Hello dear friends. The aquarium fish tsihlazoma Festa is a representative of a large family of cichlids. In nature, this fish is found in the waters of the western part of South America, mainly in the rivers of Ecuador and Peru.
Tsikhlazom owes its name to the discoverer Enrico Festus, who first discovered this species. It is also called orange cizlazoma, because it has such a predominant color, especially when it spawns.
For the first time aquarists were able to learn about the cestilama of Festus in 1977.
Festa is quite a large aquarium fish. The body in length is not strongly elongated and slightly flattened on the sides. Big eyes and head, mouth adorn thick pink lips.
A male can be distinguished from a female by fatty growth on the forehead. During spawning, the males change into a different color – green.
Unpaired fins are painted in wine-red color, and all over the body there is a scattering of blue tones. The body of the female is colored orange and has seven transverse black stripes.
On the tail there is a black spot with a pearl edge.
Anal and dorsal fins have harsh black rays. Unlike females, males have less pronounced stripes and spots.
You can see them only in the process of spawning. The male is larger than the female.
During spawning, an anal tubercle appears in the fishes, which is slightly pointed in the male, and in females it resembles a truncated pyramid. Under natural conditions, male tsikhlazomy grow up to 40 centimeters in length, and females up to 30.
In aquariums, these fish rarely exceed males and 15 centimeters in females when they exceed 20 centimeters.
The festa is a predatory and territorial hydrobiont. The optimal size of an aquarium for one fish is from 200 liters, and for a pair of fish from 400 liters.
In this case, the clashes are reduced to zero and the fish are generally not as aggressive. A pair of fish is created at an early age.
If you plan to create a couple a bit later, then divide the aquarium into 2 parts with glass or mesh. Remove the partition when the behavior of the female and the male, you can understand that the fish are accustomed to each other.
However, such a decision to create a pair does not always bear fruit.
Tsikhlazoma Fest is kept mainly in the lower or middle layer of water. I do not recommend tsikhlazom contain fish with other species (antsistrusami, battles, swordtails, barbs and neons), as they can go to feed.
Although if you have plenty of space in your tank for a tsikhlovykh, aggressiveness can be significantly reduced. Festa, however, like other representatives of cichlids, likes to do redevelopment in aquariums and spoils aquarium plants. Suitable soil – granite chips or small pebbles.
Be sure to install in the aquarium large stones that will divide the sphere of influence of fish. The same stones you can use when building grottoes and caves, as the fish love to hide in such shelters.
It is also very important to place a large flat stone in all zones of the aquarium, which tsikhlazomy will use as a breeding ground.
If you plan to put plants in an aquarium, then it is best to use aquarium plants in pots, which you need to prikopat bit in the ground and decorate. I advise you to opt for unpretentious and fast-growing plants such as elodea, vallisneria, long-leaved hygrophiles, echinodorus and powerful cryptocoryne.
Thickets small fish also uses as shelters. The best kind of fish has in bright light, but still need shelter.
For this reason, I do not advise you to mess around with the intensity of lighting and organize on the basis of accounting for 0.5 W per liter. But to the quality of the aquarium water orange cichlasoma demanding.
Water should be clean, fresh and warm. The optimal conditions of detention are as follows:
- temperature: 22-24 degrees;
- hardness: 10-20 °;
- active reaction environment: 6.5-7.5 pH;
- weekly water changes for fresh in the proportion of 1/3 of the volume;
- powerful filtration and aeration of the aquarium.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, Festus tsikhlazom is a predator, therefore it is necessary to have live food in its diet. These may be small mollusks, shrimps, a pipe scoop, a bloodworm, a small fish.
In addition, the diet should be diluted with vegetable food. Very good fish eats leaves of cabbage, lettuce, dandelion, which must first be scalded with boiling water.
Festa becomes mature at the age of 1.5 years and has a body length of at least 15 centimeters. Since the pairs are created in the fry stage, the fish need to be bought not one by one, but a flock of up to 10 individuals.
Those fish who could not find a mate, better give or otsadite. If you create a pair at a later age, according to the method I have already mentioned, constantly monitor the behavior of the fish after the partition is removed.
As a rule, the females are the first to test the strength of the males and begin to bicker. If the female is stronger than the male, then some partner will need to be changed.
The fact is that in the pair the male remained predominant. Only in this case, the pair will be harmony and grace, and in the future to the emergence of future offspring.
To stimulate spawning, it is necessary to raise the water temperature to 28 degrees, reduce the hardness to 10 °, and set the pH to about 7.0. Males are looking for a flat surface, often they are flat big stones, and the female spawn on it.
The number of eggs can vary from 100 pieces to 1000. Know one thing: the number of eggs directly depends on the conditions of the parents and how mature the fish are.
The incubation period lasts about 4 days. Parents of youngsters that appear appear in the holes prepared earlier.
Even after 5 days the fry independently swim in the aquarium and can feed. Do not be alarmed if in their first days of life the fry will gnaw mucus from their daddy’s body. If the spawned couple was created as early as the juvenile age, and the conditions of its maintenance were optimal, then the fry with their parents will be up to the crescent.
However, it is better to keep the fry away from their parents.
Replanted in spawning fry with a fairly wide hose. The water parameters in the aquarium for fry should be the same as in the spawning. Feed the fry tsikhlazomy first nauplii artemia.
As young animals mature, they are sorted and given larger food. By two months of life, the aquarium water in the nursery aquarium should have approximately the same parameters as in the general aqua.
The fry are painted gray, which will gradually change to an elegant orange.