Cichlisoma Festae

By John Wolfgram


These fish are found in the wild in Ecuador. They obtain a length of around 14” The fish I purchased were F1 from wild caught stock. I acquired these from a friend who went to the ACA in New Jersey 2 years ago (2001). I obtained 6 unsexed fish about 2” long. I housed them in a 125 gal tank with some large catfish. I fed them a steady diet of OSI flake, Aquatrol pellet, krill and live earthworms. Sixteen months later after some fighting and killing all but 2 fish made it. It just happened to be a pair. An absolute beautiful pair at that. The male and female both dug gravel for what appeared to be a spawning site. They had done this several times without spawning. One day I lost power to the tank and did not catch it right away. The tank temp had fallen to 65 degrees. The fish were very slow and gasping for air. I immediately did a large water change and restored power. The fish recovered fine. In fact within a couple of days the male and female were both very colored and were guarding a clay pot, which of course was covered in eggs. A few days later they ate the eggs. Within a month they spawned again but did not eat the eggs. As soon as the eggs hatched and became wigglers I removed the pot and put them in a separate fry tank. The fry are very tiny. I fed them liquid fry for a few days then NO B.S. fry food for a week or so then to baby brine shrimp. The pair has spawned almost monthly since. They are excellent parents and guard the nest very well. The pair also get along great with each other no fighting at all. These fish are deemed very aggressive. Their nickname is the “Red Terror”. They are very beautiful fish and well worth the effort.