Hypsophrys nicaraguensis tank set up

Mary Baltazar

Feeder Fish
Dec 5, 2016
3
2
8
36
Good day friends! I quit the hobby last 2018 where I had been a Flowerhorn keeper for 3 years. This year, I am transitioning to caring for natural Cichlids, in particular, Central American cichlids. I would like to seek your guidance setting up my first Hypsophrys nicaraguensis species tank. Can anyone guide me on what is the best filtration media to use, equipment (water pump, wave maker???, etc.) average cycling time, plants, scape, and substrate? I lack knowledge in this area and though I searched the internet for information, I thought it best to seek wisdom from existing keepers. By the way, I had a 75-gallon tank custom made with overhead sump. Thank you very much!

146294922_1061077171064451_6625001818772388096_o.jpg
 

Rocksor

Blue Tier VIP
MFK Member
Nov 28, 2011
4,217
3,761
384
San Diego
duanes duanes is one of our MFK of this fish

 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
16,837
16,651
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
A 75 is a good starter tank for Nicaraguense, although in a couple years they would out grow it, unless you kept only a compatible pair.
Some live bearers as dither fish would help kept them comfortable.
1612967457592.png
I started with a group of about 8 juvies.
Once a pair formed and started spawning rituals, I removed the rest. The pair were very compatible and spawned many times.
They prefer hard water, a pH in the 8s, although mine did well in a pH of 7.8, mid to high 70s temps, Total hardness 250 ppm.
Males have spots in the dorsal and anal fins.
1612967778804.png
male above, female below
females not spotted, solid color, whole body more orange.
1612967855897.png
They lay non-adhessive eggs, mine liked PVC caps or caves for eggs and fry
1612967952975.png
1612968016365.png
Normal filtration is fine between 5 and 10 turnovers per hour, with average water movement,
they are omnivores so a basic pellet with an algae as part of the base ingredients works well.
The most important part for me was regular water changes to try and hold nitrate to below 15 ppm (my personal goal is < 10ppm).
Fry grow quickly
1612968479911.png
Mine were not hard on plants, (aquatic or terrestrial), so I would imagine in the sunny room in your photo, terrestrial plants such as pothos, or diefenbacia with roots dangling in the water, would grow well, as would hardy aquatics like Vallisneria provide cover, and help use up nutrients like nitrate.
I liked pool filter sand as substrate.
0CFEB1CE-6316-413F-AC62-6AB81EFE8D2A_1_201_a.jpeg
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: bkfamus and Deadeye

Mary Baltazar

Feeder Fish
Dec 5, 2016
3
2
8
36
Thank you gentlemen :) I am still a novice in keeping natural Cichlids in the Aquaria. Your tips will surely steer me to the right direction.
 

Mary Baltazar

Feeder Fish
Dec 5, 2016
3
2
8
36
I have a follow up question just now concerning Dither fish. The Nicaraguensis i'll be aquiring are no more than 3 inches long. Do I need to wait up until they grow to 4-5 inches or is it all good to add the Dither fish at the same time?
 
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store