Tiger tilapia, or tilapia mary or black mangrove cichlid (Spotted tilapia) - a strong and hardy fish that can live in water with a wide range of pH, temperature and salinity. Homeland - West Africa. In many countries, it is now considered an invasive species. Active and bold fish. For maintenance, you need an aquarium from 100 liters. In nature, they are more herbivorous; they take any food in aquariums.
Area: West Africa (Cameroon, Nigeria).
Habitat: freshwater bodies, brackish mangrove swamps off the coast.
Description: body is a high body, a hump behind his head. The dorsal fin is long and runs through its entire back. The caudal fin is short and slightly rounded. The lateral line of the fish is well defined. The eyes are large. The mouth is terminal.
Color: golden gray color with an unclear pattern of transverse dark stripes and spots in the middle of the body (juveniles with pronounced transverse stripes). The dorsal and caudal fins of the male are dotted with many iridescent milk spots. Young green with a metallic sheen and vertical stripes.
The size: in nature up to 15-25 cm, in the aquarium - 10-15 cm.
Dimensions: from 100 l, length from 120 cm and more.
Water: dH 5-15 °, pH 6.5-7.5, continuous filtration and aeration, weekly change of up to 25% water.
Temperature: 20-28 ° C.
Priming: a thick layer of fine pebbles.
Plants: since tiger tilapia is a more herbivorous fish, almost any plant will be eaten.
Decor: stones, driftwood, plastic pipes and other shelters.
Feeding: in nature, they feed on diatoms, detritus and aquatic macrophytes, representing the main part of the diet (up to 85%) and terrestrial insects and bottom invertebrates (they account for about 5%). In aquariums - omnivores.
Behavior: active, constantly digging the ground, in the absence of shelters they can drive any fish.
Character: males of tiger tilapia are territorial, are aggressive not only to their own kind, but also to other species of fish. Monogamy.
Water zone: all layers of water.
May contain with: fish of medium and large sizes.
Fish farming: in aquariums spawning is paired on a substrate in the form of a large stone or flower pot, in nature - spawning in large colonies. Spawn both in common aquariums and in spawning grounds. Water parameters: dH 5–20 °, pH 6.5–7.5, T 25–28 ° C. The female is preparing a nest. After spawning, the female takes care of the eggs, while the male protects the territory from a distance. In nature, these fish breed during the year with peaks in November, March-April and July-September.
Gender differences: the male is more tall and often larger than the female.
Puberty: to 12-16 months.
Number of caviar: from 300 to 2000 bluish sticky eggs with a diameter of about 1.8 mm.
The incubation period: three days.
Progeny: when the larvae 2-3 days they rise from the nest and form a flock. At this time, the male becomes more active and begins to chase all fish approaching the nest. On days 7-12, the fry begin to swim.
Comments: tiger tilapia is an invasive species that is widely tolerated by environmental variables such as water temperature, salinity and pollution.