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Library > Cichlids > General Articles > Taxonomy of Cichlids > Sub Family cichlasomatiene > Genera Aequidens> Aequidens tubicen
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Species Aequidens tubicen  
Scientific classification
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Perciformes
Suborder : Labroidei
Family : Cichlidae
Sub Family : cichlasomatiene
Genus : Aequidens
Scientific Name : Aequidens tubicen
Common Name : Aequidens tubicen
Geo Origin : AMERICA, South America, Amazon River basin, restricted to Trombetas River close to Cachoeira Porteira, Brazil.
Diet : omnivore
Gender Differences : Dimorphic
Breeding : Substrate Spawner
Temperament : Aggressive
Con specific Temperament : Aggressive
Standard Length: 4.5"
Total Length: 5.5"
Water Hardness: Medium Soft, dh range 1-13
Difficulty ; 3


It is a moderate size fish of about 4.5 " Amazon River basin, restricted to Trombetas River close to Cachoeira Porteira, Brazil.


It was first described by Kullander in 1991 and is placed in Genus Aequidens and subfamily Cichlasomatinae.

The Genus "Aequidens" is derived from Latin words, aequus+equal+dens(teeth), which roughly translates to "Fish with equal teeth".

The species name is derived from Latin noun meaning trumpeter, alluding to the name of the river drainage, the Trombetas, to which the species seems to be restricted. the Portuguese trombetas means trumpets.

Distribution & Habitat:

It is restricted to Trombetas River close to Cachoeira Porteira, Brazil.

It prefers small, fast running creeks and rapids

It is benthopelagic or swims above river/stream bed at depths of about 1-3 m in black water rivers.


It is a omnivorous in nature, and eats small fish, deitrus. Hence it should be given similar diet in aquariums.


It is one of the medium size fish with standard length(from tip of snout to begriming of tail fin) about 6.5 ".

A. tubicen has a typical tri serial pre dorsal arrangement of scales of its Aequidens with E1 scales 25 or 26.

The pectoral fin is large nearly 35% of Standard Length.

It has enhanced, wide, light spot anterior to the caudal spot, lateral band high on side, posteriorly positioned mid lateral spot and high vertebral number (usually 14 + 13 = 27), these traits are also shown by A. pallidus.

It differs from A. pallidus in co lour pattern which includes characteristics unique for the genus

  • The cheek spot common to this genus is missing and there is an irregularly rounded blackish spot at the corner of the preopercle and adjacent cheek;

  • lateral band running from head to dorsal margin of caudal peduncle, interrupted by a large, elongate mid lateral spot and subdivided into 2 or 3 elongate spots posteriorly;

  • mid lateral spot contiguous with or only narrowly separated from a wide dark bar running dorsally to the base of the dorsal fin, the spot and bar together forming a strongly oblique, backwards slanting vertical marking

It is known to live for 8-10 years.


Water Parameters:

This fish has a very restricted distribution and is found in small, fast running creeks and rapids of Trombetas River close to Cachoeira Porteira, Brazil. with a ph of 4.5-6 and dh range 3-9.

Tank Size and setup:

A. tubicen is a moderate sized fish and should be kept in a aquarium of about 300 liters with good filtration.

A sand bed of fine sand and many shelters with rocks and driftwood are ideal for this fish.

Tank Mates:

They are aggressive towards other species as well towards their own species. At breeding time the aggression increases.

Small fish should not be kept with them as it will be eaten.

They can be kept with Oscars, Rocio etc.


A. tubicen are dimorphic, and reach sexual maturity in about 9-11 months.

They lay eggs on flat surfaces and practice brood care. Both parents take care of eggs and larvae.

The females are smaller and will clean a piece of flat rock and lay 300 eggs.

The eggs will hatch after 2-3 days and fry will be free swimming within a week.

Fry can be fed brine shrimp. The pair will be ready to breed again if the fry are removed early.





  Sandeep Raghuvanshi
Picture Credits   Wikipdeia and other sources which have releases under GNU, unless specifically credited
Citations/Further Reading  

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2011.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., ( 10/2013 )

Kullander, S.O., 2003. Cichlidae (Cichlids). p. 605-654. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America.