In the waters of Mexico and Guatemala were discovered many species of fish with a specific and unusual color. One of them is Eliot’s cychlasm.
The species was discovered in 1904 by Eugene Meek and named Thorichthys ellioti. But later it turned out that this fish was already described and studied about a hundred years ago and its name is Thorichthys maculipinnis. Breeding and colonization of these fish in European aquariums began in the 1940s.
In Russia, began to gain popularity in the 1960s.
Eliot’s Tsikhlazom – a type of fish belonging to the Cichlow family and the group Okunoobraznye.
Often aquarists confuse this species with Meek tsikhlazoy, which is similar in color. But with a deeper study, the differences between the species become visible. For example, Meek has a distinctive bright red throat, while Eliot’s purple belly has a larger size.
As well as Meek tsikhlazomy more gregarious animals than Eliot fish.
Under natural conditions, they live in shallow-water creeks, lakes, or rivers with weak or no flow. Water should be clean and clear.
In such bodies of water there is a small amount of vegetation, as the substrate is dominated by sand and fallen leaves from trees growing nearby.
The species easily adapts to changing conditions, so moving to a new aquarium will not be a big stress for fish.
According to many aquarists, Eliot cichlasome is the most beautiful view among all Tsikhlovs.
But the distinctive bright color often plays a bad role for cychlases. Sometimes unscrupulous sellers specially dye fish in bright colors and give it out as a new variety bred by breeders. But some time after the purchase, the paint is washed out, the fish turns into a gray creature, sometimes belonging to another species.
And it affects the health of fish negatively.
Eliot’s cichlid in an aquarium reaches a size of 14–15 cm, which allows it to be kept in non-large aquariums. The body is elongated and compressed from the sides, resembling in appearance an oval.
Coloring Eliot cichlids in different colors from gray to orange and blue. There are fish, the main color of which is olive-beige. Often the body of the fish is colored zonal, that is, the back is more neutral beige, the belly is reddish, and the back part is light blue.
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The distinguishing feature is bright shiny spots-blotches, which, when exposed to sunlight, become even brighter. These spots do not exceed 1 cm and are located in several rows on the sides.
On the head, blotches sometimes form short lines. There are also spots and fine lines on the anal, ventral, caudal and dorsal fins. Pectoral fins remain transparent.
Most often, these spots are light blue or azure. Some representatives painted only parts of the scales, while others all scales entirely.
The dorsal fin is decorated with red edging.
In the middle of the sides all representatives have a large black spot. Sometimes you can see vertical stripes of dark colors from the back to the abdomen or a single horizontal strip from the eyes to the tail.
The eyes are bright, usually blue or yellow. The head is elongated, with a rounded muzzle.
The mouth and lips are wide – it helps to look for and swallow large pieces.
Fry and young representatives usually do not have a bright color, it appears as they mature. Sometimes the full flowering of the color occurs before or after spawning.
Unlike most representatives of the Cichlid cichlid, Eliot is a slightly aggressive species. Territoriality in fish is not well developed, and occasional skirmishes occur only between members of their own species. Small flocks swim in the natural environment, live near the coast during spawning and lay eggs there.
Each pair chooses its own territory and protects it from other fish. Eliot’s fish are caring parents.
Clarifications occur during the showdown of relationships that usually occur among young representatives. These fish find out the relationship alone with the enemy, when many species of Tsikhlovyh arrange skirmishes almost the entire flock.
In the Eliot group, other fish enter the fray only if it lasts a long time.
Skirmishes usually occur without much injury. Opponents often conflict non-contact, sometimes accompanying the fight with a tail blow. During skirmishes, their color brightens and becomes brighter.
The defeated representative, on the contrary, turns gray, sometimes a bright dark stripe appears on the body.
Complete hierarchy reigns in flocks, each member of the group knows their place and their rank. Submission is easily noticeable if you watch the fish.
More important fish maintain their status with a “slap” tail.
Life expectancy rarely exceeds 15 years, most often representatives live 8–10 years, in nature a little longer.
The Eliot fish is considered suitable for beginning aquarists who are willing to devote enough time to the pet and provide comfortable conditions.
The only problem with the maintenance of Eliot’s cichlasoma, which arose in a beginner tsikhlovod, will be the separation of the territories of the aquarium. Fish, especially when spawning approaches, will defend their zone in fights.
Purchase large stones and lay them on the bottom, dividing the aquarium into approximately equal parts. Usually cichlids draw boundaries on relief protrusions.
The water should be replaced by 1/3 of the volume weekly, and the tank should be cleaned several times a month.
Aquarium space should externally remind cichlids of their natural habitats. The minimum size of an aquarium for 2 fish is 100 liters.
For flocks need a reservoir of 300-400 liters.
The decoration of the aquarium should be comfortable for the inhabitants, and only then perform a decorative function. Stone mounds, grottoes, towers, snags are primarily established to provide a place for fish to hide.
Tsikhlozymy – tropical fish, so the water temperature for them requires about 27 degrees. Water hardness is 8–15 gH and acidity is 6–8 pH.
Vegetation is needed, but in moderation – plants should not take up too much space, you need to leave free space for swimming.
Cichlids like to dig through the soil and dig up the roots, so pick the plants with a strong root system or completely without it. Another suitable artificial plants.
A light-colored primer is suitable as a bottom substrate. Good coarse sand, among which the fish live in nature.
Fine gravel and pebbles, quartz sand are considered suitable.
All granules must be ground and free from sharp edges. For cichlids, this is much more important than for other species – they ingest particles of soil in the search for food, and remove unnecessary residues through the gills.
The presence of sharp corners will damage the inner part of the mouth strip, larynx and gills to the fish.
It is recommended to lay oak or birch leaves on the bottom to recreate natural conditions.
Aeration and filtration are important for cichlid health. The compressor will enrich the water with oxygen, and the filter will maintain the cleanliness of the aquarium and will make it less likely to be engaged in general cleaning.
To maintain a constant temperature in the water set automatic heaters.
Too bright lighting scares cichlids and makes them hide in the vegetation most of the time. It is better to organize moderate and diffused lighting.
In food, cichlids are picky and feed on live, dry, frozen and vegetable foods. The daily diet includes 70% of protein foods and 30% of plant foods.
Tubes, earthworms, Artemia, bloodworms are used as proteins. Feed up lettuce, cabbage, dandelion, zucchini, cucumbers and apples.
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Cichlids do not control themselves too well in the amount of food and often do not understand that they are full. Therefore, the owner is obliged not to overfeed pets and arrange fasting days for the prevention of obesity and overeating.
They feed fish 1-2 times a day, young representatives 3 times.
They have a low aggressive nature, which expands the circle of potential neighbors with high compatibility with Eliot.
Fish with high compatibility:
- Only Eliot cychlasoma (species aquarium).
- Tsikhlazoma black-striped, bee.
- Brocade catfish
Low compatibility fish:
- Little Red Riding Hood.
- Carp Koi.
- Veil cockerel.
Kind of monogamous, that is, chooses a couple in his youth and keeps with her until the end of life. For breeding, create a flock of more than 6 fish, so that each partner finds his mate.
If a representative is alone, then it is better to sell it or place it with other Eliot fish so that he finds a mate for himself.
Sexual dimorphism is weak. In females, the body is smaller, and the males are larger and have a brighter color.
On the dorsal fin in females there is a clear black spot, while in males it is weak and blurred.
To stimulate spawning, they increase the amount of protein foods, more often replace water and raise the temperature. Spawning begins with the mating dance of a couple.
For spawning, a flat and smooth surface is selected, where about 300–400 eggs are deposited.
Curse of caviar occurs after 3 days. Parents take care of the offspring and protect it from predators. After another three days the fry become active and examine the space.
They are fed by nauplii, artemia, cyclops. With a size of 2 cm, the fry cease to be defenseless, and the parents cease to take care of them.
Cichlids have strong immunity and low susceptibility to viral and bacterial diseases.
Often problems arise due to improper feeding – overeating, lack of food, obesity. For treatment, balance the diet, arrange fasting days.
With a rare purification of the aquarium occurs ringworm – damage to the skin of fish. To cure fish, keep the water clean, and if necessary, use antibiotics as recommended by the vet.
Most often they respond positively, they do not note great difficulties in the content. Sometimes they write that these cichlids are distinguished by tearing the bottom and raising turbidity.
The cost of these cichlids depends on the size, color and age of the fish.
|Size, see||Cost, rub.|
|Grown fry, 4–5||350|
|Young representatives, 9–11||1200|
|Major representatives, 14–15||1700|
- Separate fish areas to avoid conflicts.
- When the fry grow up, they need to be transplanted into a separate container, because the parents are able to eat them.
- Each fish must have enough personal space, otherwise this freedom-loving entity will provoke skirmishes and fights among the inhabitants of the aquarium.
Eliot’s tsychlazom has the ability to recognize its owner. When he comes to the aquarium, the fish quickly swims to the glass, welcoming the owner. And if an unfamiliar person approaches the reservoir, the fish will never swim up close – the tsikhlasoma will hide among shelters or be driven into the vegetation.
Such loyalty forms a stronger bond between the pet and the owner, which is difficult to break.