15 Wonderful Fish With Big Foreheads

15 wonderful fish with big foreheads

Fish with big foreheads, also known as “nuchal humps,” are often members of the cichlid family, which includes a variety of species known for their diverse appearance and behavior

The nuchal hump is a unique feature found in many cichlids, especially in Lake Malawi, Africa, and is more common in males. This characteristic has been of great interest and study to aquarium enthusiasts and researchers. The dimensions and visibility of the nuchal hump may differ relying on aspects such as heredity, nourishment, and general well-being.

It is believed that the Fish with big foreheads takes part in mating rituals and dominance displays between species. Apart from cichlids, alternative aquatic species, like the Flowerhorn Cichlid, have been intentionally bred to possess substantial nape bulges, boosting their attractiveness in aquarium commerce. So we’re going to take a look at 15 wonderful fish with big foreheads.

Key Point

    • The large forehead, or nuchal hump, is a distinguishing feature in many cichlid species, particularly those from Lake Malawi in Africa.
    • In some species, such as the Frontosa Cichlid, the size of the nuchal hump can be used to differentiate between males and females.
    • The nuchal hump is believed to play a role in mating rituals and dominance displays within the species.
    • Big-headed fishes, especially cichlids, can be territorial and aggressive, especially when breeding, and defending their territory.
    • Fish with big foreheads, especially cichlids, require a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment.

    List Of Fish With Big Foreheads


    1. Frontosa Cichlid

    Frontosa Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Cyphotilapia frontosa
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 14 inches
    • Water type: freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Frontosa Cichlid, native to East Africa’s Lake Tanganyika, is a remarkable freshwater fish with an eye-catching appearance. Its most distinct feature is a prominent, forehead protrusion that is more prominent in males. This nuchal hump serves a purpose in the species’ mating rituals and dominance displays.

    Rocky areas with sandy bottoms are the preferred habitats for Frontosa Cichlids. As omnivores, they consume a diverse diet consisting of small fish, crustaceans, and algae. In captivity, a well-rounded diet of pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods can sufficiently nourish them.

    These cichlids are popular among aquarium enthusiasts due to their impressive size, striking appearance, and relatively peaceful demeanor. However, they require a large tank with plenty of hiding spaces and a stable water environment to thrive. With proper care, Frontosa Cichlids can live for over 15 years in captivity.


    2. Red Devil Cichlid

    Red Devil Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Amphilophus labiatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 15 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Red Devil Cichlid is a large and aggressive freshwater fish native to Central America, particularly found in the lakes and rivers of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Red Devil Cichlid is aptly named for its fiery red coloration and its aggressive nature. It is a territorial fish that can be quite aggressive towards other fish, especially durin’ breedin’ and when defendin’ its territory. Due to its aggressive behavior, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    In terms of care, the Red Devil Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that can be fed a diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods. With proper care, the Red Devil Cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity.


    3. Flowerhorn Cichlid

    Flowerhorn Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Hybrid
    • Family: Cichlidae family
    • Size: 8-16 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Flowerhorn Cichlid is a hybrid fish resultin’ from the selective breedin’ of various cichlid species. Known for its vivid colors, unique patterns, and prominent forehead hump, this fish has gained popularity among aquarium enthusiasts worldwide.

    Originally bred in Malaysia and Taiwan, Flowerhorn Cichlids are believed to bring good luck and accordin’ to Feng Shui principles. They are also known for their aggressive behavior, which can vary depending on individual temperament and tank mates.

    This big forehead fish’s distinctive appearance is the result of careful breedin’, with breeders selectin’ for traits such as large nuchal humps, bright colors, and intricate patterns. This fish can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reachin’ over a foot in length.


    4. Green Terror Cichlid

    Green Terror Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Andinoacara rivulatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 8-10 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Green Terror Cichlid is a striking freshwater fish native to South America, particularly found in the rivers and streams of Peru and Ecuador. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Green Terror Cichlid is named for its vibrantly green coloration and its aggressive nature. It is a territorial fish that can be quite aggressive towards other fish, especially during breed and when defending its territory. Due to its aggressive behavior, it is best to keep it in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    In terms of care, the Green Terror Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment.


    5. Oscar Cichlid

    Oscar Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Astronotus ocellatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 12-14 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Oscar Cichlid is a large and popular freshwater fish native to South America, particularly found in the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Oscar Cichlid is known for its striking appearance, with a variety of color morphs available in the aquarium trade. It has a distinctive ocellus, or eye spot, on its tail fin, which is thought to serve as a deterrent to predators.

    These fish with a fat forehead are also known for their intelligence and can be trained to recognize their owner and perform tricks. In terms of care, the Oscar Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment.


    6. Parrot Cichlid

    Parrot Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Hoplarchus psittacus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 8-10 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Parrot Cichlid is a unique and controversial hybrid fish that has become popular in the aquarium trade. It is a crossbreed between various cichlid species, including the Midas Cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) and the Redhead Cichlid (Vieja synspila), among others.

    The Parrot Cichlid is known for its unusual appearance, with a round, bulbous body, a beak-like mouth, and bright colors ranging from red to orange. This fish has been the subject of much debate and controversy due to its unusual appearance and the methods used to create it.

    In terms of care, the Parrot Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that with proper care, the parrot cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity.


    7. Texas Cichlid

    Texas Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Herichthys cyanoguttatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 12-15 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Texas Cichlid is a freshwater fish native to the southern United States and northeastern Mexico. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Texas Cichlid is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and a protruding forehead. It is a relatively aggressive species that can be territorial, especially during breeding and when defending its territory. Due to its aggressive behavior, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    In terms of care, the Texas Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that with proper care, the Texas Cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity.


    8. Managuense Cichlid

    Managuense Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Parachromis managuensis
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 18-24 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Managuense Cichlid is a large and aggressive freshwater fish native to Central America, particularly found in the lakes well rivers of Nicaragua and Honduras! It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Managuense Cichlid is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and fish with a large forehead. It is a territorial fish that can be quite aggressive towards other fish, especially during breeding and well when defending its territory. Because of its aggressive behavior, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own!

    Managuense Cichlid require a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment… It is an omnivorous species that can be fed a diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods! With proper care, the Managuense Cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity…


    9. Redhead Cichlid

    Redhead Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Vieja synspila
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 10-12 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Redhead Cichlid is a large and colorful freshwater fish native to Central America, particularly found in the lakes and rivers of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras! It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Redhead Cichlid is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and a protruding forehead… It is a territorial fish that can be quite aggressive towards other fish, especially during breeding and when defending its territory!!! Because of its aggressive behavior, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own!

    Redhead cichlids require a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that can be fed a diet of high-quality pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods! With proper care, the Redhead Cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity.


    10. Firemouth Cichlid

    Firemouth Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Thorichthys meeki
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 6-8 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Firemouth Cichlid is a very popular freshwater fish found in Central America. It can be seen in the rivers and streams of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This fish belongs to the cichlid family, which has a wide variety of species and behaviors.

    The Firemouth Cichlid gets its name from its special look. It has got a big, round head and a forehead that sticks out. Compared to other cichlids, it is kind of peaceful, but it can get very territorial, specifically during breeding and when it is defending its territory. This means that it is best to keep it in a tank with just one species or with bigger, strong fish that can handle themselves.

    To properly care for the Firemouth Cichlid, it needs a big tank with lots of places to hide and a water environment that stays stable. It is an omnivorous species that, with the right care, the Firemouth Cichlid can live for more than a decade in captivity.


    11. Jack Dempsey Cichlid

    Jack Dempsey Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Rocio octofasciata
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 8-10 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Jack Dempsey Cichlid is a very big and colorful freshwater fish found in Central America. It is usually found in the rivers and streams of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. This fish belongs to the cichlid family, which has a wide variety of species and behaviors.

    The Jack Dempsey Cichlid is named after its unique look. It has got a big, round head and a forehead that sticks out. Compared to other cichlids, it is kind of peaceful, but it can get very territorial, specifically during breeding and when it is defending its territory.

    Due to this territorial nature, it is best to keep the Jack Dempsey Cichlid in a tank with just one species or with bigger, strong fish that can handle themselves. A big tank with lots of hiding spots and a stable water environment is needed for the Jack Dempsey Cichlid. It is an omnivorous species that, with the right care, the Jack Dempsey Cichlid can live for more than a decade in captivity.


    12. Convict Cichlid

    Convict Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Amatitlania nigrofasciata
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 4-6 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Convict Cichlid is a popular and hardy freshwater fish native to Central America, particularly found in the rivers and streams of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of species and behaviors.

    The Convict Cichlid is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and a prominently protruding forehead. It is a relatively peaceful species compared to other cichlids, yet it can become territorial, especially during breeding and when defending its territory. Due to its territorial nature, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    The Convict Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that can be fed a diet of high-quality pellets, fish flakes, and live or frozen foods. With proper care, the Convict Cichlid can potentially live for over a decade in captivity.


    13. Red Shoulder Severum

    Red Shoulder Severum
    • Scientific name: Heros efasciatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 8-10 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Red Shoulder Severum is a beautiful and popular freshwater fish native to South America, particularly found in the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. It is a member of the cichlid family, which is known for its diverse range of different species and behaviors.

    The Red Shoulder Severum is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and somewhat protruding forehead. It is a relatively peaceful species compared to other cichlids, but at the same time, it can become territorial, especially during breeding and when defending its territory. Due to its territorial nature, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    Red Shoulder Severum requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that with some proper care, the Red Shouldered Severum can live for over a decade in a contained environment.


    14. Jewel Cichlid

    Jewel Cichlid
    • Scientific name: Hemichromis bimaculatus
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 4-6 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Jewel Cichlid is a stunning and well-liked freshwater fish native to Western Africa, mainly discovered in the rivers and streams of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. It belongs to the cichlid family, recognized for its wide range of species and behaviors.

    The Jewel Cichlid gets its name from its unique look, sporting a big, rounded head and a jutting forehead. It is relatively peaceful compared to other cichlids but can get territorial, particularly during breeding and when defending its territory. Because of its territorial tendencies, it is recommended to keep it in a tank with only its species or with other large, sturdy fish that can stand their ground.

    By the way, the Jewel Cichlid requires a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species that with proper care, the Jewel Cichlid can live for over a decade in captivity.


    15. Peacock Bass

    Peacock Bass
    • Scientific name: Cichla ocellaris
    • Family: Cichlidae
    • Size: 20-30 inches
    • Water type: Freshwater
    • Aquarium friendly? Yes

    The Peacock Bass is a sizable and aggressive freshwater fish native to South America, primarily found in the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. It is a member of the cichlid family, known for its wide range of species and behaviors.

    The Peacock Bass is named for its distinctive appearance, with a large, rounded head and a protruding forehead. It is a territorial fish that can be quite aggressive towards other fish, especially during breeding and when defending its territory. Due to its aggressive behavior, it is best kept in a species-only tank or with other large, robust fish that can hold their own.

    By the way, These fish with big foreheads require a large tank with plenty of hiding spots and a stable water environment. It is an omnivorous species. With proper care, peacock bass can live for over a decade in captivity.


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