OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN CICHLID SPECIES
Besides the three groups mentioned above, their are many other South American Cichlids.
in this book are fish of the generA: Astronotus,
Cichla, Cichlasoma, Crenicichla, Heros, Mesonauta, Pterophyllum, Symphysodon,
Oscar, Velvet Cichlid
Astronotus ocellatus SYN: Acara
ocellatus, Cychla rubroocellata, Hydrogonus ocellatus, Lobotes ocellatus PD: The body is moderately compressed and oval shaped.
The caudal fin is rounded, while the
anal and dorsal fins are often pointed.
Several different color variations are available, although the common
form is fairly uniform.
Juvenile fish are gray to black in color with a pink marbled-ring pattern on the body.
fish have a olive back with black and orange lower parts.
An obvious tail-spot can be seen near the caudal
SIZE: To 14" (35 cm)
crasspinnis of Peru.
HAB: South America; wide distribution from the Orinoco River Basin to the Rio Paraguay.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: A tank measuring 30" (76 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 (75-98 L) gallons is sufficient
for small individuals under 5" (13 cm) in length.
Adult fish require a tank measuring at least 72" (183 cm) with a capacity
of 100 gallons (378 L).
The tank should have a deep substrate with some large rocks.
Plants must be potted and robust with
their stems and root protected with rocks.
Arrange heaters so that they will not become unattached from the tank
The tank must have powerful filtration.
WATER: pH 6-8 (6.9), 4-20 dH (10), 72-79°F (22-26°C)
SB: A peaceful cichlid despite its large size.
Many make the mistake of placing the
Oscar in tanks with fish that are too aggressive.
The Oscar should be combined in a large community aquarium with other
Pairs become aggressive while spawning and participating in brood care.
Oscars will burrow in the substrate.
SC: Catfish (Loricarids, Pimelodids, Doradids), characins (Silver Dollars,
), cichlids (Severum, some Cichlasomines), Arawana, Knifefish.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms,
Tubifex, large insects, aquatic insects,
large crustaceans; chopped meat; pellets; tablets; spinach.
The Oscar is a greedy and messy eater.
SEX: Sexes are only distinguishable at spawning times when the female has a more obvious,
rounded genital papilla.
B: Breeding usually only takes place in a very large tank (i.e. 150 gallon-568 L).
water must be kept clean and at a warm temperature of 79-86°F (26-30°C).
Once a pair bonds, it may remain together
for over ten years, spawning on a regular basis.
As many as 2000 opaque, white eggs are laid on previously cleaned rocks.
eggs look like they have fungus, although the clear up after 24 hours.
If the eggs do not clear up in this
time, they probably do have fungus.
Both parents participate in brood care.
The eggs hatch after three to four days,
and the larvae are moved to shallow pits.
There the young remain until they are free-swimming six to seven days
Sometimes the young may affix themselves to the flanks of the parents.
Start feeding with roftiers,
nauplii, and Cyclops
The young grow quickly and are large enough for sale at 1" (2.5 cm).
Breeding is moderately difficult partly because of the large tank required.
eggs are susceptible to fungus.
Once a pair spawns successfully, regular spawnings can be expected.
R: Oscars are available in several colors do to selective breeding.
Common pattern morphs available are
the Tiger, Red, Albino, Jewel, and Veil-tail varieties.
The Oscar has a wide distribution which has lead to the debate over
Some of these populations are thought to be different species of Oscar, other than
The Oscar creates large amounts of waste in the tank, thus it is important to perform frequent
If the water is not maintained, the Oscars may become susceptible to hole-in-the-head disease.
wild-caught fish are imported, although these lack the colors of selectively-bred Oscars, and are more delicate.
are well-known for their fondness of their keeper.
After a few months, the Oscar can recognize its owner and without concern,
take food right from the keeper's hand.
A food fish in its native lands.
Care is moderately difficult because this carnivore reaches a large size and requires a
Do not buy this fish with intentions of keeping it in your 10-, even 20-gallon, tank.
Peacock Bass, Tucunarè, Lukanani
Cichla sp. affin ocellaris SYN: Acharnes
speciosus, Cichla argus, C. atabapensis, Crenicichla orinocensis, Cychla argus, C. trifasciata PD: A cichlid with a sloping forehead and an elongated body.
The back is silver-gray and marked with
three, broad transverse stripes.
The lower parts are yellow to gold, with a region marked with black splotches.
below the yellow area is an orange-red region, which also parallels the white belly.
The mouth is very large and faces towards
The pelvic, anal, and caudal fins are orange-red, and the dorsal fin is black.
An obvious, black eye-spot can be found
on the caudal fin near the caudal peduncle.
SIZE: To 36" (91 cm) in nature, although rarely larger than 24" (61 cm) in aquaria.
intermedia (Orinoco river in Venezuela),
Cichla monoculus (Peruvian Amazon),
(Orinoco River in Venezuela),
HAB: Found in large rivers and lakes in the Guyanas, Venezuela, and Brazil.
fish inhabits the following river systems: Lower Amazon, Lower Orinoco, Tocantins, and Xingu.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: This species is not recommended for private aquaria.
Fish over 12" (30 cm) in length
should be kept in a 72" (183 cm) tank with a capacity of 125 gallons (472 L), although a 96" (244 cm) or 220
gallon (832 L) is preferable.
Use large rocks and large, robust plants in the background to serve as hiding places.
the tank well-as this fish may take to the air when frightened.
The filter should be able to handle the copious
amounts of waste produced by this species.
WATER: pH 5.5-8 (7.1), 2-20 dH (8), 73-82°F (23-28°C)
SB: A large, predatory cichlid that is territorial towards others, especially of its own
The Peacock Bass should only be kept with other large, robust fish.
This fish is best kept in a species
This species will not damage plants.
Pairs form nuclear families.
SC: Arawana, larger Cichlasomines,
Crenicichla, larger Pimelodids and Loricarids,
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms,
Tubifex; chopped meat; tablets.
SEX: Males develop a hump when mature.
B: No reports of successful spawns in aquaria.
In nature, as many as 10,000 eggs are
laid in circular nest that are dug in the muddy shallows during the rainy season.
The parents are excellent, caring for
the young for four weeks, at which time they are 2" (5 cm), and the female is chased off by the male.
This fish has not been spawned in captivity.
R: Due to some recent reclassification of the various populations of
C. ocellaris, there are now four separate
Since imports come from all over, it is difficult to conclude which species one may have.
fish is not an aquarium fish, and never should have been considered one. This large cichlid is not particular about
water value, although it is sensitive to ammonia and nitrites.
The Peacock Bass is a messy eater who quickly
pollutes the tank.
Thus it is important to use strong filtration and make frequent partial water changes.
eye-spot on the caudal fin is believed to confuse piscivorous piranhas which try to nip at the tail fin.
popular angling species is said to be one of the strongest fighters around.
The Peacock Bass is raised in ponds
as a food fish.
This large fish, requiring a huge tank and live foods, is not an aquarium species.
Red Terror, Festa's Cichlid
"Cichlasoma" festae SYN: Heros
festae PD: An elongated cichlid with a sloping forehead.
The body color varies greatly depending
on the sex and age of the fish.
Adult males have a light green to iridescent green body with six to eight light blue to
black, transverse stripes.
The belly is rosy pink as is the throat.
The dorsal fin is bright blue and the last few
rays are violet.
The anal and caudal fins are violet-pink in color, and the pelvic fin is sky blue.
colors may vary depending on the population.
As if males were not colorful enough, females, in their spawning dress,
are bright fire red.
The body is marked with six to eight, transverse stripes.
The fins are also bright red, and the
dorsal fins has a large black spot.
The front rays of the dorsal in are black.
A black marking runs from the forehead
to the eye.
At non-breeding times, the female is still quite captivating with a sliver-red body color and red
fins, with the alternating black stripes.
SIZE: Males to 20" (50 cm), females not larger than 12" (30 cm).
SS: " Cichlasoma"
uropthalmus of Central America.
HAB: Found along shore areas of rivers.
South America; Western Ecuador, on the Pacific
TANK: For adult fish a tank greater than
48" (122 cm) is recommended.
fish can be easily kept in a 48" (122 cm) tank with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L), although with age, larger
tanks are required.
The tank should be large and roomy with open swimming areas.
Provide plenty of hiding places with
stable rock structures and caves.
This fish dig and will uproot plants.
Regular partial water changes must be performed
every 2-3 weeks.
pH 6-8 (7.0), dH 2-18 (8), 77-84°F (25-29°C)
SB: An extremely pugnacious and territorial fish.
The Red Terror can only be combined
with other large, robust fish.
The Red Terror can be combined in pairs.
Incompatible pairings may end in the death of
the weaker of the fish.
To avoid this problem, raise a group of juveniles until a strong pair forms.
family. SC: Larger Cichlasomines (
C. labiatum, C. managuense, C. octofasciatus, C. cyanoguttatus,
ect), Crenicichla, Cichla
species, Arawana, Pimelodids, Loricarids, Piranha, Silver Dollars.
Live; earthworms, fish, crickets, other large insects, shrimp, snails; pellets; tablets;
Males are larger.
Females retain the juvenile coloring of a bright red body color with
alternating black bands.
Sexual dichromatism occurs at 4-5" (10-13 cm).
This cichlid is a crave brooder and lays its egg in caves and in sheltered areas.
large pits are dug in the gravel before the eggs are laid.
Up to 3000 eggs, that are larger than most other
"Cichlasoma" eggs are laid.
The female cares and guards the eggs while the male guards the territory.
3 days, the eggs begin to hatch.
The young are aided by the father, who pulls the egg shells off of them.
The fry are then transferred by the
female to the large, previously-dug pits.
After 5-6 days, the young can swim on their own, although the parents
still guard them carefully.
Start feeding with Artemia nauplii, water fleas, fine dry food, and
The Red Terror is a fairly difficult fish to breed because its size and problems with pairings.
R: If the tank is not large enough, the Red Terror will stop growing.
The Red Terror is a hardy, but aggressive cichlid whose diet must be supplemented with
The magnificent Red Terror need a large tank because of the size that it can attain.
Port Acara, Black Acara
Cichlasoma portalegrense SYN: Acara
minuta, A. portalegrensis, Aequidens portalegrensis PD: An oval shaped cichlid with a deep body.
The body of males is greenish-gray,
while females tend to have red and brown hues.
The scales may have a blue-green iridescence in reflected light.
lateral band extends from the eye to the caudal fin.
The anal, caudal, and dorsal fins are blue-gray to green gray with
At spawning times, the body is almost black.
SIZE: To 10" (25 cm), although usually not more than 8" (20 cm)
SS: Black Belt Cichlid (
C. bimaculatum), Flag Cichlid (
HAB: South America; Rio de la Plata in Southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay
TANK: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) or 40 gallons (151 L) is adequate for adult fish.
Port Acara has a tendency to burrow so potted or strongly rooted plants should be used.
A cover of floating plants is recommended
as is a gravel substrate.
Leave open swimming areas and provide some rocks, wood, and roots for hiding.
WATER: pH 6-8 (7.0), 2-18 dH (8), 61-73°F (16-23°C)
SB: A territorial, but peaceful fish that can be combined in a community tank with other
Acaras, catfish, a smaller fish of the upper swimming levels.
Males may quarrel over territory, although little
damage is done.
Pairs form nuclear families.
SC: Cichlasomines, Eartheaters, Acaras, Armored catfish, Pimelodids, Doradids, Loricarids,
Silver Dollars, large hatchetfish, Leporinus,
Anostomus. FOOD: Live; crustaceans, insect larvae, aquatic insects, worms; flakes; pellets.
SEX: Males are slightly more colorful, and more slender at spawning times.
Use water with a temperature from 73-77°F (23-25°C), a pH from 6.5-7.0, and a water
hardness from 3-10 dH.
Perform frequent partial water changes in order to stimulate spawning.
As many as 500 eggs are laid on rocks
and leaves (when available).
The young and the eggs are carefully guarded by both parents.
Start feeding with nauplii and roftiers.
Breeding is not difficult.
R: In nature this species often deposits its eggs on fallen leaves so that the brood can
be moved when threatened by predators or drying up.
An early fish to be imported into Europe.
A robust cichlid that can be kept in cooler water.