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Banded shovelnose

Introduction to the Banded Shovel Nose

The Banded Shovel Nose is a species of freshwater and brackish fish that can be found in the rivers, lakes and coastal waters of Central and South America as well as some parts of the Caribbean. It is a popular aquarium fish and is considered to be a part of the cichlidae family of fishes. This unique fish is characterized by its paddle-shaped tail, the distinctive banding pattern along its body and the shovel-like shape of its face, which gives it its name.

Physical Characteristics

The Banded Shovel Nose has a number of physical features that make it distinct from other species in its family. The fish is generally silver in color with a pattern of dark vertical bands along its body. It has a flattened and shovel-shaped face, giving it its name. The fish can reach up to 20 cm in length, with females generally being larger than males. The fish has a wide and paddle-shaped tail, which helps to propel it through the water and gives it greater maneuverability.

Habitat and Diet

The Banded Shovel Nose prefers still or slow-moving waters such as ponds, lakes and canals where they can find plenty of food sources. They feed mainly on small invertebrates such as insects, worms, crustaceans and mollusks. They can also feed on plant matter and smaller fish. The fish tends to spawn between February and March with the female laying her eggs in hollowed out pits near the shore which the male then guards.

Banded shovelnose two

Keeping the Banded Shovel Nose in an Aquarium

The Banded Shovel Nose, like other cichlids, is very popular among aquarists. Keeping these fish in a home aquarium is not difficult as long as their needs are met. They should be kept in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with plenty of hiding places and hiding spots. A sandy substrate and plenty of rocks, plants and roots should be provided as they enjoy grazing on algae. The temperature of the water should be between 75-86°F with a pH between 6.5-8.0 and a water hardness between 10-20 dGH.

Breeding the Banded Shovel Nose

When breeding the Banded Shovel Nose, it is important to ensure that there is plenty of space for the pair to move around and enough hiding spots for the female to lay her eggs in. The water parameters should be ideal and regular water changes should be done to ensure that it is kept clean. The female should be ready to spawn when she becomes brightly colored and exchanges coloration with the male. The male will then guard and protect the eggs until they hatch and should be removed when the fry become free swimming.


The Banded Shovel Nose is a beautiful and unique species of cichlidae that can make a great addition to any home aquarium. Their distinctive appearance and coloring make them a popular choice among aquarists, although they require specific care and parameters in order to thrive. With proper care and regular water changes, these interesting fish can live long happy lives in an aquarium.

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