Cichlids / South America / Pike Cichlids / Dwarf Pike Cichlid

Dwarf Pike Cichlid, Two-spot Pike Cichlid
Crenicichla notophthalmus

Synonyms: C. dorsocellatus
Physical description: The Dwarf Pike Cichlid has a typical Pike Cichlid body shape. The back is mushroom brown to muddy yellow and the belly is whitish-brown. The eyes are large and dark red in color. A broad, longitudinal band runs from the snout, through the eye, and to the caudal fin. This band is usually brown in color. The upper back is marked 11-12 brief, spot-like markings. The dorsal fin is usually tipped with red and the first three rays are sharp and pointed. A black spot is located on the caudal penuncle.
Size/Length: Males to 6" (15 cm), females to 4.7" (12 cm)
Similar species: C. nanus, C. wallacii
Habitat: South America; Amazon River from Santarèm to Manaus
S: All
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a volume of 45 gallons (170 L) is sufficient for adult fish. Follow suggestions for C. lepidota.
Water chemistry: pH 6.5-7.5 (7.0), 4-20 dH (10), 75-81°F (24-27°C)
Social behavior: The Dwarf Pike Cichlid is territorial, but much more peaceful than other Pikes. This cichlid can be kept in a community tank containing medium to large-sized cichlids, catfish, and large characins. Pairs form nuclear families and are excellent parents.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, Pimelodids, Loricarids, Pacus, Piranha, Silver Dollars, Arawana.
FOOD: Live; fish, aquatic and fry insects, crustaceans, earthworms, Tubifex; chopped meat; flakes; pellets.
SEX: Females have white edges to the dorsal fin, are smaller, and have a rounder, pinker body. Females can also be distinguished by their shorter fins and the dark splotch on their dorsal fin.
Breeding techniques: Similar to C. lepidota.
Breeding potential: 9. A rarely spawned cichlid.
Remarks: This species is closely related to C. nanus and wallacii, and the relationship between the species is still under investigation.
Difficulty of care: 6. A relatively peaceful Pike cichlid.

By Rhett Butler


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