Astronotus crassipinnis – Oscar’s forgotten cousin

Astronotus crassipinnis

Astronotus crassipinnis. Photo by Sebastian Jurado Garcia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Most everyone in the hobby should be familiar with Astronotus ocellatus, aka Oscar. Found in almost all pet stores and first cichlid aquariums, the Oscar is just one of those species that even non-hobbyists can identify. Despite Oscar’s notoriety the only other species in the genus, Astronotus crassipinnis, is largely unknown.

Astronotus crassipinnis is found in various rivers of South America, generally south of Oscar habitats. A. crassipinnis are smaller than their famous cousins reaching only about 10 inches in length. A. crassipinnis, while also having a variable barring pattern like Oscars, tend to be darker in overall color. Like their cousins, A. crassipinnis need a large aquarium and can also be quite messy. Good filtration is a must and soft and slightly acidic water is recommended. Since their native native waters tend to have cover and hiding spots, it is recommended that similar features are provided in the aquarium. To discuss Astronotus crassipinnis visit the South American Cichlid forum.


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