Tips for Raising the Mayan Cichlid
The official name of the Mayan Cichlid fish is Cichlasoma urophthalmus. Native from Mexico, this beautiful fish has 8 black bands that begin right behind the eye. Another identifying mark of this fish is the oversized eyespot, called an ocellus located on the bottom of the fish’s tail. The body color is a brownish red, which becomes more vibrant during the breeding season. Interestingly, when this species of Cichlid is in captivity, the colors are more muted than when living in the wild.
Because the coloring of the Mayan Cichlid is so beautiful, many people will provide the fish with foods high in vitamin A or even live foods that allow the color in captivity to stand out. Today, the family of which this fish belongs includes just 12 species, all being cichlids from South America. However, if you were to look at the number of cichlids total from various families, you would discover more than 100.
Now, if you were interested in raising Mayan Cichlid, it is important that you provide an aquarium large enough because this fish can grow to eight to ten inches in length. Obviously, if the size of the tank is not appropriate, the growth of the fish would be stunted but also, the fish would be unhappy, which can lead to health problems. Therefore, the proper aquarium setup is vital when raising any type of cichlid, especially this species. Most experts recommend a minimum 55-gallon tank although up to 150-gallon would be best for several cichlids.
Another important piece of information when raising the Mayan Cichlid is that this fish is territorial and aggressive, especially when breeding. Because of this, you want to keep only cichlids in the tank. You can sometimes let cichlids of different species live together but you need to watch initial behavior to make sure they get along. If not, you would need to set up a separate aquarium for the Mayan Cichlid.
While this species of fish will kill other fish, the fascinating thing about the Mayan Cichlid is that when it comes to its young, it is extremely protective. For approximately six weeks after the fry have been hatched, the adult cichlids will provide bi-parenting support and guard the babies carefully. However, sometimes when the babies start to grow into adulthood problems can develop so you want to keep a close eye on the situation, separating the fish if needed.
The aquarium for the Mayan Cichlid would also need to provide excellent filtration. In addition, when first bringing the fish home, you want to keep them quarantined in a separate tank for about a week to make sure the fish are disease free. Once this has been determined, you would introduce the fish to the new home slowly, allowing them to become acclimated to the new environment.
Throughout the United States, the Mayan Cichlid is a favorite choice. Because of movements and behaviors, people that raise this species of fish love spending time just watching them. In addition, because of the coloring and shape of the body and fins, it is difficult distinguishing male from female. For this reason, if you were interested in raising these cichlids for breeding purposes, you would need to purchase them from a reputable pet store or breeder.