22-08-2022, 13:28
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Herichthys cyanoguttatus

Herichthys cyanoguttatus naturally inhabits bodies of water in Texas and northeastern Mexico, making it the northernmost cichlid species in the world. It is also the only cichlid found in the United States. Introduced to Europe as early as 1912, it was one of the first cichlids introduced to Europe from the Americas. These cichlids are often found in the trade under the name pearl cichlid or Rio Grande perch. The latter name comes from the area where they are often found, in the lower Rio Grande River in Texas. 

Herichthys cyanoguttatus are large and aggressive fish that can reach 25 cm in length in the wild, although in aquariums their maximum size is smaller. The body of the fish is pearly gray in color with scales ranging from blue to green in hue, with pearly iridescent spots. The fins are iridescent mottled. At the base of the tail plumage is a clearly visible dark spot, and in the center of the body some more spots or stripes. Adult males have the traditional occipital hump on the head above the eyes. During spawning, the fish take on a striking coloration in half: the front of the body becomes white, and the back and lower abdomen - black or with black and gray stripes. Sexual differences are not always pronounced. The female is usually smaller in size. The male is distinguished by a fatty growth on the forehead, a broad body shape and a bright turquoise-bodied coloration with black spots in two or three places. It has also been observed that male fins are longer and sharper.  One way to distinguish females is by the black spots on the dorsal fin, which are absent in males.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus

Herichthys cyanoguttatus are aggressive, which should be considered when choosing aquarium neighbors. They should only be kept with other large fish species that can stand up for themselves. During spawning, they should not be kept with any other fish at all, as they can kill any other fish in the aquarium. This applies even to their own species, as spawning pairs are very aggressive. Suitable aquarium neighbors are other large Central or South American cichlids, such as Astronotus ocellatus and Metynnis hypsauchen. When kept with other large species, the aquarium should be as large as possible so that each fish has room for its own territory.

As for the size of the aquarium, it should be as large as possible. Its minimum volume should be 300 liters for one pair of fish. When containing Herichthys cyanoguttatus with other large fish aquarium volume should be 500 liters.

It should be noted that anyone who has kept these fish is well aware that any attempt to create a beautiful aquascape aquarium is a losing battle, because they are inveterate diggers who pull out with the roots of plants and move small stones and other decorative items. This doesn't mean there shouldn't be plants or anything else in the aquarium, but keep in mind that there will be constant movement of decor on the bottom of the aquarium.

Use sand or fine gravel as the substrate. Place a lot of smooth rocks and snags at the bottom. Plants should be planted in such a way as to prevent them from uprooting.  Floating plants are also a good option. You need open spaces, but you also need roomy shelters. Large rocks and suitably sized ceramic pots can be used for this purpose in which fish can swim freely.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus

Water parameters: temperature 20-24° C, hardness dH 1-12°, acidity pH 6,5-7,5. Water filtration must be qualitative, as this species is sensitive to the presence of organic waste. Need aeration and weekly replacement of 1/3 of the aquarium water with fresh.

These fish are omnivores. They are unpretentious eaters and will eat almost anything, including live, frozen, flaked and pelleted foods. If possible, give live food such as bloodworms, earthworms, insects and their larvae. You can also feed fresh vegetables as well as flakes or pellets containing spirulina to keep the fish naturally bright and healthy. The food is given 1-2 times a day.


Herichthys cyanoguttatus easy to breed in aquarium conditions. Water in the spawning tank should meet the following parameters: temperature 25-28° C, hardness dH 5-12°, pH around 7.0. At the bottom should be placed large stones or ceramic pots to ensure that the choice of places for spawning fish.

When the producers are ready to spawn, their coloration will change dramatically. The head and front of the fish will be white, while the abdomen as well as the back of the body will be black. The male begins to actively court the female by leaning his lips against hers and digging into the substrate together.

After clearing the chosen spawning site, the female lays 500 to 1,000 sticky eggs. She lays her eggs in several batches. The male is near her at all times and immediately fertilizes the eggs. Larvae hatch in 2-3 days and swim freely on day 4-5. Parents take care of the clutch and fry.

The fry are fed live or frozen artemia, as well as specialized feed designed for cichlid fry. As the fry grow, they begin to be fed finely ground flakes. The food is given four times a day.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus

Herichthys cyanoguttatus has a lifespan of 10-15 years.

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