- Scientific name: Cryptoheros sajica
- Common name: T-bar cichlid
- Synonyms: Cichlasoma sajica, Archocentrus sajica
- Group: Cichlids
- Habitat: Central America; Costa Rica
- Size: 12-15 cm
- Biotope: Occurs in rivers
- Social behavior: A territorial, pair forming cichlid. A relatively peaceful, sometimes shy fish which does not molest plants.
- Diet: Omnivore
- Breeding: Quite easy
- Tank: Minimum 150 litres.
- Population: 1 pair for 150 litres
- Decoration: Tank with a sandy bottom; hiding places of stones and roots; perhaps plant the edge and the background with tough species.
- Temperature: 23-26°C
- pH: 7-7,5
- Hardness: 12-16 NK°
- Lifespan: 7-10 years
Description: This is the cousin of the convict cichlids. The T-Bar cichlid when they are juveniles do not display any particular colouration except some black bands over a grey colouration. This might discourage the beginner to acquire such species which they do not have the dramatic black-on-gray colouration of their common cousins. Their juvenile drab brown base color will develop shades of yellow and blue, with intense blue and red sparkles on fins for males and more yellow sparkles on the fins of females.
Males grow markedly larger and develop a steep forehead with age. The tips of the dorsal and anal fin are elongated, forming an arch towards the inside that frames the caudal fin. The genital papilla is pointed. The females are considerably smaller, and their genital papilla is blunt. The species digs at spawning time. Cave spawner; nuclear family or in transition to a patriarch-matriarch family.
Around 26 °C reproduction is not difficult, but there are sometimes problems. The animals almost always (if available) spawn in caves. The eggs are quite small, whitish to brownish transparent (camouflage coloration), and number up to 300. The larvae hatch in 3 days at 26 °C, and the fry are free-swimming in an additional 5-7 days. Primarily the female is in charge of brood care; the male takes care of territorial defense. Sometimes the roles are reversed. Raising the young has its problem since usually only one part of the spawn grows normally. The majority stagnate in growth. Feed with Artemia nauplii.
T-bar cichlid should not be kept with Cichlasoma Nigrofasciatum or its relatives who may interbreed. The species name sajica is an acronym for Salvador Jimenez Canossa, director of the Library of Congress of Costa Rica.