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Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 5:04 EDT

Texas cichlid

The Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus, formerly Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family. Also known as Rio Grande cichlid, this species is originated from the lower Rio Grande drainage in Texas and Northeastern Mexico, particular on the sandy bottom of deep rivers. This is the only cichlid species native to the United States.

The Texas cichild has a large grayish high-backed body with bright blue scales and two dark spots, one at the center of the body and another and the end of its tail. Adult males have a large hump on their heads. This species can grow up to 11.81 in (30 cm). They prefer a water temperature range of 68-91.4°F (20″“33°C), a pH range of 6.5-7.5, and a water hardness of 5-12 dH.

The Texas cichlid is commonly found in the aquarium trade and is relatively popular with cichlid enthusiasts. Its temperament differs from one individual to another, but in general can be kept with other large aquarium fishes such as Tinfoil barbs, Silver dollars, Oscars, and other South American cichlids. Texas cichlids prefer larger tanks with 55 gallons of water or more. They are substrate diggers and will uproot plants.

Feeding is easy as the Texas cichlid readily takes pellets, flake foods, and live and frozen food. This species is a prolific breeder and breeding in aquarium is relatively easy. Adult fish pair up and become territorial. Up to 1,000 adhesive eggs are laid on a clean flat surface and both parents guard them aggressively. Eggs hatch in 3-5 days and the fry grow rapidly.

Texas cichlid is known to hybridize with other related species. The Flowerhorn cichlid, a hybrid cichlid extremely popular in Asia, may have been a result of the crossbreeding of Texas cichlid and several other species.
Photo by Charles & Clint

Texas cichlid