They are very interesting, great personality fish. I have always had a pike in every cichlid community tank I have owned. They are also great predators. I fell in love with them the first time I had one.
You would understand if you owned one.. Let Peanut_Power tell you..
Is this thread for real? Its not a joke or sumptin is it? Aight, just to humor you, I'll give yaz a couple of reasons why pike cichlids are pimp and amazing.
First off, they are pike cichlids...what more do you need to know? There are so many different familys inside the family of pike cichldis its amazing! Very diverse and beautiiful species. No other fish like them. There are dwarfs, medium, and extra large pikes. There are even some pikes that have an atrophied swim bladder. Super diverse. They are quite possibly the next big fish predator after Cichla, which says a lot right there. Even their scientific same has cichla in it....Crenicichla, you know they gotta be bad ass for that. As stated, they are highly predatory, if it fits in their mouth, its gonna be eaten. They also have the same ferocity of pbass when it comes to feeding time. Not many cichlids can hit their prey items quite like a pike cichlid does. Its just amazing the speed and accuracy of these fish. Couple that with an elastic stomach on most species and you have one wicked predator. They are an extremely efficient eating machine. This alone is enough to get people to try and keep them, just for the sake of watchin them feed. Still gives me chills up and down my spin when ever i feed my pikes....very kewl.
Another reason is because they are so diverse. Two main families you are gonna see in the hobby are Saxatilis pikes, and Lugubris pikes. Saxatilis generally stay smaller and are more aggressive towards other pikes. Lugubris pikes get large, and aren't as conspecific aggressive. Personally, I am completely and totally hooked on Lugubris pikes. My fav. family. Reasons for this? There are many. One reason is that some species can be a serious challenge, having to work out aggression, tank size, and water conditions. They get large, and don't normally back down from a fight. A very very VERY kewl thing about Lugubris pikes is that the juv. look NOTHING like the adults for the most part. As they age, they go through several ' color metamorphisises'. Most species do at least two color changes. This is just awesome to behold as you watch your little baby turn into an awesome, powerful adult. This can be frustrating at the same time, as several species look the same as juv....or very similar. So its a challenge when you go to a LFS and you see a pike, cuz you really gotta know your stuff in order to get a certain type that you want. Also, pikes are relatively hard to get. For the most part you have to special order them in and the like. Which adds to their appeal.
Pikes have attitude. You look at a tank with pike cichlids in it...normally a pair or just a single pike, due to aggression and not large enough tank space to accomidate more than a pair....and you will see that 85% of the time the pike cichldis are the dominate fish in the tank. Even if they aren't the largest fish in the tank, the other fish will normally move out of the way and allow the pike cichlid a wide berth. They are just 'respected' by other fish because they have so much potential power, plus they can seriously open the can of whoop if they want too. They just look awesome cruising around the tank. They are super inquisitive, and are normally the first fish to check things out. In all my experiences with them, pikes are almost always the first fish to the scene when it comes to feeding time...never endin bellys it seems like. They are practically like torpedo shaped oscars when it comes to how laid back and tame they can be. Thats another kewl thing, they are shaped like no other CA/SA cichlid, and most Africans for that matter. Thats one of the reasons they appeal most to me is that they have a totally different body structure and break up the other fish's shapes in the tank. But i digress. Their personalities just steal the cake each and every time. Whoever owns them quickly fall in love with them and become their favorite fish, or at least one of them.
They also have amazing colors. Just crazy some of the colors and patterns that these bad boys can boast. Pictures, especially those online, just can't give credit to the awesomeness of these spectacular fish. Gotta give them props. And male and females generally have completely different coloration. Having a pair in your tank is just tight to watch. Not only do their colors compliment each other and look great, specially when they are in their prime breedin colors, but they have INCREDIBLY strong pair bonds. They practically do everything together. I loved watching my Crencichla sp. xingu I pair cruise my tank together...just looked awesome. It was kewl too cuz sometimes the male would LET the female eat first, then only when she was done he would eat.
Last thing I am gonna mention, is that they are difficult to spawn. This challenge is another thing that got me into them. There have only been a few spawnings from a few species inside the US....one of the rarest cichlids to get to spawn. Takes skill, talent, and a lotta luck to get these babies (Lugubris pikes) to spawn for yaz. Saxatilis are relatively easy to get to spawn, although there is still a little challenge there. I could go one more, but i think I have said enough.
Give them a try....they are one of the most personable cichlids out there you can keep. You won't regret it, totally awesome fish!