I introduced a male and female Texas to my 200 L cichlid tank 6 months ago. They were only 3 cm long when they went in, but with greedy appetites it didn't take long for them to grow and get together to make babies. WOW! The breeding colors they show were amazing! The male Duke and female Abilene both grew "beards", as their chins got very dark. They became so aggressive while protecting their babies that several of my other cichlids looked like they had been attacked by wild dogs! Rather than lose my green terror, firemouth, and convicts I made the choice to take the male Texas back to the LFS. The Texas babies became a tasty buffet for the brutalized tank mates, and Abilene was humbled without the male to protect her. She then decided to pair up with my green terror and even layed eggs again! But all he did was make a quick snack of them. She has SO much personality though, and comes to the front of the tank every time I walk by. She follows my finger as I move it along the glass and is always the first to the top when I feed them. I tried putting a school of danios in their tank to give them a distraction but it quickly became an action adventure movie! I had never fed live meals to my fish before, so I was shocked when my sweet Abilene sucked in a whole danio! Over the next 2 days she split the rest of the danios with the green terror (at least she shared) and needless to say she and the green terrror have gone through a huge growth spurt! Abilene is 9 cm now and is the queen of the tank!
From my observations the temperament of the Texas cichlid is directly correlated to that of its tankmates. I've seen them downright mean when sharing quarters with other large aggressives. My current pair lived quite harmoniously with several small-medium sized firemouths and got along swimmingly. The only time any trouble was after brood hatches. Presenlty they occupy a private love-tank, raising about 40 fry as a result. If you are new to the Texas cichlid: introduce a smallish sized pair into an established semi-aggressive community and you ought to be quite pleased with the result. Everything you've read about their character is right on.
We have had our Texas for 16 years. He used to be very aggressive and killed our oscar, three sucker fish, plus numerous gold fish that were won from the fair. He has taken a liking to being in the tank with our Jack Dempsey and our latest goldfish. Last night I was feeding them and I noticed that the Texas was lying on the bottom of the tank. This has made my whole family terribly sad. Texas was the most beautiful fish I have ever seen and I know we will miss him.
I had a 25 cm male cichlid and 15 cm female in a 200 L tank, however the male had a tendency to be over aggressive and tore the female to shreds so I had to part with her. The male is now in a 150 L by himself. He is still really aggressive, he constantly scratches his teeth on the glass as he endlessly bites everything. He has knocked the filter off many times and refuses to leave the bubble wand at the bottom of the tank. I have found he favors the bottom of the tank over the rest of it. He will not eat floating pellets, only sinking shrimp or other type pellets. However, he loves brine shrimp and minnows, but not guppies. I put 6 minnows in his tank and 6 guppies at the same time, five minnows were eaten before a guppy was consumed, I think he likes how the minnows wiggle from side to side. These fish are great to keep, mine attacks everything and has piled all the rocks to one side of the tank. However, when I had him with a female he would never leave her alone, constantly charging her every minute. My male is very aggressive especially with his ping pong ball and I am glad he is finally in his own tank and biting at my finger through the glass than biting up the female. However, the funniest thing is when I open the top of the tank because he always swims immediatley to his cave and when the top is closed he fights everything like he is king.
I have kept Texas cichlids now for 8 years. They are aggressive, especially during breeding. I now have my 5th generation of fry. I keep the 2 breeding couples in a 450 liter show tank. They share it with 3 TinFoil Barbs, and an 18 cm Pleco. They get on well together gladly. I don't have the original pair of parents, but I do have an offspring; a female. She now has her 4th spawn. My other pair is 2 of her past spawn. They now have eggs of their own. They will be hatching in a few more days. I will not be saving any fry because I will have too many, so I know most or all will be eaten. My couple are 9 months old now and are about 15 cm long. They are brightly colored; blue and gray type. They love to dig, so don't expect to have a tidy aquarium. I keep their water at about 24°C and pH at about 7.5.
This cichlid, although common, is still a worthwhile addition to anyone's collection. In my time keeping these fish I think their semi-aggressive label is quite false. In some cases they can be quite aggressive, however they just don't seem to have the tools needed to dish out massive amounts of damage like some of their large cousins in the cichlid family. Be that as it may, they they are still quite capable of defending themselves, as long as enough space is provided. If they are in a tank where the other fish won't defend themselves, then the Texas will bully or kill the other fish. My 25 cm male, for example, killed an equal sized green terror. If they are in tank with more capable fish, the Texas have a tendency to get aggressive, and in these cases the Texas can be killed. Overall, if you have the space needed, you should try these fish out.
I love my 5 Texas Cichlids (3 female, 2 males). Last summer I was invited by a friend of mine to go fishing close to San Marcos, Texas at the Blanco river. To my amazement there were a lot of fish couples swimming with their fry all over the place. These were wild Texas Cichlids. The water was real warm, about 24°C. I collected 5 of them from different fry batches. I had a 760 liter tank in storage for the past 2 years, so I decided to use it to house my new 5 Texas Cichlids. These fish really like to pair up and spawn all the time. At this time they are about 15 cm long and no other fish live in the tank with them. Their spawning colors are impressive.
These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.