Hey folks Jose here, we are going to talk about one of my favorite bad boys (and girls), the Dovii, also known lovingly as the Wolf Cichlid. The Dovii hails from Central America in Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Males can reach sizes up to 28 inches, while females are much smaller at 15 inches. In the wild, the species is an opportunistic piscivore, feeding on smaller fish. This is an easy fish to keep, as long as you have the space and get a compatible pair.
In juveniles, sexing is tough but can be done. When I picked out my pair at 2 inches, the male was a little larger and he had black dots below the lateral line where as the female had none. In the store’s aquarium, the male was tough on the female, but a week after they went into my 40 breeder, the roles were reversed. They were shy at first, hiding under the caves that I provided for spawns.
Feedings are a blast. They eat everything! The main diet I feed consists of a marine pellet food made by Pretty Bird called Color Up, Prime Reef flakes, and the occasional (once a week) feeding of live crayfish. Now let me tell you how fast they can grow. The male was 2 inches long and about an inch and a half high when I got him. I have had him for about seven or eight months, and feed them 2 to 3 times a week, and now the male is about 6 inches in length and close to 3 inches in height! They can really fill out fast!
So now they’re spawning. The spawning was not as bad as I thought it would be. The female was almost gold-yellow with dark barring, and close to her vent she started to take on a black coloration. The male’s coloration became a lot more vivid, but the most striking feature setting him apart from the female (wow) was that his lips and fins turned blue! The Wolf Cichlid’s courting and mating dances consisted of a lot of gill flaring, head shaking and jaw locking.
I provided caves and PVC pipe for them to spawn on, but the female decided that she was going to lay the eggs on bare glass. OK with me, because they’re easy to spy on there. I think I’m on batch number 7, and in each batch (laid like clockwork around the end of the month) she numbered close to 200 fry. Not bad for a 3 inch female, though adult females can produce up to 1000+ eggs at a time. The parents are very protective over the fry, even attacking my hands when I’m working on the tank. Oh, did I mention the Dovii live with two Synodontis catfish that happen love the taste of fry? I have not saved any of the prior batches because of space limitations, but my roommate let me borrow his 10 gallon planted aquarium this time, so I was able to net out 30 fry to grow out. The fry are fed crushed flakes, crushed freeze dried brine and crushed freeze dried mysis shrimp. As of right now, it looks like another batch of eggs is on the way!
Until next time,