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Archocentrus sajica
Sajica, T-Bar Cichlid, T-Bar Convict

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Sajica/T-Bar Cichlid - Archocentrus sajica

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Archocentrus_sajica_1.jpg (41kb)
Photo Credit: Andrea Dalbeck

Name: Archocentrus sajica
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Western Costa Rica
12 cm 100 L 7.3 24C


This beautiful animal lives on the Pacific side of Central America, and is not very far spread. The Sajica belongs to the smaller cichlids of that area, but everything on him gets the heart of the true Central American cichlid fan beating pretty fast. This animal just looks amazing, isn't too big (big dominant males maybe about 15 cm) and has an interesting behaviour. When not spawning, this fish is only mildly agressive. But it is teritorial, so the aquarium has to offer shelter in the form of plants, rocks and roots. Sheltering from above with the help of some floating plants is very appreciated, and the Sajica shows off its brilliant colors.

As long as one offers good clean water, the Sajica is very tolerant with pH, GH and KH, as most of the Central Americans are. The tank should be not too small, at least 240 litres for a harmonizing couple should be offered. Sajica tolerates other inhabitants, as long they don't fit into its mouth. Perfect would be similar mooded cichlids around its size, and larger livebearers.

When it comes to breeding, Sajica becomes a bit of a digger, but if you plan beforehand, plants are not bothered. Sajicas are great parents, especially the much smaller female becomes a real lioness when she has to defend her youngsters. While breeding, she also changes her colors dramatically and becomes a stunning sight.

All in all this cichlid is a perfect choice, even for people who don't have too much experience with cichlid keeping. And I promise one thing: when you have taken your first look into those sparkling, intelligent, astonishingly bright BLUE eyes and into that babyface, you are absolutely lost...

Contributed by Andrea Dalbeck

I keep 3 of these cichlids in my 150 cm community tank (2 males and 1 female). They all get along very well, except when the pair have young and the spare male retreats to the other end of the tank. The pair uses an old barnacle shell to have their young. They have now spawned 8 times. I find them a peaceful fish and they share their tank with various other small cichlids, rainbows, cories, etc. A very beautiful fish and a must for any cichlid lover.

Contributed by Brian Welch

I always found the sajica cichlid a very inteligent fish. I haven't bred mine as of yet, but I am getting closer. Very easy fish to keep and very hardy. Sajica's have a bright blue pigment in their eyes which distinguishes the sajica from most other cichlids. When mature, the sajica male grows elongated fins which equal the tail in length, while the female gets a yellow/orange colour in their fins. Very easy to sex and an all round enjoyable fish to keep.

Contributed by John Elwell

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