Animal Stories - Texas Cichlid

Animal-World Information about: Texas Cichlid

Named after the state where it originates, the Texas Cichlid is the only naturally occuring cichlid from the United States!
Latest Animal Stories
WJett - 2007-02-18
My Texas came from a Pet-CO "positive inventory reduction"--they give away fry. However after two years, mine has been nothing but trouble. He is VICIOUS. He nips me each time I put my hand in the tank! I've tried to feed him guppies, but he just kills them. He constantly arranges the ornamental plants, moves the gravel and air stone etc. My Jack Dempsey kept him busy for a while, but I opted for at least one clear-water tank. Simply, I've isolated him. Now he lives in a 20-gallon bath of slime. Not my fault either (unless it is a defense or a VICIOUS construct). Water polishing with a Diatom filter does not help. So there he waits, daring to bite the hand that feeds him. My Texas Cichlid is not pleasant, charming, or "pretty." He is the most aggressive fish that I have kept.

Click For Replies (3)
  • Silvia - 2010-07-27
    In your case remove the gravel as easier to keep clean and less trouble and mess and place a couple of clay pots as caves and ornaments as they need some type cover.

    If unhappy with him than give him away.
  • Fred - 2010-08-01
    Any cichlid would be mean if kept in a 20 gallon tank. These guys need at least 55 G, but preferably 75 G tanks--no exceptions. 20 G is equivalent to keeping a human in a closet and blaming him for an attitude. Moreover, the TX isn't "pretty" because the need to be happy for their colors to shine.
  • steve rogers - 2011-02-18
    I am actually from the area in deep south texas on the mexican border where the roi grande perch, as we call 'em are native. As a kid I caught probably thousands of these guys. Our water here is slightly alkaline and high in turbidity, plenty of algae. These guys are omnivorous and like warm water but can survive until the water hits 50 degreees farenheit. If you don't like your fish moving the gravel around, they like to create spawning beds if the structure doesn't suit them, then put bigger gravel or rocks in your tank. With maybe one large stone that gives them a "castle". I remember one we had in the aquarium when I was a kid that tried to eat a channel catfish fry. Ooops, the catfish stuck out his pectoral fins and lodged in his throat so we netted him and pulled the cat out with some forceups. Perch lived. Really they do better outside if temps allow in a fishpond where they will pair up and defend their turf against interlopers. The pair will be great parents of the fry and are quit easy to hook on a bare hook or fly because they see a potential nest raider and will swim over grab the hook and swim off with it to deposit it away from the nest. Have never ate them, maybe it's cause the flesh is a light green color. The old males are quite striking in coloration and darken and gain contrast as spawning season approaches. That's usually as the water temp hits 80 degrees farenheit. The female always more diminutive will darken some too, but to a lesser degree. My fondest memory is of a morning in may when I was about 6 years old dangling a fishingline with a safety pin attached and a beetle for bait that was much too large but had about 50 rio grande perch captivated. This went on for several hours and not a single taker, except for some nibbles. Bent over the edge of the concrete like that staring into the water I got my first sunburn and blistered my back. Ouch, a lesson in common sense for a 6 year old country boy in edinburg texas.
shelby - 2010-03-09
We had two texas cichlids, two convict cichlids, and a green terror in the tank. the convict cichlids laid eggs but the texas male ate all of them. then once the texas cichlids laid eggs the male killed all of the other fish including his mate and now we only have the texas cichlid male and about 200 babies.
if anyone is interested in buying them i live near janesville, you would have to come and pick them up but if ur interested u can e-mail me


Suzy - 2009-03-30
I have 2 Texas Cichlids that are sweet as can be. I have them in a 55 gal aquarium with 3Silver Dollars, 2 Jelly bean Parrot Cichlids, a Pleco, and a Bala shark. The only fish they have "harmed" are the goldfish I put in there occasionally as a treat for them. Don't worry I keep the goldfished quarantined for a month before hand. They come immediately to the front of the aquarium if anyone comes near it. I haven't had them bite me at all. They do dig though and its usually right after I clean the gravel, lol. It's like they're saying that they had holes where they wanted them already. I find it very funny that people keep saying that their aggresive and I have never seen any sign of it in them. They are a bit more territorial toward the other fish when they have eggs or fry around but other than that they are very peaceful. I hope that anyone that gets one of these sees the side that I see in them. I've had mine for about 3 or 4 years now.

Rob - 2008-07-04
I purchased 4 2" Texas Cichlids for my 120. I planned on growing them out, and keeping 2 that would be more colorful. I wound up with a breeding pair. They were all tolerant and social of each other, as long as there weren't any eggs, or fry in the tank. Here it is, 6 months later and 2 of them are now 6", 1 is 5" and 1 is 4". The only one I have a problem with, is the smallest one, because he and a Jack Dempsey I have, can't decide who has what territory. Other than that, mine were peaceful. Fish, like people, all have their own personality.

sushi - 2008-02-08
I did not do what a responsible owner should do, and decided to keep 2 texas cichlids in a 2 gallon tank. One killed the other one, but the one that is left has been living for...well 8 years now. 8 years seems long to me, especially since I kept it in a 2 gallon tank. Nevertheless, I love this fish!

Maddog Matott - 2007-04-03
I purchased Tex at 1-1/2" about 2-1/2 years ago. He has killed or seriously maimed all tankmates. I originally purchased him in a lot of three. Then after he killing his original companions, I introduced another pair about his size, same result. He's taken out two plecos and a pictus. He's ravaged two native sunfishes that were twice his size at the time. He is now almost 7" long and a loner, a wonderful pet who is genuinely excited to see me when I arise or return from work (perhaps it is because meal worms fall from the sky when I am around). He's to the point where when I add 20-25 small minnows, he finishes them off overnight.

Alisha - 2006-05-07
I started my tank in mid december, and filled it with a number of fishes. Two texas cichlids were put in with the lot (about the same size at the time, an inch and a half). One has grown DOUBLE the size as the other, at first the larger chased the smaller, but now they just dig pits in a corner and hover there. The red devil (which is about the size of the larger texas) chases them around whenever they get too close to 'his' territory. They don't seem as aggressive as the other fish in the tank (oscars, red devil, electric yellows, etc.) but they DID pull up all my live plants in the front of the tank (the ones in the rear are fine). this is the second time I've had an aggressive tank, and the texas cichlids are a great addition.

derek - 2006-03-23
One of he only fish ive been able to add to my tank with my red devil or midas cichlid. This fish is tough, its half the size of the red devil and holds it own. Also it can tolerate higher temps and ph than listed, i keep mine in a tank with two mbuna and the midas and they all do fine together.

Sarah - 2006-01-31
I've had my female tex for about 1 year now. She is about 7 inches long and very social. She shows no aggression whatsoever towards my irridesent sharks, catfish or discus. She is definetly a favorite among my friends who come to see my fish. This is one of my favorite cichlids.

Paul D. Swanson - 2005-04-15
My Texans are now on their second batch of fry. I rescued about 50 from the first batch and they are doing fine in other tanks. The second batch has been left in the tank with the parents. They take them out on "walks" every day and dote on them. The tank is full of other cichlids but they are nowhere to be found. They hide in the rocks and bushes until I throw in some food. Then they dart out and commence the feeding frenzy. The Texans have all their tank mates completely dominated. Its been two weeks and the fry are still there. Im guessing that in a few weeks they will mostly be gone unless they can find a place to hide in the bushes as well.