Home > Red Texas Cichlids Species Information, Care, and Feeding Guide
Red Texas Cichlids Species Information, Care, and Feeding Guide
Species Information and how this fish came to be
Red Texas Cichlids are known as second generation hybrid cichlids. These fish are beautiful colored in red and white with variations of red to orange coloration. The result of this fish stems from cross breeding a Flowerhorn cichlid fish (Cichlasoma sp.) and the American classic Herichthys cyanoguttatus commonly known as the Texas Cichlid. Some suggest it may also be a cross with Herichthys carpintis which would explain those large white snowflakes that Red Texas Cichlids display on their sides. One of the few cichlids native to North America. Essentially Red Texas cichlids are a subset of hybrid cichlid fish in the hobby. Some of the more popular and recognizable hybrids include Flowerhorns and Blood Red Parrot Cichlids which are available in many colors.
While there are many iterations of Flowerhorn cichlids available, the Red Texas fish seems to have remained as a steady hybrid among other fish in this category. These fish are not overly prevalent and command a pretty penny. There are some stunning specimens available with brilliant red to orange colors with white speckles very much like on a true Texas cichlid. And another variant which is brilliant red with black blotches very similar to wild red devil cichlids. These fish can be kept as show pieces or mainly as a personal pet.
Aquarium Care, Gravel, Lights and Caves
With keeping large cichlids the more tank space the better and that being said a good rule of thumb with Red Texas Cichlids is a tank size as small as 40 gallons long and larger. 40 gallon tanks are similar to 55 gallons but they’re not as tall but have great surface area and their perfect for a show tank with a gorgeous Red Texas in it. Depending on your taste and preference you can use two approaches. Keep a bare bottom tank which is easiest to clean, remember Red Texas eat a lot and they produce a lot of waste. The other approach is to use gravel or sand. Sand happens to look great. Now the gravel can be used by choosing a color that looks natural or by selecting a color that would amplify the colors of your cichlid. For example selecting black gravel or red gravel to really cause the colors to pop. Granted these gravel colors are unnatural but it’s about what you like and if you want to accentuate their colors.
Now don’t forget about lighting. You can go with a stand fluorescent lighting typically found on a hood or a more modern approach which is LED lighting. Now there is a whole section of lighting now available for accentuating the colors of your fish with light and LED fits the bill. LED lights are popular with Arowana fish keepers, Flowerhorn keepers, Blood Red Parrot keepers as well as non-hybrid cichlids like Discus and Angel fish.
In terms of decorating the tank you can use driftwood, pieces of slate and clay flower pots. Clay flower pots seem to be a favorite for the fish at lease. You can pick one up at a local large hardware store and carefully knock the bottom out with a nail punch and file the edges. Place the flower pot sideways and the cichlids instant shelter all for around five bucks.
Filtration and water changes are another significant necessity with big cichlids. And Red Texas Cichlids are no different. Weekly water changes are beneficial and will keep the waste load down and any harmful build up. Mechanical filters are the normal, look for an outside filter or canister filter.
Hybrid aggression and choosing tank mates
Aggression in big cichlids is not uncommon and this can be managed with some planning. For example you don’t want to put large cichlids in a small tank or even just one large cichlid in a small tank. They require appreciate space to grow and they need a territory to defend. But a byproduct of keeping a fish in solitary results in an aggressive and loaner fish. Some suggest a Red Texas Cichlid will be more aggressive compared to a Texas Cichlid parse because it’s a hybrid. So you can easily manage a single Red Texas in its own aquarium adequately size. Flowerhorn fish keepers have invented Flowerhorn mirrors which are placed inside the aquarium. This is used to distract the Flowerhorn who finds delight in show off in front of the mirror. These mirrors could be used as well with Red Texas hybrids. In terms of community tanks and hybrid cichlids, go big. You will need a tank at 90 gallons or larger like a 125 gallon. Because cichlids require a territory or what’s considered their space. Otherwise aggression is heightened which will result in fish getting killed. Make sure you mix the right amount of cichlids with equal temperaments to offset aggression. Remember caves, hiding places are your friend.
Compatible tank mates are not especially different for hybrid cichlids as they are in general for main stream species. Typically large cichlids can be mixed with other large cichlids with the idea that the tank will be a rather large community tank with ample space and hiding places to offset aggression and allow for territories to be established. Some of the tank mates that can be kept with Red Texas Cichlids include Jaguar cichlids, Jack Dempsey cichlids, Oscar fish, and large catfish like Plecostomus. Finding the right mix requires some experience and working with large cichlids to begin with.
Feeding & Nutrition for Hybrid Cichlids
Red Texas Cichlids are omnivorous feeders and will welcome everything from earthworms to commercially prepared foods. A good diet will include regular cichlid flakes and cichlids pellets but it’s also beneficial to include spirulina flakes and spirulina pellets which are used for herbivores and many African cichlids. Other items can include freeze dried krill and frozen krill as well. But the amount of the food should be adjusted to their size. For example small Red Texas fish can be offered flakes but once they are large the flakes will not satisfy them and they will require hardier foods. That said because Red Texas are hybrids and this opens them up to offering them a whole new class of foods, foods that are catered to hybrid cichlids. These specialty foods are not critical but are ok to use as a supplement. Regular cichlid food commonly available is more than fine. But these new hybrid cichlid foods do over some benefits of amplifying the intensity of the colors of the fish and some even enlarge nuchal humps. Be careful with some hybrid cichlid foods that contain hormones.