of lake Tanganyika, this is one of the popular “red” species of Tropheus, often just going under the generic name of Tropheus Red. Although named as such, the red in the Tropheus Lupota is very mood dependant and varies a great deal depending on aquarium conditions and in very bare tanks this cichlid will exhibit an attractive red with very little dark pigmentation.

It is very close to the Moliro region of lake Tankanyika and is often mistaken as the popular Tropheus Moliro in the trade. As with many Tropheus in the ornamental fish trade, the Tropheus Lupota was first imported in to Europe for this reason around 1985 however is still not widely available which we believe is due to the thriving nature of the Moliro and availability of them being much greater.