Matt Clarke looks at a rarely seen pike cichlid that has recently surfaced in imports from Brazil.
Scientific name: Crenicichla jurubi
Origin: Found in the
Rio Uruguay drainage and in the tributaries of the upper Rio Uruguay, Brazil, South America.
Size: Up to 18cm/7".
Water: These fish were being kept in neutral to slightly soft water.
Aquarium: Pikes need plenty of space and hiding places, such as bogwood. As the name suggests, they are predators, so shouldn't be kept with fishes small enough to swallow. However, for cichlids, they are not exceptionally aggressive.
Notes: We spoke to Dr Sven Kullander of the Swedish Museum of Natural History about these pikes. Said Sven: "Very nice fish. It could very well be C. jurubi. I am not sure how it compares with the several similar forms in the Iguassu drainage. It is not C. igara which has a more pronounced snout." C. jurubi is a member of the Crenicichla missioneira, all of which are endemic to Uruguay. The group also includes C. missioneira, C. minuano, C. tendybaguassu and C. igara.
Availability: These fish were imported in sexed pairs from Brazil under the name Crenicichla igara/jurubi by Maidenhead Aquatics in Harlestone Heath.
Rarity rating: Probably not previously imported, and certainly a real rarity in cichlid keeping circles.
Price: Due to the small number of fish packed per box, you're looking at a price tag of about 60 for a 15cm/6" fish.