Texas Cichlid – Care | Tank Mates | Breeding | Size | Temperature

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Texas Cichlid, scientific name Herichthys Cyanoguttatus also called the Rio Grande Cichlid is an aggressive freshwater fish native to the USA discovered largely within the rivers of Texas (generally within the Rio Grande) and northern Mexico.

Texas Cicid Profile

In this article, I am going to talk about Texas Cichlid size, for sale, breeding, male or female, aggression, growth rate, with Oscar, max size, temparature, price, etc.

The Texas Cichlid also called the Rio Grande Perch and the Rio Grande Cichlid is an iridescent golden coloration with pearl highlights and white dots on its body and fins.

There are a number of small black spots on the base of the caudal fin and alongside the middle, the rear half of the body.

The juveniles have an iridescent pearl-gray body with white dots on the physique and fins.

There’s a black dot on the base of the caudal fin and one within the heart of the body. They’re additionally leaner in size.

Texas Cichlid Quick Stats

Scientific name: Herichthys Cyanoguttatus
Common name: Texas Cichlid, Rio Grande Cichlid
Diet: Omnivorous
Size: 33 cm (13 inch)
Colour: Dark Brown
Care level: easy
Family: Cichlid
Minimum tank size: 44 gallons (200 liters)
Temperature: 24-26 °С (75.2-78.8 °F)
pH: 6.0 to 8.0
Temperament: aggressive
Origin: Freshwater (Texas, northern Mexico)
Experience level: intermediate
Aquarium Hardiness: not very hardy

The Texas Cichlid requires a tank of at the least 50 gallons, with a nice sand bottom. There must be rocks and roots for them to hide amongst.

The plants must be hardy because the Texas Cichlid will burrow around and attack them. The Texas Cichlid makes use of floating plants as a canopy.

The tank must be divided into territories utilizing hardy plants, if possible. The Texas Cichlid is delicate to previous water and requires frequent adjustments of 1/4-1\/2 of the water weekly.

They’re territorial and considerably waspish, so care must be taken when selecting tank mates. Select other more aggressive fish to share an aquarium with the Texas Cichlid.

The territorial Texas cichlid is the one cichlid native to the USA. Identical to its Central American family members, it may be fairly aggressive and may solely be stored by aquarists all for coping with belligerent fish.

The safest course of action is, after all, to maintain the Texas cichlid by itself, however, it may be mixed with different hard-line species so long as the aquarium is at the least 125 gallons.

An aquarium of that dimension can also be large enough to deal with a Texas cichlid pair, however, be ready to divide it into two sections if the couple seems to be incompatible.

The natural home of the Texas cichlid is the decrease in Rio Grande Drainage in Texas and northeast Mexico, the place it’s a widespread sport fish.

It may be discovered not solely in the main river but in addition in smaller streams and swimming pools and is often known as the Rio Grande perch. It is called mojarra del norte (northern mojarra) south of the river.

Regardless of being known for its violent mood, it attracts plenty of admirers, mainly due to its bright colors.

A Spirited Magnificence

One of the many reasons why Herichthys cyanoguttatus is such a popular aquarium fish is its interesting look.

As a juvenile, the Texas cichlid is pearly grey with white dots on the body and fins and shows two attribute black spots—one within the heart of the physique and the opposite on the caudal fin base.

Because it matures, the physique develops a golden shade with pearly highlights, and the fins and body develop into adorned with white and turquoise spots.

The grownup fish can also be decorated with three black bars and the rear half of the body (together with the caudal fin base) sports a profusion of small black dots.

When you handle to get your fish into a breeding mode within the aquarium, the underside of the body will flip black and the three black bars will develop into even darker than before.

Texas Cichlid Description

Cichlid is mostly present in North America and North East Mexico however nowadays it has spread to Florida and Louisiana.

It’s an aggressive and invasive fish and is thought to kill off or drive away different species from its space of habitat.

Texas Cichlid is an oval-shaped fish, with flat sides and a concave forehead. The fish has a very large head and largemouth.

The male fish can develop as much as 30 cm while the female barely smaller averages at 20 cm. It’s typically present in ponds close to heavy vegetation.

The common lifespan is about 10 years however some have been recognized to live as much as 15 years.

The Texas Cichlid is mostly darkish brown colored however the color varies with mating variations as they can mate with different species.

There have been recognized to have Green, Blue, and even a Red Texas Cichlid.

Nevertheless, despite this variation in breeding the Texas Cichlid may be very simple to maintain as a result of it’s lax dietary and different requirements.

The Texas Cichlid can survive in each chilly and warm waters due to its excessive adaptability. It may be found in each fast-flowing rivers as well still waters.

It could actually bear temperature alterations and may survive in various pH ranges (7.5-9).

It’s not a newbie’s fish and must be stored in a big aquarium by somebody who understands the character of the fish and may maintain its needs properly.

Texas Cichlid Male or Female

Males can develop as much as 30 cm whereas females can solely go as much as 20 cm. Males have a taller body in addition to a definite nuchal hump.

The Texas cichlid males have prolonged dorsal and anal fins. Females will be recognized by a black spot on their dorsal, which the males do not need. The sexual variations in these fish are fairly evident.

The males are usually brighter in coloration as compared to the females and likewise, grow bigger. It has additionally been observed that the males are more pointed trying as well.

One of many methods by which a feminine will be recognized is thru the black spots that are located on their dorsal fin, however, don’t exist on their male counterparts.

Texas Cichlid Habitat

It’s not advisable to deal with a grownup Texas cichlid in an aquarium smaller than 75 gallons as a result of it can attain a size of 12 inches.

Attempt to mimic the natural habitat of the fish by overlaying the bottom of the aquarium with sand and offering a lot of rocks and roots within the setup. Including live crops will make the fish really feel much more at home, however, keep away from sensitive species as a result of the Texas cichlid is keen on burrowing near plants.

A super setup would come with rooted plants together with floating ones that dim the sunshine and provide cover for the fish.

Herichthys cyanoguttatus is a subtropical species that can recognize a water temperature of 70° to 75°F within the aquarium, however, it’s recognized to adapt well to each cooler and warmer situations.

The water must be basic, impartial, or just slightly acidic—pH 6.5 to 8.0. The really useful water hardness is dH 8 to 25.

It’s tough to differentiate between the female and male Texas Cichlid. The females are much less brightly colored and normally smaller than the males.

Older males will develop a cranial bump typical in some cichlids. Neutral water with soft to medium hardness, a pH of roughly 7.0, and temperatures of 68-75°F is really useful. Texas Cichlids are open breeders that need well-oxygenated water.

They spawn on cleaned rocks, laying as much as 500 eggs. The fry is suspended from stones and guarded by each parent. The Texas Cichlid will not be as diligent as a parent as some cichlids and will eat their spawn.

Texas Cichlids is omnivorous and can eat most prepared and frozen meals, together with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, in addition to flake meals and Cichlid pellets.

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Texas Cichlid Temperament

As talked above, the Texas cichlid is a feisty creature and may therefore solely be mixed with fish able to fend for themselves.

You’ll be able to, as an example, maintain it with aggressive Central and South American cichlids of roughly the same dimension, provided that your aquarium is large enough.

It also needs to be famous that some specimens are exceedingly aggressive whereas others will be pretty non-confrontational towards different fish.

Every fish has a unique character that will change over time. Some specimens develop into just about impossible to maintain with some other fish as they age, and these individuals are finest housed in their very own aquarium.

Texas Cichlid Care

Texas cichlids require giant tanks and top-notch filtration techniques due to the organic waste buildup that the fish leaves after feeding.

They’re additionally avid substrate diggers so there must be a thick layer on the bottom of the tank.

They require giant tanks with at least 200 liters of water and if there are just a few fish in the same tank then the water requirement will increase to 400 liters.

The water must be consistently renewed. They need large tanks to develop their full size and a lack of such a tank will diminish their dimension and health.

Temperature restrictions are fairly less for this fish. They want a temperature somewhere between 24-26 C0and a pH between 6.5-8.

Texas Cichlid Feeding

The best job in caring for the Texas cichlid is that being an omnivorous fish, it’s going to eat almost anything. They significantly like artificial meals with ideally excessive vegetable content.

The diet needs to be substituted with different elements such as fish flesh, prawns, and mussels. Mammal meat needs to be avoided as a result of it has a high-fat content.

The Texas Cichlid solely requires to be fed as soon as a day and rising its food plan won’t solely contaminate the tank however will have an effect on the well being of the fish as nicely.

The fish meals are available on many online shops and it’s genetically engineered for the fish because it doesn’t contaminate the water tank.

The following are the recognized brands:

Hikari Cichlid Gold
API for large Cichlids
Tetra JumboKrill (complement for big tropical fishes)
Xtreme Aquatic Foods Big Fella Stick Fish Food

Texas Cichlid Tank Mates

Texas cichlid is not recognized to be a friendly fish and on the contrary, will be very aggressive through the mating season. So it’s not suggested to maintain it with different fish species but rather let it have a big, roomy tank.

Texas cichlid may be very territory acutely aware and infrequently treats small fish as meals. In the course of the mating season, it’s further aggressive however that may be the case usually as nicely due to its nature.

It’s good to maintain with different cichlids of the identical dimension however that can additionally change, and it’s this unpredictability that doesn’t make it preferred for newcomers to get a cichlid.

There have been instances of amicable cichlids as well. Common appropriate companions embody sailfin pleco and black ghost knife fish.

A cichlid does well with fishes that are able to defend themselves. It’s advisable to maintain them with different cichlids, however, each fish is different and typically a cichlid may be finest left alone.

Compatibility with its habitat and different fish varies vastly.

When selecting the tank mates for the Texas cichlids, it should be stored in mind that these fish are fairly aggressive and may solely be stored with similar other giant fish species that are successful sufficient of dealing with themselves.

When the fish is spawning they shouldn’t be kept near different fish as they’re fairly more likely to kill the other fish within the tank. This is applicable to their species because the spawning pairs can get very aggressive.

Texas Cichlid Markings and Colors

The Texas cichlid fish are fairly aggressive and large and may simply reach as much as a foot of their size.

Nevertheless, a majority of these cichlids that are sold in the aquarium trade do attain a superb grownup size which is barely smaller than that.

The body of the fish is pearl gray with green and blue-hued scales which supplies the sort of look of pearl-like speckles, giving it one other name of pearl cichlid.

The speckles additionally extend to its fins and there’s a darkish spot which is kind of visible on the end of its tail and plenty of different sports activities are there on the center of its body.

The males, once they attain maturity, develop the traditional nuchal hump on their heads right over their eyes.

When they’re spawning, the fish assumes a hanging half and half coloration because the front of their body portion of their body getting black or gray and black bar.

Texas Cichlid Breeding

This can be a difficult factor to attain with the fish in a tank due to the character of the fish and given that it turns into more aggressive on the time of breeding. The easier manner is to get three {couples} and leave them be for mating.

The mating begins with a ‘flirting’ maneuver as they smack the partner’s body with the tail. If the courtship is profitable, they’ll change the hind body coloration to black and the forepart to white.

The nest space is cleaned by the fish, normally an easy stone or a small pit.

The feminine will lay eggs here and the male with fertilize them. Each male and females will fan the eggs with their belly fins to saturate the water close to the eggs with oxygen.

The male, nevertheless, tends to get aggressive in direction of the female on this course of so it’s advisable to maintain a barrier between them. The egg-laying course lasts 2 days after which the larvae hatch.

They are often relocated from their parents throughout this time and so they begin swimming in per week or so.

It’s not a difficult activity to develop these small ones offered they’re given ample meals. The food plan will be diversified because the fish begin to develop.

Growing Your Own

Raising your individual Texas cichlids will not be very tough once you have obtained an appropriate pair, however unfortunately even mated Texas cichlids are inclined to fight one another quite a bit.

Females will be distinguished by a black spot on their dorsal, which the males do not need. The male fish is mostly bigger and has brighter colors.

Older males could develop a cranial bump, however, some people by no means do regardless of their age, and there are additionally reviews of feminine specimens with bumps.

Texas Cichlid Parenting

Texas cichlids are clutch tenders and each sex are devoted parents. The male cichlid will guard the territory whereas the feminine care for the eggs.

Each sex develop into extremely aggressive whereas tending to eggs and it’d sound like a good suggestion to give them their very own breeding aquarium, however, I have to advise in opposition to it.

Without some other fish within the aquarium to take out his aggression on, the male fish could direct his violent habits towards his partner and trigger extreme injury and even death.

It’s due to this fact higher to maintain the couple along with different fishes in a big and well-decorated aquarium with loads of hiding spots. Another difference is to make use of a divider to separate the male from the feminine and the eggs.


If you wish to efficiently raise a batch of Texas cichlids, it’s crucial to maintain the oxygen ranges actually high and the quantity of organic waste low.

The eggs will usually hatch inside three to 5 days and the feminine will assist her young ones to emerge.

The larvae might be transported to a pit that has been dug out in the sand and might be stored there for about 5 to eight days.

Free-swimming fry is usually big enough to devour newly hatched brine shrimp and powdered flakes, and they’re going to eat natural matter within the aquarium as nicely.

Don’t lose heart if the primary few batches get eaten by the dad and mom, as it is not uncommon for Texas cichlid {couples} to go through just a few apply rounds earlier than they get everything right.

Blues, Greens, and Reds

In the aquarium trade, you may typically discover fishes offered under the names blue Texas cichlid, green Texas cichlid, and red Texas cichlid.

These widespread names may cause numerous confusion as a result of they’re used for coloration variants of Herichthys cyanoguttatus in addition to for hybrids and fully different species.

Take the title blue Texas cichlid as an example—many pet retailers use this title for quite a lot of blue cichlids from North and Central America, together with H. carpintis, H. cyanoguttatus, H. labridens, and others.

The title blue Texas cichlid can also be frequently utilized to species that haven’t but been scientifically described and given a correct scientific title, akin to Herichthys sp. “Rio Cazones,” Herichthys sp. “turquoise,” and Herichthys sp. “Poza Rica.”

The name green Texas cichlid is usually used for H. carpintis, a reasonably shut relative of H. cyanoguttatus, however, it may also be used for different species and variants.

H. carpintis is collected from Mexican waters, and it’s unclear if it even exists in Texas. You’ll be able to inform the 2 species aside by trying on the spots, as H. cyanoguttatus has smaller spots than H. carpintis.

As talked about above, H. carpintis is typically offered beneath the title blue Texas cichlid, which naturally makes the state of affairs much more confusing for potential cichlid house owners. It is also generally known as the pearlscale cichlid and lowland cichlid.

The name red Texas cichlid is mainly used for an aquarium hybrid between a Texas cichlid and another cichlid.

The ancestry of the red Texas cichlid is due to this fact obscure and variable. The standard of fry offered beneath the title purple Texas cichlid or red flowerhorn varies quite a bit, and the variety of specimens that become vibrantly red present cichlids might be actually low even in a superb batch.

You’ll be able to usually anticipate a good portion of every batch to by no means develop into purple in any respect, and black recognizing is prevalent amongst those that do flip purple. It’s not unusual for a “purple” Texas cichlid to be more black than red.

Texas Cichlid Taking Care

A majority of the species, hybrids, and variants offered under the name Texas cichlid happily have fairly related husbandry necessities and will recognize roughly the identical kind of surroundings, diet, and care.

They’re additionally recognized to exhibit related breeding behaviors. It’s possible you’ll have to experiment a bit to seek out out precisely how one can look after and breed your particular specimens, nevertheless.

Additionally, understand that keeping possibly mislabelled fish with uncertain ancestry collectively will increase the danger of unwanted hybridization within the aquarium.

The truth that most fishes offered under the Texas cichlid flag are related doesn’t mean that they’re equivalent or solely superficially different.

H. carpintis will, as an example, hardly ever develop larger than 8 inches whereas H. cyanoguttatus can attain a size of 12 inches, and it will naturally have a big effect on recommended aquarium size and quantity.

You also need to be ready for temperamental variations. For instance, the hybrid sold under the name red Texas cichlid is thought to be much more violent than H. cyanoguttatus and is due to this fact tougher to mix with different fish.

Then again, H. carpintis is quite often kept in community aquariums with fish that exhibit medium ranges of aggression.

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