Name: Herichthys carpintis|
Carpintes are very similar to Texas and are often mixed in with them or mislabeled. They have bigger spots and more black. They only get to about 20 cm, unlike the true Texas which reach 30 cm. They are very personable and can hold their own. They are pretty aggressive. Females often have a black patch on their dorsal fin. They seem to be more open water swimmers, so if you want a cichlid that doesn't sit in his cave all day, the carpinte is a good choice. They are spawned easily, like any other cichlid. They like a temp of around 27°C and a pH near 7.0. They are also very hardy. I have mine in a SA/CA community, a 280 L tank. Great fish!
I've owned my pearlscale cichlid for 2 years now. They're a semi-rare species, not very likely you'll find one in a pet store. In the wild, they can grow over 30 cm long, but limited up to 25 cm home aquaria. He likes to sift through the gravel and eat whatever my oscar's gills spew out. He's territorial but tolerant of my other fish. Use heavy filtration because they love to stir up the gravel a lot. I can't get mine to eat flakes or floating cichlid pellets, so I feed him frozen brine shrimp or sinking shrimp pellets, or whatever sinks to the bottom.
An extremely aggressive and territorial fish, with a mighty fussy appetite! Mine didn't eat for a week when I first introduced him in the tank. It only wants what it wants and will not eat the basic cichlid staple like the rest. I got mine started on small crawfish chunks, then shrimp pellets, but it especially likes the orange side of clam bellies and now has a love for turtle pellets. Can be shy and retiring, but when pressed will fight with a red devil or managuense twice its size. WIll butcher any other smaller fish in the tank so keep with tank mates the same size or larger. Likes to dig like the rest and will rearrange any delicate decorum you may set up so don't waste your time!
I have a 25 cm pearlscale in a 680 liter aquarium with my four 25 cm tiger Oscars, a 20 cm red devil, and two 20 cm Texas cichlids. My pearlscale eats hikari cichlid pellets, brine shrimp, feeder gold fish, and occasional crickets. It's extremely active and fun to watch. It eats out of my hand once in a while. I would recommend these fish to anyone with a large tank.
Carpintes are among the best looking cichlids but they also come with a nasty disposition. I have a few in my 380 liter including a 13 cm male with a 10 cm female. They are constantly breeding (reminds me of Convicts). I also have another pair consisting of a 15 cm male who just bred with my Flowerhorn Cichlid. My 13 cm male dominates everything in the tank, including a pair of Dovii, pair of Red Terrors and a 15 cm Tilapia. He is constantly harassing all of his tankmates and killed another 10 cm carpinte female yesterday. He only protects his female at breeding time, otherwise she is treated like all the rest. They are wonderful parents as they have not eaten their fry once, unlike the 15 cm and the 10 cm female that was killed yesterday. Never have I had a fish so mean, but pretty.
I've had a pearlscaled cichlid for about six years or so in a 265 liter tall tank in my living room. He is about 38 cm. He's so aggressive that when he hits the sides of the tank he knocks out his teeth! He attacks the heater, filters, nets, fingers, driftwood, whatever's in the tank.
I've kept and bred H. carpinte for many years. They're an excellent and handsome cichlid that only get to be about 18-20 cm, unlike their much larger cousin, the true Texas cichlid (often mislabeled in pet stores). While they are quite aggressive, over the years I've easily kept them with Convicts, Dempseys, Red Devils, Melanurum, Black Belts, etc (not all at once) in a 280 L tank. They have always eaten any food offered without exception, are not fussy about temperature, and are generally easy to keep. I recommend them for the intermediate to advanced cichlid keeper.
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