Parachromis managuensis

Aquarium fish: Parachromis managuensis (Parachromis managuensis)
Size: 40 cm
Origin: America
Water temperature: 24-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 400 l

Parachromis managuensis (Parachromis managuensis ) – a large, predatory aquarium fish from the cichlid family.

Occurrence

Central America . Natural range from the Ulua River in Hunduras through Nikarague to the Matina River in Costa Rica. Widespread in most of Central America, Hawaii, the United States, the Philippines, and Singapore. Found in a variety of environments ranging from cloudy, silty lakes to clear streams and ponds.

Prefers warmer, oxygen-poor waters.

Characteristics and disposition

One of the largest cichlids. In nature, it can reach over 60 cm in length. Usually less in aquariums. The male grows up to 40 cm, and the female up to 36 cm.

Oval, highly elongated body. Coloration varies depending on the period of life. In the young, several wide, dark, vertical stripes are visible on the body, disappearing in the area of ​​the lateral line. Two dark stripes run from the eyes to the gill cover, one parallel to the body axis and the other diagonally downward. In adult males, the stripes disappear and an evenly distributed “jaguar” pattern appears on the body and fins.

Adult females may have a more or less visible similar pattern and clearly marked, dark, large patches running through the center of the torso forming a line. Females are smaller and rounder around the abdomen, males are more colored and have sharply pointed dorsal and anal fins. Body color silver or gold, mixed with a bright blue-green or purple tinge. The species is considered to be aggressive and in the period of territorial reproduction . It can be kept singly or in pairs in the aquarium.

It’s best to choose a pair naturally. Trying to meld foreign fish can be risky, especially if the female is larger than the male. On average, they live up to 15 years, in good conditions a little more.

Nutrition and feeding

A predator by nature. In the wild, it hunts for smaller fish and invertebrates.

Dry, frozen and live food can be fed in the aquarium, e.g. smaller fish, crickets, insects, earthworms. Be careful with high-protein, fatty foods such as beef or poultry hearts. They can be fed with them, but at longer intervals, e.g. once a week.

Aquarium

Large and active fish need a large aquarium. For one individual it will be necessary, min. 400 l tank, 700 l is recommended for a couple. Rock decorations and hiding places are recommended, but the décor should be sparing and well protected (or placed outdoors, for example in a sump), with plenty of space for swimming. Only large stones and roots will not be moved all over the tank.

It is best to additionally secure the heater and thermometer. They feel better and present better in low light and dark sandy ground. They easily adapt to various conditions. They prefer soft water between 7.0-8.0 pH with a temperature of 25-28 ° C. They require good flow and efficient filtration.

In appropriately spacious aquariums they can be combined with similar sizes of Central and South American cichlids, e.g. with the peacock cichlid. Smaller fish will be treated as food.

Breeding

They are happy to breed in the aquarium. Breeders recommend buying a group of young fish from which you will get a matched pair.

An attempt to mate an adult male with a foreign female usually ends in her death. The fish are sexually mature when they reach 10-13 cm. The male encourages the female with his behavior and intense coloration. Together they prepare, clear the spawning area and dig a hole in the ground. The female lays eggs and gives way to the male that fertilizes them.

In nature, up to 5,000 eggs can be laid during the entire cycle . In captivity, usually much less around 1000-2000. The parents look after the eggs and fry and fiercely defend the territory. They are very aggressive and even attack the owner’s hand. Childcare sometimes lasts 6 weeks.

After this time, they can proceed to the next spawning. Hatching takes place after approx. 3 days and is transferred to a previously dug hole. After the next 4 days, the fry begin to swim independently in search of food. It can initially be fed brine shrimp larvae until it is large enough to eat larger foods.

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