Crenicichla wallacii

For the pike fans out there, especially fans of the dwarf species, see the latest issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. It is subscription only, but is well worth it, in my opinion. Anyway, the January/February 2021 issue has a great article on Crenicichla wallacii, a beautiful dwarf species. The article also contains several great photos of both wallacii and another dwarf species known as sp. “Essequibo,” named for the river in Guyana in which it is found. Though most pikes grow quite large, the dwarf species usually max out at about 4-5″. For photos of wallacii, you’ll need to do a Web search or you can visit The Cichlid Room Companion’s C. wallacii page

Though not a pike expert myself, I am aware of the different Crenicichla groups. An interesting note from the article is that the author, Ernst Sosna, calls the dwarf group the wallacii group. In an interview I did with Vin Kutty back in 2016, he called the dwarf group the regani group. Nonetheless, wallacii is one of a few dwarf species that also includes compressiceps, regani, and notophthalmus species, just to name a few of the more available species in the hobby. 

Another note about dwarf Crenicichla, don’t pretend that because these cichlids are small that they lack the aggressiveness of their larger genus mates. As the author of the wallacii article points out, housing multiple adult males in anything smaller than a 60″ x 24″ tank is a recipe for disaster. Even a breeding pair presented a challenge for the author, especially once a brood of fry were free swimming. Females may become intolerant of a male when there are fry at this stage. 

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