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Having a pet is one of the best things, especially if that pet is a fish. These creatures are silent, beautiful, and some of them are great for pest control. Although it might seem like fish are easy to care for, there are a lot of species which require a lot of attention as well as special food or tanks.
In this article, we are going to talk about an interesting fish species: the jaguar cichlid. Here you can find out everything you need to know about these species including its compatibility with other fish. It’s good to know that the jaguar cichlid can’t be put in a tank with Tetra or Angle Fish.
The Jaguar Cichlid, scientifically known as parachromis managuesis, is a large species of cichlid. They are originally from Central America and can be found from Costa Rica to Honduras. Unlike most tank fish, this species is bigger, and it can grow to 35 centimeters. These are highly predatory fish, and this is why it can be difficult to find the right tankmate. The jaguar cichlid is very valuable as a tank fish and it plays an important role in the fish industry.
The Managuense jaguar cichlid is a big, elongated fish. It’s flat from sides and it has an oval body. Its appearance shows that it’s a raptorial feeder which has adapted to aggressive assaults. These fish have different sizes when they live in captivity. For instance, a wild jaguar cichlid can reach 60 cm and it can weigh about 7 kg.
Unlike the ones living in the wild, the jaguar cichlid that lives in captivity it’s about 35 cm long. The females can only reach 30 cm and they weigh about 3 kg. These are some of the biggest fish which can be put in a tank and kept as a pet.
The color of the fish is silvery with spots of brown and black. Its color pattern resembles the one of a jaguar, as its name states. An interesting fact about their color pattern is that it’s almost impossible to find two jaguar cichlids with the same body spots. This species also presents a big head with a large mouth and big lips. They have pharyngeal teeth which help them hunt.
There are some important things to keep in mind when you want to purchase a jaguar cichlid as a pet. For instance, these fish can’t share a tank with a lot of species. In order to accommodate the cichlid and the other tankmates, you need to have a tank with aggressive fish. Also, you need to have large fish so that they won’t get hurt by the jaguar cichlid.
It’s best to pair the jaguar cichlid with other cichlids like the Red Devil or the Midas cichlid. These species are territorial to aggressive which means that none of them will get hurt while sharing a tank. Also, they enjoy the same foods so you won’t have to feed them separately.
Another important thing to consider before purchasing this species is the tank. In this case, you will need an aquarium tank with a capacity of at least 100 gallons of water. The decorations of the tank should be big and bulky like rocks. Don’t put plants in their tank because they will manage to destroy them in no time.
You will need to put a substrate for the bottom of the tank that is made of large grained gravel and add some middle-sized grains. Maintain the water in the tank at a temperature of 24-25 C. Also, the pH of the water should be around 7 for optimal results.
The jaguar cichlids have been bred in tanks for a long time. However, there are a few rules to follow when it comes to this species. The best way to help them breed is to make sure that you put 2 or 3 pairs of jaguar cichlids together in a tank when they are juvenile. If you try to put a new female or a new male in a tank at adulthood, in the breeding period, you risk to lose the fish because they are very territorial and they might hurt one another.
Another thing to consider is to move the couple of fish in a different tank to make sure that everything goes smoothly. This tank should have at least 200 liters of water. One great thing about this fish is that it is a great parent.
As we mentioned earlier, this fish is a carnivore and a raptorial which means they enjoy various types of live fish. They can also eat cut up fish or crayfish and dry foods. The jaguar cichlid prefers food like earthworms, crickets and tadpoles. Remember to feed them only once a day because they tend to eat too much. Also, experts recommend a fasting the jaguar cichlid once a week.
These fish can also eat small reptiles, larva, or goldfish. However, it’s strictly prohibited to give these species warm-blooded meat like beef, pork or poultry. This type of meat has a lot of fat and it can affect the health of your cichlid.
While it is a bit hard to find the right tankmates for this big and aggressive fish, it’s quite easy to care for them. One of the most important things is to keep the tank water clean. Large tanks are necessary for these big species. Apart from the large tank you will need to have cannisters or a sump filter to help you clean the water.
Remember to recycle about 30% of the water in the tank twice a week. Due to the fact that the aquariums are closed systems the phosphates and nitrates tend to build up in time. This makes the water hardness increase. Despite the fact that this species is aggressive, they are very sensitive to pH instability.
It’s also recommended to use external tank equipment that can clean the water. Because of their large size and aggressive style, the jaguar cichlid can damage any internal filter or heater. Apart from these minor problems, jaguar cichlids are easy to care for.
Unfortunately, fish are prone to infections and disease, especially predatory fish like the cichlid. One of the most common diseases is the Ich. This can be treated by simply raising the temperature to 86 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 days. In case this doesn’t work, you will need to treat the pet with copper. Remember to be careful when you add a new decoration or a new fish to the tank because it could sicken the other fish.
These are some of the most important things you should know about this amazing fish species. If you want to purchase a jaguar cichlid as a pet you need to be careful with the tank capacity and the pH of the water. Apart from that just feed them once a day with worms or dry food and they will be fine. Also, don’t put them in tanks with small fish because the jaguar can kill them.