Scientific Name:- Nandopis dovii, Parachromis dovii (formerly Cichlasoma dovii), Herichthys dovii, Heros dovii
Distribution:- Central America
Size:- Males to 75m/30", females to 40cm/16")
Temperature:- 23C/74F to 28C/82F degrees
Common Names-Dovii, Wolf Cichlid, Dow's Cichlid
Dovii's are not tolerant fish when it comes to tankmates, and are often just as bad tempered with their owners. It doesn't seem to matter if you have a male or a female, both sexes are equally aggressive and certainly capable of doing considerable damage to decorations, other fish and their owners fingers.
When not lurking, looking for food, dovii's often spend a lot of time patrolling their territory, checking out the action. As with most large cichlids, they are highly intelligent and can become very owner responsive. Their territory will usually extend a fair distance beyond their actual tank, and anything that enters their space will require investigation. It has been suggested that owners make sure any tanks containing dovii are inaccessible by other family pets due to their extreme aggression. With a fish this size and strength the last thing an owner wants is their irate dovii charging at the front or lid of their tank. They are not called "tank busters" for nothing!!
With a fish this size, the first thing that has to be considered is tank size. While dovii's are comfortable in groups in tanks of 55 to 100 gallons when still small, they will soon require much larger accommodation. A full grown male will need a minimum of 200 gallons or bigger. Females donít require quite the same space, but even they will not be comfortable in less than 150 gallons. As dovii's reach maturity at around 5", their aggressive nature comes to the fore and groups will need to be separated. Tank mates are a big no-no for dovii's, as they will eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths and tear apart anything too big to get down in one gulp. Some people have been successful in keeping breeding pairs of dovii together, but this has only been accomplished in tanks of over 300 gallons and is considered a rare occurrence.
Tanks should be decorated in a similar fashion to their native habitat, with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, rock piles and driftwood. Being cichlids, dovii's of course will dig, therefore any plants added should be firmly secured. Live plants are generally considered a waste of time, as they will most likely be torn to pieces in short order. Large caves should be provided for the fish to retreat to in between meals. Plenty of open swimming space is required.
In the wild dovii's inhabit large rivers and lakes and therefore require very clean water. Good filtration is essential, as like most large cichlids, dovii's are naturally messy eaters.
Dovii's are true piscavores and eat nothing but smaller fish in the wild. Feeder fish are considered good for dovii's in an aquarium as they satisfy their natural instinct to hunt, but extreme care should be taken with the quality of the fish offered. It is far better to breed your own feeders and a large quantity of them is required. If you are persistent, they can also be persuaded to eat other food such as beefheart, krill and earthworms. Most pellets on the market are not large enough to satisfy large dovii, therefore a home-made mix of high protein foods is generally the best option. Vegetable content is not required.
Dovii do not make good tankmates for any other species of fish, including other dovii. They should only be kept singly in large tanks. Even large armoured catfish such as plecostomus species will be considered an in-between meals snack. Water, rocks and more water seems to be the consensus between people who have had the pleasure of owning a dovii.Breeding
Dovii's are relatively easy to sex once they reach maturity, with females developing a more yellowish background colour as opposed to the silvery background of a male. Males will also develop impressive nuchal humps as they grow. Breeding has occurred in home aquariums, but given the aggressive nature of these fish and the huge tank size required to successfully house a male and a female together, attempting to breed dovii is not recommended. Another factor is the huge quantity of eggs laid during a spawn, usually numbering in the thousands. They prefer to spawn on flat, slightly inclined rocks and the fry are cared for similarly to other large cichlids.