Synonyms: Astronotus friedrichsthalii, Cichlasoma multifasciata, Parapetenia friedrichsthalii, P. multifasciata
Physical description: An elongated, laterally compressed cichlid with a large, fan-shaped caudal fin. The mouth is slightly up-turned toward the water surface. Many different color variations are known but two are commonly seen. The first has a bright yellow body color with 10-12 black, lateral stripes. The upper parts of the back are dark yellow as is the forehead. The eye is dark. The fins have a yellow tint. Various black spots are found sparingly on the head. The other common morph has pointed anal and dorsal fins along with a gray-yellow back. The body is marked with a series of large black splotches that form a band running from the eye, back to the caudal fin. Below this marking the body is yellow as is the lower jaw. An elongated blotch followed by a spot runs from the eye to the bottom of the gill cover. The fins have a yellow tint and a turquoise edge. These descriptions are based on a female's or young male's coloring.
Size/Length: To 10" (25 cm)
Similar species: C. dovii, C. lyonsi, C. mortaguense
Habitat: Central America; found in numerous biotopes from Mexico to Costa Rica
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: 48" (122 cm) or 55 gallons (209 L). The tank should be provided with a great deal of hiding places (roots, caves, rocks). Well-rooted, hardy plants can be used as the Friedrichsthali burrows, but will not eat plants.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-8 (7.0), dH 2-25 (10), 72-82°F (22-28°C).
Social behavior: The Friedrichsthali is a highly aggressive, intolerant cichlid. It is extremely pugnacious and should only be combined with other large, aggressive fish. Pairs are excellent parents and form strong nuclear families.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, other South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins, Hemichromis, Tilapia.
FOOD: Live; fish, earthworms, insect larvae, insects; pellets, tablets; chopped meat
Sexual differences: Males are larger and darker in overall color with a base color ranging from gold to blue. The female has a base color of bright yellow. Males have a pointed genital papilla.
Breeding techniques: Use slightly warmer water with a temperature from 75-82°F (24-28°C). Up to 400 eggs are laid on previously cleaned, smooth stones and rocks. The eggs are guarded by the female, while the male guards the territory. The eggs hatch after 2-3 days and the fry are transferred to previously dug pits. They are free-swimming after 5 days, and can be fed Artemia, Cyclops, and fine-grade dry foods.
Breeding potential: 7. The Friedrichsthali is a fairly difficult fish to breed.
Remarks: The colors of this fish vary greatly on the population where the fish originated. Other fish belonging to the Nandopsis group are C. bartoni, C. beani, C. dovii, C. grammodes, C. haitiensis, C. loisellei, C. mortaguense, C. steindachneri, C. tetracanthus, C. trimaculatus, and C. umbriferum.
Difficulty of care: 6. A hardy, but highly aggressive fish that need to be fed live foods regularly.
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