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Lets Talk Dicrossus

Discussion in 'General Dwarf Cichlids' started by eageraquarist, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. eageraquarist

    eageraquarist New Member 5 Year Member

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    Hey guys,

    Picked up a trio of maculatus juvies on saturday. They have adjusted well and are not shy at all. I'm hoping this will continue into adulthood as the genus is shy in general. I just wanted to start a thread to hear about others experiences with them so we can all talk Dicrossus. I think its a facinating genus that can get overlooked by Apistogramma. Post up!

    JRH
  2. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Dicrossus

    I just love Dicrossus but they always bloat and die in my tanks, usually after 8 to 12 months. They look great for several months until the increased breathing starts up, then bloat gets em and they die a few weeks later. Wish I could figure out why. I haven't kept any for the last several years because of this bad track record. I kept them with lots of plants for nitrate removal, but I'm not too diligent about frequent water changes, so that might be my problem. I also wonder whether too much live blackworms could be a factor.
  3. peterK

    peterK Member 5 Year Member

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    I've had a Filamentosus pair and they weren't shy at all. Possibly because I got 'em from my friend who has kept them for quite a while (fish I got were fully mature). Anyway, I didn't succeed in breeding them, as water was not that much acidic. Beautiful fish indeed, male was shining like a X-mas tree.

    I'll have more to say soon. :)
  4. Apisto_Dezign

    Apisto_Dezign New Member 5 Year Member

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    One of the best little guys I've kept. I kept them with my altums and riding great it their water parameters. I purchased them when the were juvies and grown to some gorgeous fishes. Too sad to say after a year with these guys male and female just recently passed dont know why. I still got a huge fat male left. Breed easily but never taken the time to take care of the fry's. After my pleco fever is over I'll start over again with these guys. Good luck. Hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.
  5. ste12000

    ste12000 Member 5 Year Member

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    Nice thread on a cracking group of fish.. Im also a big fan.

    We recently got into a very interesting debate on Dicrossus at the British cichlid association website..
    http://www.britishcichlid.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1166&hilit=dicrossus

    Ive bred D.filamentosus(Rio Orinoco) in the past and really enjoyed them, they were not as difficult as the literature suggested and i did ok with them.

    Ive Kept D.filamentosus(Both forms), D.maculata and D.warzeli(formally D.sp'Tapajos')

    I currently have the Rio negro form of Filamentosus and a group of tiny juvenile D.maculata given to me by a good friend, they are about the cutest fry ive ever seen..

    Some pics.
    Current D.filamentosus pair. (Poor pics)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Old pic of D.sp 'Tapajos'
    [​IMG]

    Tiny, young D.maculata, i take no credit for this beautiful fish, im simply the custodian of these, they were bred by someone else.
    [​IMG]
  6. gerald

    gerald Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Ste, Thanks for that British Cichlid thread link. Too bad Carruth didn't go a step further and test whether the "transformed" fish could fertilize another's eggs. If you have a pdf of that paper I'd sure appreciate a copy via PM. I recall learning in ichthyology that all fish (?) start out with an ovo-testis than can develop either way depending on various genetic, social and enviro factors, depending on species. I've seen Apistos, gobies and minnows in which formerly-fertile females start looking more male-like in old age (usually 4+ yrs). Maybe it's got to do with declining estrogen?

    Got any advice on maintaining long-term health and avoiding intestinal disease and bloat in Dicrossus? Dunno if you saw my post #2 below. I have trouble keeping them more than a year.
  7. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Ste, the BCA link is a 'dead horse' that's been repeatedly beaten for 50 years. None of the papers by Ohm or Carruth adequately test the C. punctulatum to absolutely prove that the fish change sex. Only your methodology would prove it. None of the Dicrossus sp. - nor C. latruncularium for that matter - indicate anything other that the 'sneaker male syndrome' is present in the perceived sex change.

    Now, I'll be the last to say that it cannot occur. Cichlids are closely related to marine species that do change sex. There is even one report that described a single Caqueta spectabilis specimen - the only fish in the tank - that laid fertile eggs and produced viable fry. I guess anything is possible with this family of fish! I know research on sex change in cichlids is underway in other genera, but for now there is no absolute proof that any of the crenicaratines actually change sex.
  8. eageraquarist

    eageraquarist New Member 5 Year Member

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    My juvies are a little bigger than that Ste, showing the early signs of color in their caudal fin. So probably I have three males, but the LFS gets them in regularly so I could probably trade in a male for a female if I want to try to breed them. I like them, partially because its an unusual color pattern. Chess board color on the sides with red and blue fins is a really different look in the aquarium.
    On the poster who's bloated and died, it could be the black worms. Worms can bind up a fishes digestive tract if fed too often. Three times a week is max for me.
    Anyway thanks for the great response to the thread!

    JRH
  9. ste12000

    ste12000 Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Gerald, your welcome to a copy.. Ill send it direct to your inbox, just send me your email address..

    Ive never suffered with bloat in dicrossus so cannot really comment, ill Apistos do tend to bloat up sometimes but in a busy hatchery with thousands of fry its easier to knock them on the head rather than diagnose and to try to treat, im afraid im not very good with diseases and cures, i try to maintain the perfect conditions and it works well, i think ive only suffered one bout of whitespot in the last 10 years or so!! although several groups of fish(Killies and wild type Bettas) do suffer from velvet when in my fishroom, thats a disease ive not been able to get my head around!!

  10. peterK

    peterK Member 5 Year Member

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    I got two pairs of D. maculatus and first I can say they are not shy at all. I'd say, they are rather "careful" than shy.
    So far my favourite behaviour is leaf turning - both males patrol the new territory and turn each leaf over - sometimes they quarrel which one should pick some Cyclops hidden under it, but most of the time they co-operate like two ants. A great sight to see.:)
  11. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    Wow. You're lucky. I have heard of this behavior many times. I wish I could see observe myself someday. :)
  12. peterK

    peterK Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you:)
    Male turning the leaf over
    [​IMG]
    And female checking what he has found out there
    [​IMG]
  13. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    That's some cute behavior !! And they do seem to cooperate.
    Thanks for showing me this
    :)
  14. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    Dicrossus filamentosus has long been one of my favorite SA Dwarf Cichlids and I have kept and bred them many times over the past 4 decades.
    It wasn't until a few years ago when I bought some juvenile Dicrossus maculatus raised by forum member, Zack Wilson, www.digitalfishroom. Mine grew up into beautiful adult but I failed to breed mine.
    I have talked with several other hobbyists who live near Zack where they can often pick up some of both D. filamentosus and D. maculatus from LFS near Zack. Many have successfully bred their D. maculatus. D. maculatus in the hobby are mainly from tank raised lines so they may have become better adapted to aquarium life than wild D. filamentosus which are still mainly brought in as wild fish.
    Either species does have to have very good water quality. Even a lapse in making routine water changes is enough to trigger the bloating/death problem. That much remains true to the wild form. So if you decide to keep Dicrossus you best resign yourself to a Discus keeping type of maintenance regime.
    There is no other way to reduce the chances they will eventually bloat.
    A 20 to 30 gal tank is large enough so it isn't too much trouble to keep up with the water changes. The fish sometimes successfully breed and produce fry in tap water that is not to hard but to be sure it is best to use RO or clean rain water and Cattapa leaves to produce the soft water, leaf littered environment they prefer.
    I can hardly allow this opportunity to show off some wild Dicrossus filamentosus from the last group I kept. They are in leaf stained brown water so their colors are seen through the tinted water but these were in full glory and breeding condition.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Female on eggs
    [​IMG]
  15. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    Nice pictures, Apistomaster. And thanks for the information. This should be very useful for me.

    I have had 6 D. maculatus with me for a while but unfortunately all of them appear to be female so far. The two larger ones have red fins and are definitely female but the other four are a bit smaller and younger and I still keep my hope up that one of them will turn out to be male eventually.

    Do you know how old can a maculatus be sexed?
  16. aclockworkorange

    aclockworkorange New Member

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    Just joined the forum... thought you guys might enjoy seeing the biggest D. maculatus male I've ever seen... I recently inherited him through a friend who inherited him through a friend and so on... no idea on this guy's age but he is easily over 4".

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He has a slightly curved spine and sunken in belly, I've been feeding him quite well but I think it's just due to his age.
  17. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    I can tell he was probably a very pretty fish when he was younger. I wonder how old he is now. Most of my male cacatuoides would begin to look like this in their second year. So far none of them made it to the third year.
  18. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    D. maculatus are easily sexed at 5 to 6 months old..
    A little sooner if you have previous experience with keeping them.
  19. Melanochromis

    Melanochromis Member

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    I see. So does that mean my fish are probably all female? Because they were over one inch long when I got them and that was at least 3 months ago. So far none of them show any male features.
    :frown:
  20. Apistomaster

    Apistomaster Member 5 Year Member

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    It would be nice if you could find more and be able to buy 4 to 6 more.
    However, 3 month old fish are not easy to sex so you may end up with the males you need.
    That is why I used 5 to 6 months since they are easily sexed by then.