The Zebra Pike (C. zebrina), a recently discovered species of pike cichlid, has swiftly gained popularity and become highly sought after among hobbyists, and rightfully so. Its striking red-orange coloration, coupled with distinct vertical yellow barring, sets it apart from any other species. Surprisingly, the Zebra Pike exhibits a relatively peaceful temperament compared to other large pike cichlids, making it possible to keep them in community aquariums with appropriately sized tankmates.
Despite its rarity and higher price, the Zebra Pike is generally hardy and undemanding, although it may require some time to transition to prepared foods. In their natural habitat, these fish are found in fast-flowing, clear, and warm water, so replicating similar conditions in the aquarium is crucial for their well-being. They thrive in environments with strong currents, higher temperatures (ranging from 80 to 84°F), and excellent water quality, which contributes to their long-term success.
It is important to note that the Zebra Pike has never been successfully bred in captivity, and determining their sex outside of dissected specimens is considered challenging. As a result, sellers usually refrain from claiming to offer sexed pairs or attempting to determine the sex of individual fish.
In summary, the Zebra Pike stands out as a highly desirable and captivating species of pike cichlid in the aquarium hobby. Its vibrant coloration, relatively peaceful temperament, and adaptability to community setups contribute to its popularity. While they require specific conditions and may be challenging to obtain, providing the appropriate environment and care can lead to rewarding experiences with these extraordinary fish.