pastel cichlid

Scientific name Cribroheros alfari
Descriptor Meek
Year of description 1907
IUCN category LC
Family Cichlidae
Genus Cribroheros
Cribroheros alfari Cribroheros alfari

Introduction

Cribroheros alfari, commonly known as pastel cichlid, is a fresh water fish from the Central America.

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Who is it?

Morphology

  • Average size
    12 cm
  • Maximum size
    20 cm
  • Longevity
    8 year
  • Shape
    Ovoid
  • Average size
    12 cm
  • Maximum size
    20 cm
  • Longevity
    8 year
  • Shape
    Ovoid

How to recognize the pastel cichlid ?

The pastel cichlid measures around 12 cm. The dominant males can however reach 20 cm.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    soil-eating and omnivorous with carnivorous tendency
  • Sociability
    living as a couple
  • territorial
    Yes
  • Way of living
    diurnal

This species tends to be easily stressed: this uneasiness is characterized by the appearance of marked black bars on its whole body.

The pastel cichlid is a fish living as a couple naturally found near the bottom. This species is soil-eating and omnivorous with carnivorous tendency . Naturally, it tends to dig into the sand and transform its environment.

The pastel cichlid is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.

Reproduction

  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The pastel cichlid is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    23 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    7 - 7.8
  • gh (hardness)
    5 - 20
  • Flow
    Strong and Medium

Biotope presentation

The pastel cichlid prefers well oxygenated waters in current areas and rapids. It frequents fast flowing waters where the bottom is strewn with pebbles, wood or leaves carried by the current. It can be found not far from waterfalls .

Main recommendations for fishkeeping

Deontology

In order to preserve wildlife, if you acquire this animal, it must not be released into the wild. See also, the Fishipedia charter.

Fishipedia supports the practice of responsible and environmentally friendly aquarium keeping. We encourage maintenance if it is motivated by a desire to understand the biological functioning of living things and if it is done with respect for animal life.

We believe that aquaristics is an opening to the discovery of aquatic environments, especially freshwater, and that this knowledge is necessary to better protect and respect these environments. Logically, we refute the compulsive purchase of animals that would not find a sufficient and / or adapted place in the host aquarium.

Our recommendations

  • Min volume
    500 liters
  • Population min
    2
  • Temperature
    23 - 30 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    7 - 7.8

Characteristics

  • Difficulty breeding
    easy
  • Robustness
    tolerant
  • Behaviour
    moderately aggressive
  • Availability
    occasional

General reminders

It is strongly advised to read the complete dedicated file and to get information on the feedbacks of maintenance of the envisaged animal, this to avoid any potential conflict whose end result is generally the death of the individual (or the other inhabitants). It is important not to overload your aquarium to limit pollution. This will make maintenance easier.

In nature, animals are subject to weather conditions and live in waters with variable characteristics. The recommendations offered by our team for aquarium maintenance are a guidance and cannot be assimilated to scientific datas.

General reminder on maintenance datas

Le démarrage d'un aquarium est une partie primordiale pour l'équilibre et le bien-être des poissons. Lorsque l'on met en eau un aquarium, l'eau passe naturellement par un cycle biologique : le cycle de l'azote. Celui-ci dure environ trois semaines. Tous les 2 jours, nous vous conseillons de tester votre eau jusqu'à ce que le taux de nitrite soit à zéro pendant plusieurs jours d'affilée.

Pour accélérer ce cycle, vous pouvez utiliser un activateur de bactéries comme JBL Denitrol. Cette solution riche en bactéries vivantes et enzymes permet une mise en place rapide du cycle de l'azote. Les poissons peuvent alors être introduits plus rapidement.

Il est important de tester l'eau de son aquarium régulièrement pour maintenir un environnement sain pour les poissons et les autres habitants. Les tests d'eau permettent de mesurer les niveaux de différents paramètres tels que le pH, la dureté totale, ainsi que les taux de nitrates, de nitrites et d'ammoniaque.

Pour réaliser ces tests, vous pouvez utiliser des produits d'analyse spécialisés tels que JBL ProScan qui permet de réaliser un diagnostic de l'eau directement via un smartphone. Il existe également des coffrets de tests plus classiques de bandelettes, comme JBL PROAQUATEST.

En cas d’usage de l’eau du robinet, vous pouvez utiliser un conditionneur d’eau de type Biotopol de JBL pour éliminer les substances nocives comme le chlore, le cuivre, le plomb et le zinc. Les conditionneurs d'eau garantissent une meilleure santé aux poissons et une meilleure croissance des plantes.

Chlorine and chloramine are dangerous for the health of animals. Used to disinfect water, these agents are present in significant quantities in tap water. We recommend using an anti-chlorine agent every time you change the water. In addition to chlorine, treatments and medicines sold for aquarium use sometimes contain dangerous heavy metals in high doses.

Specific needs for the pastel cichlid

The pastel cichlid is a species which lives naturally at a temperature between 23 °C and 30 °C. For proper maintenance, the temperature should never exceed the 33°C for long periods. Nitrate levels should remain below 50mg/L. To keep the water clean and unpolluted, plan on changing 20% to 30% of the water volume each month.

Breeding this species is accessible to any hobbyist. It is recommended to follow some basic rules and to be rigorous to achieve a good maintenance.

This species is generally available in specialized shops or from aquarium clubs. Specimens that have been bred for a long time are easier to breed, but special water parameters must be respected.

Builder fish

This fish has the particularity to dig its territory in the sand. Therefore, it is likely to uproot plants and modify the decor of the aquarium.

Cohabitation & Environment

In a community aquarium context, this species should be kept in a minimum volume of 500 liters.

The pastel cichlid has a strong character. Its maintenance with territorial neighbors in an inadequate volume will generate stress. ndeed, it will not hesitate to fight to protect its territory and to dominate its neighbors. It is important to think carefully about the constitution of the future population to avoid this kind of inconvenience. The aquarium should be arranged so that each species can comfortably define its own territory.

The males of this species do not support each other, the maintenance of several of them in the same tank is strongly disadvised.

As previously said, The pastel cichlid is a species that lives naturally in the current. Thus, we advise the installation of an oversized filtration system (10 to 20 times the volume of the tank) in order to guarantee a strong current and especially a strong oxygenation. A venturi system will improve the dissolved oxygen rate during summer.

Tips for feeding

The pastel cichlid is soil-eating and omnivorous with carnivorous tendency.

This species can eat dry food (flakes, pellets), fresh food and frozen food. To avoid deficiencies, it is recommended to vary the types of food.

You should not overfeed your residents to avoid polluting the water. For most species, it is better to feed a few small portions each day rather than one large meal.

Food recommendations from our partner JBL - Products PRONOVO

Reproduction protocol

  • Maintenance difficulty
    moderate
  • egg-laying protection
    Yes

Reproduction of this species in an aquarium is considered moderate. Ideally, it takes place at a temperature of around 25 ° C for a pH of 7.5 .

Hybridization risks

In general, it is advised not to mix several species of the same genus or different varieties of the same species, to avoid the risks of hybridization.

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Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Robert Allgayer

Robert Allgayer

Translation

Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

In collaboration with : Fédération Française Aquariophilie

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