South American CichlidsVideo

Crenicichla aquarium: let the algae grow!



A tank with the dimensions of 100x45x40 was available for this project. The three key points for this tank were: low-maintenance, natural look and low-tech.
Since I am a cichlidophile, there were no other options than (dwarf) cichlids to stock this tank. Normally I am not that attracted to “predatorish” fish, but I wanted to give it a chance this time.

The aquarium

Most of you will know that the genus of Crenicichla contains some tankbusters, but this genus also has some some beautiful dwarf members. I made my choice for Crenicichla compressiceps, one of the smallest representatives of the Crenicichla genus.
The Crenicichla compressiceps can grow up to a size of 8 cm (TL), which will fit well in an aquarium of these dimensions. In the nature this species lives in the Tocantins region of Brazil. It can be found in fast flowing river habitats.
All Crenicichla are predators and compressiceps is no exception on this, but this one is rather insectivorous than piscivorous.

As dither fish I chose for Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis (Lemon tetra), as these fish are cheap, widely available and share probably the same river with Crenicichla compressiceps.

I wanted to do as less as possible water changes and maintenance to this tank, because (1) I am lazy and (2) I want algae to grow for “that natural feeling”. Not everyone will like it, but you can watch the video to see how the fish appreciate it.

This was as planned, a short-term project for me.  I enjoyed this small tank with its modest stock and can everyone recommend to start a similar low-maintenance project.


Dimensions: 100x45x40
Lighting: 2x T8 24W Philips 840
Heater: Jäger 300W
Filtration: HMF, powered by Tetra APS 300
Stocklist: 2x Crenicichla compressiceps (Dwarf pike) and 13x Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis (Lemon tetra)



Feeding on Mysis

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