Central American Cichlids • Texas Cichlid?

Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)

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Texas Cichlid?

Postby Central » Thu Jun 03, 2021 11:47 am

I'd like to inquire with you more experienced hobbyists about the ID of my Texas Cichlid.
I understand there are some variants and species that cross over as being ID'ed as Texas. This particular fish is a juvenile so it might be impossible to accurately identify but I'd like to give it a try. If nothing else I would like to show him/her off anyways.

This is my first post so it's a pleasure to be here and meet you all!

-Mike
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Auballagh » Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:48 pm

Well, hello there.
And, welcome to Cichlid-forum! :)
-
So, you have a very young Texas Cichlid. Awwww, how cool is that?!! It's a good-looking little Herichthys, but still awfully small. So, I honestly can't tell you positively at this point if you have a H. cyanoguttatus (Green or 'True' Texas) or a H. carpintis, (Blue Texas or Pearl Scale Cichlid) or, something that has a little of both species in it.... (Different Hertichthys species will spawn readily with each other in aquariums). At this baby size, they all sort of look alike. And unfortunately, I definitely can't tell if you have a male or female! But, that is a good-looking Cichlid.
NOTE: There IS a noticeable difference in attitude between H. Cyanoguttatus and H. Carpintis. Both are definitely some tough, sturdy New World Cichlids. But the H. cyanoguttatus has the well-deserved reputation for being much more intolerant of Cichlid company in an aquarium. (In the wild this very territorial Cichlid doesn't even like to be around members of it's OWN Species!).
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Plus, I can offer some insight and recommendations for your other posts. Your grow-out tank looks pretty nice. A 20G long aquarium? I like the way it is set up. Those are plastic plants, I'm guessing?
- Have you selected and purchased the final aquarium for Texas Cichlid yet? If not, what do you plan to get?
- Will this little one grow out to be the sole occupant (wet pet) of the larger aquarium? Or, do you plan on getting it some tankmates (and maybe another Cichlid 'frenemy'), to go in with it for a community tank?
- I see you commented on the one tank where the owner converted from gravel to a sand substrate. That would also be a really good idea for your Texas Cichlid. Herichthys species have a digging capability that I swear would make a tracked excavator envious, man! :o
Providing Pool Filtration Sand as substrate for your aquarium will not only look more natural, it will provide a great - safe - substrate for your Texas to dig in to his heart's content.
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Central » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:45 am

Thank you so so much for the detailed response! I’m not brand new to the hobby but I AM brand new to the Texas (I think that’s what he is) cichlid. As far as his current tank, yes it is indeed a 20 gallon long. His forever home will be a 75 gallon tank where he will be housed alone (as he is right now). I know enough about cichlids in general to know it can be a challenge to introduce company after they’ve been alone for some time, and this fish is no exception.

The plants are indeed plastic as I’m keeping the lighting rather dim and in a few months I can see him digging up real plants.

Although he is housed with a gravel bottom now, in his ‘forever home’ it will indeed have a sand bottom with some rocks and natural décor.
His 75 isn’t yet purchased but will indeed be purchased, filled and cycling by early July.

I’m going to keep lighting dimmed in the 75 gallon tank and try to mimic his/her natural waters as closely as possible. I’ve been trying to learn all about Herichthys, Cyanoguttatus and Carpintis as much as possible since they all seem to share a mixed identification with one another.
The more accurately I can identify this one, the better I can care for him, although I’ve come to see that all the above mentioned share rather similar requirements anyway.

Thanks again for the response!
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Fri Jun 04, 2021 12:17 pm

I actually don't ever use sand for large CA cichlids. I've been keeping them for 20+ years, as they are my favourite fish overall. Mostly larger fish, like Midas and the various Viejas (now subdivided) species. But Texas as well a number of times over the years. I don't recommend or ever use sand for these fish once they get large, as it will destroy your filter. These are big, powerful fish - they like to do a ton of substrate rearranging, often spitting sand into the filter intake. But even if that doesn't happen, they are large enough and powerful enough that one good powerful swoosh of a tail sends sand flying - inevitably, into the filter. You can try various ways to avoid it, but it always finds a way in the filter and it ain't worth the grief IMO.
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135gal 8ft: Marbled fenestratus
135gal 6ft: Midas
40gal long: C. cutteri
Plus a whole bunch of betta tanks
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Central » Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:59 pm

Thanks for the advice, and I'll steer another direction. I hadn't considered an intake getting clogged with sand but it makes sense it would.
I suppose this is a blessing in disguise for me since I really do prefer gravel. It's an incredibly easy substrate and gives a nice amount of surface area for beneficial bacteria to root on and of course comes in a ton of colors. Although I probably will default to earth tones..

I'm really excited to watch the cichlids progress. I've only had him/her for about 2 weeks now and already they've bulked up a bit from the awful pet shop tank it was housed in.

I am curious to what the typical growth rate of this species is. Is it as accelerated as an Astronotus ocellatus or not quite that rapid? I presume by the time snow starts to fall again I'll be transferring this little guy into its new home.
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Fri Jun 04, 2021 4:40 pm

I've never kept Oscars, never liked them, so can't compare. But growth rate will always depend on multiple factors - tank size, water quality, food, genetics, etc. Generally, they grow quickly and I'd honestly move him out of a 20 long ASAP. He'll grow a lot faster in a larger tank. I have a group of Midas growing out in a 6ft, 135gal tank - they've tripled in size in about a month and a half. And a group of marbled fenestratus in an 8ft, 135gal tank, and they're probably a good 5-6 times larger in about 3 months.
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135gal 8ft: Marbled fenestratus
135gal 6ft: Midas
40gal long: C. cutteri
Plus a whole bunch of betta tanks
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Auballagh » Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:43 pm

Goodness! It seems that both of the New World Cichlid-Loving Canadians ('Oscar 6' & 'Sinister-Kisses') just aren't going for that sand substrate.
They're Gravel Philistines, I tell ya'!
And yes.... Sinister does have a point - to a point - with the sand getting swept up into filtration intakes. I too suffered the indignities of learning that the gleaming white expanse of super fine grained PLAY SAND, was indeed quite beautiful to behold. But was possibly the DEVIL HIMSELF when used as a substrate.
Terrible! The stuff just flew everywhere when disturbed! (Your filtration was definitley NOT safe with Play Sand).
Ahhhh, but then there is this truly wonderful substrate known and beloved by all who have personally enjoyed it's awesomeness.
*ahem*
And, that would be: POOL FILTRATION SAND.
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... nd_pt1.php
Yep.
The individual sand grains of that coarse sand are easily three to four times as large as in Play Sand. It presents as darker and more multi-hued... and really, just looks a lot more natural. And, if you mix in some very small diameter gravel with it, Pool Filtration Sand will look almost EXACTLY like the bottom substrate in the riverine environment of Central America.
And no, with some pretty beastly-sized New World Cichlids I have kept with it as a substrate over the years, there's never been a problem with a single grain of Pool Filtration Sand caught up in a filter intake.
-
So, if you prefer the look of gravel for your aquariums? Nothing wrong with that, go for it! I just prefer the more natural look, ease of maintenance and enhanced safety (for digging Cichlids) of Pool Filtration Sand. :)
Find What You Love And Let It kill You!
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire...
- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby ken31cay » Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:53 pm

+1 on pool filtration sand.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & Star Sapphire haps
180gal Oscars, Severum
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Sinister-Kisses » Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:34 pm

I've never had play sand in my tanks, hate the stuff. I have been using pool filter sand for many years ;) My experience is with it, and my statement still stands.
SinisterKisses

135gal 8ft: Marbled fenestratus
135gal 6ft: Midas
40gal long: C. cutteri
Plus a whole bunch of betta tanks
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby ken31cay » Sat Jun 05, 2021 6:55 am

I use around 1/2" of PFS in my tanks, which both have sumps with the intakes at the top back corners of the tank. I think it may work out differently in smaller tanks which use different filtration like canisters where the intake extends down into the tank, and more sand (ex/ 1"-2"). But then again, I've been using PFS for many years in other setups with more sand, canister, etc., and never had a problem.
450gal Frontosa (blue Zaire Moba) & Star Sapphire haps
180gal Oscars, Severum
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Oscar6 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:46 am

I'll cast a thumbs down for sand bottom. Tried it twice, once on a large cichlid tank, once on a tank of Mbuna. Both big fail because of the forementioned filter clogging. My preference, been using a long time is round river pebbles. Big digging fish, like your Tex, love to push it around. It's too big to accidently swallow, all smooth to avoid nasty scrapes. Tex won't grow Oscar fast, but will get up there quickly enough. Bigger the tank the better, and even as tiny fish, they can sense lack of space. No need to add stress to an undeveloped immune system. I suggest getting the fish in a big tank asap.
1500 gallons of South and Central American cichlids. Some with a "wee" bit of attitude.
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Central » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:22 am

A few photos this morning. I swear he’s grown larger since last week. He’s a ravenous little eater!
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Central » Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:29 am

A few more shots from last night. I hope it's okay if I use my own thread to document his growth and change over time.
It might be a really nice timeline of just how these fish change over the first weeks and months.
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby Auballagh » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:25 pm

This sounds great! Be interesting to see how this little one develops over time. And, who knows? We may even be able to ID what Hericthys species it is, and maybe even decide if its a male or female (difficult to do sometimes with these Cichlids).
Keep us posted! :)
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- Charles Bukowski -
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Re: Texas Cichlid?

Postby BC in SK » Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:16 pm

Auballagh wrote: ID what Hericthys species it is

IMO, the fish is likely hybrid, probably from "Red Texas" production. Body shape and snout are off for a typical Texas cichlid. The lack of worming pattern on the gill plate isn't really typical of most Herichthys cyanoguttatus or H. carpinitis. And most suspect is the double spot (there usually not attached). Moreover it is ocellated (like the flower line on a flowerhorn from trimac genetics) which Texas cichlid blotches on the body are typically not.
"Red Texas" are produced from different crosses. Usually one of H. carpinits or H. cyanoguttatus are crossed with a fish that has the "fader gene". Some of the possible fishes used with the "fader gene" are midas/RD, blood parrot, king kong parrot, rose queen and various flowerhorns. All kinds come out of these crosses. They do not breed true. The breeders usually know what offspring are likely to turn into something resembling of what we see in pictures as a "red texas", and rather then cull the rest, the rest are sold at an LFS for a cheaper price. Some of the possible outcomes of these crosses are fish that end up looking fairly similar to a Texas cichlid; others will undergo the "peeling" process (like a RD/midas) and end up with varying degrees of yellow/orange/red. Still others sold at the box store as "Red Texas" end up with a pattern more like a flowerhorn.
Time will tell. Of course if the fish does undergo the 'peeling' process and start to change color, then you will know for sure that the fish comes from producing "Red Texas" crosses.
IMO, this fish resembles the juvies in this link(if you scroll down, the two pictures in the middle) much more so then actual Texas cichlid juvieshttps://www.aquariumdomain.com/SpeciesProfiles/NewWorldCichlids/RedTexasCichlid.shtml
Of course, that is not to say that it will necessarily end up having that much resemblance to the adults in this link as the quality specimens that are sought after are actually not produced in great numbers from these crosses.
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