Aequidens patricki was only discovered in 1981 by biologist Patrick de Rham. The species was described by Kullander in 1984 and named after the discoverer of the species.
Aequidens patricki can reach a length of about 17 centimeters, the females usually stay about 2 centimeters smaller. The difference between males and females is very difficult to see. Usually the male is more colorful than the female during the spawning period.
The distribution area of the Aequidens patricki is limited to the Rio Aguaytía and Rio Pachitea in the Amazon region. These rivers are both in Peru.u.
These fish require an aquarium of at least 1.50 meters. Decorate the aquarium with sturdy plants, wood and stones so that there are enough hiding places. The substrate may consist of sand or fine gravel.
Temperature: 23-25 degrees Celsius.
In the wild they are carnivores that feed mainly on small insects. In addition, other food is also eaten.
Wild-caught specimen will first have to get used to the food we give. Start with small live food and slowly let them get used to other foods like granules or cichlid sticks. After they get used to commercial food they are omnivores,. You can feed them both live and frozen food, such as mosquito larvae, Daphnia, brine shrimp, mysis and krill. Dry food is also accepted, but make sure there is enough variety.
It is a calm, sometimes shy fish, but once it is at ease in the aquarium it can sometimes be aggressive towards other species. They can be kept together with other calm but hardy cichlids. They are defend a territory, especially during the spawning period.
Breeding Aequidens patricki
For breeding it is best to start with a group of young fish from which a good couple forms. The other fish must be removed after forming the pair. Because the difference between male and female is difficult to see, you will have to wait until they lay eggs or observe the fish very well. In the group of juveniles, the dominant fish is the male, the second in the hierarchy is most likely the female.
After that the breeding is fairly simple, the eggs are laid on a flat stone and fertilized. Both parents have brood care, so they will closely monitor and care for the young. Parents can become very aggressive towards other fish during the breeding season, even towards totally different species such as catfish. The fry can be fed with newly hatched brine shrimp.
Aequidens patricki is a very beautiful species with interesting behavior. If kept in a sufficiently large aquarium and fish with the same size and aggression level, this is certainly a species that will attract and keep your attention. They are not often found in the aquarium trade, you will probably have to order them in order to obtain this beautiful species.
Coby – J. de Lange