Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: Red Fin Caudopunctatus are endemic to the rocky coastal waters of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. A popular fish for beginner cichlid hobbyists, Caudopunctatus are not overly aggressive and are relatively easy to keep. They thrive best in an active community aquarium or a cichlid aquarium with like-species; avoid large or aggressive species. Caudopunctatus have silvery-tan bodies that will shimmer in the light, and an orange dorsal fin in which they get their name. Caudopunctatus are best kept in groups given their social nature. This species is very slow growing, and will take some time to reach sexual maturity to spawn. Spawning of this species is somewhat difficult, as they are a true substrate spawner rather than one that utilizes shells; shells can be an accessory spawning location, however. An adult Caudopunctatus will grow to approximately 3″.
Diet Requirements: A diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, calanus and blood worms, and foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Caudopunctatus will accept sinking pellet foods and flake foods as a staple, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 30 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small group of Caudopunctatus. Biweekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters ideal (Nitrates < 30 ppm). The aquarium should have a finer substrate, driftwood and rocks for this cichlid to feel at home. Include shells as they could be potential refuges for spawning. African cichlid specific substrates, or even marine Aragonite substrate, are great choices because they will buffer the pH and alkalinity to levels characteristic of Lake Tanganyika that is needed for this species to thrive and spawn, if desired. Common tank mates for Caudopunctatus include Altolamprologus, Julidochromis, Neolamprologus, and other dwarf African cichlids from Malawi [note potential different water chemistry preferences, however; namely pH]. Recommended water conditions, 72-82° F, KH 10-20, pH 7.5-9.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1” to 1-1/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.