Fish Facts – Lenticulata Pike Cichlid | Can We Keep It in Home Aquarium?

Lenticulata Pike Cichlids are a very interesting and attractive fish which makes them a species used in the aquarium fish trade. They are found Rio Negro mostly with a few scattered populations in the Amazon Basin of South America. They are predatory and feed mainly on smaller fish.

Natural Habitat

The Lenticulata Pike Cichlid originates from South America. Rivers and streams in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela provide the perfect environment for this species. Clear, fast-flowing waters with rocky substrates and dense vegetation are typical of its habitat. These conditions contribute to the fish’s unique behavior and needs in an aquarium setting.

Physical Characteristics

Lenticulata Pike Cichlid exhibits a striking appearance. It has a slender, elongated body that can reach up to 12 inches in length. Its coloration varies, but it typically features a mix of greens, browns, and yellows, with distinctive red eyes. The scales often show a pearly sheen, adding to its visual appeal.


This species shows territorial and aggressive behavior, especially during breeding seasons. It prefers to stay near the bottom of the tank, hiding among rocks and plants. Providing ample hiding spots and adequate space can help manage its aggression.

Aquarium Setup

Creating a suitable environment for Lenticulata Pike Cichlid requires attention to detail. Here’s a breakdown of the essential elements:

Tank Size

A minimum tank size of 75 gallons is necessary for a single Lenticulata Pike Cichlid. Larger tanks are preferable for housing multiple specimens or a community setup.

Water Parameters

Maintaining optimal water conditions is crucial. The ideal temperature range is 75-82°F. pH levels should stay between 6.5 and 7.5, while the hardness should be 5-12 dGH. Regular water changes and good filtration systems ensure water quality remains high.

Substrate and Decorations

A sandy or fine gravel substrate mimics the natural habitat of Lenticulata Pike Cichlid. Incorporating rocks, driftwood, and plants provides hiding places and reduces stress. Ensure the decorations are securely placed to prevent them from toppling.

Diet and Feeding

Lenticulata Pike Cichlid is carnivorous. It thrives on a diet rich in proteins. Live foods like feeder fish, shrimp, and worms are ideal. However, it also accepts frozen and prepared foods. A varied diet ensures optimal health and vibrant coloration.

Feed the Lenticulata Pike Cichlid once or twice daily. Avoid overfeeding to prevent water quality issues. Remove uneaten food to maintain cleanliness in the tank.


Due to its aggressive nature, choosing tank mates requires careful consideration. Suitable companions include other large, robust cichlids and catfish species. Avoid small, timid fish that may become targets of aggression.

Common Health Issues

Lenticulata Pike Cichlid can face several health challenges. Being aware of common issues and preventive measures helps maintain their well-being.

Ich (White Spot Disease)

Ich is a common parasitic infection. Symptoms include white spots on the body and fins, and the fish may scratch against surfaces. Treating Ich involves raising the water temperature and using appropriate medications.

Hole-in-the-Head Disease

This condition causes lesions on the head and lateral line. Poor water quality and nutritional deficiencies are often the culprits. Regular water changes and a balanced diet prevent this disease.

Fin Rot

Fin rot appears as frayed or discolored fins. It results from bacterial infections, often due to poor water conditions. Maintaining clean water and using antibacterial treatments can resolve this issue.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Environment

Keeping Lenticulata Pike Cichlid healthy involves regular maintenance and monitoring. Here are some tips to ensure a thriving aquarium:

Regular Water Changes

Perform weekly water changes of 20-30%. This helps maintain water quality and reduces the buildup of harmful substances.

Monitoring Water Parameters

Regularly test the water for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, and hardness. Use reliable test kits and adjust parameters as needed.

Adequate Filtration

Invest in a high-quality filtration system. Consider using both mechanical and biological filters to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated.

Observing Fish Behavior

Pay attention to changes in behavior, appetite, and appearance. Early detection of issues allows for prompt intervention and treatment.


Lenticulata Pike Cichlid offers a fascinating addition to any aquarium. Its vibrant colors and dynamic behavior provide endless interest. Ensuring proper care and understanding its needs can lead to a rewarding experience.