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Red Tapajos Pike
(Crenicichla sp. Tapajos Red) Moderate Semi-aggressive 14" 180 gallons 76-84° F; pH 5.5-7.0; dH 3-20 Carnivore Rio Tapajos, Brazil, Amazon Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World Red Tapajos Pike (Crenicichla sp. Tapajos Red) are fairly new to the aquarium hobby and are not fully described at this time. They are currently categorized scientifically as , but are often sold within the hobby as Tapajos Red Pike, Red Tapajos Pike or Tapajos I Pike. They are often confused with the Cobra Pike Crenicichla sp. Tapajos II, which while similar and originating from the same region, varies in coloration and pattern. They originate from the Rio Tapajos and surrounding tributaries of the northern Brazilian Amazon. The Tapajos river runs roughly 1200 miles from the mountainous interior of the continent through the humid and hot valleys and then into the Amazon River. The large volume of the river and the deep tropical valleys that it runs through both contribute to make the water temperature of the river very stable and warm all year round. Red Tapajos Pike have become accustomed to very warm waters with excellent water quality and stable water parameters. Hobbyists looking to keep this or other Amazonian river fish species need to maintain high quality water conditions in the aquarium with low levels of nitrates and high levels of dissolved oxygen. Ideally hobbyists should house the Red Tapajos Pike in an aquarium setup that emulates their natural river habitat. Despite growing a modest 12 to 14 inches in length, the Red Tapajos Pike is a fast swimmer that requires a large aquarium that will allow them room to swim. An aquarium that is at least 6 feet long and 2 feet in width or larger is ideal, as this will give the fish room to swim and allow for enough territory for the Pike and other fish species. If housed in a smaller aquarium, the Pike is much more likely to become overly territorial and aggressive towards any tank mates. When kept in a properly sized aquarium, the Red Tapajos Pike is not considered to be overly aggressive and can be housed with other large Cichlid species that will not fit into their mouths. However, they are often aggressive towards conspecifics or other similar Pike species. Larger Cichlid species, Rays, Plecos and large Catfish make good tank mates for Red Tapajos Pike in large aquariums (180 gallons or more). Provide a sandy, small gravel or mixed sand & gravel substrate, at least one large piece of driftwood (preferably with some sort of natural cave) along with several smaller pieces, possibly some rock structure, and a decent amount of live plants ranging in size from micro to large Amazon swords. Red Tapajos Pike Cichlids can tolerate the light intensity needed for the larger plants (around 3 watts per gallon), but does prefer to have shaded areas via floating vegetation or cave-like structures of driftwood or rock. They also require excellent water conditions and tend to thrive in the higher end of their temperature threshold near 84°F; they also tend to prefer a lower pH of approximately 5.5 to 6.0. Because they are large, fast, and powerful, they require adequate open space for hunting and swimming; because of this a 125 gallon minimum tank size is recommended for a single male or one male and one female. Provide plenty of water flow via power heads or filtration returns, along with excellent biological and mechanical filtration through the use of large canister filters or wet/dry sumps. Red Tapajos Pike Cichlids will often prefer to eat only live prey when first introduced into the aquarium environment. Fish are their main food source in their natural habitat, but once in the aquarium, they learn quickly and they also learn from other fish; they can be trained to accept a few other live foods (e.g., ghost shrimp and earthworms) and may eventually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and chopped pieces of fish. Some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it does not always work out. That is not too much of a problem as ghost shrimp and some of the other food items mentioned can be "gut-loaded" and vitamin-enriched in order to provide the Red Tapajos Pike with a varied and well balanced diet.
White-spotted Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla albopunctata) Easy Aggressive 8" 90 gallons 75-82° F, KH 1-15, pH 5.5-7.0 Carnivore French Guiana, Northern Amazon Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World The White-spotted Pike Cichlid (Crenicichla albopunctata) is found living in slow moving rivers and tributaries in the jungles of French Guiana and northern portions of the Amazon. They are ambush predators who use the dimly lit and highly vegetated waters of their native jungle habitat to ambush small fish and amphibians. They ambush prey both from the substrate striking prey as they swim above and from the cover of vegetation that hangs from the jungle canopy down into the water. White-spotted Pike Cichlid are known for being avid diggers, as they will carve out areas of substrate near roots or rock piles to create themselves a place to retreat to when needed. While smaller than many Cichlid species, the White-spotted Pike Cichlid makes up for their size with speed and aggression. They will carve out a piece of territory within the aquarium, which they will aggressively defend. They should be kept with other larger Cichlid species that can tolerate their aggression. The White-spotted Pike Cichlid should only be kept with other Pike Cichlids if the aquarium is very large and capable of providing enough territory for multiple specimens. Male White-spotted Pike Cichlid are larger and more colorful than females of the species. If keeping a mated pair, it is recommended that they be housed in their own aquarium as they would be incredibly aggressive towards other tank mates. White-spotted Pike Cichlid do well in Amazon biotope aquariums that focus on recreating the natural habitat of the fish. A sandy substrate is highly recommended in order to allow the pike to dig into the substrate to create a comfortable retreat. The tank should also contain plenty of root or driftwood along with some well rooted hardy live plants or well anchored ornamental plants. Some rock piles or rocky caves are also recommended in order to create territory for both the White-spotted Pike Cichlid and other tank mates. Make sure that all rocks and wood roots are pushed down into the substrate, so that they maintain stability when Cichlids dig out around their base. The White-spotted Pike Cichlid prefers a habitat with low to medium water flow, plenty of wood root or plant based cover and dim or filtered aquarium lighting. Due to their aggressive nature, it is recommended that the White-spotted Pike Cichlid be house with much large Cichlid species capable of defending themselves. While the White-spotted Pike Cichlid can be housed in aquariums as small as 75 to 90 gallons, they do better in larger aquariums that afford them more territory which helps to reduce their aggression towards tank mates. While the White-spotted Pike Cichlid is a carnivorous species, they eat primarily herbivorous fish in the wild. This allows them to ingest many of the nutrients from the "gut loaded" herbivore fish. Therefore it is recommended to feed the White-spotted Pike Cichlid quality commercial pellet or stick foods that contain both vegetable and meat based sources. Feeder fish should be gut loaded with vegetable based foods in order to provide the pike with a balanced diet. Begin by feeding one to two times per day an amount of food the fish will consume within a few minutes, then monitor the girth and growth rate of the fish. Increase feeding frequency if the fish appears thin or if its growth rate is very slow.
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Venezuela Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla sp. "Venezuela") Expert Aggressive 20" 90 gallons 76-86° F, pH 5.0-6.8, dH 4-10 Piscivore Amazon Basin, South America Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World The Venezuela Pike Cichlid is the largest member of the Lugubris group (the largest members of the Crenicichla genus). They are native to the Rio Orinoco and its Amazon tributaries in Venezuela and Columbia, South America. As juveniles the Venezuela Pike Cichlids have multiple dark spots on their cheeks, heads and operculum; they also display a prominent lateral band of varied intensity and often have a red hue along the top of their entire dorsal fin. Once they reach maturity the Venezuela Pike Cichlid will experience an ontogenic color change and will lose most of their juvenile coloration and markings, eventually ending up with a solid, pale gray-blue coloration, bright red eyes, a faint darkened area instead of a humeral blotch and a prominent, black ocellus spot at the beginning of their caudal fin; in addition, once out of their juvenile stage this species will completely lose its manners and will start to become increasingly aggressive as it approaches its full size. The juveniles and adults are both very attractive and although the Venezuela Pike Cichlid is a popular species in the hobby, they are rarely found among local retailers; the best method to acquire a specimen is through online auctions and vendors. Venezuela Pike Cichlids are the largest of their species and are extremely fast and powerful; they require a 90 gallon aquarium with a tight fitting lid. Provide a sandy to small gravel substrate, at least one large piece of driftwood (preferably with some sort of natural cave) along with several smaller pieces, possibly some rock structure, and a decent amount of live plants ranging in size from micro to large Amazon swords. Venezuela Pike Cichlids can tolerate the light intensity needed for the larger plants (around 3 watts per gallon), but does prefer to have shaded areas via floating vegetation or cave-like structures of driftwood or rock. They prefer "blackwater" conditions and tend to thrive in the higher end of their temperature threshold (84°F makes them happy); they also tend to prefer a lower pH (approximately 5.5) as well as soft water and pristine conditions are in high demand. Because they are large, fast, and powerful, they also require adequate open space for hunting and swimming. Venezuela Pike Cichlids should be considered extremely aggressive and territorial, therefore potential tank mates should be considered carefully and planned out in advance; it's recommended that tank mates actually be added before the pike specimen itself, or at the very least... at the same time. Some suggested tank mates include medium to large Pleco species, true Parrot Cichlids, Lima Shovelnose Catfish, larger Oscars, and Peacock Bass. Venezuela Pike Cichlids are Piscivorous and will initially only prey upon live fish. Fish are their main food source in their natural habitat, but once in the aquarium, they learn quickly and they also learn from other fish; they can be trained to accept a few other live foods e.g., ghost shrimp and earthworms. They may eventually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and chopped pieces of fish; some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it doesn't always work out. That's not too much of a problem as ghost shrimp and some of the other food items mentioned can be "gut-loaded" and vitamin-enriched in order to provide the Venezuela Pike Cichlids with a varied and well balanced diet.
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Orange Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla sp. Xingu I) Moderate Aggressive 15" 75 gallons 76-86° F, pH 5.0-6.8, dH 4-10 Piscivore Xingu River, South America Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World Commonly referred to in the hobby as a Xingu I (Roman numeral 1 signifying it as the first variant discovered and collected in the area; first exported to the U.S. in the late 1980s), the Orange Pike Cichlid gets its name from the river of its native environment as it is endemic to the Rio Xingu of the Amazon Basin in South America. The Orange Pike Cichlid is one of the more colorful members of the Crenicichla genus and is a proud member of the Lugubris group (the largest members of the Crenicichla genus). As a juvenile, they have a bright orange coloration and are noticeably very active, curious, and peaceful; because of these traits the Orange Pike Cichlid is has gained immense popularity over the years. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the changes that take place once they reach maturity; Both sexes of the species will retain their red to bright orange fins, but will lose their bright orange body coloration and take on a dull tan-green color; although females will develop a pale red to bright orange belly that can be very attractive and vibrant if well fed on a varied diet. At maturity the species becomes very aggressive and the males will quickly reach a much larger size. Maturity-induced changes in Orange Pike Cichlids can be quite a surprise to the inexperienced hobbyist that thought they had a smaller, peaceful fish with vivid colors in an average size aquarium. Orange Pike Cichlids are among the largest of their species and are extremely fast and powerful; it's recommended that they be kept in nothing less than a 75 gallon aquarium with a tight fitting lid (just incase). Provide a sandy to small gravel substrate, at least one large piece of driftwood (preferably with some sort of natural cave) along with several smaller pieces, possibly some rock structure, and a decent amount of live plants ranging in size from micro to large Amazon swords. Orange Pike Cichlids can tolerate the light intensity needed for the larger plants (around 3 watts per gallon), but does prefer to have shaded areas via floating vegetation or cave-like structures of driftwood or rock. They also prefer "blackwater" conditions and tend to thrive in the higher end of their temperature threshold (84°F makes them happy); they also tend to prefer a lower pH (approximately 5.5) as well as soft water and pristine conditions are in high demand. Because they are large, fast, and powerful, they require adequate open space for hunting and swimming; because of this a 90 gallon minimum tank size is recommended for a single male or one male and one female. Orange Pike Cichlid can be extremely aggressive and territorial, therefore potential tank mates should be considered carefully and planned out in advance; it's recommended that tank mates actually be added before the pike specimen itself, or at the very least, at the same time. Some suggested tank mates include large Geophagus species, medium to large Pleco species, true Parrot Cichlids, Lima Shovelnose Catfish, larger Oscars, and similar sized Peacock Bass. Orange Pike Cichlid are Piscivorous and will initially only prey upon live fish. Fish are their main food source in their natural habitat, but once in the aquarium, they learn quickly and they also learn from other fish; they can be trained to accept a few other live foods (e.g., ghost shrimp and earthworms) and may eventually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and chopped pieces of fish. Some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it doesn't always work out. That's not too much of a problem as ghost shrimp and some of the other food items mentioned can be "gut-loaded" and vitamin-enriched in order to provide the Orange Pike Cichlid with a varied and well balanced diet.
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Lenticulata Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla lenticulata) Expert Aggressive 15" 75 gallons 75-86° F, pH 5.5-6.5, dH 4-8 Piscivore Amazon Basin, South America Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World Lenticulata Pike Cichlids are one of the most attractive members of the Crenicichla genus (usually equally aggressive as well) and are also a member of the Lugubris group (the largest members of the Crenicichla genus); they are primarily found in the Rio Negro, but also reside in a few other locations throughout the Amazon Basin in South America. They keep most of their spots throughout their life and once they reach adulthood, they fully develop the light-lavender hues on their sides, dorsal fin, caudal fin, and anal fins; if fed a wide variety of foods, the will retain a vivid coloration. Lenticulata Pike Cichlids were extremely rare several years ago, but they are becoming more available within the hobby (through online vendors, communities, and auction sites), although they still retain a high price tag... it's possible to find a great deal now and then if you keep your eyes open. Lenticulata Pike Cichlids are among the largest of their species and are extremely fast and powerful; it's recommended that they be kept in nothing less than a 75 gallon aquarium with a tight fitting lid (just incase). Provide a sandy to small gravel substrate, at least one large piece of driftwood (preferably with some sort of natural cave) along with several smaller pieces, possibly some rock structure, and a decent amount of live plants ranging in size from micro to large Amazon swords. Lenticulata Pike Cichlids can tolerate the light intensity needed for the larger plants (around 3 watts per gallon), but does prefer to have shaded areas via floating vegetation or cave-like structures of driftwood or rock. They also prefer "blackwater" conditions and tend to thrive in the higher end of their temperature threshold (84°F makes them happy); they also tend to prefer a lower pH (approximately 5.5) as well as soft water and pristine conditions are in high demand. Because they are large, fast, and powerful, they require adequate open space for hunting and swimming; because of this a 90 gallon minimum tank size is recommended for a single male or one male and one female. Lenticulata Pike Cichlids can be extremely aggressive and territorial, therefore potential tank mates should be considered carefully and planned out in advance; it's recommended that tank mates actually be added before the pike specimen itself, or at the very least... at the same time. There are stories of this species severely wounding similar sized Oscars, Jaguar Cichlids and other tank mates that were added a few months after the pike had become established. Some suggested tank mates include large Geophagus species, medium to large Pleco species, true Parrot Cichlids, Lima Shovelnose Catfish, larger Oscars, and similar sized Peacock Bass. Lenticulata Pike Cichlids are Piscivorous and will initially only prey upon live fish. Fish are their main food source in their natural habitat, but once in the aquarium, they learn quickly and they also learn from other fish; they can be trained to accept a few other live foods (e.g., ghost shrimp and earthworms) and may eventually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, and chopped pieces of fish; some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it doesn't always work out. That's not too much of a problem as ghost shrimp and some of the other food items mentioned can be "gut-loaded" and vitamin-enriched in order to provide the Lenticulata Pike Cichlid with a varied and well balanced diet.
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Compressiceps Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla compressiceps) Moderate Aggressive 4" 55 gallons 75-86° F, pH 5.5-6.5, dH 4-8 Carnivore, Insectivore Tocantins River, Eastern Brazil, South America Cichlidae Pikes Cichlid-New-World The Compressiceps Pike Cichlid, also referred to as the Banded Pike Cichlid is native to the rapids of the lower Tocantins River (a branch of the Amazon River) in Eastern Brazil. "Compressi-ceps" literally means "Compressed-head" in Latin; other than having a compressed head, the Compressiceps Pike is quite an attractive (dwarf) pike species and is perfect for a smaller aquarium compared to the required housing for its much larger cousins. Compressiceps Pike Cichlid are rather bold and not afraid to be out in the open, which makes for enjoyable, close observation of their natural behavior. Although small at just over three inches, Compressiceps Pike Cichlid need a lot of swimming space and territory and require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons. They should be provided with a fine sand substrate as well as driftwood and rocks for territory and hiding places. Live plants are preferred as they increase biological filtration and most pike species take advantage of the cover while hunting for live food. Compressiceps Pike Cichlid prefer soft, acidic water in pristine condition with a moderate rate of flow as well as quality biological and mechanical filtration. Lighting intensity should be on the low to moderate side with enough intensity for surface plants as well as a few low-light and Micro-sword species. Compressiceps Pike Cichlid can be very aggressive for their size and should only be kept with other aggressive species; if they are housed with their own kind, only one male is recommended unless a larger aquarium is provided (one to three females would be fine with one male). Tank mates should be considered carefully and should be similar or slightly larger in size; pike species will eat most live food that will fit in their mouths. While most pike species (especially wild-collected) are strictly piscivorous (fish eaters), Compressiceps Pike Cichlid are carnivorous insectivores and prey on insects as their main food source in the wild. In the aquarium, they will feed on live brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, daphnia, small minnows, tadpoles, small crickets, and various types of small worms, but can usually be trained to accept frozen or fresh, prepared meaty foods such as chopped krill, vitamin-enriched brine shrimp, chopped earthworms, and chopped pieces of fish; some specimens may eventually be trained to accept freeze-dried or other prepared food items, but it's not always the case.
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