Crenicichla: Latin, crenulatus = cut, clipped + Greek, kichle = wrasse
Very difficult to maintain together due to conspecific aggression. Use a large aquarium and provide numerous hiding places or the female could be chased endlessly and eventually harassed to death. The use of target fish will help but make sure that the right species are chosen. Target fish could include other dwarf pike cichlids, cichlids of a different species, larger tetras or barbs which require the same conditions, it is unlikely that these fish will breed without the presence of target fish because the male will simply harass the female all the time.
C. compressiceps are predators, they require a diet high in protein so use lots of live or frozen food such as blood worms, chopped prawns, krill, small earth worms and some good quality dried food such as granules or micro pellets to ensure a balanced diet. Although they will eat small fish in the aquarium, other fish aren't a natural part of their diet in the wild.
Males are much larger than the females when adult and males have larger more pointed fins while the females fins remain rounded.
Dwarf pike cichlids are cave spawners and are excellent parents. Once a two fish have formed a pair they will claim a territory about 60 cm in diameter from which all other fish will be excluded. The presence of other fish distracts the males aggression from the female while at the same time making him more possessive.
Unknown, the wild population of this species has not been evaluated.
There are over one hundred species of Crenicichla (Pike cichlids) they all live in tropical fresh water in Central and South America. Size apart they all have a similar elongated appearance and they are all predatory giving them a passing resemblance to the northern pike, Esox lucius from which their common name is taken.
pH: 5.5 - 6.5
dGH: 2 - 5
Temperature: 24 - 27°C (76 - 80°F)
Size: 12cm (4.7in)
Min tank size: 250 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Species
Swimming level: Lower
Origin: South America: Amazon River basin, in the lower Tocantins River basin.
Habitat: Rapid clear water over sand and stones.
Species: C. compressiceps Ploeg, 1986
Other common names: