Megalechis thoracata

Aquarium fish: Megalechis thoracata (Megalechis thoracata)
Size: 15 – 18 cm
Origin: South America
Water temperature: 18-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 140 l

Megalechis thoracata (Megalechis thoracata) – a species of bottom, freshwater aquarium fish from the cuirassid family. Also used as a food fish in South America.


Czarnoplame cuiras come from South America . They are found in the Amazon basin, the rivers of Guyana, Trinidad and Martinique. Spread over such a vast territory, it creates many ecotypes that differ in shape and color of the body.

They can be found in silted and poorly lit river sections.

Characteristics and disposition

The black spot cuvette reaches up to 18 cm in length. The body is elongated, flattened at the bottom, massive, covered with dark spots, a small mouth in the lower part of the mouth with two pairs of whiskers. The underside of female and juvenile fish is white, while in adult males it is gray-purple. In males, the first ray of the pectoral fin is transformed into a characteristic powerful spike covered with fine teeth.

It is a calm, shade-loving, mobile and durable species that easily adapts to slightly more difficult conditions in the aquarium. It is recommended to keep several individuals. Older fish may show slight aggression towards other bottom fish by hitting them with the side of the body.

Nutrition and feeding

They are not picky fish. They eat both live, frozen and dry food, usually taken from the bottom.


Kiryśniki requires a large, approximately 140-liter aquarium with a soft, preferably sandy substrate, which they eagerly dig in when looking for food. The light should be dimmed with e.g. floating plants. They are not skittish but darker, less accessible nooks will be welcome. Good, natural hiding places can be created from tangled roots.

They don’t like the water current that is too strong. They can be kept with smaller fish such as Tetras and Brzanki . The strength of these fish also allows them to be placed together with larger and more aggressive fish such as Central American cichlids .


During the mating season, the male builds a large foam nest under the broad leaves of the marsh plants floating on the surface of the water. In breeding aquariums, these leaves are replaced with upturned plastic plates.

Breeding is relatively easy. We encourage blackspotted cuiras to breed with a large change of water a few degrees cooler than that in the reservoir. The spawning tank should have a gentle water flow to avoid damaging the nest being built. After spawning, the female should be separated from the male, because the male guarding the nest may show aggression towards her. The female lays up to 1000 eggs at a time.

The plate or leaf with roe is best transferred to a tank with very soft water at a temperature of 24 C, pH 6.5 – 7.0. You can also add a little methylene blue. The first larvae appear after 3 days. The 6 mm long fry have already developed fins and whiskers, and they also resorb the yolk sac very quickly. 48 hours after hatching, they can eat e.g.

brine shrimp larvae. The fry avoid the light and hide in various nooks and crannies,


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