Biotoecus Opercularis

Biotoecus Opercularis

Biotoecus Opercularis

Biotoecus Opercularis

Biotoecus Opercularis are tiny cichlids from South America that make the common Ram cichlud look huge. Until recently, they were only kept by cichlid specialist and out of the general aquarist market primarily because of their lack of bright colors and need need for soft acidic water. But now they are now becoming more readily available. Despite their small size, they are not suited for nano-tanks. An 80 liter/ 20 gallon tank is fine for a pair and a small group ( 2 males and 4 females) can be kept in a 30 gallon/ 115 liter. The makes can be territorial so there should be ample places that are suitable for breeding so that each male can claim a territory if they are being kept in a group. There was originally a proposal by a distributor to assign this fish with the common name Sandhill Dwarf Cichlid based on the rumor that males create a hill of sand and make a nest at the top so their spawning site looked like a mini volcano. However, that was either misinformation or a behsvior these fish only do if suitable spawning areas are unavailable. Usually when spawning, these fish utilize small caves or the underside of bogwood to attach their eggs. Another site has suggested the name Fairy Cichlid, but that name is already being used for an African cichlid and would no doubt lead to confusion. If you could assign them a common name, what would you call them? Biotoecus opercularis are not suitable yo community tanks because of their small size. Even corydoras make them nervous. But they csn be kept with small fish that live in the upper regions of the rank and have the same water requirements like most pencilfish and spashing characins.
Origin: Brazil
Size: 4cm or less/ less than 1.5 inches
Temperature: 25-30°C/ 74-86°F
Feeding: They are micopredators so small live or frozen food are best bug they will also eat appropriately sized sinking food.
Habitat: Water chemistry is important. The highest pH that is acceptable is 6.5, and lower is better. This fish would thrive in a blackwater environment. The substrate should be fine sand (not marine sand as that will raise the pH) and there should be sunken dried leaves that will release tannins and help lower pH as well as supply microorganisms to the aquarium. Plants have trouble living in this type of environment but java fern may survive, especially if it is mounted on bogwood branches closer to the light source. Add driftwood, pleco caves, and small flowerpots to the rank for potential breeding sites. Avoid giving them a strong current and only change 10 percent of the water per week as larger changes may dirupt the water chemistry.
Breeding: Eggs deposited on the rooves of caves or in crevices on driftwood. Parents often move newborns to a shallow pit they excavate and they will care for them for 3 to 4 weeks. They show no degree of territorial behavior towards fry and will readily take care of their neighbors offspring if multiple batches of fry are born in the same aquarium.

Biotoecus Opercularis 1

Biotoecus Opercularis 1

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