Brilliant or Pearl Cichlosome (Herichthys carpintis) Jordan Snyder / David Starr Jordan and John Otterbeyn Snyder, 1899.
Etymology: Herichthys – Greek, eri = very (quantity) + Ichthus = fish. Carpintis – indicates the place where the first described specimen was caught (Laguna Carpintero).
The natural distribution area of Herichthys carpintis is North America, northeastern Mexico: the Panuco River and Soto-La Marina.
It is found both in fast flowing rivers and in reservoirs with stagnant water – lakes and ponds. It can be found both in neutral water and with high hardness, at pH values from 7.5 to 9.0, it allows for a large temperature amplitude and can live in warm and cold waters.
Thus, it adapts well. Usually located in clear water less than a meter deep.
The first copy was caught in the lagoon of Carpinteiro, hence its scientific name. Currently the view is no longer in this lake due to pollution.
Polymorphic species that can represent many different color variations, depending on the region of distribution, which include the eastern coast of Mexico, the Rio Soto-La Marina in the north and the Panuco river basin in the south.
The most famous populations:
Escondido, from Laguna de la Vega Escondida;
Chareil, of Laguna Chareil;
“Laguna de la Puerta”, the lake of the same name, adjacent to the Lagoon Cupyrel.
The diamond Tsihlazoma has an oval, laterally compressed body, with a concave line of the forehead and a curved back. The head is big, the mouth is final.
Males are much larger than females. Adult males produce a pronounced frontal outgrowth.
The main body color is dark brown. The dense body, including the head and fins, is covered with shimmering, light blue or green or yellowish-green large non-uniform spots. On the body there are several dark transverse bands on the sides, which are very poorly defined or not recognized by some individuals.
From the middle of the body to the tail there are several, usually round, black spots (it looks like an intermittent longitudinal strip). Even these spots are not always distinguishable in some specimens.
The maximum standard length is 30 cm, in an aquarium it is rare to see fish larger than 22 cm.
Diamond Tsikhlida, one of the most beautiful fish in the aquarium. They are not difficult to care for or breed, but be careful when choosing neighbors in the aquarium.
Unfortunately, they are relatively aggressive and grow quite large, which should be taken into account prior to their acquisition.
Their behavior is rather volatile and usually moderately aggressive. Ideal for keeping together with cichlids of the same size (or more) that show some aggression or in a species aquarium as a pair.
Perhaps the content with the cichlids of Lake Malawi, because the water parameters they are almost identical.
When a pair is formed, you will notice increased aggression, because it chooses and protects its territory.
Like many large cichlids of Central and North America, this fish can be very territorial – especially during reproduction, and sometimes completely aggressive. Small fish will be perceived as food.
The size of the aquarium is 120 cm x 45 cm x 37.5 cm – from 200 liters.
Pearl Cichlids require large aquariums with good filtration, but are relatively easy to maintain. Good fish for aquarists who want to keep large Central / North American cichlids in their aquarium.
While in the aquarium there are places with shelters and there is an open space for swimming, the Diamond Tsikhlazomy do not quarrel too much. The landscape of the aquarium should consist of relatively fine gravel or sand in combination with stones and snags.
Plants rooted in the soil can not be recommended, most likely they will be torn out, as these fish constantly dig up it, but you can try with a few more rigid species, such as Anubias.
Temperature: 23 to 28 ° C (preferred), sometimes as high as 33 ° C (in nature)
pH: 7.0 – 8.0
Stiffness: 8 to 25 ° dH
Omnivores. They will take dry food without any problems.
As the main feed, special high-quality granules for cichlids are better suited, which must be alternated with frozen and live feeds. Especially appreciate the large crustaceans of Artemia.
Do not forget to regularly feed with feeds with a high content of plant ingredients and / or spirulina. Fish meat, shrimp and mussels, is a good addition to their diet.
Do not feed them too much to avoid water pollution. You can feed adult fish once a day.
The female of the Pearly Tsikhlazymy has a black spot on the dorsal fin, usually larger and darker than that of the male. Males are usually much larger and more powerful than females.
They have a higher body shape, in adult males a pronounced frontal outgrowth is formed. In addition, males usually have more elongated dorsal and anal fins.
Reach puberty about 8 months or at 10 cm in size.
It is often difficult to find a “harmonious” pair. The best way to get such a pair is to purchase a group of 6 or more teens and grow them together.
Thus, the pair is formed itself.
When the couple is determined, the courtship begins, the fish begin to flirt with each other – circling around, flapping tails along the side line of the partner. If the partnership is reached, both fish will change color to almost black (the back of the fish’s body) and light, almost white (the front).
The spawning area will be cleaned, as a rule, this is a slightly smooth stone surface. Plate fixed obliquely ideal for this purpose.
Sometimes dig holes-nests. The female of the Pearly Tsikhlazymy will begin to lay eggs, then the male will move to fertilize her.
Both parents will fan the caviar with their ventral fins to provide oxygen for the water around the clutch.
The only problem with spawning is that the male can become aggressive towards the female – just in case, of course, you should have an aquarium divider.
The moment of incubation of eggs takes up to 2 days, then the larva appears (at this stage they can be moved to other spawning aquarium places prepared by parents), and about a week later the fry will begin to swim freely.
Growing fry is not difficult if they are provided with adequate nutrition. Starting food is Nauplii Artemia.
As they grow, increase the size of the feed and go on to a more varied diet.
The life span of the Diamond / Pearl Cychlasoma is about 10 years.
Sometimes the Pearly Cichlid is issued as Texas Cichlids – this is a misleading common name that is often given by Herichthys Carpintis – although these are completely different types of fish, one that we know as the Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus). It is usually called the Green Texas Cichlid.
These two species are very similar in appearance, which often leads to confusion, but their spots differ in size and shape. Herichthys cyanoguttatus has very small, relatively uniform spot-points, whereas Herpthys carpintis has larger non-uniform spots.
Moreover, the males of Texas cichlids do not have a pronounced outgrowth on the frontal part.