Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid (Dicrossus maculatus)
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The Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid is a very uncommon and unique species that is rarely seen in the aquarium hobby!
The Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid (Dicrossus maculatus) is a rather uncommon dwarf cichlid species that is known for its brilliant color, elongated body, and spade-shaped tail. This Brazilian native is also regarded by some to be a challenge to keep and breed due to its preference for very soft, warm water. Despite its challenges in care, this species is also regarded by many as possibly the most interesting dwarf cichlid species to keep. Sexing this dwarf cichlid is more difficult than most, but it is believed that the males are slightly smaller and more colorful.
The Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of refuge such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It is an excellent candidate for the planted aquarium, but it also needs a fair amount of open space. This cichlid is compatible with other peaceful fish as long as it has plenty of space. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. Dwarf shrimp and other small, delicate invertebrates should not be kept with the Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid, but more durable, larger shrimp and snails could possibly make good tankmates in a large enough aquarium. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Spadetail Checkerboard Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Very unique dwarf cichlid
- Rarely available
- Difficult, but possible to breed in the aquarium
- Compatible with many other species in a spacious tank
- Perfect species for the heavily planted aquarium
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 81° - 86° F (27° - 30° C)
- pH: 3.4 - 5.4
- Minimum tank size: 15 gallons for a pair, but a larger tank is required for a group, especially with multiple males
Diet: Carnivorous. A variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods is necessary for optimal health and coloration.
Social behavior: Congregates loosely in groups. Males can be territorial when attempting to spawn and females are very protective of their eggs during spawning.
Origin: Amazon Basin of Brazil
Average adult size: Males: 2.1 inches (5.3 cm). Females: 2.4 inches (6 cm)
Average purchase size: 1 - 1.5 inches (2.5- 3.8 cm)