Wild Dicrossus Maculatus 1.2-2"
Common name: Checkerboard cichlid, spadetailed checkerboard cichlid
Scientific name: Dicrossus maculatus
Distribution: Amazon and Tapajós basins in Brazil
Habitat: Shallow blackwater streams among dense root tangles and vegetation
Temperature: 78 – 84°F
pH: 5.0 – 6.5
Adult size: 3 inches
Sexing: Mature males have vertical rows of spots on the caudal fin, and a bluish iridescence. They will also develop longer ventral fins with a thin blue stripe absent in those of females.
Diet: May accept flakes and pellets but prefers frozen or live invertebrates such as blackworms and brine shrimp.
Conspecifics: Males can be territorial, especially during breeding, but most conflict is resolved through rituals rather than actual fighting. It is still a good idea to provide plenty of cover and vision breaks.
Tankmates: Peaceful with small community fish, though its timid nature might mean it is outcompeted by large or aggressive tankmates.
Notes: Dicrossus maculatus is rarely captive-bred and wild individuals are often quite delicate and sensitive to rapid changes in water conditions. These fish require pristine water quality and very soft, acidic conditions that may require a combination of RO (reverse osmosis) and tannins to achieve.
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