Crenicichla Zebrina experiences and possible sexing...

koltsixx

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Genus: Crenicichla
Group: Acutirostris
Species: Crenicichla Zebrina


I recently acquired a Crenichla Zebrina from Arowana718 and can't express how much I like this pike. Info on this pike is far and few between with whatever little there is being scattered among several different websites. Their aggression, diet and sexing among other things being shared by few if any who have them. Though Zebrina is a fairly expensive cichlid it has come down in price quite a bit since it first entered the hobby. Hopefully they'll go the way of some other pikes that started off expensive upon introduction and get more reasonable as time goes on and they become more readily available because they truly are a beautiful and interesting fish, at least imho.

Temperament: N/A
Conspecific: N/A​
Personal Experience: There's little if anything mentioned about Zebrina pike aggression towards conspecifics or other fish. Some sellers claim they're peaceful bottom dwellers but I haven't seen any accounts to back that up. There are videos of them being kept in groups but nothing written that I can find that describes personality and behavior toward tankmates longterm. These videos and vendor experiences can be misleading. When kept in a crowded, barren tank, combined with recent arrival from stressful shipping and you'll often see pikes huddling together even highly aggressive pikes. That being said my own 12 inch or so Zebrina who I believe is a female(more on why I believe she's a she later) has been for the most part peaceful. Currently housed with Pearsei, Heckelli, Argentea and Super King Kong Parrots she has shown aggression mostly toward the SKKP's because one harasses her when ever she crosses to his corner of the tank. Other then that though she has attacked my Pearsei vigorously after being worked up by the SKKP to the point where she had torn their fins and had them hugging the surface. The aggression dissipated fairly quickly and all is peaceful again. My next move when I become brave enough is to try and introduce my Tapajos I pike as well as another Zebrina or two to the tank.

Diet: N/A
Again there hasn't been much said that I could find on Zebrina eating habits. My Zebrina is currently only eating frozen shrimp stuffed with various cichlid pellets. I'm not sure if they're as avid piscivores as other pikes seeing as mine ignores several 3 inch tankmates. My Tapajos I and Tocantins both of whom are smaller 6-9 inches hunted the same 3 inch tankmates relentlessly.

Sexing:
Again not much has been written about sexing Zebrina, except through ultrasound. Zebrina become sexually mature around approx. 25 cm(9.8 inches). At this time they can be sedated and subjected to ultrasound to determine whether they have ovaries or not. Specimens with ovaries are females and specimens without ovaries are of course males. Here's a video pf the procedure I had originally sourced from reefbuilders made by AquaticsPantaRhei.
Not much help to the average enthusiast wanting to sex these pikes but here's something else I found on venting them in arofanatics by nicktc. How accurate this method of sexing is, is unknown since this is the only example I could find about it and it isn't verified by a spawning or anything else that can be verified as fact. When venting a female compared to a male the female papilla is rounder, closer to the anus and the ventral/underside/stomach area of the female is redder then the male. Here's the link to the discussion and the pics so you can see the differences talked about. The female is to the left and the male on the right.
http://www.arofanatics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=509437&page=5


Last bit of interesting info. is that I and I think most assume Zebrina to be of the Lugubris group of pikes, which maybe why most just assume they're likely to be aggressive since most Lugubris are. How ever cichlidae.com has them listed as belonging to the Acutirostris group of pikes.


While this is not even close to a comprehensive description of Zebrina I hope it at least makes referencing some info. on Zebrina easier since it compiles info. that is strewn across the internet. I also hope no one takes offense at me using their posts and pictures as I tried to give credit to the sources as best I could. I also welcome others who have Zebrina to share their pics and experiences here so that we may all benefit.
 
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koltsixx

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Thanks Charney! Much appreciated! I really love these pikes, small scales make their colors really look clean and bright, plus they're highly outgoing. Always front and center and always watching you, more of a mid water fish then a bottom dweller. I'd love to have a group of them and may scrape the cash together to do just that in the near future.
 

Aquanero

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Really informative, excellent job with this. I agree they are truly beautiful fish.
 

mrrobxc

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Great write up koltsixx. I love the zebrina too. I'm thinking of getting a group to try again a bonded pair later down the road.

Glickman with the fish and please do post updates.
 

crenicichla444

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Nice write up man! They are acutirostrus which is a branch of the lugubris pikes so they're still lugubris. Difference btwn males and females in regards to fin color and pattern also make sense that they're classified as acutirostris. Jeremy (peanut power) has a vented pair: http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?590568-Viva-La-Crenicichla!&p=6978410#post6978410
Here you can see the shots he posted of the pairs underside.
Good luck they're very awesome pikes. I might be getting a line on some ultra cheap ones soon... Just maybe... They have indeed come down in price a lot. Please continue to keep us updated man!


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terrors r us

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Hello everyone, I have raised aggressive pikes over the years (Atabapo's, Lents, Mort's,johanna) and now I purchased three zebrina pikes and they are in a different league.
To me they are more or less a community pike. I call them my hotdog fish because at 6 to 8 inches they have the same shape as a hotdog. They have spectacular color and sometimes school together. I found them to be aggressive only if attacked and then they are capable of defending themselves. Not like the other pikes I have had that are always looking for a fight.
These fish swim around allot and stare at you with curious eyes. They really are my favorite pike. They chase each other a bit but no fins missing and not very often. They seem to have smaller mouthes than their heavy weight cousins.
I have a 12 inch Atabapo 1 in a tank next to their tank and when the Atabapo sees them she goes crazy and tries to destroy them but she is in a different tank. I would not put them together unless the Atabapo was much smaller and even then I would be worried.
The Atabapos/Lents etc are a much thicker fish, kind of like a salami but the zebrina's are more thinner/streamline.
This may be because they are small at the moment. They pay no attention to any of my other many cichlids in the tank and seem to love their new home. (a 750 gal tank, 10ft x 4ft x 3ft high). Mine still don't have the red color under the face, I hope this is because they are still juvies? The prices are coming down and I would recommend this fish to all!!!!!!
Also would like to say, "Great write up"!!
 

koltsixx

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Really informative, excellent job with this. I agree they are truly beautiful fish.
Thanks Tom. I really like the Zebrina, it's hard to find a decent sized, beautiful but peaceful cichlid; which is where my head is at in the hobby lately. Tired of worrying about stock killing each other and these guys are big but not too big and a group I'd imagine would really make an impressive display.

Great write up koltsixx. I love the zebrina too. I'm thinking of getting a group to try again a bonded pair later down the road.

Glickman with the fish and please do post updates.
Thanks! Sounds like a good plan, would definitely make a decent display and it would be nice to see someone else trying to breed these guys. I was hoping to try a group myself and hope to get a bonded pair out of them down the line.

Nice write up man! They are acutirostrus which is a branch of the lugubris pikes so they're still lugubris. Difference btwn males and females in regards to fin color and pattern also make sense that they're classified as acutirostris. Jeremy (peanut power) has a vented pair: http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?590568-Viva-La-Crenicichla!&p=6978410#post6978410
Here you can see the shots he posted of the pairs underside.
Good luck they're very awesome pikes. I might be getting a line on some ultra cheap ones soon... Just maybe... They have indeed come down in price a lot. Please continue to keep us updated man!


Sent from my iPhone using MonsterAquariaNetwork app
Thanks man! And thanks for the clarification on the grouping of these guys. Wonder how Peanuts pair are doing, hopefully he'll update in the near future.

By the way if you do get a line on some cheap ones(relatively considering what they go for) let me know, maybe we can both benefit. I have a source right now whose gotten me some rare fish for about half what I see vendors selling them for and he does have Zebrina listed, just have to check his current availability. If I get a decent price I'll pm you and see if you can take advantage as well.

Hello everyone, I have raised aggressive pikes over the years (Atabapo's, Lents, Mort's,johanna) and now I purchased three zebrina pikes and they are in a different league.
To me they are more or less a community pike. I call them my hotdog fish because at 6 to 8 inches they have the same shape as a hotdog. They have spectacular color and sometimes school together. I found them to be aggressive only if attacked and then they are capable of defending themselves. Not like the other pikes I have had that are always looking for a fight.
These fish swim around allot and stare at you with curious eyes. They really are my favorite pike. They chase each other a bit but no fins missing and not very often. They seem to have smaller mouthes than their heavy weight cousins.
I have a 12 inch Atabapo 1 in a tank next to their tank and when the Atabapo sees them she goes crazy and tries to destroy them but she is in a different tank. I would not put them together unless the Atabapo was much smaller and even then I would be worried.
The Atabapos/Lents etc are a much thicker fish, kind of like a salami but the zebrina's are more thinner/streamline.
This may be because they are small at the moment. They pay no attention to any of my other many cichlids in the tank and seem to love their new home. (a 750 gal tank, 10ft x 4ft x 3ft high). Mine still don't have the red color under the face, I hope this is because they are still juvies? The prices are coming down and I would recommend this fish to all!!!!!!
Also would like to say, "Great write up"!!
Thanks man for the info. If you've got some pics feel free to post and anymore experiences you have.



Couple more pics for the thread of my Zebrina yawning...
IMG_2826.JPG
IMG_2827.JPG

IMG_2826.JPG

IMG_2827.JPG
 
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shookONES

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I've been sleeping on the Crencichla genus as a whole. I'm so glad I got mine. Some observational notes from the relatively short period of time I've owned mine: he's impossibly curious. The majority of his day is spent navigating my wood work and investigating the room his tank resides. He comes right up to the front whenever someone approaches or walks by. He's carved out a little area underneathe a driftwood overhang and that's where he retreats to and sleeps at night.

Aggression hasn't been an issue in the slightest. He shares a tank with some datnoids and mahseers. The first couple of days were unnerving at the datnoids were quick to investigate and try put him in his place. While he isn't overtly aggressive, he doesn't strike me at the type to back down from a fight. All in all, an incredible fish and I'm glad to have one in my tanks. My guy is only 5" so I can't wait for his adult colors to come in.
 
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