Some Facts About The Managuense Cichlid
The Managuense cichlid is one of over 1,000 different species of cichlid, a family of fish common to both South and Central America and Africa. Cichlids are in general smaller to medium sized fish and, although they come in many shapes, most tend to have a rather flattened appearance, with the Angelfish being more of the more popular cichlids matching that description.
Managua, Nicaragua - The Managuense cichlid has seems to have a rather strange name until you know where it comes from. The Managuense cichlid is mainly found in the vicinity of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. It is found in other parts of the country as well, and also in Costa Rica. The Managuense cichlid is also known as the Jaguar cichlid because of its interesting pattern of spots. Juveniles could almost be called tiger cichlids due to their vertical stripes, but these stripes gradually disappear as the cichlid grow larger.
Good Eaters - The Managuense cichlid is somewhat different from many tropical fish if you plan to have one or more in an aquarium. First of all, they need plenty or room, with a 50 gallon tank being about the right size for a single fish, and 100 gallons being considered a bit on the small side for two of them, a tank size of 150 to 200 gallons being preferable. A mature fish can grow to a length of about 1 1/2 feet and may weigh between 2 and 3 pounds, too large for many typical home aquariums. The species grows somewhat larger in the wild, often attaining a length of nearly 2 feet and weighing well over 3 pounds. The Managuense cichlid has an appetite that would put a football team's training table to shame. A bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but the fish's appetite is described as "voracious". It is quite fond of crickets, and even more fond of goldfish, a hint that some care needs to be made in finding a suitable tank mate. The fact of the matter is, there are very likely not many other species of fish that are apt to fare well in a tank with one of these species, the Jaguar cichlid being an apt name in this respect. Small fish or tadpoles, fed live, can also be used to supplement the cichlid's diet.
Good Jumpers - The Managuense cichlid is not a flying fish although someone forgot to tell it that. It can't fly, but it will try, and if your tank doesn't have a lid, you may find your cichlid on the floor some morning, as they are good jumpers. Another challenge is finding scenery for the aquarium although it's not been established whether this species actually needs scenery. Aquatic plants of most any type are apt to be quickly shredded, and even plastic plants may not fare well unless they are securely fastened to something.
Good Breeders - Managuense cichlids require water that is very clean, well filtered, and prefer water that has some movement, however slight. A pair (never 2 males) of Managuense cichlids make good breeders as long as the tank is large enough, and they have a place for hiding and mating. The tank should also have a large, preferably flat, rock for the female to spawn upon, and both males and females like to burrow, and a substrate of small rocks, gravel, and even wood, gives them a habitat they can enjoy. Managuense cichlid owners will tell you that darker colored rocks are best as they bring out the colors of the fish nicely. The female will lay up to 500 eggs, and both male and female will try to protect both the eggs and the newly hatched fry. If breeding is successful, one can quickly have enough Managuense cichlids to supply all the aquariums in a small town.