|Cichlasoma balteatum, C. nicaraguense, C. spilotum, Copora nicaraguensis, Herichthys nicaraguensis, Heros balteatus, H. nicaraguensis
|Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
|Neutral to slightly hard and alkaline. pH: 7.0-8.0, dH: up to 20 degrees.
|No special requirements
|Mature males are larger and may develop a nuchal hump. Mature females retain the black lateral stripe and generally have more intense colouration.
|Spirulina flake, granules,cichlid pellets and frozen foods
The Nicaragua Cichlid is known from the San Juan drainage (including Lake Nicaragua) in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and south-eastwards to the Matina River drainage in Costa Rica. Here it inhabits lakes and rivers with slow to moderate current. This beautiful species is best maintained as a compatible pair, and they should be provided with a mature aquarium that is at least 4ft long. Much larger quarters will be necessary if you wish to keep them alongside other cichlids. There should be a soft sandy substrate and numerous hiding places/visual barriers created from tangles of driftwood, rocky caves, flowerpots, and hardy planting (Anubias sp. or Java Fern tied to the wood). Filtration should be efficient but water movement not too vigorous. This species is especially sensitive to the build-up of pollutants, so small frequent water changes are a must to help keep nitrogenous waste to a minimum. The Nicaragua Cichlid is relatively peaceful - as far as large Central American cichlids go - although it is still rather territorial, especially when breeding. Good tankmates include large armoured catfish, and sizeable barbs or characins. Do not house with small fish or with any exceptionally aggressive species. Several different colour forms exist, depending on original collection location. May also be seen on sale as the Macaw Cichlid or Spilotum, and are often referred to simply as "Nics".
Omnivorous and will accept most aquarium foods offered. Try to keep it varied with good quality carnivore and herbivore flakes, sinking pellets/sticks, and a mixture of frozen foods such as white mosquito larvae, bloodworm, Spirulina/vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, Mysis, and chopped prawns, along with some fresh vegetable matter. Will eat snails.
Substrate spawner, which has been bred in the home aquarium. In the wild, these fish spawn in tunnels dug some 10-20" into clay river banks, which help keep the eggs in one place despite the water currents. Prior to spawning, the colouration of the fish will intensify and they will choose a suitable spawning site - usually a depression dug in the substrate or in a cave. Unusually for a cichlid, the eggs are non-adhesive, and the result is that in the home aquarium, the parents spend quite some time chasing after them on the substrate and returning them to the nest (this would likely not be such a problem in the wild where the eggs are confined to a tunnel). The female takes on primary brood care, whilst the male patrols the general perimeter. The eggs, which may number up to 400, should hatch within 3-4 days, and the fry should be free-swimming just a few days later. Offer them baby brineshrimp (Artemia nauplii) and crushed flake, moving on to larger foodstuffs as they grow. Both male and female exhibit excellent parental care, and it is important not to separate the young from the adults too quickly, otherwise the male may decide he wants to spawn again and the female may not be ready, in which case he will show much aggression.
For delivery before Christmas, orders must be placed on or before 3pm on Wednesday 20th December. We cannot guarantee delivery of these orders pre-Christmas as we are reliant on our couriers, but will use our best endeavours to get orders placed on this date out to you before Christmas. For full details of our festive delivery and opening times click here
Please note: online orders placed after 3pm on Friday 22nd December will not be dispatched until the New Year. For full details of our festive delivery and opening times click here