The dwarf spezies among the pike cichlids have recently been separated as an independent genus Wallaciia (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/the-crenicichla-have-been-reclassified/). They include W. compressiceps, which occurs only in the Tocantins and Araguaia rivers in Brazil. It is one of the smallest, the prettiest and the most aggressive pike cichlid species. Although it only grows to a maximum length of 10 cm, females always remain smaller, the animals should be provided with at least a 120 cm aquarium. Otherwise they can attack each other like small, biting terriers.
The males can be distinguished from the females already from the relatively small size of 4-6 cm by the clearly denser and more intensive striation of the softly rayed parts of the anal and dorsal fin as well as the caudal fin. In the latter, the stripes are either indistinct or even absent. In addition, males have a red stripe in the dorsal fin that is absent in females; however, this stripe is only seen when the animal spreads the dorsal fin.
If you can meet the space requirements of the little ruffians, you should definitely take care of them once. They are beautiful and relatively easy to breed. To do this, let pairs find each other from a group of animals. Like all pike cichlids they are cave breeders with parent family. The requirements for the water composition are easy to meet, they need a pH in the neutral or slightly acidic range, so they are by no means black water inhabitants! The water temperature should be between 26 and 28°C. Dry food is rejected by the fish, but any kind of frozen and live food is accepted.
For our customers: the fish have code 669202 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer