Aequidens diadema

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Imported under the odd common name of Pendex cichlid, Aequidens diadema has become much more readily available in the trade recently, as Matt Clarke explains.

Scientific name: Aequidens diadema

Size: Up to about 10cm/4"

Origin: Imported from Peru. According to Dr Sven Kullander of

the Swedish Museum of Natural History, who confirmed the identification of the pictured fish, this species is found in

the Iquitos drainage downstream to Brazil. I have caught similar looking Aequidens in the Rio Negro, which may also be imported into the UK and could easily be confused with this species.

Habitat: Found in blackwater areas, so you could add peat to stain the water and make them feel at home.

Water: Neutral or acidic, pH 7.0, 23-28C/74-83F.

Aquarium: A pair will need a tank of around 90cm/36" or larger. Can be quite aggressive.

Availability: We found these at Maidenhead Aquatics @ Harlestone Heath, Northamptonshire. Shops who import should be able to get these from their Peru fish availability lists.

Notes: These fish were imported under the incorrect name of Satanoperca sp. 'Mamore', which they are clearly not.

Rarity rating: Not new, but only available seasonally, so are tricky to find at most shops. This species, and close relatives from the Rio Negro drainage are starting to become more common.

Price: Around 15 for an 8cm/3" fish.

This article was first published in the October 2003 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.