Aquarium fish: Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus)
Size: 30 cm
Water temperature: 20-33 ° C
Aquarium volume: 250 l
Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus ) – one of the larger and very aggressive aquarium fish from the cichlid family. First described in 1854 by Baird and Girard. In 1970, Alvarez distinguished three subspecies – Herichthys c. Cyanoguttatus (Texas Cichlid), Herichthys c. Carpintis (the Green Texas Cichlid) and Herichthys c.
The only species of the cichlid family found naturally in the United States, it lives in the Rio Grande basin of the United States and Mexico. It has also been introduced into several areas beyond its natural range, such as Florida. It prefers slowly flowing and standing waters, e.g. slower sections of rivers or ponds.
Often found near submerged stones, tree root branches and clusters of aquatic plants.
Characteristics and disposition
A large cichlid, reaching up to 30 cm in length. Tall, oval body. Coloration of brown and gray with light blue scales which give a pearly appearance. Two black spots can be seen in adults, one in the center of the body and one at the base of the caudal fin.
In the young, there are a few additional smaller spots between these spots. Adult males are clearly larger than females, have longer and sharper dorsal and anal fins and a fatty hump on the forehead. H. cyanoguttatus is easily confused with H. carpintis .
The species can usually be distinguished by a spotted pattern on the body. However, it is not easy. In the first case, it forms regular rows of small spots, while in the second case, larger spots are scattered irregularly. H. carpintis is also a slightly smaller species.
It is not recommended for beginners. Aggressive towards other cichlids, and arranges the aquarium at its own discretion over time. It is recommended to keep singly or in pairs. Under favorable conditions, they can live 15 years, on average about 10.
Nutrition and feeding
In nature, it feeds mainly on invertebrates, but studies of their stomachs have also shown a large amount of plant matter and other detritus.
In the aquarium, they are not picky and accept all the food they serve. They can be given good-quality dry food regularly supplemented with frozen and live food and plant-based food, e.g. dry food containing spirulina, frozen peas, scalded spinach.
Due to its size, it requires a spacious aquarium. For one fish, the complete minimum should be about 250 liters, and for a pair – twice as large.
Do not pay too much attention to arranging and decorating the aquarium. The pearl cichlid loves to dig through the substrate. It should be provided with a substrate layer of approx. 5-8 cm. Plants will be dug out sooner or later.
It also has a tendency to nibble and eat them. For decoration, we can use larger roots and smooth stones, which can serve as spawning grounds. The water should be clean and well-oxygenated. You will need an efficient bucket filter and regular weekly water changes (25-50%). Not suitable for social tanks.
At the beginning of her life, she is rather calm and shy, and can be dominated by other fish. However, with age, the situation changes dramatically. It is especially aggressive towards other cichlids. Some aquarists keep it with other large fish in very large tanks.
Reproduction is easy with a matched pair .
A tank of approx. 150-180 cm in length is required, in which several large stones and ceramic pots should be placed. Unfortunately, mating adult fish is a difficult task, often the male kills a foreign female. You can try to separate the fish with a transparent partition so that they get used to each other for a few weeks, but there is never a guarantee that this process will be successful. Breeders recommend that you buy a group of six or more young fish and allow them to pair naturally.
It usually doesn’t take long. The female reaches sexual maturity at 5-8 cm in body length. The selection of a pair is easy to observe, because the remaining fish will be intimidated in the opposite corner of the aquarium and, for their safety, should be caught as soon as possible. The selected pair does not need any special encouragement to reproduce. Ready for spawning, they acquire a beautiful, intense color.
Courtship can take a while and is quite brutal, the fish slapping their tails and struggling to grab each other with their mouths. It is worth being vigilant and having a prepared partition if the male is too aggressive towards the partner. During this period, the fish intensively dig the substrate. The ovipositor will be clearly visible in the female just before breeding. Fish prefer a flat stone as a place to spawn.
In its absence, it can be another flat surface, e.g. the bottom of the tank. Such a place is thoroughly cleaned beforehand. The female places the eggs in a row, then gives way to the male who fertilizes them. This process is repeated several times.
As with other cichlids, young parents may eat offspring in their first attempts. Hatching takes place within 2-3 days and the larvae are transferred immediately to a dug hole in the substrate, where they remain until the yolk sacs are used up. After 4-5 days, the fry begin to swim freely. In the first period, brine shrimp larvae should be fed, preferably 2-3 times a day. When they are a little bit older, you can feed them with crushed dry food for cichlids.