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19 Fin-tastic Facts About The Pike Cichlid For Kids

Check out these awesome pike cichlid facts.

The pike cichlid has recently been in the spotlight. This is due to the variations in color and their unreadable behavior. This fish belongs to the Cichlidae family and is mostly found in Rio Negro, endemic to South America. It is also found in regions of southern Asia. If you think this fish is calm and can be placed in a communal tank then, unfortunately, you are absolutely wrong! They are more aggressive during the breeding season. You can bring down the aggression by providing additional care and attention to their needs. More than half of the work is done when you choose the proper tank mates for them and place them in a large tank. Feel free to decorate the tank with plants as this fish species is very relaxed when kept around plants. The reason for this is not known. They are very mysterious and hence widely desired. Feeding them might not be a great challenge as they are constantly hungry and seek attention from their owners.

To know more about pike cichlid read on and do check out our other articles on teira batfish facts and lumpfish facts.

Pike Cichlid Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pike cichlid?

Pike cichlids are a type of fish belonging to the Cichlidae family.

What class of animal does a Pike cichlid belong to?

Pike cichlids belong to the class Actinopterygii of the Animalia kingdom.

How many Pike cichlids are there in the world?

Owing to the wider population the exact population size of pike cichlids in the world is not known. Their population is dense with no threats.

Where does a Pike cichlid live?

The Paraguay drainage rivers, which extend from Brazil to Argentina, are home to the pike cichlids. They are also found in the middle and shallow parts of the Uruguayan rivers. They also frequently dwell on the Brazilian coast (the Rio Grande do Sul) and the Guarpore drainage in the Amazon River basin in Bolivia.

What is a Pike cichlid's habitat?

This tropical species is native to South America and lives in thickly vegetated areas amongst plants and rocks. They are found in soft water environments and oceanic benthopelagic zones. They dwell in tropical and subtropical freshwater environments.

Who do Pike cichlids live with?

Pike cichlids are territorial individuals with a high level of aggression. They require their own area and do not get along with other fish. If you leave them in a group, you will return to an empty tank with only the pike cichlid as a survivor, as they devour all other tank mates. Most fishes stick together as juveniles but this even as juveniles, this species is violent and stays away from others.

How long does a Pike cichlid live?

Pike cichlids may live up to 10 years. However, environmental conditions, water pH, and diet play a major role in the lifespan of this species. If they are not kept in suitable conditions they might live for six or seven years.

How do they reproduce?

When kept in captivity, the best way to get a breeding pair is to leave six or more of them together. This must be done while they are still young and less aggressive. This species is sexually dimorphic and has little trouble forming sexual bonds. They begin to mate when they achieve sexual maturity, which for females is when they reach 5.5 in (13.9 cm), and for males is when they reach 7 in (17.7 cm). When it comes to breeding, they are quite particular about the water conditions. Protein-rich meals are required, as well as a pH of approximately 6 and a temperature of roughly 79 F (26 C). The female initiates the breeding process by courting, which can be aggressive. She then chooses the nesting site. She will then scrape out sand to make a dent on the bed where she lays the eggs. Depending on the temperature the eggs will hatch in about five to six days. The most ideal temperature is 75-82 F (24-28 C). The female becomes extremely protective of her eggs as they hatch. The fry is dependant on the mother while the male guards the territory. The male and female exchange roles once the fry is able to swim.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN Red List, this species is classified as of Least Concern. This is due to their widespread population. Even though they are pickly, they can adapt to changes in the environment. They have become common in the pet trade, however, they are not threatened currently or in the foreseeable future. Their population has remained stable and has not been evaluated since 2000.

Pike Cichlid Fun Facts

What do Pike cichlids look like?

Crenicichla lepidota has transparent fins.

Pike cichlids are olive green or gray in color with an elongated torpedo-shaped body. A horizontal line runs between the mouth and the terminal tip of the tail fin. There is a silver beige under the horizontal line. They have eight to nine splotches on the front side. The color of the highlights in the fin and spots above the line are based on the region they are from. It can either be blue or red. These pikes have dilated pupils. When the pikes are disturbed and agitated the spots stretch to the top turning into bands. Two black dots help in their identification. One dot is present beneath the gills while the other one with a gold frame is present at the base of the tail. The second spot can only be observed in males. These pikes have a pharyngeal set of teeth that is present in their throat. They possess a soft fin and a pair of nostrils. The male has no white in the dorsal fin but the female has a black and white glossy pattern in the dorsal fin.

How cute are they?

Despite their aggressive nature they are widely admired and desired due to their unique multi-colors. People also find them fascinating as they are hard to read.

How do they communicate?

They use physical gestures and chemical cues. The chemical cues differ based on the nature of the matter. They are broadly classified into disturbance cues and damage-related alarm cues. The disturbance cues are released when the fish is being chased or hunted by predators while the alarm cues are released when they are wounded or have any physical damages. The strength of the chemical cues might be reflected in behavior changes. The cues might have an impact on growth too.

How big is a Pike cichlid?

The maximum size of a male is 3-3.5 in (7-8 cm) and the maximum size reached by the female is 2-2.25 in (5-6 cm).

How fast can a Pike cichlid swim?

They tend to exhibit smooth movements rather than fast movements. They are not entirely slow either. Pikes have a soft dorsal fin which helps them move easily and to longer distances. These movements are used to combat water changes.

How much does a Pike cichlid weigh?

These fish weigh anywhere between 1.3-5.2 lb (620-2400 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female pikes do not have any sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby Pike cichlid?

Baby pike cichlids are called fry.

What do they eat?

Pike cichlids feed on live foods. Feeder goldfish can be given to adults, and rose reds, guppies, white clouds, and blackworms are common foods for their fry. Small fish, brine shrimp, worms, meaty meal items, and live fish are all options. It's best to limit meaty foods to once a week or every two weeks. South American cichlids feed on pellets. They are hunted by other fishes, aquatic birds, and even otters. They are particularly hunted as a mass by red piranhas, (Metynnis maculatus) silver dollars, and ray-finned fish.

Are they dangerous?

Pike cichlids are not dangerous to humans. To other fishes, they definitely are a threat.

Would they make a good pet?

They would make an excellent pet. In fact, in recent years people all over the world have been rearing them as pets and the pet trade of pike cichlids is booming. Feeding them might be a difficult job as they mostly demand live food. The minimum tank size for pike cichlids has to be 90 gal (410 l) and the water temperature must also be constantly taken care of. To make your pet pike fish feel more at home introduce a lot of plants into the tank. This gives them a secure feeling.

Did you know...

The pikes will only show their colors in places they feel safe. Hence they require a lot of hiding places in a tank with lots of plants.

Pikes need weekly water changes and their tank mates must be chosen well. If the changes made are not proper it can cause a disease called a hole in the head in adults. If you pay close attention you can easily identify the disease based on the body changes.

How many species of Pike cichlid are there?

There are 93 recognized species of pike cichlid. They all have distinct colors, patterns, sizes, food preferences, and so on. The zebra pike cichlid fish is one of the pikes that can easily be identified. It has a vibrant reddish orange color and special yellow barrings. The red pike cichlid fish is entirely red and does not possess any distinct markings. The dwarf pike cichlid fish is mostly silver with pale yellow patterns on the fins. Pikes like the red pike can grow up to 14 in (36 cm) while the dwarf pike, true to its name, can only grow up to 3.9 in (9 cm).

Pike Cichlids with other fish

Pike cichlids might not always do well as a group. They are very aggressive not just towards other species but with their own too. The reason for this aggressive behavior is not known. They are born like this even as juveniles they show violent behaviors and always are up for a fight. Placing them with tank mates that are less aggressive and are smaller or the same size as this fish is practically the same as feeding them. They will kill and consume all their tank mates in a moment if not monitored. This fish has to be placed with other fish that are tough enough to handle the pike cichlid's aggression. They shouldn't be too aggressive like piranhas else your pretty pet pikes will be dead in a day or two. Their perfect tank mates are silver dollars, large South American cichlids, and tinfoil barbs as they are neither too mild nor too violent. Even when placed with suitable tanks mates and habitats they might still be territorial. They are extremely territorial while breeding. The only solution to this is placing them in large tanks with a minimum tank size of 90 gal (410 l).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes including spiny dogfish facts or clownfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable easy pike cichlid coloring pages.

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