Jaguar cichlids are freshwater fishes that many aquarists love to have in their tanks. The fish looks feisty, making many aquarists feel intimidated. The jaguar cichlids are native to Central America with a lot of distinguishing features.
How Big Do Jaguar Cichlids Get? The jaguar cichlid can grow to about 14 to 16 inches in captivity. The female jaguar cichlids are usually shorter than the males. Cichlids are famous for growing into large sizes, which the jaguar cichlid isn’t an exception.
Features of the Jaguar Cichlids
Many newbies in fish keeping might not recognize the jaguar cichlid because they do not know its physical and behavioral features. The features of the fish straightforwardly describe the fish. Some features of the jaguar cichlid include;
- Color: The jaguar cichlid has distinct and colorful patches of black spots and stripes. The Jaguar cichlids got its name from the stripes and spots on its body like that of the jaguar. Another of its name is guapote Tigre relating to the stripes and patches on its body. The coloration in jaguar cichlids changes as they grow older. At the juvenile stage, the fish feature a pale goldish-silver color. At this stage, they also have black bands that wrap around their back. As they grow older, the black bands gradually begin to turn into dots as though they separate from each other. These black dots give the fish its iconic jaguar character.
- Shape and size: These fishes are very large and have a captivating look. They have designed body shapes for hunting and catching prey. Jaguar cichlids can grow up to 14 to 16 inches in length. They have an oval-shaped body with tiny rays that extend from their body to their fins. They are not like most cichlids that have short and chubby fins.
- Fin: The fins and spines of the jaguar cichlids give it a menacing appearance. The jaguar cichlids have elongated fins and spines, unlike other cichlids. The tail and dorsal fins are very obvious and also colorful. They also have prominent anal fins. The dorsal and anal fins are more obvious and pointed in males than in females. It is an easy way to differentiate between male and female jaguar cichlids.
Water Parameters for Jaguar Cichlids
It is important to replicate a fish’s natural habitat when creating an environment for the fish or when setting up the tank. To successfully keep a jaguar cichlid, you should provide adequate tank parameters for the fish.
There are water requirements for rearing the cichlids. These water requirements help the fish stay alive and healthy. Here are some water parameters for the jaguar cichlids;
- Temperature: The temperature of the water is an essential factor to consider. You have to provide your jaguar cichlid with the appropriate water temperature. If the water temperature is not suitable for the fish, it will tell on its health. The water temperature should fall between 730F and 820F. You should also maintain the ideal temperature and reduce the rate of the temperature’s fluctuation.
- Hardness: The hardness of the water is also vital. You should provide the water with the appropriate hardness. The water hardness for the jaguar cichlid should be between 10dGH and 15dGH. If the water has any hardness value aside from the given range, the cichlids will not thrive in the waters. You should ensure the hardness of the water is suitable for their wellbeing.
- pH: The acidity or alkalinity of the water is essential to the wellbeing of the fish. Some fishes thrive in acidic waters while some thrive in alkaline waters. You should know the type of water the jaguar cichlids thrive in before setting up the tank. Jaguar cichlids prefer to stay in neutral to slightly alkaline waters. The pH value for the water should range from 7.0 to 8.7. Make sure you get rid of any acidic substance in the water.
Food to Feed Your Jaguar Cichlid
You have to know the food to feed your cichlid before you venture into stocking your tank with jaguar cichlids. If you do not know the food to feed them, you will feed them any food you can find, which is not right.
Fortunately, jaguar cichlids are omnivores so that they can feed on varieties of foods. They feed on both flesh and plants. Jaguar cichlids love to feed on small aquatic animals and crustaceans. They also love to feast on earthworms, tadpoles, and crickets. Feed them only once in a day because they tend to overfeed themselves.
Frozen foods are also good foods for jaguar cichlids. As they grow older, they tend to feed more, so feeding them might get expensive. You should rationalize the food you give to them.
You can also feed them with vegetables and fruits. In the wild, they feed on seaweeds, algae, and water plants. You can also add live plants that they can nibble on in their tank.
Suitable Tankmates for Jaguar Cichlids
Tankmates keep fishes lively, especially when they are in a community tank. You must consider the compatibility of the fishes before adding them to the tank as tankmates. Once a fish is not compatible with the jaguar cichlid, and you add the fish to the same tank with the jaguar cichlid, there is likely to be a disagreement and fierce aggression.
Once a fish is compatible with the jaguar cichlid, then these fishes will coexist in peace in the same tank without a problem. You should always make sure you add only fishes compatible with the jaguar fishes to the tank. Some suitable tankmates for the jaguar cichlid are below;
- The red devil cichlid
- The convict cichlid
- The flower horn cichlid
- The green terror cichlid
- The Oscar fish
Many other peace-loving fishes are compatible with the jaguar cichlid.
Jaguar cichlids can grow as much as you feed them. If you feed your fish with healthy and nutritious food, it will grow not only big but also stay healthy and agile. Every aquarist wants the best for their fish, but you have to give the fish the best living conditions to bring out its best.