The Haitian cichlid is a large very beautiful cichlid that originated on Haiti where it can be found in rivers and lakes. This species is also known as “black nasty” which tells you something about its temperament. It is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive cichlids in the world and is often more aggressive than Jaguar and Dovii cichlids. The Haitian cichlid is often kept as a solitary fish but it will not come to its full glory unless kept with other equally large and aggressive fish. Doing this will however require a very large aquarium and might not be an option for everyone.
Some specimens of this species are extremely aggressive and will kill almost anything else that you put in the aquarium with them, even if the new tank mate is twice or sometimes even three times their own size. They can for instance end up killing jags and dovii cichlids twice their size. This extreme aggression can to a certain degree be reduced by decorating the aquarium correctly with hiding places and natural territorial borders.
The Haitian cichlid is unfortunately somewhat rare in the trade as it is a fantastic fish for those who have the tanks to house it.
This species grows very large and will therefore need a large aquarium. I do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium smaller than 400L / 105 gallons. If you want to keep it together with other species or keep several Haitian cichlids together I recommend a considerably larger aquarium.
The aquarium should be decorated in such a way that natural territorial borders are created. This helps reduce stress and allows for several territories to be formed in the same aquarium. Without natural borders, the risk is much higher that one fish takes the entire tank as his and kills everything else in it. Decorate the aquarium using rocks and driftwood and make sure to create some hiding places of suitable size for your Haitian cichlids. Plants are not necessary and this cichlid will eat most plants. If you want to keep plants in the aquarium (it can make creating natural territorial borders easier), I recommend trying hardy plants like java fern and crinum. Try to decorate the tank so there isn’t always a clear line of sight from one side of the tank to the other so that the fish doesn’t always have to see each other.
Good filtration is important as with all large cichlids as they produce a lot of waste. Aeration is also recommended. This species does best in medium-hard water. The temperature should ideally be kept between 73 – 82°F (23.0 – 28.0 °C) and the pH between 6.0 and 7.5. This species is however relatively tolerant to different water conditions.
- Species – Nandopsis haitiensis
- Common Name – Black Nasty
- Origin – Southern Mexico
- Diet – Omnivores
- PH Range – 6 – 7
- Temperature – Tropical 24°c – 30°c
- Breed Type – Egg Layer
- Maximum Size – approximately 35cm
- Sex – Un-sexed