Cultivation of black-striped cichlids
The origin and appearance of cychlasma
The first description of this type of fish appeared at the end of the XIX century. And since then, the black-striped cichlase man has become the favorite of many aquarists. Unpretentiousness and lively behavior of the fish of this species conquered the hearts of many, especially if we add to this the possibility of keeping them in a small volume (which is not available for most cichlids). For those who have not previously been familiar with cichlids, this species is an ideal beginning to get acquainted with these interesting fish.
The aquarium fish Amatitlania nigrofasciata or the black-striped tsikhlazoma in nature is found in Central America, inhabiting the waters of Guatemala, Honduras and Panama. Today, she increasingly appears in the United States. She likes the places where there is a current, and at the same time small streams and deep rivers are suitable for her. A typical biotope for it is a rocky bottom, on which a large number of various shelters are located. It is rather difficult to meet this species in open areas, as she prefers to hide.Natural food for it are insects and larvae, worms, small fish and plants. Such omnivorousness is inherited and "domesticated" fish, which can often be found in domestic aquariums.
Appearance and behavior features tsihlazom
In appearance, black-striped tsikhlazomy similar to the representatives of his family. They have an elongated body, which is slightly oblate from the sides. Under natural conditions, males reach 15 cm, although in an aquarium more than 10 cm rarely grow. Females are usually smaller. The main background of the body is gray with blue tint, along which there are vertically arranged black stripes. The shape of the dorsal and anal fin is elongated and wide; in length they reach the base of the tail.
In addition to the usual colors, there is a black-striped albino tsikhlazoma, called "flamingo". Her body is colored pink and yellow, but her eyes are dark. There is also a disk form.
It is easy to distinguish a female and a male from these fish. The male is of larger size (1.5-2 times), its fins are wider, fatty growth is often formed on the forehead. In the female during the spawning period, orange glitter is visible on the abdomen.
By nature, these fish are monogamous. Forming couples at an early age, they do not part later all their lives. They reach sexual maturity between the ages of 7 and 10 months. A feature of their behavior is pronounced territoriality. While nursing offspring, they can attack fish that are much larger than them. Such aggressiveness is especially evident during spawning, which does not have their seasonal manifestation.
The most favorable conditions for this species is the creation of a biotope that is close to the natural. Many aquarists say that their content can be called simple if you follow some rules.
Strong aggressiveness and protection of the territory makes it difficult to maintain this species with other fish, and therefore, ideally, it is better to equip a species aquarium with at least 50 liters.However, they can be settled in a common tsikhlidnik, but black-striped tsikhlazomy should have enough space to arrange their own nest in a separate territory.
Soil for aquarium tsikhlazomy
Selecting the soil for the comfortable content of these cichlids, it is necessary to take into account their desire for "landscape design." They love to "redraw" the situation for themselves, dig holes and create a nest. To use sand is not the best solution, since the black-striped cichlasome will constantly raise dregs. But the large pebbles, it simply can not take in your mouth. Therefore, the best solution will be small pebbles, which the fish will tear, settling the territory. Larger stones can be used to create numerous shelters that cichlids love. Show your imagination and create a masterpiece of art from your aquarium.
Plants and scenery in the aquarium tsikhlazomy
In connection with the love of these fish for excavating the soil, the plants must be selected with a strong root system and solid leaves. If you do not want to watch every day how your "underwater garden" is dug up, and all the plants are floating on the surface, deepen them into the ground.Do not use for decorating small plants and those whose root system is very delicate. Fish just dig them, causing damage to the bushes. But this can lead to the death of the plant.
Ideally, a tsikhlidnik is a rocky bottom, large stones for decoration and the minimum number of plants, or even their complete absence. Also, for decoration, you can use wooden branches or pieces of bark, but they must first be processed in order to bring out dyes and parasites.
Water parameters and lighting for this type of fish
The black-band tsikhlazomy content does not provide for the creation of any special conditions in terms of water parameters and lighting. She feels great in tap water, which she had previously defended. Moreover, its temperature should not be lower than 24 ° C and not higher than 27 ° C. Water hardness can also range from 8 to 30 ° dH. Water should be neutral in acidity, but small fluctuations are possible.
Illumination can be both top, and with the bottom illumination in front. After all, in the reflected rays, such a fish will look more beautiful, playing with its scales. For overhead lighting, conventional lamps of such a power will be enough to ultimately result in 0.5 W / L.
Since this type of cichlid is omnivorous, any food will suit you. However, remember that the third part of its diet should be vegetable feed, otherwise it will begin to eat up the plants. Dry, live, frozen food is perfect. You can diversify their diet with the help of meat, scalded cabbage and lettuce, and zucchini. And do not try to teach them to feed from the hand, because they will try to pinch it, standing up to defend their territory.
Black-striped Tsikhlazoma has increased aggressiveness, so it is not advisable to settle it in a common aquarium with small and peaceful neighbors. But a flock of barbs or some swordtails with tsikhlazomami get along. In the general tsikhlidnik they can be contained only if there is a separate territory.
The reproduction of these cichlids is very simple. In a common or separate aquarium, the female lays her eggs on a smooth bottom. For these purposes, she can use a ceramic pot, mug, sink, or cave in a stone. The main thing is to keep this place far away from the viewing window so that no one would disturb it.After 2-3 days, the larvae appear, which then turn into fry. From this point on they can begin to feed. For this, nauplii brine shrimp, cyclops or finely chopped tubule will do.
It is very interesting to watch how parents of tsikhlazomy caring for babies, as one of them gently takes in the baby's mouth and takes him for a walk. Or how they walk a couple of flocks for a couple, when one parent chases the uninvited guests, and the second follows the fry.
Since spawning at cichlasoma black-band occurs a whole year, you will be able for a long time to observe the amazing behavior of these interesting fish.