Cichlasoma labiatum

Цихлазома лабиатум

Cichlasoma labiatum is another very large representative of American cichlids, which is difficult to recommend for keeping behind the glass of the room aquarium. But for populating large containers of offices and lobbies of enterprises, it is quite suitable. Its appearance and size will contribute to the image of your organization.

ClassRadiant fish
ViewCichlasoma labiatum

Synonyms, names in other languages: Herichthys labiatus, Amphilophus labiatum, Cichlasoma dorsatum, Red Devil, Large Lipped Cichlid

Habitat: Inhabits deep lakes of volcanic origin in central America.

Cichlasoma labiatum Description

The main distinguishing feature is the large lips, which when viewed in profile resemble a paired cock’s comb, which in Latin sounds like labiatus (double comb). In appearance, especially in the early stages of development, they can easily be confused with citron cichlasoma. Because of this, there is a large amount of uncontrolled hybridization of these two species. Because of this, some authors claim that it is almost impossible to meet purebred Amphilophus labiatum behind the glass of Eurasian aquariums.

From lemon cichlazom differ coloration. But this feature is quite variable, so they can not be guided. A more reliable sign is the shape of the head. In Herichthys labiatus snout more elongated resembles the face of a fox. It ends with large lips, as if pumped with air or silicone :-). In citrons the head is less elongated, lips have more modest dimensions. Cichlasoma dorsatum was first described by Gunther around 1864.

In the wild, it reaches 30 to 35 centimeters in length. Behind the glass of an aquarium it is usually half its length.

Coloration from dirty yellow to bright orange. Life expectancy under good husbandry conditions is about 15 years.

Цихлазома губастая
Рыло вытянутое

Behavioral peculiarities

Cichlasoma dorsatum is sharply territorial especially during spawning. Predator. Become sexually mature after reaching about 9 – 15 months of age. The number of eggs for each clutch is very variable, depending on maturity, as well as the length of the female. It can number in the hundreds or thousands.

Sex differences: Females are smaller than males by about one and a half to two times. Male organisms have longer ends of dorsal, anal fins. Also their head is decorated with a fatty growth, which has the largest dimensions in the dominant male. Female spongy cichlasoma mature later than males. This should be taken into account when trying to create a pair ready to spawn. A mature male may beat his immature mate to death if she does not reciprocate.

Aquarium keeping

The content of aquarium fish cichlasoma labiatum is relatively complex. The species is territorial, aggressive. Somewhat reduce aggression can be with the joint cultivation with other individuals from the fry age, as well as when using a larger aquarium volume.

The capacity of the vessel is little acceptable for an urban apartment. After all, one individual requires about 200 liters of water. And when keeping one pair requires a vessel with a capacity of at least three hundred liters.

The soil should be selected in dark colors, which correspond to the soil of lakes in the natural habitat of Cichlasoma dorsatum. Dark color of the soil contributes, to a certain extent, to calming of Herichthys labiatus somewhat dampening their aggressiveness.

As a substrate it is necessary to use coarse or medium gravel of dark colors. It is necessary to delimit the bottom by placing several large stones vertically approximately every forty centimeters. These stones will play the role of visual boundary between the territories of individuals or formed pairs. It is also necessary to construct caves, grottoes, canyons from large stones. They will serve as a safe haven for weaker neighbors or not ready for spawning females. It will be desirable to decorate the bottom with snags, which will give similarity to the bottom of natural reservoirs in which the sponge cichlasoma lives.

Plants for design

Cichlasma labiatum likes plants. Dense thickets will help hide girlfriend or other fish that prefer to avoid finding out relationships with Amphilophus labiatum. But like all cichlasomes Amphilophus labiatum dig the soil, so they can dig up green bushes. Nevertheless, it is worth at least trying to decorate their home with plants that have a strong root system and tough leaves. Fast-growing species can also be useful in the decoration of the underwater world.

To water parameters cichlasoma labiatum has the same requirements as other representatives of the family. Hardness can be in the range from 5 to 30 °dH optimum from 15 to 25 °dH. pH from 7.2 to 8. Can withstand short-term large temperature fluctuations from 1 to 50°C. Nevertheless, it is not worth experimenting in this way. The preferred holding temperature is the same as for most other cichlids from 24 to 26°C.

The lighting is indifferent to the fish. Therefore, it can be selected according to your taste, as well as in accordance with the needs of the plants that you have tried to decorate this underwater world.

Aeration is a must

Aquarium with fish cichlasoma labiatum must be equipped with powerful aeration, filtration systems. It is desirable that the filtering system was external to free the internal volume of the tank, which is already critical for fish of this size. Even with a good filtration system – aeration of water must remember to replace one quarter of its volume weekly.

As mentioned above, sponge cichlasomes are territorial aggressive predators. Therefore, it is desirable to think again and again before planting them any beautiful, but small fish. The more this fish is smaller, slower, peace-loving the thoughts should be deeper and longer. Small fish can not be planted to these giants at all. All that will fit in their mouth – will be eaten. If you really want to diversify the species composition of the home lake, then you should look at other large American cichlases. In this case, it is desirable to grow them together from the fry age. It is necessary to provide for territorial division of the bottom, as well as a sufficient number of man-made shelters, thickets of grass as described above.

Labiatums should not be kept with Citron cichlasoma because of their ability to interbreed freely.

Cichlasoma labiatum What to feed?

No problems with nutrition. They will eat everything or almost everything you offer them.

Almost all varieties of live, frozen or dry food. Only liver, chicken meat should be avoided. You can feed moths earthworms, small crustaceans and mollusks. Large pieces of food, such as earthworms, it is desirable to shred somewhat. Plant feedings should be remembered. Especially with plants or fruits that contain large amounts of carotenoids and procarotenoids.

Amphilophus labiatus
Губы огромные

For example, it has been observed that to maintain bright orange coloration it is necessary to add paprika (sweet pepper) to food together with artemia crustaceans. Also positively affects the color of Cichlasoma dorsatum dry feed mixtures containing carotenoids. Just try to avoid the use of cheap fakes. It is better to use special feeds such as “Red Parrot”, “Astacolor”.

Captive breeding

Breeding has its own peculiarities. For example, it should be remembered that the female specimens of the spongy cichlasoma had the imprudence in the process of evolution to acquire the ability to mature later than the male. This can end badly for them. However, some authors point out that it is just an immature girlfriend can give an inadequately brutal response to the hapless amorous kovaler.

In any case, if the physiological development of the female is lagging behind, one of the intended producers may suffer greatly when trying to find out how the object of his lust relates to him. It is also a bad idea to put in one vessel adult Cichlasoma dorsatum, which have never seen each other before. In this case, the probability of a fight is even higher.

The best option is to keep the producers in one container separated by a transparent partition until signs of mutual favor appear. After that you can try to remove the partition. Do not forget to observe the events that occur. It is possible that the partition will have to be put back in place for some more time.

Stimulate spawning

After pair formation, you can try to stimulate spawning. To do this, replace one quarter of the volume of water with fresh water and gradually raise its temperature by 2 – 4 degrees Celsius. Amphilophus labiatum will choose some secluded place, and then, having cleaned there any flat stone from algae and dirt to lay eggs on it from several hundred to several thousand. This is determined by the size and maturity of the female. Incubation lasts about 3 days after 4 – 6 days the larvae become fry, take a horizontal position and begin to feed near the native stone under the supervision of caring parents.

In nature, cichlasoma labiatum feeds its offspring with a special skin secretion, which begins to be produced by the time the offspring emerge. In artificial conditions, you can help your favorites, feeding their offspring artemia or its nauplii. Approximately up to two weeks fry at the slightest danger can hide in the mouth of the father. During spawning should not disturb the fish. For your own safety, you should not put your fingers in the water. Especially it is necessary to make sure that children do not do this. Fish are aggressive and can injure the cheeky one they see in your finger.

Cichlasoma labiatum Are these fish for an indoor aquarium?

Another piece of advice is reflection. Before you provoke spawning, think about where you will put the fry afterwards. If you are a simple hobbyist, there may be problems. However, the fish breeding farm may also have problems with getting rid of young spongy cichlasoma cichlasoma. After all, because of the huge size, not every amateur will be able to keep even one such fish. So the demand for them is not so great. In general, it is difficult to advise gubastiks for a room lake. After all, this reservoir should take a lot of space.

However, as the wealth of the population grows, there are rooms whose dimensions allow you to ride a scooter and there is room for a container of such volume. But it is still exclusive. Therefore, in my opinion, an aquarium with fish cichlasoma labiatum more suitable for interior design, any spacious office or lobby of the enterprise. Their large size and unusual appearance can help to create an image of the organization.

Here is such an aquarium fish – spongy cichlasoma. I think that despite its large size, it will still find its adherents among our nature lovers.

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