The taxonomic status of this small cichlid, which has had quite a respectable aquaristic career as Amatitlania sp. Honduras Redpoint, is controversial. It is currently assumed that it belongs to the species scientifically described as A. siquia. Now this species is itself controversial and is seen by some scientists as a synonym to the old familiar A. nigrofasciata, accepted by others as a distinct species.
Of course we can’t decide that, but the two forms look different and therefore one should be careful not to mix them accidentally. In contrast to A. nigrofasciata A. siquia shows a beautiful blue-green shining patina at least in the female sex.
Aquaristically, A. nigrofasciata and A. siquia are similar in size, water values, diet and brood care.
For our customers: the animals have code 674452 (4-5 cm) and 674453 (5-6 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
Are you in a phase of the hobby, in which nothing at all wants to work out concerning breeding? Then it is time for the emergency rescuer in all situations, the convict cichlid Amatitlania nigrofasciata. Although it is no longer available everywhere and at any time, especially in its natural form, it hardly ever disappoints with regard to breeding intentions. Any male and just as any female (recognizable by the copper-red spots on the belly) almost always form a pair. A tip: the greater the size difference, the less chance of serious quarrels. So choose a large male and a much smaller female.
After a few days in the fresh aquarium with slightly increased temperatures (26-28°C compared to 22-24°C for normal care) it is usually already so far: the pair cleans a flat stone or a root, one spawns and the keeper enjoys the sight of a caring pair with many, many young.
For our customers: the natural form of A. nigrofasciata has code 655902 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The convict cichlid Amatitlania (formerly Cichlasoma) nigrofasciata is really not a novelty anymore: it has been kept and bred in aquariums since 1939. The first aquarium animals of this very widely distributed fish in Central America came from the lakes Atitlan and Amatitlan in Guatemala. The genus to which the convict cichlid currently belongs was named after the latter.
As early as the 1960s, a uniformly flesh-colored variety appeared in breedings, and since then the “piggies” have also found their enthusiasts. “New” is the marble variety. It originated in 1992 by chance in large-scale breeding of the monochrome animals in Florida and became lokal quite popular. Across the ocean they spilled first to Southeast Asia, where the busy professional breeders are always on the lookout for interesting novelties, from there to Europe and the animals we are currently offering, we got from a Czech breeder.
Apart from the coloration, which is different for each individual, they are typical convict cichlids, which move through the aquarium like a pack of wild pigs, examine every corner for food and are always ready for a fight. You can almost hear them squealing…
For our customers: the animals have code 655922 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
From the many Central American cichlids, that were grouped in the gigantic collective-genus Cichlasoma earlier, most species are cared for only by the experienced “old hares” among the aquarists, who don’t want any more a colorful community aquarium but prefer a preferably big aquarium with few, characterful fishes. The Central American cichlids are perfect for that: character-fish, that don’t make any compromises and show a complex and varied behavior.
But also among these character fish there are some relatively peaceful and comparatively small species, which show the exciting behaviour of their bigger and rougher cousins, but can also be cared for in a well chosen community of other fish, such as catfish, barbs, tetras and livebearers, especially as they treat the plants rather gently.
Among these species is Amatitlania sajica from the Pacific side of Costa Rica. These beautiful cichlids have not been imported for a long time, all specimens present in the hobby are bred ones. They are productive open breeders. It has often been the sight of such a pair cichlids, leading babies, which turned community tank aquarists into breeders…
Amatilania sajica can become in the male sex up to 12 cm, in the female up to 9 cm long and is regarded as one of the smallest species of the genus.
For our customers: the animals have code 660002 (4-6 cm) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesalers.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer