How do I keep Honduran red points?

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Central American cichlid expert Juan Miguel Artigas Azas explains how to keep the undescribed Honduran red point, a close relative of the Convict cichlid, Amatitlania nigrofasciata.

Ever since this fish was discovered in early 1989 in the Rio Danli and some other places in Honduras by Rusty Wessel, Ross Socolof, Harry Spetch and Tom Grimshaw, they thought they were dealing with a different fish.

They called them Honduras red points because at the base of the caudal peduncle and fins there is red coloration that roughly look like ‘points.’ Grimshaw was probably the first to breed them in captivity in Belize.

There has been much discussion as to whether they are a potentially undescribed species or just a regular geographical variation of the Convict cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata formerly Cryptoheros nigrofasciatus) but the HRP seems to have enough particular characteristics that it can be considered a potentially undescribed species.

Keeping them in captivity is rather easy. A small aquarium of 100 l/22 gal and 1m/3.2’ long would do great. They are not demanding but they live in a pristine habitat, so this should be taken in consideration.

Water chemistry is alkaline and soft in their natural habitat. They are smaller, more peaceful counterparts of the regular Convict. Keep them well fed, offer some caves for nesting, avoid aggressive companions and breeding them will come naturally.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.