Diamond tsikhlazoma: description, care, photo
The elongated body of the cichlasoma, slightly flattened laterally, has a length of up to 15 cm. In nature, however, there are specimens up to 40 cm in size. This fish has rather thick lips, large eyes and a steep forehead line that passes into a fat pad with age. The long and pointed dorsal fin is shifted to the tail fin.
The body of the fish is dark brown or olive color. On all its surface, including on fins, light blue brilliant specks are scattered, making the fish extraordinarily beautiful. No wonder the diamond cichlasoma has another name - pearl. Closer to the tail there are a few specks of black. There are individuals with three dark stripes. In the period of care for the offspring, the color of the fish changes - the lower part of the body becomes almost black. Males are usually larger than females and have a steeper forehead line.
Tsikhlazoma belongs to the subtropical species of fish, their main habitat is the rivers, which are well heated by the sun. The historic homeland is the Rio Grande River in the United States and ponds in northeastern Mexico.Artificial breeding of this fish is practiced in Florida, in the Philippines, on the banks of rivers of Central and South America. The diamond tsikhlasoma prefers places densely overgrown with algae, rich in snails and small fish, mostly the lower and middle layers of water.
Conditions in the aquarium
To keep cichlase at home, you need a fairly spacious aquarium. For one fish, a volume of 150-200 liters will suffice, and for a couple it will take at least 500 liters. The usual river sand with a large number of stones, kryag, grottoes, which will serve as a shelter for fish, will be suitable as a substrate. Be sure to have algae. They should be placed both on the bottom and on the surface of the water, creating a shadow and dividing the aquarium into several parts. It is advisable to pick plants strong, because the diamond tsikhlazom has a habit of undermining them and nibbling the leaves.
The desire of these fish to protect their territory makes it necessary to take a very cautious approach to the choice of neighbors. These should be larger fish that can stand up for themselves.
Cychlasmas are very sensitive to water pollution.They have a good metabolism, so at least once a week you have to replace up to one-third of the total volume of water in the aquarium. In addition, it is necessary to filter it. The water temperature is recommended to maintain in the range of 22-26 ⁰C. Her cichlosome brilliant changes her well under the condition that it is done gradually.
Insects, small crustaceans, worms and algae are a menu of tsikhlazomy living in natural conditions. Therefore, when keeping fish in an aquarium, it is recommended to adhere to the same diet.
Small animals, insects, and snails are quite suitable as food. Under the conditions of captivity, representatives of this species eat well and special flaky and granulated feed sold in pet stores. The diamond tsikhlazoma living in an aquarium, does not refuse the vegetables, the frozen or dried meat forage, and also small cut meat of beef or a liver. Food should be given in small quantities, but often enough.
Regardless of whether the tsikhlasoma lives in its natural environment or in an aquarium, it is characterized by high fertility.For spawning fish requires a large amount of oxygen. During this period, it is necessary to change the water twice a week and raise its temperature to 29 ⁰С. When planning the breeding of cychlases in an aquarium, it is important to take care of determining the sex of the fish placed in it. The female and male differ in size, brightness of color and degree of manifestation of fatty growth on the forehead. These features are clearly visible on the photo of the diamond tsikhlazomy.
The female will be ready for breeding when the length of her body reaches 7–9 centimeters. This can be determined by behavior - it begins to clear the surface of the stones. It is necessary to take care in advance and place in the aquarium objects with a flat surface - ceramics, plastic, etc. For one spawning period, the diamond cykhlazoma is able to lay up to 1000 eggs. The male relentlessly follows her and fertilizes the clutch.
The female remains nearby to look after the clutch, the male, in turn, protects the entire territory. Throughout the entire incubation period, they behave quite aggressively, sometimes attacking each other. Therefore, in order to divert them, it is recommended to place several mobile active fish in the aquarium.
After 4–5 days, the eggs open and the larvae appear, which the parents carefully transfer to the specially dug holes. After 7–8 days, the fry swim in search of food. At this time, it is already possible to start feeding them with live food for the young - slices of worms, fish, and crab sticks.
The diamond tsikhlazoma, the content of which does not cause major problems, can become a real pearl of the aquarium, delivering great pleasure when watching it.