Large American Cichlids
Keep these as Specimens or in VERY large tanks

 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Lance Fern
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

 

LA
You know you like all these big lunkers.  Note the hexamita (hole in head) scars.  Harmless.

Large American Cichlids Usually Available

Name

Size

Attitude

Spawning

Comments

Black Belt

L

Aggressive

Pit

Rearranges tank

Chocolate

L

Very Agg

Pit

Very attractive

Friedrichstahli

L

Aggressive

*

Disappointing

Brasiliensis

L

Aggressive

Pit

Very attractive

Jurupari

M-L

Mellow

Pit

Very attractive

Redhumps

M-L

Mellow

Pit

Disappointing

Surinamensis

M-L

Mellow

Pit

Very attractive

Green Terror

M-L

Agg Comm

Pit

Very attractive

Jack Dempsey

M-L

Agg Comm

Pit

Very attractive

Managuense

L

Aggressive

Pit

Very attractive

Peacock Bass

L

Aggressive

*

Very attractive

Oscar

L

Agg Comm

Pit

Very attractive

Pike

M-L

Very Agg

*

Hate each other

Red Devil

L

Very Agg

Pit

Very attractive

Red Terror

M-L

Agg Comm

Pit

Disappointing

Salvinii

M-L

Agg Comm

Pit

Very attractive

Severum

L

Agg Comm

Rock

Very attractive

Texas

L

Agg Comm

Pit

Very attractive

Uaru

L

Mellow

*

Very attractive

*Not positive since I’ve never spawned them

Bruisers, Specimens, and Pets

Okay, now we’re talking fish that turn into real pets.  These are the guys you give names to, the ones that eat out of your hand, the ones that convince your neighbors that you’re a real fish nut not just a poseur.

LA Pic
Peacock bass look like our bass in the face.  They get a smidge bigger than oscars.

Treat Them Right.  Think of cichlids as south of the border versions of our bass that come in a spectrum of attractive colors.  Adult cichlids sport dynamite colors on two conditions;

  1. You keep their water clean.

  2. You feed them the right foods.

LA Pic
Tri-Macs get quite a bit bigger than oscars.  Hole in head common (harmless) in lunkers.

Tough Guys.  In addition to pushing most other fish around, big cichlids will survive a tremendous amount of abuse.  Instead of kicking the bucket like a sensible fish would, they usually just lose their colors.  If yours are colorful, you’re treating them right.  If yours are pale, washed out, or hugging the bottom, get with the program.  Just because big cichlids will survive abusive conditions doesn’t give you a license to mistreat them.

LA Pic
Even the green terrors can get their butts kicked by a large pacu.

LA Pic
Adult chocolates look great.  They also get mean.

LA Pic
Half-grown chocolates also look good and also get mean.

Large Cichlids Need Room.  Each full-grown adult will need 20 to 30 gallons of elbow room.  If you don’t mind them growing to only 70-80% of their potential, feel free to crowd them.  However, if you try to move full-grown specimens to smaller quarters, it’s hard for them to adjust.  Big ones usually argue over who’s in charge.  The smaller the tank, the lower the survival rate.  Some will kill their tank mates until they have enough room.  Basic Message?  The bigger the tank, the better.

LA Pic
Large cichlids knock things around.

 

Equipment.  You can never have too much filtration.  Make sure you protect your heater with suction cups.  Large cichlids like to break heaters.   Put plastic plants at the end of your tank to prevent unexpected “breakouts.”  Use darker gravels to bring out their colorful highlights.  And use more than you would with small fish.  Cichlids like to bulldoze your gravel.  Expect them to move all your décor around.  Use plastic plants, driftwood, and rocks without sharp edges.  Keep a net between your algae-wiping hand and your big bruisers.  Don’t let kids dangle their fingers in the water.  And don’t forget a good stout cover.  Sometimes large cichlids think they can fly.

LA Pic
More colorful red devil.  Still mean.

Preferred Foods.  Most of the big bruisers prefer “feeder goldfish.”  If that’s a problem, get over it.  BIG cichlids are predators.  They eat fish.  Any number of prepared and frozen foods will also bring out their colors.  Always try to give them a variety.  Cichlids consider crayfish, earthworms, and mealworms a real treat.  They also eat most snails.

LA Pic
Pike cichlids especially like to bail.  They also like to hide.  Keep 'em covered.

Prepared Foods.  Several manufacturers have weighed into the big cichlid food arena.  Naturally, certain ones make better foods than others.  Let’s face it, cichlids prefer live goldfish but they also need variety.  O.S.I. makes some of the best cichlid foods I’ve come across.  I also like the Hikari pelleted and frozen foods from Japan.  The cichlids themselves prefer the frozen foods -- especially plankton and krill.  We also sell our Aqualand brand of cichlid flakes and cichlid pellets.

LA Pic
Male green severum "kissing" a fellow tank mate. 

Natural Food Info.  Growing cichlids love frozen brine shrimp.  Half-grown ones love plankton – frozen or freeze dried.  Full-grown cichlids prefer Krill (the food of whales).  They love these larger ocean-going cousins of the brine shrimp.  Plankton and krill both contain certain tasty fats that bring out their colors and also help trigger their spawning urges.  They like nightcrawlers also.

LA Pic
Green severum in color -- poor man's discus.

Bait Minnow Alert.  Some people prefer to quarantine bait minnows before feeding them to their big cichlids.  Actually, disease is not the biggest problem when feeding minnows.  The problem is what they do to the color of your cichlids.  They make them a very dull color.  You get poor colored fish when you feed minnows – especially poor reds on oscars, but also weak blues and greens on the other cichlids.  Big cichlids love minnows, but big cichlid owners soon learn to dislike them.  If you can’t get anything else, feed minnows.  If you can get anything else, forget minnows.  Pellets and frozen foods will color your fishes better.  At the very least, feed color foods to your minnows.

LA Pic
Texas cichlid left in dirty water too long.  Note the total absence of his eye.

Cloudy Eyes.  If you forget to change their water regularly, cichlids often develop cloudy eyes, cloudy fins, and slime covered bodies.  Use a gravel vacuum cleaner to change part of their water.  Cichlids absolutely need frequent -- let’s say weekly -- water changes.  Don’t use deadly medications and antibiotics as shortcuts.  Get rid of the cause.

LA Pic
Gold severum just starting to get his face stripes.

Worms in the Water.  Put down that poison you almost put in there and re-read the preceding paragraph.  Change part of the water.  Those little worms and bugs are your friends.  When an oscar chows a goldfish, blood and scales go flying.  Those little worms and bugs eat up the scraps.  When you overfeed, the little worms, bugs, and gravel-dwelling snails burrow through your gravel particles devouring the extra food before the nasty bacteria eat it and overrun your tank.  Bacteria cause cloudy water.  They also give your fish cloudy eyes, cloudy fins, and slimy bodies.

LA Pic
Salvinii -- good looking male defending his flower pot.

 

Special Cleaner Crew.  Use Philippine live-bearing snails to help eat up the extra food, clean your gravel, and unclog your filter system.  These cornucopia-shaped snails burrow under the gravel and come out at night to dine in leisure.

LA Pic
Half-grown Geophagus juruparis.  Nice looking.

LA Pic
Six-inch jurupari getting along fine with 1.5" barbs.

LA Pic
Same guy a month later.  Starting to color up.

LA Pic
Called "earth eaters" for obvious reasons.  They sort thru gravel looking for food.

LA Pic
They spit out most gravel but some of it comes out their gill covers.  Strange beasts.

LA Pic
Adult Jurupari -- prettiest of all the earth eaters.  You gotta love this guy.

LA Pic
Close cousin, baby surinamensis.

LA Pic
Geophagus pellegrini -- another cousin.  Not quite as pretty.  Red hump in chart above.

LA Pic
Young gold seam green terror.

The Breeding Process

The Basics:  Large American cichlids spawn in pairs.  They need a great deal of room because the spawning pair often wrestles to make sure both parents are tough enough to continue the species.  Adding a “dither fish” to distract them from beating on each other unites the parents against a common foe.

Preparation:  Refer to Small American Cichlids for spawning tips.  Refer to convicts or severums to see typical cichlid pre-spawning activity.  Most large cichlids dig a pit to spawn in.  Put a large piece of slate on the bottom.  Otherwise the eggs and fry get sucked into your under gravel filter.  The fish do all the work.  You take all the credit.  But they couldn’t spawn without you.  LA.

© 1985, © 2003, © 2004 LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

Home

Fish

Other Stuff

 

Anabantids
Betta Leaf 
Betta Breed 1
Betta Breed II
Betta Info
Betta  Housing
Betta Pla Kat
Choc Gourami
Climbing Perch
Gourami Pix
Kiss. Gourami
Osphronemus
Pearl Gourami
More Pearls
Paradise Fish  
Snakehead
Spawn Gourami
T. trichopterus

Catfish  
Banjo
Bullheads
Bull Sharks
Channel  
Corydoras
Cory Pics
Electric
Glass
Hoplos
Otocinclus
Pangassius
Pictus
Plecostomus
Pleco Bristle
Pleco Costly I
Pleco Costly II
Pleco Costly III
Pleco Costly IV
Pleco Costly V
Pleco Costly VI

Pleco Costly VII
Raphael
Red-Tail
Shovelnose
Sun
Synodontis
Synodontis petricola
Turushuki Catfish
Upside-down
USD Gold Flake
Misc Catfish
Misc Catfish II
Misc Catfish III

Misc Catfish IV
Misc Catfish V

Cichlids
African I
African II
African III
African IV

Af. Furniture
Amer. Small
Amer.  Med 
Amer. Large
Angelfish I
Angelfish II
Angelfish III
Angelfish IV
More Angels
Buttikoferi

Chocolate
Chocolate Spawning
Cichlid Decor
Cichlid Food
Convicts
Convicts 2
Convicts 3
Convicts 4
Dempseys
More Dempseys
Jack Dempsey Spawn
Discus
Dither Fish
Flower Horn
Green Terror
Jaguar
More Jaguars
Jaguar Spawning

Jaguar Spawning II
Jewel Fish
Keo's Flowerhorns
Keo's Flowerhorns II
Kribensis

Odd Couple Spawn
Oscars 1
Oscars 2
Oscars 3
Oscars 4
Oscars 5
More Oscar
More Oscar II
More Oscars III
More Oscars 2007
More Oscars 2007.5
Oscar Spawn
Peacock Bass
Red Devils
More Red Devil

Red Parrots

Red Parrots Spawn
Red Parrot Spawn II
Pikes
Pink Tilapia
Rams
Red Bay Snooks
Red Bay Snook Spawn
Roger Stephen's Cichlids
Severums
More Severums
Severums III

Tanganyikans
Texas Cichlid
Texas Spawning

Texas Spawn II
Uarus
Misc Cichlids I
Misc Cichlids II
Misc Cichlids III
Misc Cichlids IV
Misc Cichlids V
Misc Cichlids VI
Misc Cichlids VII
Misc Cichlids VIII
Misc Cichlids IX

Livebearer  
Guppies
Half-Beak
Mollies
Moons/Platys
Swordtails

Minnows/Tetra 
Barbs
Barbs, Black
Barbs, Gold

Barbs, Rosy
Barbs, Tiger
Barbs, Tinfoil

Danios

Danio Egg Saver
Distochodus
Fathead Minnows
Headstanders
Killies, Econ.
Killies, Golden
Killies, Peat
Killies, Plant
Misc Mini-Fish
Pacús 

Piranha, Black
Piranha, Red
Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish, Dwarf Neon
Rainbowfish, Irian

Silver Dollar
Tetras, Larger
Tetras, Smaller
Tetras, Spawn
Tetra, Vampire
White Clouds

Pond Fish
Carp
Channel Cat
Gold. Comets
Gold. Fantails
More Fantails
Gold. Oriental  
Gold Oriental II 
Gold. Spawn
Kloubec Koi Farm
Koi
Koi II

Koi III
Oranda Spawn
Plecostomus
Shubunkins

Oddballs  
Af. Butterfly
Af. Lungfish
Af. Mudskippr
American Eel
Archer Fish

Arowana
Bichirs
Borneo Suckers
Brackish I
Brackish II
Brackish III
Brackish IV
Brackish V
Michael Troung's Pix
Butterfly/Wasp
Chameleon Fish
Chromides

Chin Alg Eater
Crazy Fish
Crocodile Fish

Datnioides

Dojo
Dwarf Puffers
Electric Cat
Electric Eels

Elephant Nose
Exodon paradoxus
Flounder
Gars
 
Glassfish
Goby Bumble
Goby Butterfly
Goby Dragon
Goby Misc.
Half-Beak
Knife African
Knife Clown
Knife Ghost
Loach Botias
Loach Clown
Loach Kuhli
Loach Weather

Longear Sunfish
Moray Eel  
Peacock Gudgeons
Polypterids
Puffers

Ropefish
Scats
Siam Algae Eater
 
Spiny Eels 
Snakehead
Stingray
Stonefish
Wasp Fish
Wolffish
Wrest Half-Beak
Misc Mini-Fishes
Misc Odd
Misc Odd II
Misc Odd III
Misc Odd  IV

Misc Odd V
Misc Odd VI

Sharks  
Bala
Black
Bull
Chinese Hi-Fin Banded
Iridescent
Red-Tail
Siam Algae Eater

Pond Info 
Blank Park Zoo
Bob Humphrey's Ponds
Cattails
Maffett Reservoir
DMACC's Pond
D.M. Botanical Center
D.M. Water Works
Dr. Ervanian's Garden
Duckweed

Dwarf Lily
Ewing Park "Pond"
Jan & Chris's Water Garden
John McDonald's Pond
Hall's Four Acres
Klines' Water Garden
Landscaper Effects
Mini-Pond Pics
Pioneer Corn's Pond
Pond Fish Predators
Pond on 38th Street 
Pond Pics
Pond Plants
More Pond Plants
Pond Plants III
Reiman Ponds
River Scenes
Riverview Island
Selin's Water Gardens
Selin's Japanese Garden
Tom's Used Cars Pond
Urbandale Duck Pond
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Ponds