View Full Version : Question for Rex - CA Biotope for synspilums?

03-20-2006, 09:06 AM
Hi Rex (or anyone else who could add their 2 cents),

I just had a dealer come to my house to buy the uarus I was growing out and he saw my synspilum. He said he thought it was a she, even though I read that they don't show reliable dimorphism. He said he had a spare male I could have, and now I want to weed out my cichlids and just try and keep just a synspilum pair, and plan on a setting up a CA biotope for them (starting out in my 75, but then a larger tank in the summer). I have a few questions, and would really appreciate your input if you get some time:

1 - the fish are around 8" right now, and I've read they are choosy with mates. I have made an eggcrate divider. Do you think they would need to be separated permanently, or could I try removing the divider if they showed interest in one another. Ultimately I'd like to get a pair that could live without the divider, but I've read that pairs only get along well if they were raised together. (If this isn't successful I might try to get a young group elsewhere and start from scratch)

2 - I've read that synspilums occupy a few different areas in Mexico. Do you have any ideas on creating a biotope tank for them? (I'm going to do research as well, but I thought you'd be the best resource to ask!) I had thought of going to my parents cottage this spring and collecting some gravel/small stones form the lake for the substrate. I would think boiling the heck out of it would make it useable? EDIT - I just read you can use bleach as well to kill any nasties.

Anyway, any info you think would help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Rex Karr
03-20-2006, 10:47 PM
1- In a 6' tank I'd say you have a real good chance at a peaceful community if the male and female bond. Be sure to use that eggcrate at first though. Just take it slow and make sure that they actually like each other before you leave them alone.

2- 6' tank, very dark sand, large/small round pebbles, medium/large smooth and round boulders, large pieces of wood, 2 Synspilus, 4 Pasionis, and 2 Heterospilum Or even Octofasciatum (which can be AMAZING, take a look at CHC's.)

The dark sound, rounded stones, and gnarly will come together to look beautiful and very natural. If you did something like that and the eight fish didn't work out of just seemed like to much, cut it down until it works for you. Maybe 2 Syns, 2 Pasionis, 1 Hetero/Octo.

I'm kind of tired, hope most of that made sense :)


03-22-2006, 06:46 AM
Thanks Rex! Appreciate the advice.

I have the male now, he's a little smaller than my 'female', if she is one. They are very curious about each other, but I don't plan to remove the crate until I get a bigger tank.

Once I clean the glass and he gets used to the new home I'll get some pics.

03-22-2006, 08:24 AM
Those are good fish choices Rex - I especially like the Pasionis.
Thanks! :ok: