Natron Tilapia (Alcolapia alcalicus)

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Natron Tilapia

Alcolapia alcalica.jpg
Natron Tilapia

Alcolapia alcalicus

114 Litres (30 US G.)

10.2-11.7cm (4-4.6 ")




8.0 - 10.0

25.6-37.8°C (78 -100 °F)

10-35 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-8 years



Additional names

Natron Tilapia, Soda Cichlid, Lake Natron Tilapia

Additional scientific names

Alcolapia alcalica, Oreochromis alcalica, Oreochromis alcalicus, Oreochromis alcalicus alcalicus, Sarotherodon alcalica, Sarotherodon alcalicum alcalicum, Tilapia alcalica


Endemic to Lake Natron, Tanzania, Africa.


Mature males will be larger than females and have brighter colours.

Tank compatibility[edit]

This Cichlid is relatively peaceful but can be territorial towards conspecifics, with enough hiding places in a spacious tank, however, this shouldn't be a problem. Due to their water chemistry needs they are best kept in species tanks.


These are omnivorous Cichlids which should have a varied diet of both live/frozen foods such as daphnia and bloodworm as well as high quality Cichlid pellets, but also be supplemented with vegetable matter. May also graze on some types of algae.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Requires a spacious tank with sand substrate and a lot of rocky decor in which to hide, they will dig. Plants are not found in their natural environment so are not required for this fish. This fish originates from very hot alkaline springs and therefore tolerates quite extreme water chemistry, very alkaline water which is exceptionally warm. In the wild they have been found in water measuring 43.3°C (110°F) ! In the aquarium they are best kept in very alkaline, pH must be over 8.0, and warm conditions of around 27.8-32.2°C (82-90°F) .


An unusual fish in that it's origins are exceptionally extreme and would kill most other fish. Due to the extremely hot water they originate from, they can safely gulp air from the surface, although this is seen less in captivity, and excrete waste differently to other fish. In temperament they are territorial towards conspecifics but not overly aggressive.


An elongate Cichlid with a large rounded head. It has a large dorsal fin, considerably larger and sail-like in males, and is green-yellow in colour with blue iridescence and faint vertical dark banding. The fins are edged with red colouration.



Soda Cichlids:


External links[edit]