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Related FAQs: Pike Cichlids, Neotropical Cichlids, Neotropical Cichlids 2, Neotropical Cichlids 3, Cichlid Fishes in General, Cichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related Articles: Angelfish, Discus, Juraparoids/Eartheaters, Convicts, Oscars, Firemouths, Texas Cichlids Flowerhorns, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlids of the World

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Pike Cichlids 



Excerpted from: Pocket-sized Pikes; There's something about these miniature killers that fascinates us. But can they be kept without mayhem and mass murder?  by  Neale Monks

Pike cichlids, genus Crenicichla

It would be difficult to discuss aquarium 'pikes' without mention these popular fish. On the one hand, they come in a variety of sizes, from dwarf species only around three inches or so in length (such as Crenicichla compressiceps) though to giants that can exceed ten inches in length (as with the undescribed species sold as Crenicichla sp. 'Xingu I'). Most are somewhere between these extremes, with fish around six to eight inches in length being typical.

Broadly speaking, all prefer soft and acidic water conditions and generally get along well with other fish too large to be viewed as food. Single specimens and pairs are usually very aggressive towards conspecifics, however. Some species are shy, others more outgoing, but a lot depends on the aquarium. In a spacious tank with plenty of plants, these fish these fish will explore their environment a good deal of the time; but in a cramped aquarium, particularly one with few sources of cover, they'll stay in their chosen cave and only venture out at feeding time (and then only briefly). As such, give the dwarf species tanks above least 30 gallons in capacity, and the large species proportionally more.

Pike cichlids can and do eat smaller fish, but like most other cichlids they are quick to learn about the options. River shrimps, earthworms, and other live foods of this type are readily taken from the start, but once settled in, these fish will even eat cichlid pellets!

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