Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Easy • Temperament: Aggressive • Maximum Size: 4"
• Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons • Water Conditions: 72-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 7.8-9.0
• Diet: Carnivore • Origin: Lake Tanganyika • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake
Caudopunctatus Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
Caudopunctatus Cichlids are a dwarf species of Cichlid found in Africa's Lake Tanganyika. They are found living very near to the coast line, usually in depths of water of six feet or less. They move about the coastal shallows along the sandy bottom moving between the rocks and shells in search of small crustaceans on which to prey. While they spend much of their time in close proximity to rocks or shells, they do this for protection and are not "true" shell dwellers that will live inside of a shell.
N. caudopunctatus is a monomorphic species as there are very few distinguishing traits between males and females. However, as adults the males will attain about 1 more inch in length than females which helps tell adult specimens apart. Another distinguishing trait is the higher level of aggression shown by males than females, with the exception of when the female is tending to eggs or newly hatched fry.
How to successfully keep Caudopunctatus Cichlid in the home aquarium.
Caudopunctatus Cichlids make very interesting aquarium specimens as they are very active and will spend their time sculpting the substrate, patrolling the caves and crevices of the aquarium and overall being fun to watch. As African Cichlids go, they are not too aggressive and will do well with similarly sized tank mates of similar disposition.
The ideal aquarium setup for N. Caudopunctatus should have a sandy substrate and plenty of rocks, shells, caves and crevices for them to explore and seek shelter in when threatened. A minimum aquarium size of 30 gallons is recommended, with a larger aquarium required for many individuals or if kept with other African cichlid species, so that they can all establish a suitable amount of territory and reduce fighting that occurs with overcrowding.
Mixing aragonite and/or keeping plenty of shells in the aquarium with help buffer the pH and alkalinity which will help keep the water chemistry close to their native environment.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to properly feed Caudopunctatus Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.
In nature, Caudopunctatus Cichlids diet consists primarily of small invertebrates and zooplankton. Hobbyists should feed them a varied diet of Mysis & Brine shrimp, Cyclopeeze, blood worms and high quality meaty flaked & pellet foods.
It is best to provide multiple varieties of foodstuffs to help insure that the fish receives a balanced diet, which helps them maintain a strong immune system. Feedings should consist of amounts of food that the fish will consume within a few minutes fed multiple times per day.
How to successfully breed Caudopunctatus Cichlid in the aquarium environment.
Caudopunctatus Cichlids will breed within the aquarium environment if provided proper water chemistry, a sandy substrate, and some type of suitable aqua-scaping like rocks, shells, sinking root/driftwood or flowerpots. A mating pair of Caudopunctatus Cichlids will find a secluded location within the tank near a rock, shell or flowerpot to excavate a small nest in the substrate by creating semi-circular area at the base of their spawning site.
The female will attach the eggs to the bottom of the rock, shell or flowerpot, where the male will fertilize the eggs then be driven off by the female. A batch of around 40 to 60 fry will hatch in about 72 hours and will become free-swimming in about 8 to 10 days. During this time the mother will look after them and attack any fish who intrude on their nesting site.
The fry should be fed their own food designed for fry, including Daphnia, Cyclop-eeze, or freshly hatched Brine Shrimp. Crushed flake food is accepted after about two weeks of development.
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