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Cichlids / Central America / Cichlasoma / Pearlscale Cichlid

Pearlscale Cichlid
"Cichlasoma" (Henrichthys) carpinte

Synonyms: Cichlasoma carpintis
Physical description: An oval-shaped, laterally compressed cichlid with a slightly concave forehead. A small hump develops with age on the top of the head. At spawning times, the body color is black with bright turquoise spots covering the body and fins. The usual body coloring is brown to dark gray. The iris of the eye may develop a deep red color in well-maintained water. The caudal fin is fan-shaped.
Size/Length: To 12" (30 cm) in nature, although not usually more than 8" in aquaria.
Similar species: Texas Cichlid (C. cyanoguttatum), Minckley's Cichlid (C. minckleyi), C. pantostictum, Jack Dempsy (C. octofasciatum)
Habitat: Central America; in the Rio Panuco Basin on the Atlantic slope of Northern Mexico.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A 48" (122 cm) tank with a capacity of 55 gallons (209 L). Provide shelter with roots, caves, and rocky areas. Allow open swimming areas for swimming. Only use large, robust plants, for this fish burrows.
Water chemistry: pH 6.7-8.5 (7.0), dH 8-25 (12), 73-82°F (23-28°C).
Social behavior: An intolerant, territorial fish that will eat small fish. Try combining with other large cichlids. This species will be particularly aggressive towards its own and similar species. Pairs form monogamous bonds and later nuclear families.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, other South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins, Hemichromis, Tilapia.
FOOD: Live; fish, Tubifex, earthworms, insects; vegetables; lettuce, spinach, peas; plants matter; large flakes; pellets; tablets.
Sexual differences: Females are smaller and males develop a large bump on their forehead with age. Males have a pointed genital papilla.
Breeding techniques: Similar to the spawning procedure of C. cyanoguttatum.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is moderately difficult.
Remarks: Known as the Texas Cichlid to European hobbyists. Some ichthyologists suggest that the name, Henrichthys replace the orphaned Cichlasoma genus name for Central American cichlids. H. pearsei is another cichlid of the Henrichthys group.
Difficulty of care: 6. This cichlid is highly aggressive and should be combined cautiously with other fish.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com