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Herichthys sp.
Blue Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Blue Cichlid - Herichthys sp.

Photos & Comments

bluecichlid1.jpg (30kb)
Photo Credit: Raymond Tan

Name: Herichthys sp.
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Mexico
25 cm 250 L 7.4 25°C


Herichthys sp. is actually Herichthys sp. "Rio Cazones" from The Rio Cazones river in Mexico. A common name of this fish is Turquoise Herichthys.

Contributed by (no name given)

The fish displayed here seems to be a mature male H. carpinte, with a recognizable nuchal hump on the head. There are three species known in the trade variously as "Texas Blue", "Texas Cichlid", "Blue Cichlid", etc, including Herichthys carpinte and H. cyanoguttatum, plus one other I canīt remember, which seem to be mixed together indiscriminately in the hobby in a similar manner to the various "Red Devil" (C. citrinellum and C. labiatus) species have been. The two species named above are also found together in nature at least in their transplanted homes. They are native to Southern Texas in the Rio Grande drainages, from which they have spread north throughout the state, thriving and able to survive through temperate winters due to their extremely low temperature tolerance (some reports estimate this at 5°C). In 1996 "Texas Cichlids" became established in the drainage canals of suburban New Orleans where they have since nearly eradicated competing Centrarchid (Sunfish, or colloquially, "Perch"). This population was not a colony of the Texas population but appears to have been established after the accidental release of several dozen individuals from a local pet store. They are doing very well indeed in the canals of New Orleans and in some cases have consisted of more than 60% of the biomass in samples taken by local scientists from UNO (Cashner). They are omnivorous but seem to mainly be opportunistic detrious sifters in the wild according to University of New Orleans professor Robert Cashner (personal communication). In the aquarium, they are a fairly typical medium sized Central American Cichlid. Fairly pugnacious, but not quite as murderously territorial as say a Red Devil. They get along well with other similarly sized species, eat most any prepared foods, and seem fairly indifferent to environmental conditions. They can even tolerate up to 16 parts per thousand salt water without any undue stress. (Robert Cashner, personal communication). They grow slowly, but will mate when only about 8 cm.

Contributed by Jeanry Chandler

The previous comment is interesting, and seems accurate, but the picture is most definitely not a Carpinte or a Texas. Looks closer to a Synspilum or Fenestratum. I have kept Carpintes for eight years. Next to the fabled Polleni, they are my favorite fish. Carpintes always have bright blue dots on a dark body, topaz eyes, etc. Texas are similar, but smaller dots, lighter body and a 'grape cool-aid' eye.

Contributed by Neal Clarke

This fish is not a carpinte, synspilum or fenestratum, and looks nothing like any of them. It is Herichtys sp. "Turquoise" also know as sp. "Rio Cazones", or sp. "Poza Rica". Males reach 20-23 cm, females 15 cm.

Contributed by Rex

The "blue cichlid" pictured is not a carpinte nor's an H. Chuco. Info can be found in Conkel's big Central American Cichlid book. It was actually one of the first cichlids imported from Central America, but rarely seen in the hobby.

Contributed by a visitor

I live in Australia and have 25 cm blue cichlid. Here we call them Cuban cichlids, don't ask why, it's just their common name. I've found them to have all different temperaments, relying on their individual personality. However, generally they are an aggressive fish. My cuban attacked my fully grown oscar and ate all its fins, so I don't recommend them for a community fish.

Contributed by Dan

Some great info. This is part of the mess that is Herichthys. Rio salto, green labridens, the list goes on. However Herichthys itself is at last a solid genus that shouldn't change any more. This guy is not a traditional carpintis and definitely not cyanoguttatus. Cuban cichlids are very different (Nandopsis tetracanthus). I don't think H. chuco is a true species. I'd go with Rex's assessment. The centrarchids in N.O. are hanging on, by the way, but I've seen a lot of aggression between them and the cichlids!

Contributed by Tom Lorenz

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