Tilapia joka

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Tilapia joka is a species of cichlid fish from Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa. It is an oval shaped fish with a black body coloring. Eight to nine yellow, transverse stripes mark the body. The head has small, irregular yellow lines that extend from the eye to the snout, forehead, and mouth. It is one of the few tilapia species that are kept in aquariums.


Tilapia joka normally grows to in nature, not usually larger than in aquaria. It originates from West Africa; found near the banks of clear rivers and tributaries of the lower parts of the Moa and Moro Rivers, southern Sierra Leone and northern Liberia and lives from the middle to the bottom of the river. Males have an elongated anal and dorsal fins and, with age, have white tips on their fins. In the wild, its diet is mainly herbivorous with some live foods taken.

Tilapia joka is a peaceful, calm species that does well when combined with fish that have a similar temperament. Although it is territorial it will not harm other fishes. Pairs form monogamous bonds and later patriarch/matriarch families.

Special interest for aquarists

A tank with the dimensions of 48" (122 cm) with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L) is sufficient. The tank should have hiding places created by caves, rock structures, roots, and wood. Use robust plants along the back and sides of the aquarium. Use a fine gravel or sand substrate. The water should be clear and well-aerated. Use an effective filtration...
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