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A Cichlids Article on: Jaguar Cichlid
The jaguar cichlid is marked with beautiful spots that form almost the same pattern as those found on a jaguar. Their bodies are generally a golden yellow and at maturity will even have a violet or light purple sheen. But, various other colors will often be seen.
They possess a chameleon quality, their colors are not only affected by mood, and they can be affected by the color of the gravels used in the tank. While dark colored gravels and substrate will make the cichlids colors darker, they will also help to bring out the violet sheen. Lighter colored gravels tend to lighten the fishes colors too much.
Jaguars are large fish reaching around 16 inches when mature, it is recommended that for one pair, the aquarium be at least 75 gallons in size. Several caves and rocks should be provided in the tank for the fish to have places to hide in and to sleep. If the places are provided for them, they will dig large pits out in the substrate.
They prefer low lighting conditions to an overly bright tank. They will usually rip any live plants in the aquarium apart and will uproot plastic ones. If you want to add plants, you can glue a gravel or rock base to them to keep them from floating to the top of the tank.
Jaguar cichlid's really love live foods, but they have vivacious appetites and will eat almost any type of food that you give them. They can be given cichlid flakes or pellets, worms, crickets, small feeder fish and even meats such as beef hearts.
They are a very aggressive fish and will kill and sometimes eat almost any type of fish that you put in the tank, especially smaller fish that will fit in their mouth. Other large cichlids make good tank mates; just make sure that they are not the same colors.
You will need to keep a secure cover on the aquarium; jaguars are very proficient jumpers. Some people have even reported that their jaguars have jumped out of the aquarium to catch flies and other insects that have flown within the fishes reach.
Breeding jaguar cichlid's is easy as long as they have the right conditions. They will need lots of room and several flat rocks or other flat surfaces from which they can choose a location to lay eggs. They can be ready to spawn when they reach about five inches in length.
They became very aggressive during spawning, so it is best if they can be in a tank all by them selves during this time. Once the female has laid her eggs, the male will come behind her and fertilize them. The eggs will hatch in as little as 3 to 5 days and for several days, they will feed on the yolk sacs.
After the young fry become free swimmers, within 5 to 8 days, they will need to be fed. Both of the parents will feed the fry and they will eat any organic matter that is in the aquarium. But, they can be fed baby brine shrimp, micro worms, and flakes that are finely crushed.
A young female jaguar cichlid can lay several hundred eggs during each spawn and a larger, more mature female can produce around a thousand eggs. For large amounts of eggs, it is crucial to thin out the fry to keep them safe and healthy. After the fry are free swimmers, some of them should be transferred into another aquarium.
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