Getting a group of young aequidens metae this week and was hoping to find some experienced keepers to share information. I was told they spawn easy, some say they are very difficult. Anything beyond the normal aequidens info I need?
When you get them, make sure you have the right fish. Even 2 inch metae will have the orange markings on the flanks, so if you get fish that lack those, they are almost certainly misidentified.
There were some Cichlasoma amazonarum sold as Ae. metae at the Cleveland auction last November. I paid a premium price for what turned out to be a bag of one of the more common "Ports", which I could not see clearly until I got them home. I'm sure a lot of those fish went out misidentified, because amazonarum is a very prolific species. I was not the only one to question the ID, as the person who obtained the breeding pair had questions about it almost immediately as well, and inquired about it here.
I have had diadema in the past, never spawned them. Very similar fish, so if you actually get metae I would say soft water, warm temps. They are omnivores that will eat plants, though not so much if well fed with good flakes and frozen foods.