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The Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus, formerly Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum) is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family. Also known as Rio Grande cichlid, this species is originated from the lower Rio Grande drainage in Texas and Northeastern Mexico, particular on the sandy bottom of deep rivers. This is the only cichlid species native to the United States, and has been introduced by man as far North as Central Texas where they live in various lakes and rivers.
The Texas cichild has a large grayish high-backed body with bright blue scales and two dark spots, one at the center of the body and another and the end of its tail. Adult males have a large hump on their heads.
The "green Texas cichlid" commonly seen in pet stores is another species, Herichthys carpintis, whose range does not extend into Texas. The common name comes from a physical similarity to the Texas cichlid. The "red Texas" cichlid is not a Texas cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) but an intergeneric hybrid of Herichthys and an Amphilophus species or even blood parrot cichlid parents.
Texas cichlids have been deliberately and accidentally introduced into the wild throughout the subtropic southern United States from Texas to Florida (where water temperatures rarely dip below 48 degrees F), where they have flourished, and are often caught incidentally when fishing for sunfish and other panfish. They are regularly targeted in both South Texas, where they are known as "Rio Grande Perch" and Northern Mexico, where they are known as "Mojarra de Norte. In Lake Guerrero, which is recognized for its excellent largemouth bass fishing, the Texas cichlid is considered by locals to be the best eating fish in the lake. Their taste is similar to commercially raised tilapia, an African ciclid species to which they are distantly related. The fish is caught on light tackle with small hooks (#4 to #8) like that used for other panfish, with live crickets making excellent bait, however they will strike a wide variety of baits. They fight similarly to bluegill sunfish, making tight circles and then darting off in a broadsided run. Average size of adult fish in the wild is 5-6 inches, and 1 pounds, with 2 pounds not being uncommon
Central American cichlids sold on this site are generally 1.5 inches to 2.25 inches in length (regular) size.
All of these small fish are sold as unsexed juveniles unless otherwised described. Different sizes will be designated in the description as follows.
Small: 1 -1.25 inch
Regular: 1.5 -2.25 inches
Select: 2.5 inches
Medium: 3 inches
Large: 4-6 inches
If you are stocking a new tank or a tank with cichlids under 3 inches you will be safe with small ,regular, or select sizes. If you are stocking a tank that has existing cichlids that are over 3 inches you should only choose regular, select or medium sizes.