Caquetaia Umbrifera (Umbee Cichlid)

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Lammergeier created the topic: Caquetaia Umbrifera (Umbee Cichlid)



General:
Common Name: Umbee Cichlid, Blue Freckled Monster, Turquoise Cichlid.
Size: Picture shows my juvenile male when he was approx. 5". Adult males can be expected to reach up to 2ft (24") long, adult females to ~14". It is rumoured that males can reach an even larger size than this.
Habitat: South American. In the wild they're found in the Atrato and Magdalena River drainages in Colombia and Tuíra, and the Chucunaque River drainages in Panama.

Tank Requirements:
Tank Size: Currently growing my juvie out in a 6x2x2, 180 US gal. While common for people to grow theirs out in smaller tanks I wouldn't personally recommend anything smaller than a 6ft 125 gal as a grow out for one. They grow around 1" per month and are very, very fast, and strong for their size. You'd risk one bashing itself to death on the glass if you tried to grow it out in a 4ft. Adult males will need a min 300 US gal tank for themselves alone to thrive (though sadly it is common for people to keep them in much less).
Temp: I keep mine at 27C (81F). 80F is recommended here as a maintenance temperature, upping to 82 - 84F for breeding.
Water parameters: Varies depending where you look, but like a lot of SA cichlids, Umbees seem to prefer, softer, more acidic water. The pH of the Magdalena River varies between 6 and 8 but the water is soft. I've been getting good results keeping mine at a pH of 7.2 and low GH/KH.

Care:
Feeding: Mainly eats other fish and crustaceans in the wild. In captivity, a good, high-protein pellet as a base + various other foods seems to be the way to go. I feed mine a mix of Hikari Food Sticks, Biogold and Gold (mainly Hikari due to availability in my area - no real preference for the brand). He gets peas once a week, FD krill and pieces of prawn (all soaked in vitachem) a couple of times a week, with some veggie pellets thrown in occasionally. Eats everything like he's never been fed before. Fed 2x per day when he was <5", feed once per day now. Will add a starve day once he hits 6".
Tank maintenance: Bioload seems comparable to an oscar of equivalent size so regular large w/cs are a must. I keep nitrates below 10ppm.

Other:
Temperament towards people: I don't own my Umbee, my Umbee owns me. I've read that Umbees are quite timid as juveniles but my experience has been the opposite. Can be handfed (at your own risk)and is as interactive as an oscar though much more hyperactive. Umbees, in my experience, constantly size up anything outside their tank as 1: competition, 2: food, 3: bigger food. People generally fall into category 3. Mine doesn't seem to be afraid of anything and is a total pain to do water changes for. He constantly get in the way and recently started nipping at fingers.

Temperament towards other fish: Umbees are an aggressive, predatory cichlid that won't tolerate other fish in their tank. They will view other fish as food or competition, and especially seem to hate other Umbees. You would need an unbelievably large tank to make an Umbee a community fish (excess of 500 gal, and unlikely even then if you had an adult male). The males are known to beat up on their females even if in a mated pair.

Availability in VIC, Aus: The only LFS that I found that ever stocks them here is Rayonne Aquariums in Melbourne.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Caquetaia Umbrifera (Umbee Cichlid)

I see you are setting the bar high! :lol: Nice write up!
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Lammergeier replied the topic: Caquetaia Umbrifera (Umbee Cichlid)

:lol: who doesn't want to read never-ending ramblings about Umbees?
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