The black-striped cichlasoma was first described around 1867. Since then, it has won many fans among aquarists around the world. Cichlasoma blackstriped – unpretentious, relatively peaceful species, which has interesting features of behavior, as well as the possibility of keeping in relatively small containers. That makes this fish almost ideal for the amateur aquarist who wants to get acquainted with the wonderful world of cichlids.
Habitat.: Guatemala: Lakes Amatitlan and Atitlan; Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama.
Black-striped Cichlasoma Description
It has a relatively tall, flattened from the sides, relatively oblong body. The body length of the male in the wild can reach 15 centimeters. The female is usually half shorter. Behind the glass of the aquarium rarely reaches sizes greater than 10 centimeters. The body has a gray-blue background on which clearly drawn about 9 black transverse stripes entering the dorsal, anal fins. Dorsal, anal fins wide, long, stretching to the base of the caudal fin. Sexual maturity is reached at the age of 7-10 months. Form couples from early fry age. Fish facultatively monogamous.
Sharp territorial. Aggressive during spawning. Spawning period has no seasonal dependence. They spawn throughout the year.
It is relatively easy to distinguish male from female. The male is one and a half to two times larger than the female. His dorsal and anal fins are wider, their ends are stretched into pigtails. During spawning in the female, the rear part of the abdomen is colored bright orange.
Black-striped Cichlasoma Contents
The content can be characterized as simple.
Volume of water body
Cichlasoma blackstriped is not the largest representative of cichlids. A pair of these americans can be kept in a fifty-liter container. However, it should be taken into account that spawning in this species goes almost year-round, and during spawning these fish are quite aggressively guard their nest along with the adjacent territory. Given these features, it seems more correct to equip a pair of these fish fifty-liter species aquarium. If you want to put them in a common, generic (cichlidnik), then here the recommendations are common to all cichlazom. Namely, the reservoir should be as large as possible. Its bottom should have a large number of different shelters, it is desirable to divide it into a large number of zones with the help of artificial rocks, grottos, thickets of plants resistant to digging (with a strong rhizome).
To cover the bottom is better to use granite crumbs, small pebbles. As most cichlids cichlazoma blackstriped likes to rebuild the bottom to his liking. So the sand will be excessively disturbed, so it is better not to use it. Large stones will deprive the fish of the opportunity to equip their home to their liking, and you the pleasure of watching their architecture. This does not mean that large stones should not be used at all.
They are needed to create artificial territorial division of the bottom, the construction of all kinds of grottos, shelters. The more you show imagination in the preparation of man-made shelters, the more likely that your pets will be completely satisfied with them and will not dig up echinodorus to dig a cozy trench in their place. Although of course there are no guarantees here. This is a living organism with its habits, tastes, needs. However, this is the main charm of it.
Plants and Black-striped Cichlasoma.
As already indicated cichlazoma blackstriped, as all cichlids are prone to landscape formation. Dig up a plant, in its place to dig a cozy hole, and pour next to it a picturesque mound of rock taken out of it. Here, perhaps, in brief, the favorite pastime of most cichlids. Cichlasoma blackstriped is not an exception. Therefore, plants for her home should be selected with a powerful rhizome, stiff leaves. Will fit some large echinodorus, cryptocoryne. But it is better, perhaps, to use fast-growing Wallisneria spiral, as well as free-floating elodea Canadian. Thickets of these representatives of underwater flora will help to divide the aquarium into different territories, which will contribute to the establishment of relative peace and order in the underwater expanse.
Blackstriped cichlasoma is an unpretentious fish. It will suit water from the water supply water tempered for one day and warmed to a temperature of 24 – 27 degrees Celsius. Water hardness can vary from 8 to 30 °dH. The acidity of the pH medium is preferably neutral with slight fluctuations.
There are no special requirements for lighting. The total power of fluorescent lamps about 0.3 – 0.5 W/l will be quite enough. However, it should be noted that it is worth trying to establish side or even better front lighting. The fact that in the reflected rays of cichlids, as most other aquarium fish look much more beautiful. True, technically realize such illumination is a little more difficult than overhead lighting. The fish themselves against overhead lighting do not have anything. In addition, it is more physiological, so it should be the main.
Aeration and filtration are desirable, but not mandatory. If you have a tank of fifty liters, which is populated by one pair of these striped animals, then aeration and filtration is not necessary to establish. Necessary these technical means become necessary when containing them in a common reservoir, determined by the total population. Also low-flow aeration and filtration become desirable when your pets have fry.
Blackbanded Cichlasoma Compatibility
“Cichlids are not cramped together. If you want to keep them in a common aquarium, it should be of sufficient volume. Then territorial wars will be minimized. Although to be fair, it should be noted that cichlasoma blackstriped shows much less aggression to species of other genera and families than other cichlids. So quite safely in the same container with it can live with swordfish and a flock of barbs, neons or danio rerio. Although relatively slow guppies with their voile tails, I never decided to settle together with Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum.
Black-striped Cichlasoma What to feed?
Omnivores. I mean omnivorous. From the classic food – moths, trumpet fish. Chopped meat. About a third of their diet must necessarily be plant food – scalded oat flakes, shredded leaves of lettuce, cabbage, boiled pieces of zucchini, carrots. If you lower your hand under the water, stripers will try to attack and on it. Well, of course, not for the purpose of lunch, but for patriotic reasons – they will defend their territory from a bizarre aggressor.
Black-striped Cichlasoma Breeding
Does not present difficulties. Can spawn in a common aquarium, although given the increasing aggressiveness, it is better to spawn in a separate aquarium, especially if the tank for the main content is small. Spawning can occur at any time of the year. And sometimes follow one after the other, with short breaks to care for the offspring received from the previous spawning. So, every month in the place favored by producers, you can find a small nursery, which caring parents took out for a walk.
Breeding is not difficult, but you can spend hours watching the parents take care of their offspring.
The eggs are laid on the bottom of a small cave, which has been thoroughly cleaned beforehand. The role of such a cave can successfully perform a pottery pot placed on its side or a sunken tea cup located somewhere far away from the sight glass. After about two or three days the larvae appear. They are still helpless and the parents continue to care for it.
They are swathed like an opahal with their fins and carried in their mouths for a walk. While the babies “breathe fresh air” under the supervision of one of the spouses of the other meanwhile cleans the cave of debris. Soon the yolk sac of the larvae will disappear and the fry will swim. From this point, they should start feeding. Fry are large enough, so the starting food for them – Artemia nauplii, cyclops. As they grow, they can be given finely chopped trumpet fish.
Cichlasoma blackstriped is kept behind the glass of aquariums for quite a long time. But, despite the emergence of many other species that we have learned to keep in artificial conditions this species is still one of the most interesting among cichlids.