If they are the Colombian form, the female will have a orange rimmed spot in the dorsal fin. If they are the Guyana form, you won't be so lucky as the females don't sport the dorsal spots. The Rio Branco form is hit or miss for the dorsal spot. I'm guessing you got them via The Cichlid Exchange, which the last three years have had the Colombian forms.
No one has bred these dwarf pikes as far as I have seen, but they are realitively new to the hobby.
I'd rate their aggressiveness towards each other above noto's, but not as bad as compressiceps. Lots of hiding places, they prefer driftwood over rocks. Never got to try leaves though.
Towards other cichlids they were fine; even standing up to a juvy argentea twice their size, but left Laetacara dorsigera alone ... though lost out to a pair of Anomalochromis thomasi for tank space.
I never got mine onto pellets or flakes, but then I was spoiling them with a mix of frozen blood worms, mysis, glassworms, and daphnia. After that, who'd want pellets??
Hey dwarfpike, I actually got them from barbie at aquarium solutions who in turn got them from the cichlid exchange. I looked at there site and say they are listed as wild columbians. We did come to the conclusion that the spot on the dorsal might be the best indicator of sex, so I think I got one of each.
Sounds like it will be a challenge to get them to breed. I don't know a whole lot about crenicichla in general. Should I expect to see a bonded pair form, harems, or.... Are they cave spawners? Any idea about hardness, ph, temp?
It's good to here that they are compatable with L. dorsigera, since that is who they share the tank with. Right now they are in my 75 gallon planted tank. I think I'll spend some time today digging out a few caves for them. They seem to like hovering under the leaves of my swords.
I may move them to a 20 long if I feel they won't kill each other. ONce they warm up to me I'll try to get some pictures. Thanks for the help.
A 75 gallon is perfect for a pair of these guys. Part of the challenge is getting a pair, pike cichlids are extremely difficult to force pair. They might breed in a 20 long, but personally I wouldn't move them unless you were 100% sure they have formed a pair, i.e. see eggs or fry. Pair bonds in pikes tend to be very strong, but the pairing period can be rough on the females of these guys. And yes, they are cave spawners. PVC is shaped perfectly for these guys, but overhangs of driftwood or rocks should work. Making caves is a good idea, as I never say mine dig out their own.
Barbie might be able to get you their specific collection location from someone at CE, but since they are found in the Orinoco river drainage, I'm imagining super soft and acidic would be the order of the day. Just not sure if they are from say the Rio Atapabo where they need sub 6.0 pH and zero hardness to breed or not. Given how new they are, I'd follow the reports for noto breedings as a guideline.
Mine were a bit nippy during feeding time with the L. dorsigera, but otherwise they were fine together unless one of the dwarf acaras got near their caves ... but we are talking only a couple of inches of the cave. The pikes didn't chase them any further than that.
Last night and currently the two are hanging out together, so hopefully that is a good sign. They aren't incredibly active. I'm a little worried, because I recently increased the lights on my tank and have been slowly increasing the CO2 and ferts, which still needs some fine tuning. I hope they aren't extra sensitive to co2. They don't seem to be breathing heavy. The rest of my fish seem fine. Where can I find breeding reports for Noto?