How to Keep Your New Pike Cichlid Aqualand’s inside info on Crenicichla species
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Origin. Pike cichlids hail from South America. Over 60 different species fall under the genus Crenicichla. If you want to ascertain your exact species, lots of luck.
Appeal. Pike cichlids look great. Their colors and torpedo body shape look attractive. However, most people keep them because they like to watch these gluttons eat.
Size. Most adults can exceed a foot in length. Many do not grow this large because they kill each other first. The orange pikes and the green pikes top out at half this size. You can even keep them with other fishes too large to swallow. They live longest when kept as individual specimens.
Living Quarters. Avoid bare tanks. Lack of hiding places puts a severe strain on these guys -- especially the little guys. Pikes want to lurk under ledges and wait for a bait-size fish to swim past. If you do not provide a cave, they will hide behind their filter tubes (obviously under stress). Pike Cichlids do not appreciate brightly lit tanks.
Jumpers. Cover them at all times. Pike cichlids jump out any time you leave the cover off their tank.
Decor Tip. Lean a piece of slate against their front glass. They slide right into this “cave” and stay visible at all times.
Group of Pikes? Pike cichlids kept together usually kill each other. If you decide to keep several, give them a large tank – like a 40 breeder with lots of hiding places.
Water. Most South American cichlids put up with cruddy water conditions – old, urine-colored water. Keep your pike cichlids in cleaner water or kiss them goodbye. P.S. Go over and change the water on your Jack Dempseys right now. They like clean water, too.
Tank Mates. You could say they’re not good mixers. But you can keep pike cichlids with other large cichlids IF you keep them in a larger tank. In a tank less than 30 gallons, you’ll see too many fights over territory. The loser often expires.
Disease. Keep your pike cichlid in clean water or you’ll have problems with all types of diseases brought on by or aggravated by stress.
Foods. Pike cichlids prefer live fish. Feeder goldfishes work fine. Smaller ones eat rosy reds, guppies, white clouds and black worms. Obviously, you will not keep your pike cichlids in a standard community tank. In addition to eating any fish they can choke down, they will beat the crud out of many tank mates too big to swallow.
More Foods. Pike cichlids also like earthworms and night crawlers. Most quickly learn to eat many frozen foods. Rather than eat flakes or pellets, most will starve themselves to death.
Breeding. No good info available on breeding at this time. Your best bet lies in providing a large tank with lots of caves. Males are larger and more colorful. The babies are probably “glancers” like discus fry.
Last Comments. Clean water is essential to pike cichlids. Change large amounts weekly. LA.
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