Texas Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) CareSheet

Buy Herichthys cyanoguttatus The Green Texas Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus), also known as the Pearlscale Cichlid, is considered to be an amiable fish. A pearly-green in color, the Green Texas Cichlid male can grow to an impressive 12 inches long. They bond and form pairs after intense jaw locking. While rearing the fry, both parents turn a dark, almost black color with the exception of a rightangle triangular spot behind the pectoral fin.

Green Texas Cichlids require a tank of at least 50 gallons with lots of room to swim and adequate hiding spots. Most plants that are added to the aquarium will be uprooted as they dig, so floating plants may be more appropriate. They are very adaptable to differences in water chemistry. Being aggressive in nature, the Green Texas Cichlid should only be housed with more aggressive fish that are close to the same size. Check out Herichthys carpintis to see a variation in the spots compared to classic Green Texas cichlids.

The Green Texas Cichlid is an open breeder that is very prolific. Maturity is attained when males reach approximately 4 inches in length and the female 3 inches. They are egg layers and the larvae hatch 4 days after spawning. They are free-swimming after another 4-6 days and both parents will protect the fry. Juveniles may be susceptible to intestinal diseases.

The Green Texas Cichlid is omnivorous and will eat most prepared and frozen foods including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.

Requirements for keeping Herichthys cyanoguttatus

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 75-78°F; pH 6.9-7.1
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 12 inches
Color Form: Green
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet: Omnivore

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Snorkeling with Texas Cichlids


What is Herichthys cyanoguttatus?

Herichthys cyanoguttatus, commonly known as the Texas cichlid, is a large, robust freshwater fish native to rivers and lakes in Texas and northern Mexico. It is a brightly colored cichlid characterized by its neon blue spots and markings on an olive-gray body. The Texas cichlid is the official state fish of Texas.

What is the habitat of Herichthys cyanoguttatus?

Herichthys cyanoguttatus naturally occurs in slow-moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and springs in central Texas and northeast Mexico. It prefers warm, vegetated backwaters and slackwater pools with sandy or muddy substrates.

What do Texas cichlids eat?

Texas cichlids are opportunistic omnivores that feed on insects, crustaceans, plant matter, detritus, and small fish in the wild. In captivity they readily accept a varied diet including commercial cichlid pellets, flakes, frozen and live foods.

How large do Texas cichlids grow?

In the wild, Herichthys cyanoguttatus can reach lengths of 30-46 cm (12-18 inches). In aquariums, they typically grow to around 20-30 cm (8-12 inches) in size when fully mature.

What is their typical behavior?

Texas cichlids are highly aggressive and territorial, especially when spawning. Males construct dug-out spawning pits and exhibit biparental care of eggs and free-swimming fry.

Are Texas cichlids suitable for aquariums?

Yes, but they require large tanks of at least 100 gallons and experienced keepers. They should not be kept with passive tankmates. Providing plenty of hiding spaces and breaking sightlines helps reduce aggression.