Cuban cichlids

Sinister-Kisses

Aimara
MFK Member
Jan 19, 2022
580
1,094
134
40
BC, Canada
Nandopsis tetracanthus, Cuban cichlid. Talk to me about 'em if you have experience with them? My search for a completely different species that is my current "need to have" (platinum angelfish, lol) has led me to Imperial Tropicals, which I discovered today ships to Canada. So I'm contemplating placing an order. But with the cost of shipping, I want to bulk out my order more to make it more worthwhile and have been looking at what else they have available. The cubans caught my eye...I do love a black and white fish! But I have no experience with them. Obviously I know they're aggressive, and what I'm finding online is that they stay a bit smaller than my "usual" angry species - maturing about 10"?

HOW aggressive is aggressive? Is it more species specific, or is any other fish a target? Just trying to figure out both short and long term logistics if I were to grab a few to grow out. Any first hand experience is appreciated :)
 

tlindsey

Silver Tier VIP
MFK Member
Aug 6, 2011
23,729
24,740
1,660
Ohio
Nandopsis tetracanthus, Cuban cichlid. Talk to me about 'em if you have experience with them? My search for a completely different species that is my current "need to have" (platinum angelfish, lol) has led me to Imperial Tropicals, which I discovered today ships to Canada. So I'm contemplating placing an order. But with the cost of shipping, I want to bulk out my order more to make it more worthwhile and have been looking at what else they have available. The cubans caught my eye...I do love a black and white fish! But I have no experience with them. Obviously I know they're aggressive, and what I'm finding online is that they stay a bit smaller than my "usual" angry species - maturing about 10"?

HOW aggressive is aggressive? Is it more species specific, or is any other fish a target? Just trying to figure out both short and long term logistics if I were to grab a few to grow out. Any first hand experience is appreciated :)
duanes duanes
 

Cichlids-r-beasts

Polypterus
MFK Member
Jun 15, 2017
503
498
87
I haven’t owned one (yet) but I have a friend who has. I remember inquiring about them and he said that from his experience that they’re up there with some Parachromis and Amphilophus species but make pretty good parents and aren’t as hard on each other like other species are when paired up. Males top out at about 10-12, females around 6-8 I think? His male was about 11 inches. Growth rate isn’t the fastest but not the slowest either, though his Cubans pairing up at a fairly small size may have contributed to that.

I was actually considering a pair of them for my 125 but I went with a male Labiatus instead.
I’m sure more knowledgeable members will chip in soon.
 

Bearsjfk

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Mar 26, 2019
52
31
36
42
I kept Cubans in the past and love this cichlid. I first had 4 two inch Cubans with three 2 inch true Texas cichlids. It was the most aggressive cichlid environment I had ever seen. Very entertaining, with constant sparring. I removed all the other cichlids once I had a pair of Cubans spawn. Eventually the male killed the female. Overall it was a similar experience to keeping many other Central American cichlids. The Cubans weren’t as social with me like Oscars or devils.

I would recommend taking a go at this species they are interesting and beautiful
 

bkfamus

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Oct 17, 2020
204
414
652
55
I kept them in a 75.. they are awesome cichlids, but as they grew I had to remove excess males as with many other cichlids.. Temperament reminded me of H. carpintis.. Not as aggressive as Amphilophus istlanus which did not tolerate anything else in the tank (dither, targets, plecos or other catfish).. but still I reduced the stock of tetracanthus to avoid any casualties.. I would get them again. one day...😎
 

Sinister-Kisses

Aimara
MFK Member
Jan 19, 2022
580
1,094
134
40
BC, Canada
Good to know, I think I might grab a few to try them out. Thanks all.

The hets are doing "good", I suppose. They don't know it yet but they're about to get kicked out of the 8ft tank. Not sure what happened but a few months ago they became skittish as hell, they freak out whenever someone approaches the tank and crash into things. I thought maybe it was the group of congo tetras I had in with them, as the congos were pretty flightly so thought they'd rubbed off...I pulled the congos out a while ago now in hopes that it would settle down the cichlids, but no such luck so far. So I'm going to move them from the 8ft 135gal which is in my lower den and gets regular walk-by traffic, into the 6ft 135gal in my fish room which is less busy. Plan to add more cover and hope the change of scenery will calm them down.

But they're doing well health wise. Beautiful little guys and I'm excited to see how they look over new substrate after the move. But MY GOD do they grow slowly. I've had them nearly 2 years (in August). They've always been in the 8ft tank since they arrived at little 1.5-2" babies. They're now MAYBE 5". I'm not used to such slow growing beasties lol.
 

bkfamus

Bronze Tier VIP
MFK Member
Oct 17, 2020
204
414
652
55
Good to know, I think I might grab a few to try them out. Thanks all.

The hets are doing "good", I suppose. They don't know it yet but they're about to get kicked out of the 8ft tank. Not sure what happened but a few months ago they became skittish as hell, they freak out whenever someone approaches the tank and crash into things. I thought maybe it was the group of congo tetras I had in with them, as the congos were pretty flightly so thought they'd rubbed off...I pulled the congos out a while ago now in hopes that it would settle down the cichlids, but no such luck so far. So I'm going to move them from the 8ft 135gal which is in my lower den and gets regular walk-by traffic, into the 6ft 135gal in my fish room which is less busy. Plan to add more cover and hope the change of scenery will calm them down.

But they're doing well health wise. Beautiful little guys and I'm excited to see how they look over new substrate after the move. But MY GOD do they grow slowly. I've had them nearly 2 years (in August). They've always been in the 8ft tank since they arrived at little 1.5-2" babies. They're now MAYBE 5". I'm not used to such slow growing beasties lol.
I remember telling you they were pretty, but ime boring and slow growing.. Well I bought another group to add to my vieja melanura and T. meeki 240G tank.. I figured with the melanura as main attraction and very active and bold and the meeki as always active and bickering between pairs and constantly breeding, I could add the hets as another complimentary group.. it's been going great since last September.. the hets are actually very active and have grown from 2-2.5 to 4.5+" and are coloring up nicely since last September.. I think I have 2 males and 3 females.. they spar w/ the meeki occasionally w/ no damage.. everyone stays out of the way of my 10-11" melanura pair.. the melanura are gentle giants.. but won't hesitate to wipe out 300 plus meeki fry when they're ready..

Hope you have success w/ the hets and cubans.. 🤞
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sinister-Kisses

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
21,200
26,775
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
The first time I kept tetracanthus, I ordered 6, the largest male ate all the his siblings.
It my my own stupid mistake, I thought they could easily grow out, in a 50 gal, .........no such luck.
My next time, tried 6 in a 125.
I ended up with a compatible pair, and they shared that 125 for a long while, spawning many times, with no other tank mates.
These are the only cichlid from theiir habitat, so expecting them to share a community, with other fish is down right unrealistic,
They are much like many of the other loner yet magnificant species such as beanii, or haitiensus and others that deserve and belong in a hermit like existence, and a tank of there own.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tlindsey

Sinister-Kisses

Aimara
MFK Member
Jan 19, 2022
580
1,094
134
40
BC, Canada
These are the only cichlid from theiir habitat, so expecting them to share a community, with other fish is down right unrealistic,
Oh no worries there. My long term plan is either A) Solo male in his own tank or B) breeding pair in their own tank, and if I end up going that route they will get either my 6ft, 125 or 6ft, 135 to themselves. My question about other fish was more just in the short term for QT purposes - I also ordered a group of juvenile marbled convicts (you don't even know how excited I am about those!!!) and would like the two species to coexist for a few weeks in QT if possible before splitting them up.

I did officially place an order this morning so in addition to the platinum angelfish I was originally looking for, I have ordered 5 x cubans (2-3" unsexed) and 5 x marbled convicts as well. Gonna have to do some tank shuffling this weekend before they arrive since - once again - this was all on a whim, but pretty stoked to try out the cubans.

Thanks for the feedback all!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cichlids-r-beasts
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store