Parachromis managuensis is a large species of cichlid native to freshwater habitats in Central America, where found from Honduras to Costa Rica. The scientific name refers to Lake Managua in Nicaragua from where the holotype was obtained. It is a food fish and is also found in the aquarium trade where it is variously known as the jaguar cichlid, managuense cichlid, managua cichlid, guapote tigre, Aztec cichlid, spotted guapote and jaguar guapote. In Costa Rica it is known as the guapote tigre. Males grow to a total length of 35 centimetres (14 in) and females to 30 centimetres (12 in).
The species is a carnivorous, highly predatory fish. Their diet consists mainly of small fish and macroinvertebrates. They prefer turbid, eutrophic lakes, often found in warm water depleted of oxygen. Their native substrate is one of mud-bottoms, but can also be found in other ponds and springs with sandy bottoms covered in plant debris. They inhabit lakes in a tropical climate and prefer water with a 7.0–8.7 pH, a water hardness of 10–15 dGH, and a temperature range of 25 to 36 °C (77 to 97 °F). They are usually found at depths of from 3 to 10 metres (10 to 33 ft).
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P. managuensis is the most commonly traded species of its genus and is greatly valued among the aquarium trade. As with all members of the genus, the jaguar cichlid is a large, aggressive and territorial member of the Cichlidae. The jaguar cichlid is a sizable, robust cichlid, displaying a shade of yellow/bronze throughout the body. This yellow colouration is then scattered with vivid black spots which are seen all along the flanks and gill plates. A series of several large black dots then run horizontally along the lateral line area. The fins are often a dark to black colouration, especially when in spawning colouration.
The female is similarly colored, but generally smaller than the male. The female will also lack the elongated extensions to the dorsal fins. This fish may also be found in Honduras and the rest of Central America where it plays a great role in the fishing industry.
It is highly advisable that a breeding pair of jaguar cichlids, or any other member of the Parachromis, are kept singularly, with the exception of very large aquaria, as a breeding pair will become hyper-aggressive, and pose great danger to any other fish in the tank.
Breeding can be achieved with very little effort and no specific requirements are needed for such purposes. As long as water conditions are maintained at a desirable high quality, a breeding pair of jaguar cichlids will readily spawn. To enhance the likelihood of acquiring a breeding pair, purchase several healthy and active juveniles at a young age (between 6 and 10) and grow these specimens until sexual maturity. Generally, you should be left with a breeding pair or two. These fish will noticeably become more aggressive and territorial, Remove all other fish at this point and keep the newly formed breeding pair separate. When a breeding pair had been successfully established, the male will begin to court the female by displaying his erect finnage as he tries to impress her in an attempt for her to accept his mating invitation. The pair will begin to clean a flat surface if the female is responsive of the male's previous courting behavior. The female with then lay approximately 1000–2000 orange coloured eggs which will then be fertilized by the male. The eggs will be ferociously guarded by both parents and a high degree of parental care is shown to the eggs and fry. When the eggs 'hatch' after approximately 5 to 7 days, the offspring (known as wrigglers at this stage in development) are defenseless and are unable to swim. They are often transported to pre-dug pits by both parents, and are guarded. The fry will begin to swim in approximately 7 days and should be fed with baby brine shrimp or alike. If you would like to rear these fry, they should be removed at this point as they will later be consumed by both parents as the female becomes due to spawn once more. Feed the fry baby brine shrimp until the stage where they are large enough to consume blood worm, daphnia and other live foods. When purchasing fish in an attempt to acquire a breeding pair, try to buy fish from different sources. There is a high probability that when buying fish from the same source, Fish will be from the same parents (Siblings). This should be avoided, as breeding fish in this manner may form offspring with genetic disease usually associated with interbreeding. Also, buy fish of a similar size, the chances of acquiring a breeding pair with fish of a similar size is significant to that of attempting to breed fish of different age and size.
The aquarium should be large for a breeding pair of jaguar cichlids. As with all members of its genus, These fish are large and heavily built cichlids who are aggressive and highly territorial. Decor should be kept to a minimum in such an aquarium and sand or fine gravel should be used as the main substrate. Many pieces of flat slate or rock should also be included for the purpose of spawning.
The Parachromis are a highly predatory group of fish and are by no means fussy eaters. Their ability to protrude their jaw 90% standard length allows them to have a diet composed of 10% evasive prey. These cichlids will readily accept most food substances offered. Diet should be varied however. Offer a variety of insect, including blood worm, earthworm, mysis, crickets (for larger specimens). Chopped meat can also be offered along with beef heart (offer very sparingly due to its high fat content) along with prawn and fish (live/frozen). Frozen fish is a much preferred method of feeding fish as many "feeder fish" carry the risk of the introducing disease into your aquarium, possibly harming your fish.
Females are smaller than the male and the red pigment seems more prominent in the gill plates. The red colouration is significantly prominent in the female in breeding colors. The male's dorsal and ventral fins are also much more extended and elongated than the female's.
pH of 7.0–7.8 preferably. Temperature of 25-27 °C.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Parachromis managuensis" in FishBase. February 2013 version.
- California Academy of Sciences: Catalog of Fishes
- Mauricio Salas Varga (July 2008). Humedales de Ramsar (FIR) – Versión 2006-2008 (PDF) (Report) (in Spanish). Centro Científico Tropical. p. 20. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
- Hulsey, C. D.; Garcia De Leon, F. J. (2005). "Cichlid jaw mechanics: Linking morphology to feeding specialization". Functional Ecology. 19 (3): 487. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2005.00987.x.