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White-spotted Pike Cichlid
(Crenicichla albopunctata)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 8"
Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons
Water Conditions: 75-82° F, KH 1-15, pH 5.5-7.0
Diet: Carnivore
Origin: French Guiana, Northern Amazon
Family: Cichlidae
Species: Pikes
Aquarium Type: Cichlid-New-World
Species Information
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.
Aquarium Care
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.
Feeding & Nutrition
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.
Additional Photos