Citron cichlasoma is a very large fish by aquarium standards. In nature, it can reach a length of up to 35 centimeters. Behind the glass of the aquarium is usually somewhat smaller, but still large. Plus to the size of it is a predator and aggressive even in relation to their kin. But nevertheless, having appeared in Europe by 1970, lemon cichlasoma very quickly found its ardent fans.
The reason for this is the unusual appearance, beauty of coloring, interesting behavior of this species. Well, and the difficulties themselves, or rather their overcoming can also be a reason for fascination. I can not exclude such a reason of popularity in this particular case. But, despite all the above difficulties, it is still worthwhile to get acquainted with this beauty closer. Maybe you are made for each other.
Habitat.: The lemon cichlasoma is distributed throughout Central America from Mexico to the crater pools of Nicaragua and southern Florida. It has now been introduced to Asian countries where it has adapted to local environmental conditions. In Singapore, it has even adapted to brackish water.
Citron cichlasoma Description
Lemon cichlasoma has a moderately elongated flattened from the sides high body length up to 30 – 35 centimeters. Behind aquarium glass, the body length rarely exceeds twenty centimeters. The head is large with large eyes. The mouth is terminal with thick lips. The forehead at eye level is depressed.
Adults develop a fatty frontal outgrowth. Fry are colored in protective brown or green tones, matching the prevailing colors of the habitat. There are five to seven black stripes on the body, with the center of the body marked with a black spot. The bulk of adults retain this coloration, and about one-third are painted with yellow-golden colors. According to other sources, there are two subspecies.
Representatives with gray coloration live in shallow water, and the subspecies with lemon coloration is more deep-water, it prefers depths of up to seven meters. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Unpaired fins transparent with a bluish tint. It’s a predatory fish. Moderately aggressive. Sexually mature individuals who have reached by 8 – 12 months of body length of more than 10 – 12 centimeters. Pairs form until sexual maturity. Life expectancy is about fifteen years.
Citron cichlasoma Sex differences
It is difficult to distinguish male from female to the untrained eye. Although those who keep citrons will do it without much difficulty. Most often literature data indicate the following distinguishing features – male is larger than female, has a large frontal hump, more brightly colored. As you can see, all of the above signs are very relative. In addition, in aquarium keeping frontal hump develops only in the dominant male. If you remove it from the aquarium, this feature will appear in another male, which previously did not differ from the female. Absolute differences appear only during the spawning season. Fish have anal tubercles. In the male – pointed semen, in the female ovipositor having the form of a truncated pyramid.
Citron cichlasoma content
Content is simple, if you keep a couple of fish in a two-hundred-liter aquarium. It’s not just the size of the fish. Lemon cichlasoma, like many other cichlids – territorial fish, it will fight to the death for its territory. Especially during spawning. You can somewhat reduce aggression, growing fish in the same aquarium with fry age, but with insufficient living space endless skirmishes and scuffles are inevitable. Also at the bottom should be a large number of grottos made up of large stones or put on the side of not used pottery pots of suitable sizes. Also the bottom of the aquarium can be divided into different zones with the help of plantings.
As already indicated, one adult fish requires a volume of about one hundred liters. However, with skillful zoning of the bottom with plants and rocks can increase the number of fish per unit volume, but too fond of it is not worth it….
Lemon cichlasoma likes to dig the ground, so that it is not much stirred up the water bottom is better to cover with granite
crumbs. At the back and side walls of the aquarium it is desirable to lay out rocks of large stones with grottos and caves. In different places of the bottom should be placed several flat stones as a substrate for spawning.
Plants and Citron cichlasoma.
The flora should be hardy with strong roots capable of providing shelter for weaker individuals. You can plant directly in the ground with a sufficient height of its layer, but it is better to decorate the pond potted culture, pots with plants buried in the ground, and then masked to your taste. Cryptocoryne, echinodorus, vallisneria, elodea are suitable.
The ambient temperature should be at 22 – 26 degrees Celsius. When the temperature drops, the fish begin to get sick, and at a temperature of 13 – 15 degrees Celsius quite quickly die. Therefore, it is better to equip their home with a heater with thermostat. To the hardness and active reaction of the environment do not make special requirements, but it is still better to keep the hardness about 10 – 12 °dH, and pH – 7.
Lighting: It is better to provide daylight lamps. 0.5 W/l will be quite enough.
Aeration, filtration is necessary. Lemon cichlasoma likes clean, clear water.
Citron cichlasoma Compatibility with other fish
Can be kept with other cichlids of commensurate size and with similar conditions. Sometimes citron cichlasoma gets along with large species of gourami. Any small fish near them is not a neighbor, it’s food! So for a common pond this species is not suitable.
Citron cichlasoma Nutrition
Citron cichlasoma is a predatory omnivorous fish. Can be fed all kinds of live foods. Moths, Enchitrea trumpet, insect larvae and insects themselves, as well as small fish, fillets of marine fish, chopped lean beef. Necessary plant feedings in the form of scalded leaves of lettuce, cabbage, dandelion. In order to color was bright and juicy should be given branded dry feed containing caratinoids.
Citron cichlasoma Breeding
For breeding citrons can be dropped off a pair formed from the fry age. One hundred and fifty-liter pond is suitable for spawning. Stimulation of spawning is carried out by replacing the water in the volume equal to twice the volume of the reservoir for one to two weeks and increasing water temperature to 26 – 28 degrees Celsius. The male is sometimes aggressive even towards the female because of the limited space. He can riddled with it, if she swims closer than the allowed distance to the stone, which he decided to prepare for spawning. Therefore, do not forget to make an excess of shelters on the bottom of the spawning ground.
Once the chosen stone is ready, the producers lay up to several thousand eggs on it. The eggs and offspring are cared for by both parents. Incubation lasts three to four days. After that, the parents transfer the larvae to the bottom of a pre-digged depression. After a few more days, the fry swim. The first days they feed on the secret secreted by the skin glands of the parents. Then they can be fed nauplii crustaceans, small crustaceans. With good care fry grow quickly. Should be periodically sorted by size to avoid cannibalism.
Citron cichlasoma can form hybrids with Cichlasoma meeki so their joint content is not desirable.
Citron cichlasoma is a very interesting and beautiful fish. For the general aquarium it is not suitable. In a three-liter butyl it is also not settled. But if you have, where to put a relatively large aquarium and you are ready to fully provide it at the disposal of one from the force of two pairs of fish, then, having done this, you will not be disappointed. This species is quite resistant to disease. If you do not create extreme conditions for his health you will be satisfied. And the behavior and relationships of the inhabitants of such a species aquarium can be observed for hours.