Honduran Red Point Cichlid 101: Care, Size, Tank Mates, Breeding

Honduran Red Point

Although the Honduran Red Point Cichlid is less famous than its close cousin, the most sought-after Convict Cichlid, it is no less beautiful or attractive. This rather new pet fish is becoming more and more popular among Cichlid aquarists.

Compared with Convicts, these fish are relatively peaceful, plus their adaptable nature makes them an excellent fish for any aquarist looking to their first foray into the world of Cichlids.

While Honduran Red Points are hardy and less pugnacious Cichlids, there are a few things you should know before you bring them home.

In today’s guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Honduran Red Points, from their ideal habitat to their diet and behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be ready to provide the best possible care for your fish.

Species Summary

The Honduran Red Point Cichlid (Amatitlania sp. “Honduran Red Point”) was collected from the Mosquito Shore of Honduras in Rio Danli by Rusty Wessel in early 1989. 

There has been much debate about whether or not the Honduran Red Point is a distinct species or merely a color morph of the Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata), so this species has not been formally described. However, the Honduran Red Point has many particular characteristics; taxonomically speaking, it should be considered an undescribed species.

Since the Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) was formerly classified into the genera Cryptoheros, the Honduran Red Point is still often seen under that name, Cryptoheros sp. “Honduran red point.” It also has many common names among hobbyists, including Honduran Red Point Convict, Blue Convict, Honduran Red Fin, and HRP.

Its genus Amatitlania only includes nine species but can be further subdivided into several groups, each with very closely related species. The convict cichlid group contains the A. nigrofasciata itself with the other three members.

You might be interested to know Convict Cichlid: Size | Lifespan | Gender

A worthing note is that another fish has been going around with Honduran Red Point “Rio Mongo” on the market, labeled as Honduran Red Point “Rio Mongo,” which is native to the Rio Mongo in Honduras. THIS IS NOT THE TRUE HRP! The true Honduran red point only originates from the Rio Danli area.

No matter what you call them, in my humble opinion, the Honduran red point is the most beautiful species in the convict group, which will definitely stand out in a tank.

Scientific Name:Amatitlania sp. “Honduran Red Point”, Cryptoheros sp. “Honduran red point”
Common Name:Honduran Red Point, Honduran Red Point Convict, Blue Convict, Honduran Red Fin, and HRP
Care Level:Beginner
IUCN Red List:Unknown
Origin:Rio Danli, Honduras, Central America
Lifespan:10 years
Max Size:5 inches (12 cm)
Temperature:73°F to 82°F
PH:7.2 to 8
Water hardness:5 -10 dKH
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons (36″x13″x16″)


Honduran red points have a familiar body pattern of Convict cichlids – a stocky oval disk shape with dark blue-green vertical bars, or spots, that run down their metallic green or blue bodies. The coloration varies depending on their mood, age, social status, and even the quality of the water they live in.

Sexing Honduran Red Points

male and female honduran red point
Photo: addictedaquatics (IG)

Luckily, it’s not difficult to tell the difference between adult male and female HRPs.

Males are typically larger than females and have slightly longer fins. They also tend to develop a prominent rounded head and take on bright orange-red markings on their dorsal, anal, and tail fins (hence the name), which are absent or a little less obvious in females.

While the female Honduran red point often has a magnificent orange belly, it offers a noticeable contrast against the tones of the body, but males can also show the same hue on their belly even though it seems more pinkish. Therefore, this is not a 100% accurate method of knowing whether you have male or female Honduran red points.

Whether African cichlids or new world cichlids, the most reliable way to sex these fish is by venting them, this is definitely an “expert-only” method, so I recommend that you ask your local fish store or experienced aquarist to do it for you.

Honduran Red Points Vs. Convict Cichlid

Despite the debate on whether they’re the same species, it’s generally accepted that the Honduran Red Point is a color morph of the Convict Cichlid. The main difference between the two is their coloration.

The Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata) is typically greyish-blue with black stripes, while the Honduran Red Point (Amatitlania sp. “Honduran red point”) has blue-green bars (spots) on a metallic green or blue body with orange-red caudal fins. 

Another way to tell them apart is that the Honduran Red Point Cichlid has a quite beak-shaped mouth structure than the Convict Cichlid.

Honduran Red Point Size

It is one of the smaller Central American cichlids. When mature, the average size of an adult male Honduran red point is around 4 inches (10 cm) long, whereas the average size of an adult female is a little smaller at 3 inches (7.6 cm). But males can grow to a maximum size of about 5 inches (13 cm) in the wild. 

Honduran red point cichlids have a reasonably standard growth rate, reaching maturity at about 2 inches (6 cm).


Like other Amatitlania species, the lifespan of the Honduran red point cichlid is around 10 years.

This species is fairly new to the hobby, so there are no reports on its longest lifespan in captivity. Like any other fish, their lifespan is significantly affected by the overall living conditions you provide. 

Care & Aquarium Set up

The Honduran red point is a small to medium-sized Central America cichlid. Owning their manageable size, relatively peaceful nature, and stunning looks make them an excellent choice for many aquarists, both beginner and experienced.

Compared to these striking African Cichlids, most Central and South American Cichlids are hardy and adaptable. The Honduran red points are no different. They’re not too fussy when it comes to water quality and conditions.

Here are the fundamental aquarium setting up tips you need to follow:

Honduran Red Point Tank Size

We recommend a tank size of at least 30 gallons (36″x13″x16″) for a pair of Honduran red points. Well, a 33 Gallon long aquarium (48″ x 12″ x 12″) with a large footprint is better. 

If you plan on housing them with other smaller cichlids of similar temperament in a community tank, you need to invest in a tank that’s at least 55 gallons (48″ x 13″ x 21″).

As always, it’s better to choose a larger tank over a smaller one.

Water Parameters

These fish can tolerate a wide range of water parameters in their natural habitat, but they prefer alkaline and soft waters.

To keep your fish thriving in the home aquarium, you must recreate those conditions closely. Stick to the following water parameters.

  • Water temperature: 73°F to 82°F
  • pH levels: 7.2 to 8
  • Water hardness: 5 -10 dKH

Poor water quality is one of the main reasons why fish get sick. So take this seriously! It is essential to perform at least 20- 50% of the tank water weekly for the sake of health and disease prevention.


As you know, Many of the Central American cichlids are eager excavators by nature. So, when setting up their tank, make sure to include a sandy substrate with plenty of caves and hiding spots to make them feel comfortable, as well as enough open areas for swimming on. You can achieve this by using driftwood, rocks, and terra-cotta pots. 

Root plants are not a good idea as they can quickly uproot by these fish. However, some floating plants can work to diffuse the light and create a more natural-looking environment.

As for aeration, it is unnecessary, but adding an air stone will help increase the dissolved oxygen levels.

Blue Convict Food & Diet

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Blue Convicts are opportunistic omnivores and not fussy eaters.

In the wild, they feed on a variety of foods, including small fish, crustaceans, insects, worms, and plant matter.

In captivity, they will accept most commercial Cichlid pellets and flakes. It’s necessary to provide them with a high-protein diet for optimal growth and coloration, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, but feed them periodically. 

You should also supplement their diet with algae-based foods and vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, and peas. 

Honduran Red Point Tank Mates

The Honduran red point is considered less aggressive than convict types, which gives you more flexibility when it comes to choosing their tank mates.

Having said that, we advise you to house them with other small to medium-sized peaceful Central America cichlids of similar temperament and size.

Note that cichlids are a little more individualistic. Even a peaceful HRP can become aggressive when kept with the wrong species. There are no guarantees.

As far as a pair, here are some possible Honduran Red Point tank mates:

  • Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki)
  • Female Nicaraguan Cichlid (Hypsophrys nicaraguensis)
  • Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)
  • School of congo tetras
  • Mollies
  • Gambusia sp.
  • Swordtail Fish


As you might know, Convict Cichlids are among the easiest Cichlids to breed in a home tank! The same goes for Honduran Red Points, but they are not as prolific as Convict Cichlids.

The breeding process is relatively straightforward. Since this species can be pretty shy and need time to get used to the environment, we recommend you set up a separate tank for breeding. The ideal size of the tank should be at least 30 gallons. 

To induce spawning, you can raise the water temperature to 80-82°F and perform large water changes of about 50% weekly. Don’t forget to feed them well with a high protein diet.

When they are ready to spawn, the female will lay around 50-70 eggs on a flat surface. The male will then fertilize them. After that, both parents guard the eggs until they hatch, which takes about 3-4 days.

The fry will be free-swimming after another 5-6 days. At this point, you can start feeding them with live foods such as brine shrimp nauplii and daphnia.

A group of juveniles will form strong bonds. If you decide to breed them, make sure to buy fish from reputable sellers to maintain a good line. Fish bred by a subpar breeder is more likely hybrids created by crossing Honduran Red Points and common Convict types.


The Honduran Red Point is a beautiful and relatively peaceful cichlid that makes an excellent addition to many Central American biotope tanks. These fish are not too difficult to care for as long as you provide them with the proper environment and diet.

The Honduran red point, or the Blue Convict Cichlid, is mostly available in specialist breeders. They tend to be very moderately priced, with bonded pairs being more expensive than a single fish.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article, and please feel free to share it with other cichlid enthusiasts! If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave us a message below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

T Bar Cichlid (Amatitlania Sajica) Care Guide & Species Profile

T Bar Cichlid

Sajica Cichlid or T Bar cichlid is a beautiful Central American species known for its unique T-shaped mark on the body. It is fairly peaceful and more colorful than their famous cousin, Convict Cichlid. Since they are small in size and boast unfussy nature, they are ideal for beginners looking to add a spark to their CA community tank

However, it’s essential to have a good understanding of their care requirements before making the decision to bring this little jewel home, especially if you intend to breed them.

Keep scrolling the page and find a guide that walks you through all care fundaments, including tank size, water conditions, food, and appropriate tank mates. 

Species Summary

T Bar Cichlids are endemic to the freshwater streams on the Pacific Slope, extending from Costa Rica to Panama. These species mainly inhabit the rivers and streams with moderate to strong currents and have gravels as substrate. They are generally found up to 2000 feet of elevation. 

Scientifically, they are known as Amatitlania Sajica, but fishkeepers commonly call them T Bar or Sajica Cichlid or Costa Rican Blue-Eyed Cichlid. They earned their name, T Bar Cichlid, owing to the third bar on their body that is prominent and coupled with a bold lateral stripe running from the gill. 

These species belong to the Amatitlania genus and are a member of the very large family of Cichlidae. There are currently nine described species in its genus. Several species distribute in a small range area and are listed as “Threatened” by IUCN due to their natural habitats’ ongoing destruction and water pollution. Sajica is among these threatened species.

Scientific Name:Amatitlania Sajica
Common Name:T Bar Cichlid, Sajica Cichlid or Costa Rican Blue-Eyed Cichlid
Care Level:Advanced
Lifespan:5 to 8 years
Max Size:5 inches (12.5 cm)
Temperature:75 to 82F
PH:7.0 to 8.0
Water hardness:up to 20 degrees
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Temperament:Relatively Aggressive


Amatitlania Sajica (T Bar cichlid)

T Bar cichlids get their common name from the distinct horizontal T-shaped black mark formed by the prominent third bar paired with a dark lateral line starting from the gill on their body. 

It’s worth noting that the width of the third bar is uniformly wide, while other species show a variable width.

While the other six bars covering the chunkier body are faded, the rest of the body is a tan. The hue of this color can vary slightly, but it’s often consistent.

Unlike their close relatives, they also lack the blotch on their caudal and dorsal fins and no lateral spot on the side of the body.

Amatitlania Sajica is sexually dimorphic, so you can easily differentiate between male and female adults. The adult male T Bar cichlid grows a bit larger than the females and develops a prominent ‘Nuchal’ hump. 

T Bar Cichlid (Amatitlania Sajica) Size

The maximum size of T Bar Cichlid is around 5 inches (12.5 cm) when fully grown. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and can reach 4.7 inches (12 cm), while females are less at 3.5 inches (9 cm). You won’t be able to identify their gender until they reach sexual maturity.

Amatitlania species are relatively small cichlids and have a fairly standard growth rate; A. Sajica is no different.

However, like all other species, their size in captivity depends on the quality of care. Offer them a well-balanced diet and keep them in ideal water conditions to thrive. 


The general lifespan of T Bar Cichlid is roughly 5 to 8 years, though there have been reports of individuals living up to 10 years.

There’s no guarantee either way, and a lot will depend on the quality of care they receive. A well-managed aquarium set up with appropriate tank mates, plenty of space to swim and hide, and a healthy diet will all contribute to a long and prosperous life.

T Bar Cichlid (Sajica Cichlids) Size Care

Like most other South American cichlids, the best thing about this Sajica Cichlid is that they are hardy, adaptable, and unfussy. 

These species can easily adapt to the tank conditions and won’t create much hassle. Moreover, they are relatively peaceful and get along with other tank mates.

However, they become territorial when breeding, and thus, fishkeepers should pay extra attention to them when spawning. Place them into the rightmost tank conditions to protect them from any further concerns. 

Here’re some of the T-Bar Cichlid care guidelines to consider.

Tank Size

Since they are small in size, a minimum of a 30-gallon (36″ x 18″ x 12″) tank is enough to accommodate them. If you are lucky enough to obtain a 33 gallons long aquarium (48″ x 12″ x 12″) with a large footprint, that’s better. It will provide more space and a swimming area for your Sajica cichlids.

Of course, you can also keep them in large aqua spaces if you are setting up a community tank. Beware of housing a breeding pair in community tanks; they are pretty territorial and aggressive to their immediate surroundings when spawning.

Water Parameters

In their natural inhabits, they prefer to live in streams and rivers with moderate to strong currents, but not found in the rapids.

Keeping the tank parameters as close as to their natural habitat is essential. These are freshwater species that prefer living in hard water. 

Also, they are pretty sensitive and cannot tolerate deteriorating water conditions; Perform partial water changes (15-20% Bi-weekly) to keep the nitrate levels to a minimum. 

They require moderate water movement but do not forget to add some resting spots out of the current. Stick to the below-mentioned water parameters to ease these Sajica Cichlids. 

  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Water Temperature: 75 to 82F
  • Hardness: up to 20 degrees

Even though these fish are hardy, it’s still necessary to keep an eye on the water parameters. Sudden changes in temperature or pH can quickly lead to health problems and even death. We strongly recommend purchasing a reliable test kit to accurately measure these parameters.

Decor (Plant & Substrate)

Setting up a tank for T-Bar cichlids is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible. They come from streams and rivers with smaller rocks and gravel, so you should create a similar environment in the aquarium.

Use gravel as a substrate and add some caves and driftwood to add plenty of hiding places. Flower pots or anything that can provide a cave-like structure will work great. Be sure to leave some open space in the middle or back of the tank for them to swim.

Plants are not a must, but they do help to create a natural environment and improve water quality by providing oxygen and absorbing nitrates. If you choose to add plants, use tough species that can be anchored on rocks and driftwood as these fish like to dig.

No specific lighting is required to add to the tank accommodating these cichlids. 


T Bar Cichlids are omnivores. In the wild, they feed on algal filaments, small insects, and seeds.

To maintain a healthy diet, you should offer them a varied diet with meaty and vegetable-based foods. Premium-quality sinking pellets, small freeze-dried shrimp, live brine shrimp, Mysis, and bloodworms are all great options for meaty foods.

For vegetables, you can offer them spirulina, zucchini, and peas. Be sure to chop vegetables into small pieces so they can easily eat them.

As with all fish, feeding T Bar Cichlids should be done in small amounts 1-2 times a day. Only give them as much food as they can eat in a couple of minutes.

T Bar Cichlid Tank Mates

Due to their non-competitive nature, you have many options when it comes to T Bar Cichlid tank mates. These fish are readily be kept singly or in pairs in a Central American community aquarium.

However, these fish are generally aggressive toward their own species when spawning. It’s best to keep an individual in a community aquarium. Some

If you’re someone who wants to keep more than one, an established pair is the way to go. Some aquarists say you can get away with a male with 2-3 females, though we don’t recommend trying. The females will likely fight with each other.

Depending on your tank size and your dominant fish’s personality, here are some possible tank mates for T Bar Cichlids:

  • Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki)
  • Hypsophrys nicaraguensis (Nicaraguan Cichlid)
  • Herotilapia multispinosa (Rainbow Cichlid)
  • Aequidens diadema (Royal Acara Cichlid)
  • A group of Tetras or Livebearers


T Bar Cichlids are mainly cave spawners, but they also exhibit substrate spawning behaviors. Like convict cichlids, they have been readily bred in captivity for years.

It’s a high risk to house an incompatible pair together. The male can be extremely aggressive with a female that is not ready to breed. Sometime, he may even kill her. So, it’s best to carefully observe any potential pairings before putting them together in the same tank.

When a compatible pair is ready to breed, they will develop high-contrast breeding color with dark body color contrasted by a bright gold coloration on their dorsal and anal fins, as well as their eyes.

The pair will then choose an oblique or vertical surface in caves or crevices as their spawning site. The female will clean the site while the male guards it and is ready to defend against any intruder.

Once the site is ready, they pair off with a dance-like ritual, and the female will lay around 200 eggs. After she is done, the male will follow suit and fertilize them.

The female will fan the eggs with pectoral fins, whilst the male resumes his sentry duty.

The eggs will hatch in 3-4 days, and the fry will be free-swimming a week after another 4 or 5 more days. The fry can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp to boost their growth.

T Bar cichlids are one of the very protective parents around. They will occasionally move the fry in their mouth around the tank to the nest if they swim too far away. Sometimes, the male might eat a few of them.

In a community tank, the fry will stay with their parents until they are big enough to fend for themselves.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s all about T Bar Cichlid care. We hope our in-depth guide has helped you make the right choice. Keeping these cichlids is absolutely a fun and rewarding experience. They look stunning and will add a unique coloration to your aquariums. Furthermore, these are ideal for beginners and don’t require too much attention. 

However, you shouldn’t deprive them of their essential needs. Maintain the ideal water parameters and feed them well so they can enjoy their new habitat. 

If you’re an owner of these lovely cichlids, feel free to share your stories with us in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you!

Silver Cichlid (Maskaheros argenteus): Care, Tank Size, Food & Tank Mates

Silver Cichlids

The Silver Cichlid (Maskaheros argenteus), formerly described as Vieja argentea, is a large Central American Cichlid known for its pearly silvery coloration. It’s a stunning fish that brings a special splash of color to any tank.

Due to the large adult size and aggressive and territorial behavior, the Silver Cichlid is recommended for more experienced hobbyists with larger aquariums.

If you are looking forward to adding this giant fish to your aquarium, make sure you know every aspect to avoid any hassle later on. The comprehensive Silver Cichlid care guide covers their appearance, size, lifespan, tank size, and more. 

Species Summary

Silver Cichlids (Maskaheros argenteus) are known from the Usumacinta River drainage systems of western Mexico. Like many of its relatives in Central America, the Silver Cichlid is facing significant threats to its survival due to habitat degradation and competition with nonnative species in their native habitat.

Despite these challenges, this striking freshwater fish has been bred intensively through the commercial aquarium industry for many years. In addition to Silver Cichlid, these fish are also commonly sold by the common names White Cichlid, Vieja Cichlid Vieja Argentea Cichlid as well as additional scientific names Cichlasoma argentea, Paraneetroplus argenteus, Vieja argentea.

Most Central American Cichlids are adaptable, aggressive, and territorial; the Silver Cichlid is no different. They are not the most recommended fish for community tanks and should only be kept with other large, semi-aggressive, aggressive species that can defend themselves.

Scientific Name:Maskaheros argenteus, Vieja argentea, Cichlasoma argentea, Paraneetroplus argenteus
Common Name:Silver Cichlid, White Cichlid, Vieja Cichlid, Vieja Argentea Cichlid
Care Level:Intermediate
Lifespan:10 years
Max Size:12 inches (30 cm)
Temperature:79° – 86° F (26° – 30° C)
PH:6.8 – 7.8
Water hardness:10 – 15 gH
Minimum Tank Size:Single: 75 gallons; A pair: 125 gallons


Female Silver Cichlid
Female Silver Cichlid (Photo: Kooky Cichlids)

Silver Cichlids look incredibly beautiful, making them popular among the aquarium community. Both males and females have a beautiful white/ silver coloration with unique black and blue markings. 

Male Silver Cichlid also exhibits a nuchal hump, making them look different from female species; they also have impressive elongated anal finnage and larger overall size. 

There are numerous small black spots on its body and fins. You can also find additional black patches on the flanks, forehead, and base of the tail. 

This species has a metallic sheen that gives it different colors based on mood and lighting. Their bodies are flat, giving them a somewhat circular appearance from the side. The dorsal fins look like tilted equilateral triangles that begin at the body’s highest point. 

Male Silver Cichlid
Male Silver Cichlid (Photo: Kooky Cichlids)

Silver Cichlid (Maskaheros Argenteus) Size

The average size of a Silver Cichlid is around 12 inches (30 cm) in length when fully grown. That means that if you’re thinking of adding one to your home aquarium, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to accommodate a fish that could potentially grow to be more than a foot long. 

Despite Silver cichlids eventually reaching a large size, they grow relatively slowly. When sold in stores, they are usually 1-2 inches in size and will reach sexual maturity in about 3 years.

The growth rate of Silver Cichlids is fairly slow compared with some of their larger relatives. This might be good news for those who don’t have the space to house a giant fish.

Like any species, the quality of care they receive will affect their lifespan and growth rate. Regular water changes will significantly affect their growth rates.


Silver Cichlids are majestic and rewarding species, long-lived and worthy of centerpiece display in the large aquarium. The average lifespan of these fishes is up to 10 years; however, you can prolong their life by taking optimal care of them. 

However, since they have a good lifespan, it doesn’t mean that they are immune to health concerns. Therefore, fishkeepers need to feed them a balanced diet and maintain the right tank and water conditions to see them live long and happy. 

Silver Cichlid Care

Taking care of Silver Cichlid is not rocket science. Moreover, this fish is a hardy, durable fish that can easily adjust to standard aquarium conditions.

In the wild, these fish live on river banks with rock and submerged wood where submerged aquatic vegetation are rooted.

The key to keeping Silver Cichlids happy and healthy is to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible in the home aquarium.

Here are some of the necessary considerations that you should keep in mind while choosing an aquarium for Silver Cichlids. 

Tank Size

Due to their full-grown size, the aquarium should be large enough to provide both open swimming areas and rocky structures where these fish can retreat for shelter. 

The minimum tank size for a single adult Silver Cichlid is 75 gallons (48″ x 18″ x 21″). If you plan on having a breeding pair, you should get a tank that’s at least 125 gallons (72″ x 18″ x 21″). For multi-fish community tanks, you may need upwards of 200 gallons.

As always, larger tanks that offer multiple territorial areas are ideal as they will help lessen aggression and allows you to add more tank mates with them.

Water Parameters

Maintaining the right water conditions is mandatory for Silver Cichlid care. They are tropical fish that prefer warm water temperatures.

Stick to these water parameters to keep your fish healthy. 

  • pH: 6.8 – 7.8
  • Temperature: 79° – 86° F (26° – 30° C)
  • Hardness: 10-15°H
  • Ammonia: 0ppm
  • Nitrite: 0ppm
  • Nitrate: <30ppm

As we mentioned earlier, Silver Cichlids are quite hardy and can live in a wide range of water parameters without issue. However, it’s important to perform partial water changes on a consistent basis. 

I highly recommend an aggressive schedule of 30% water changes every other day. In my humble opinion, this is the most important factor in their growth rate.

Substrate & Decor

The tank should be set up with a sandy substrate with stones, driftwood, and roots that create sheltered areas. Make sure that the stones and driftwood are securely anchored, as Silver Cichlids are known for their rearranging behavior. 

As these fish will consume and uproot plants in their natural environment, planting live plants can be difficult. However, you can use artificial plants that are well-rooted in the aquarium. 

Powerful filtration is a must as Silver Cichlids are messy eaters and can quickly pollute the water. I would recommend using a canister filter with carbon filtration media. If you want your aquarium clear and clean, investing in a good quality surface aquarium skimmer is smart.

Food & Diet

Silver Cichlids (Maskaheros argenteus) are primarily herbivorous, and should be provided with a diet rich in plant material and Spirulina.

To add variety to their diet, you can feed them blanched vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber, squash, blanched lettuce, and peas.

They will readily accept commercial items like slow sinking pellets & wafers. In order to boost good color, you’ll want to give them some protein-rich foods, brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, krill, and worms, but be cautious.

Silver Cichlids (Maskaheros argenteus) Tank Mates

The Silver Cichlid is a large, territorial cichlid notorious for its aggression in the aquarium, especially during spawning. 

These “centerpiece” fish are best kept alone or in male-female pairs. They cannot tolerate their own kind; hence should be placed with other similar cichlids if the tank is spacious. 

Silver Cichlids shouldn’t be kept with small fish, and other Central or South American Cichlids of a similar size and temperament are preferred. 

Here are some potential Silver Cichlids tank mates:


The best thing about keeping Silver Cichlids in the aquarium is that you might get a chance to see them spawning. Both males and females are highly aggressive while breeding. Before spawning, females clear an area of flat rock on which they have to lay eggs. The male will fertilize them, and eggs should hatch within 2-3 days. 

The parents will fiercely protect the young, which become free-swimming after a week. A bonded pair will reproduce regularly, and the parental care continues for 4-6 weeks. 

Final Thoughts

That concludes with Silver Cichlid care. This cichlid specimen has become a popular choice amongst fish keepers due to its stunning appearance and many personalities. They are unique, fun to look at, and require proper maintenance. 

Caring for them is not much challenging but is only recommended for advanced fishkeepers. Silver Cichlids are not suitable for a community aquarium and should only be kept with other semi-aggressive cichlids.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.

Happy Fishkeeping!

Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma trimaculatum) Species Profile

Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma Trimaculatum)

Trimac Cichlid is rarely found as an aquarium fish, but they are widely famous for their brilliant appearance and massive size. These fish are easygoing and are popular among aquarists for their low-maintenance care requirements. 

But even though caring for them is simple and hassle-free, we always encourage fishkeepers to know all essential facts about this species to keep them happy and healthy. 

The comprehensive guide mentioned below will teach you everything you need to know about Trimac Cichlid care.  

Species Summary

The Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma trimaculatum), also known as the three spot cichlid or red-eyed Cichlid, is native to Mexico and Central America. 

Their natural habitats are lower valleys of the rivers of the Pacific Slope of Central America from Mexico to Panama. It has been found as an introduced species in Nevada and Florida, but these populations were extirpated. 

This fish belongs to the genus Cichlasoma, a group of fish characterized by their large size, strong body, and multiple vertical black bars. There are currently 16 described species in the genus, although some taxonomists believe this number may be underestimated.

Scientific Name:Cichlasoma trimaculatum
Common Name:Trimac Cichlid, red-eyed cichlid, three spot cichlid
Care Level:Intermediate
Lifespan:12 years
Max Size:Male: 14 inches; Female: 9-10 inches
Temperature:74 to 86°F
PH:6.5 – 7.5
Water hardness:8 – 24 gH
Minimum Tank Size:Single Female: 55 gallons; Single Male: 125 gallons


Photo: Nathan Burgess

The three spot cichlid is a heavy-bodied fish with a yellow or green hue base. It has distinct spots on its sides, making these species different from others. Males are much larger than females and have extended pointed fins, and they are relatively dark, with three bright spots on the dorsal fin. 

Males Trimac cichlid also have red spots behind their gills and may grow a nuchal hump when nature. The female three spot cichlid, on the other hand, are generally lighter, with faint spotting on their dorsal fins. However, they can be dark at times as well. 

As juveniles, Trimac cichlids are not very colorful, but they undergo a dramatic transformation as they mature. The adults are brightly colored, with males typically being more brilliantly hued than females. 

Sexing Trimac cichlid can be tricky when they are still young, but their size difference is obvious as they grow – males grow larger than females. In addition, the female Trimac Cichlid has a black spot in the middle of the dorsal fin, whereas the male Trimac Cichlid is absent.

As always, the 100% accurate method to know the sex of your Trimacs is to wait until they are old enough and vent them.

Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma Trimaculatum) Size

The average size of the male Trimac Cichlid is around 14 inches, while females can grow up to 9-10 inches size. Since these species are larger, they should be kept in the giant aquarium, where they can find ample space for swimming. 

The Trimac Cichlid is a fast-growing fish, one of the only species that can grow faster than an Oscar. When sold in stores, they are usually 2-3 inches in size, but the male Trimac Cichlid can go from 2 to 3 inches to 12 in about one year or less, while the female Trimac Cichlid will grow from 1 to 2 inches to 6 or 7 in about a year.

With proper care and a suitable environment, males will reach sexual maturity at 4.7–5.5 inches, while females can become mature at 3.1–3.9 inches, although individual differences always exist.

Several factors will influence the fully grown size of a Trimac cichlid. Some of these include genetic factors such as inherited traits and characteristics and environmental factors like nutrition, temperature, and habitat conditions. 


Trimac Cichlid is rather one of the longest-living species out there. The average lifespan of three spot cichlid is around 12 years. However, the quality of care you provide also impacts their lifespan significantly. 

Like all other species, they are also prone to health issues, and you should take optimal care of them to add more years to their life.  

Trimac Cichlid Care

Although cichlasoma trimaculatum is easy to care for, we still recommend fishkeepers develop a solid knowledge base before adding them to their aquariums. Moreover, trimac Cichlid is known to be aggressive and grow to large sizes, so it’s a fish that is only recommended for experienced aquarists.

Follow the below-mentioned care guidelines and let your three spot cichlids thrive. 

Tank Size

Since these fish can grow pretty large, they require ample space for swimming and hiding. A tank size of 55 gallons (48″ x 13″ x 21″) or more would be preferable for a single female Trimac Cichlid. For a single male, you should get a tank that will hold at least 125 gallons (72″ x 18″ x 21″).

Although this tank size is enough to keep them happy, a larger tank is appreciated to give Trimac some extra space. For a larger group, you need to bump up the tank size so that they can stay together without interfering with each other. 

Water Parameters

The natural habitat of Trimac cichlids can vary in the wild. While most are found in slow-flowing rivers, and they prefer a muddy or sandy substrate where they hunt for small fishes, invertebrates, and insects among the submerged roots and weeds.

As a whole, they are very adaptable and can survive in freshwater environments. Stick to the below-mentioned water parameters that will work for most trimac cichlids.

  • Water Temperature: 74 to 86°F
  • pH: 6.5 – 7.5
  • Hardness: 8 – 24 gH
  • Ammonia: 0ppm
  • Nitrite: 0ppm
  • Nitrate: <30ppm

A strong water filtration system is a must to maintain these water parameters as Trimac cichlids are large fish and will produce a significant amount of waste; the Fluval FX4 with carbon filtration media is an ideal choice.

Fluval FX4 High Performance Canister Aquarium...
  • Enhanced Performance: Multi-stage filter pumps out 700 US Gal (2,650 L) of water per hour, with the...
  • Self-Starting: Just add water, plug in and Smart Pump technology will take over. Any trapped air is...
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  • 4-Stage Filtration: Four removable filter baskets eliminate water bypass and hold up to 1 US Gal (3.9 L)...
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Sticking to an aggressive schedule of cleaning/water changes (50% weekly) will be the most important thing to help your fish be more comfortable and grow as large as possible.

Plants & Substrate

Photo: Darth Nandopsis

If you are adding three spot cichlid to your aquarium, make sure to replicate the environment as much as possible. The tank should be set up with stones, roots, and driftwoods, that make hiding places. 

We don’t recommend including any aquarium plants as Trimac Cichlid are known to uproot them. You can add rocks and bogwood to form their territories. Like other cichlids, trimacs love rearranging the tank decor based on their preferences, so be ready to witness slight changes afterward. 

Since they are primarily found in slower-moving water, avoid strong currents in the aquarium. These fish also will appreciate a soft, sandy substrate in their tank. In addition to the substrate, do not forget to add dim lighting to spot their true beauty. 

Food & Diet

Trimac Cichlid is a fiercely predatory carnivore that feeds on a variety of smaller fish and small terrestrial and aquatic insects in its natural habitat. 

In captivity, their diet should consist of a wide variety of foods. You can feed them some protein-rich snacks like fresh shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex, Mysis shrimps, and earthworms to give them a well-rounded diet. 

In addition to this, you can also supplement Trimac’s diet with fresh veggies like cucumber, zucchini, and peas.

High-quality pellets or flakes are a great staple that we highly recommend. The most affordable choice is Hikari Cichlid Gold, a growth and color enhancing large pellet that is perfect for bigger Cichlid with a large mouth and appetite.

Hikari 8.8-Ounce Cichlid Gold Floating Pellets for...
  • Floating pellets allow easy monitoring of amount eaten
  • Will not cloud water
  • High in beta carotene and NS Germ, brings out natural brilliant colors
  • Promotes long healthy life
  • Contains stabilized vitamin C

New Life Spectrum 2kg tub (3mm) has been voted the number 1 fish food by the community. A great all-around fish pellet, this formula is made with natural ingredients that are designed to bring out the best in your Trimac Cichlid’s coloration. However, it will hurt your wallet a bit when your fish gets large.

Behavior & Compatibility

Trimac Cichlids are pretty aggressive towards other species and will not tolerate other tankmates easily. Therefore, it is recommended to keep them alone if your tank is on the smaller side. One male Trimac Cichlid alone or a pair are two common choices.

It is possible to keep this specie with other fish in community tanks. But you need to be careful. Only choose the robust Central and South American Cichlids that can take a bit of abuse from them. 

Some of the suitable tankmates for Trimac Cichlid include larger species:


They are reasonably easy to breed. However, obtaining a true Trimac cichlid is really hard as most of them available in pet stores are hybrid flowerhorn cichlid.

If you’re lucky enough to find a reliable source, you can purchase a group of 6-8 juvenile fish and allow them to grow. After they are fully grown, the Trimac cichlids will pair off and lay eggs on a flat surface. 

The Trimac Cichlid is an egg-laying species; a female can even lay more than 1000 eggs, depending on the size.

Once the eggs have been laid, the male will fertilize them, and then both parents will then carefully guard the eggs until they hatch. When the fry are free swimming, they can be fed on a diet of baby brine shrimp and finely ground pellets.


A true Trimac Cichlid (Cichlasoma Trimaculatum) is rarely found both online and in local fish stores, so you can expect to pay a hefty sum for one. Trimacs are more often bred with other Flowerhorn cichlids and sold as hybrids in the pet trade.

If you want a Trimac Cichlid but do not want to spend that much money, there are some Trimac hybrids available in the market that cost less. These Trimac hybrids are bred by crossing a Trimac with another Flowerhorn cichlid.

Just remember, before purchasing a Trimac cichlid, make sure to do your research and purchase your fish from a reputable source to avoid any disappointment.

Final Thoughts

Even though Trimac cichlids are fairly rare, they are becoming more and more popular among fish enthusiasts due to their unique coloration and aggressive nature. If you are looking for a beautiful fish with a unique personality, then the Trimac Cichlid is a perfect choice.

We hope our in-depth guide will assist you in keeping this massive fish in your aquarium. Having this beautiful species in your tank is a rewarding experience. They are fun to watch and look like absolute centerpieces when kept in home aquariums. 

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them in the comment section below! We love hearing from you.​

Good luck!

7 Most Popular Peaceful Cichlids (SA, CA & African)

Who would have thought that Cichlids could be peaceful? They are known for being aggressive, territorial fish that can attack other species or even their own kind.

The keyword is Relative.

Over 1,650 different species from the family Cichlidae have been scientifically described. And there is actually a handful of relatively peaceful Cichlid species that can make great additions to a community tank.

These fish are usually smaller in size and have more calm personalities. Although they may still display some territorial behavior, they are typically much less aggressive than their larger cousins.

So, if you’re standing in the fish store for a relatively peaceful Cichlids need not look further than this comprehensive list.

Most Popular & Peaceful South American Cichlid

Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher)

Electric Blue Acara

The Electric Blue Acara (Andinoacara pulcher) is a medium-sized fish native to the slow-moving rivers and streams of South America. Thanks to its vibrant blue coloration and relatively calm personality, this beautiful fish is one of the most popular choices for community tanks.

This species looks exactly what it sounds like. It’s almost a neon-like blue coloration with various stripes on the body and head. Sometimes, you’ll find a few green horizontal lines on their face. The dorsal fin features a vibrant yellow line that extends to the tail, making them stand out.

Electric Blue Acaras are fairly peaceful fish and do well with a wide variety of Central and South American cichlids. Since they are carnivorous, protein-rich food is necessary for their diet. Blue Acaras are active fish and will need a minimum of a 30 gallons aquarium.

Scientific Name:Andinoacara pulcher
Common Name:Electric Blue Acara, Blue Acara Cichlid
Origin:South American
Care Level:Easy
Size:7.9 inches
Temperature:72.0 to 85.0° F (22.2 to 29.4° C)
KH: 3 – 20 dGH
Minimum tank size:30 gallons

Large Peaceful South American Cichlid

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)


The Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis) is a large fish native to the calm, deep, and slow-moving rivers of the Amazon River Basin in South America. This generally mild-mannered cichlid serves as an excellent centerpiece to big community aquaria with its elegant pastel colors and is easy to care for.

Chocolate Cichlids get their name from their dark brown coloration, which resembles Chocolate. Chocolate Cichlids are relatively peaceful fish and can be kept with other peaceful fish of similar size.

They are omnivores and will accept most aquarium foods. Chocolate Cichlids need plenty of space to swim and should be kept in an aquarium that is at least 125 gallons.

Scientific Name:Hypselecara temporalis
Common Name:Chocolate Cichlid, Emerald Cichlid
Origin:South America
Care Level:Moderate
Lifespan:8-10 years
Size:12 inches
Temperature:77-84°F (25-29°C)
PH:6.4 – 7.3
Water hardness:1 – 8
Minimum Tank Size:125 gallons

Mid-sized Relatively Peaceful South American Cichlid

keyhole cichlid (cleithracara maronii)

keyhole cichlid

The keyhole cichlid (cleithracara maronii) is the only species in the genus Cleithracara, which originates from the tropical river basins in The Guianas, South America. These fish are known for their shy, peaceful temperament and easy-going nature— another excellent choice for those just getting started with the Cichlid aquarium. 

As its name suggests, the keyhole cichlid has a distinctive key-shaped mark on its head. In addition to this, there is a prominent black spot on its upper flank. It fades into a short strip on some specimens. 

Keyhole cichlids are relatively peaceful fish, but they will be more prone to aggression when mating. As an undemanding omnivore, this species readily eats various foods. Males can grow up to 4.3 inches, while females tend to be a bit smaller at 3 inches. A 33 gallons aquarium is sufficient for a single pair, but a larger tank will be necessary if keeping them with other fish.

Scientific Name:Cleithracara Maronii
Common Name:Keyhole cichlid
Origin:South America
Care Level:Easy
Lifespan:7-10 Years
Size:~ 4.3 inches
Temperature:72 – 81°F
Water hardness:12 – 20
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons

Colorful & Peaceful South American Dwarf Cichlid

Bolivian Ram Cichlid (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)

Bolivian Ram

Endemic to the Amazon River Basin in Bolivia and Brazil, Bolivian Ram Cichlids are among the most colorful South American Dwarf Cichlids. Their delicate beauty and gentle temperament make them known as “butterflies of the fishkeeping hobby,” a perfect inhabitant of community aquariums.

The Bolivian Ram Cichlid is a striking fish with its elongated oval body and muted coloration. The body is covered in a tan or silver hue, several faded black stripes vertically running down the length of the fish. Like Keyhole Cichlid, there is a large vertical black stripe on the head, but it’s a little bit darker. The fins are also brightly colored, with a red edging. The dominant specimen usually has a black spot on the body.

When mature, they reach a maximum size of about 3″ (8 cm) in length, making them one of the smaller South American cichlids. They’re voracious omnivores and will eat anything that you give them. Like most cichlids, they might show aggression at the time of spawning. Aside from that, we are sure they can be your next addition to your peaceful community aquarium.

Scientific Name: Mikrogeophagus altispinosa
Common Name:Bolivian Butterfly, Ruby Cichlid, Ruby Clown Cichlid
Origin:Bolivia, Brazil, South America
KH: 0 – 10 dKH
Lifespan:4-8 years
Minimum tank size:30 gallons

Smallest & Relatively Peaceful Central American Cichlids

Rainbow Cichlid (Archocentrus multispinosus)

Rainbow Cichlid

Most Central American Cichlids come with unique personalities, and many species can be exceptionally aggressive no matter what. But, the Rainbow Cichlid is the relatively peaceful child in the family due to its calm nature and compact size.

This species is a strikingly colorful fish, and it’s easy to see why; It is named for its vibrant “rainbow’ coloring,” which can include shades of blue, green, red, and yellow. Their body is mainly golden to orange color with an irregular black horizontal line that runs from the eye to the base of the tail fin. They have orange eyes and bright blue pelvic fins.

It is also worth knowing that Rainbow Cichlids have specialized tricuspid teeth, while other Central American cichlids have “pharyngeal teeth” and regular teeth.

They have a lifespan of about 10 years and can only reach 3 inches (7.6) in the aquarium. A 30-gallon aquarium is sufficient for a single pair, but a larger tank will be necessary for a multi-species tank.

Scientific Name:Herotilapia multispinosa
Common Name:Rainbow Cichlid
Care Level:Beginner
Water hardness:5 – 20 dGH
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons

Mid-sized Relatively Peaceful Malawi Cichlids

Socolofi Cichlid (Chindongo Socolofi)

Socolofi Cichlid, also called the Powder Blue Cichlid, is a stunning fish that will definitely add ‘spark’ to your aquarium. It is found in the coastal waters of Lake Malawi, and belongs to the Mbuna group.

Like most Mbunas with striking colors, the Socolofi Cichlid is a real beauty. Males have a brilliant blue body with more “dark” horizontal lines that run along the length of the body, while females and juveniles usually tend to dull in coloration.

This species is by far the most peaceful member of the Mbuna group. They can be best kept in groups of 1 male with 3-5 females. Socolofi Cichlids can be potential tank mates for Aulonocara, Copadichromis, and other quieter mbuna.

Scientific Name:Chindongo socolofi
Common Name:Socolofi Cichlid
Origin:Lake Malawi
Care Level:Easy
Size:4.6 inches
pH:7.8 to 8.4
Temperature:75°F – 79°F (24°C – 26°C)
KH: 10-14 dGH
Minimum tank size:50 gallons

Large Relatively Peaceful African Cichlids

Frontosa Cichlid(Cyphotilapia frontosa)

Frontosa Cichlid

The Frontosa Cichlid, or the Humphead Cichlid, is a popular choice for aquarists looking for a large and majestic African Cichlid. This handsome fish, native to Lake Tanganyika, is available in several variations, depending on the region where they were caught.

Most varies have a high body. The coloration is variable, but most have a light blue to white body with 5-7 bold vertical black bars. Both males and females will develop a distinctive hump on the head when they mature. The pronounced coloration and hump bring quite a unique look to your tank.

Despite their size and predatory looks, they are actually mellow and social fish that can be kept with other non-aggressive African cichlids. These fish do best in groups of at least 6 individuals in a large aquarium.

Common Name:Frontosa Cichlid, Humphead Cichlid
Scientific Name:Cyphotilapia frontosa
Care Level:Intermediate
Lifespan:8 to 10 years
Size:13.8 inches
Minimum Tank Size:70 gal (265 L)
Temperature:74.0 to 79.0° F


As you can see, there are so many relatively peaceful and still colorful species available. You’ve probably heard about many of them already!

These stunningly beautiful cichlids are definitely a feast for the eyes as long as you follow their care guidelines. Most of them in the list are also relatively easy to care for, except the Frontosa Cichlid, which is always a bonus.

If we missed any of your favorite peaceful cichlids, let us know in the comment below! We would love to hear from you.

Do Jaguar Cichlids Have Teeth? (Will They Bite You)


The Jaguar cichlid (Parachromis managuensis) is one of the most popular species of Central American cichlid among the aquatic community. These fish tends to become more and more beautiful as they grow older.

Jaguar Cichlids are known for getting very large and being a feisty and highly aggressive species when mature. Keeping these large, aggressive predators can be a challenge for many aquarists.

This fish is not for everyone. If you’re thinking about getting one, there are definitely some things you’ll need to know. The most common question asked by aquarists is, “do Jaguar cichlids have teeth?”

So keep reading to find out everything about Jaguar cichlid teeth.

Do Jaguar Cichlids Have Teeth?

Do Jaguar Cichlids Have Teeth
Photo: rodneysfishtank

The answer is yes; Jaguar cichlids do have a well-developed pharyngeal set of jaws in their throats along with their regular sharp canine teeth. These extra sets of jaws are called “throat jaws,” which function as an extra food processor, and all cichlids have them, but the Jaguar cichlids are particularly large and sharp.

In fact, this second pair of jaws is an evolutionary adaptation to their diet; at least for Jaguar cichlids, they can adapt to other food sources within an individual’s lifetime.

Do Jaguar Cichlids Bite?

While their teeth might not be as big or as sharp as a dog’s, adult Jaguar Cichlids have been known to bite their owners during feeding or tank cleanings.

Their sharp teeth can cause a painful wound, so it’s definitely not something you want to experience. If you get bitten by your Jaguar cichlid, make sure to clean the wound immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Why Do Jaguar Cichlids Bite?

The first thing to remember is that Jaguar cichlids are natural predators, and they can become highly territorial and aggressive in some circumstances. There are many reasons that your fish might use their teeth to communicate:

They Are in Breeding Mode

When it is time to spawn, Jaguar cichlids become incredibly aggressive and can be quite dangerous. A spawning couple should always be kept in their own aquarium or in an aquarium that has been divided by a net or glass. If other fish are in the vicinity, the breeding pair will not hesitate to attack them, even if they are much larger than themselves.

They Are in Stress

Most aggressive behavior from Jaguar cichlid is on some level rooted in stress. If your jaguar cichlid is stressed, it may bite in an attempt to defend itself. It’s important to monitor your jaguar cichlid closely and remove any potential stressors from its environment.

The most common potential stressors are:

  • Too small of an aquarium
  • Incompatible tank mates
  • Injure
  • No hiding places or territories
  • Harsh water conditions
  • Bad water quality

They Are Hungry

If your jaguar cichlid is not getting enough to eat, it will become increasingly irritable and may start to bite.

These fish are not fussy eaters. They can protrude their extensively protrusible jaws 10% standard length in prey capture. They will readily accept most food substances offered, but their diet should be varied to provide the best nutrition.

Offer a variety of insects, including bloodworm, earthworm, mysis shrimp, crickets (for larger specimens), chopped meat, beef heart (offered sparingly due to its high-fat content), and prawns. 

They Are Protecting Their Territory

Jaguar cichlids are known for being incredibly territorial, and they will often use their teeth to protect their territory from other fish. Ensure that you provide enough hiding places in your aquarium for your jaguar cichlids to escape any potential aggressors.

How To Avoid Getting Bitten by Jaguar Cichlids?

Remember that every fish is an individual with different needs and personalities. As an owner, it’s essential to be aware of your fish’s comfort level in various situations. 

Try to remove them before they feel stressed or overstimulated, before your fish might feel a need to escalate to biting.

Let’s now take a look at the different ways to protect yourself from getting bitten by your Jaguar Cichlid.

Be Aware of Their Body Language

One of the best ways to avoid getting bitten by your jaguar cichlid is to be aware of their body language. Look for any signs of aggression, such as an upright body posture, erect fins, and mouth opening.

Stay Out of Their Territory

If you see your jaguar cichlid acting aggressively, it’s best to stay out of their territory until they calm down. This means keeping a safe distance and avoiding any sudden movements that might startle them.

Avoid Putting Your Hands in the Tank

It’s never a good idea to put your hands in the tank, as they may be mistaken for another fish or food. This is especially true if you have other fish in the tank that might be seen as a threat to your jaguar cichlid. It is always advisable to wear gloves when putting your hands in the tank.

Use a Net When Moving Them

If you need to move your jaguar cichlid, use a net. This will help to protect you from their sharp teeth.

Use a Temporary Divider When Cleaning the Tank

If you need to clean the tank, use a temporary divider to separate your jaguar cichlids to one side of the tank while providing a physical barrier for them to swim behind. This will help to keep them safe while you remove debris and clean the tank.

Will Jaguar Cichlids Bite Each Other?

Yes, Jaguar cichlids will bite each other, especially when breeding. The bonded pairs are not only aggressive toward other fish, but they may also nip at one another’s fins.

Therefore, you should set up a breeding aquarium where the smaller female can escape from being bitten by larger males or use a net with a hole limiting the male’s area.

Will Jaguar Cichlids Bite Other Fish?

Due to their large size and aggressive temperament, Jaguar Cichlids will bite other fish. They are the predators and will eat anything they can get their mouth around, including smaller fish and invertebrates.

The best practice is to keep mated pairs in their own aquarium. If you keep other fish in the same tank, make sure that they are large Central and South American cichlids and provide plenty of hiding places.

Don’t keep a breeding pair with other catfish or plecostomus as they will eat the eggs or fry.


So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about jaguar cichlids teeth and how to avoid getting bitten by them. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that both you and your jaguar cichlid stay safe and healthy.

If we missed something or there’s anything you think we should add, we’re more than happy to hear from you in the comments below.

Redhead Cichlid (Vieja melanurus) Care 101: Size, Tank Mates, & Food 


The Redhead is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stunning and large fish for your Central and South American cichlid aquarium. From their striking pastel color to their relative temperament, they really break the mold!

For those of you who want to keep this fish in your home aquarium, there are many things you should know. The lack of information on its care can be frustrating.

So, without further ado, here is everything you need to know about Redhead cichlids!

Basic Info

The Redhead cichlid (Vieja melanurus), also known as the quetzal cichlid or Firehead cichlid, is a large and beautiful freshwater fish native to muddy and slow-moving waters in Central America.

The species of the genus Vieja are deeper-bodied cichlids, there are eight species have been described:

  • Vieja bifasciata (Steindachner, 1864) (Twoband cichlid)
  • Vieja breidohri (U. Werner & Stawikowski, 1987) (Angostura cichlid)
  • Vieja fenestrata (Günther, 1860)
  • Vieja guttulata (Günther, 1864) (Amatitlan cichlid)
  • Vieja hartwegi (J. N. Taylor & R. R. Miller, 1980) (Tailbar cichlid)
  • Vieja maculicauda (Regan, 1905) (Blackbelt cichlid)
  • Vieja melanurus (Günther, 1862) (Redhead cichlid)
  • Vieja zonata (Meek, 1905) (Oaxaca cichlid)

Most originate from freshwater except for the Vieja maculicauda (Blackbelt cichlid), which is also found in slightly brackish water.

Redhead cichlids are popular among aquarists and also be seen on sale as their previous name: Vieja synspilum. However, according to a recent genetic study, Vieja synspilum is the same fish as Vieja melanurus.

Scientific Name:Vieja melanurus
Common Name:Redhead Cichlid, Quetzal cichlid, Firehead cichlid, Synspilum cichlid
Origin:Central America
Care Level:Experienced
Lifespan:10 to 15 years
PH:7.5 – 8
Water hardness:10 – 15 dGH
Minimum Tank Size:70 gallons


As their name would suggest, an adult male Redhead cichlid is easily recognizable by its brilliant red-orange (or yellow) forehead and large nuchal hump. 

Their basic coloration can range from reddish-brown to a mix of green, gold, and blue tunes, depending on where they were originally found.

The dorsal, caudal, and anal fins are edged in different colors, and the caudal fin is slightly rounded. Juvenile specimens typically have several vertical black stripes running along the body.

Adult males tend to be larger than females and are much brighter. They also have extended dorsal and anal fins. The most identifying characteristics for mature males are the pronounced nuchal hump on their forehead and a pointed genital papilla.

Redhead Cichlid Size

Redhead cichlid lifespan

The Redhead cichlid can grow quite large, up to 14 inches (35 cm) in length in the wild and up to 16 inches (40.6 cm) in captivity. In public aquariums where the Redhead cichlids are displayed, they can reach lengths of 30 inches.

Due to their large size, you need to make sure you have a spacious aquarium that can accommodate their adult size. We cover the recommended tank size in the following section.

Redhead Cichlid Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Redhead cichlid is between 10 to 15 years. This age is usually only attainable in optimal tank conditions with a quality diet.

To ensure your Redhead cichlid lives a long and healthy life, it’s important to provide them with a clean and spacious aquarium as well as a quality diet that meets their nutritional needs.

Care and Tank Setup

Redhead cichlids are very majestic and long-lived species that are definitely worth your time and effort to care for them properly. Here are some tips on setting up your Redhead cichlid aquarium and providing the best care possible.

Aquarium Size

As we mentioned before, Redhead cichlids can grow quite large, so you need to make sure you have a spacious tank.

The recommended tank size for a single adult Redhead cichlid is at least 70 gallons long tank. If you plan on keeping a breeding pair, we recommend a tank size of at least 120 gallons. For aquarists who like to keep a group of juvenile fish (more than four) together to obtain a pair, go for 135 gallons or bigger.

Of course, a larger tank is always better to allow your Redhead cichlids more space to swim and explore. The extra space can also help reduce aggression levels and prevent territorial issues, giving your Redhead cichlids a more stress-free environment.

Water Conditions

As with all large Central and South American cichlids, these fish are very adaptable and can live in a wide range of water conditions and even withstand slight brackish water conditions. There is currently no evidence that they can live in moderate brackish water conditions for a long time.

To keep your fish healthy, try to replicate these water conditions as closely as possible in your aquarium. Here are some guidelines:

  • Water Temperature: 76 – 86°F (24 – 30°C)
  • pH: 7.0
  • Water Hardness: 10 – 15°H

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced keeper, we always recommend regularly testing your water parameters to ensure they stay within the optimal range. This will help you catch any potential issues early on and prevent them from affecting the health of your fish.

Filtration & Heater

As Redhead cichlids are large and active fish, they produce a lot of waste, so a powerful filtration system is essential to keep the water quality high. Additionally, these fish do best in peat-filtered water.

As for heating, we recommend using an aquarium heater to maintain a consistent water temperature whether you’re living in a warm or cold climate. Redhead cichlids are tropical fish; they prefer water on the warmer side.

Also, make sure to do water changes 2 or 3 times per week to remove the buildup of ammonia and nitrates.

Substrate & Tank Decorations

The Redhead cichlid is a digger; it’s best to use a sandy substrate or small rounded gravel in their aquarium. They will also appreciate plenty of rocks, caves, and driftwood as hiding places, but make sure to leave an open swimming area.

As for tank decorations, these fish tend to rearrange decor, be sure those decor items are firm enough that they won’t collapse.

If you have live plants, there is a big chance your Redhead cichlid will consume or uproot them as they are almost entirely herbivorous. In general, Redhead cichlids are not considered plant-friendly fish.

However, many owners have had success with well-rooted, hard plants surrounded by sturdy rocks.

Food & Diet

Redhead cichlids are primarily herbivorous but also take a small number of live foods. In the wild, their diet consists of plant matter, small crustaceans, and insects.

In captivity, they are not picky eaters and will accept a variety of foods. To keep your Redhead cichlid healthy and provide them with all the nutrients they need, we recommend giving them a varied diet that includes both plant-based and meaty foods.

A high-quality cichlid pellet or flake food as the base diet is your best bet. However, you should also offer up some protein-rich snacks to boost their beautiful colors and help them reach their full potential.

Some good options include live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, blackworms, and krill. You can also feed them blanched vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, and spinach a couple of times a week.

Temperament and Behaviors

As a member of the cichlid family, the Redhead cichlid is moderately aggressive. Lowering aggression levels can be done by keeping them in a large tank or a group of 4 or more.

These large fish have a powerful bite and can be extremely aggressive and territorial towards their own kind. They are also known to be nippy, and it’s best not to keep them with smaller or more delicate fish.

Redhead Cichlid Tank Mates

Photo: Orlando C

Due to their natural aggression and big sizes, choosing suitable tank mates for Redhead cichlids can be a bit tricky.

Redhead cichlids will be quite happy in pairs. A bonded pair is the safest option when you want to keep Redhead cichlids in your aquarium. To obtain a breeding pair, you can either buy a group of juveniles and let them grow up together or buy an already mated pair from your LFS.

If you decide to keep more than one Redhead cichlid, we recommend at least four individuals so they can form their own hierarchy within the group and reduce aggression levels.

The potential tank mates for Redhead cichlids in a community aquarium are robust, similar-sized Central American cichlids. Depending on your fish’s personality and the environment you provide, they can all live in harmony eventually.

As long as you have a large enough tank, here are some suitable species to try out:

  • Chocolate Cichlid
  • Severum Cichlid
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Tiger Barbs
  • Lemon Tetras
  • Corys


As you might know, the Redhead cichlid (Vieja melanurus) has been used in breeding new hybridized species for quite some time, such as the flowerhorn cichlids and blood parrot cichlids.

Redhead cichlid breeding is relatively simple once you have a mated pair. These fish are substrate spawners. The female Redhead cichlid will lay her eggs (up to 1200 eggs) on a cleaned flat surface such as a slate rock. 

After that, the male Redhead cichlid will come along and fertilize them.

The eggs will hatch in 2-3 days, and the fry will be free swimming a week after that. The parents will protect the fry for a few weeks, but it’s best to remove them from the tank as they can be quite aggressive if they are ready to breed again.

To prevent the parents from eating their own offspring, it’s best to move them to a separate breeding tank. You can feed the fry with live foods such as brine shrimp and microworms. You can start giving them crushed flakes or pellets as they grow older.

The main challenge for Redhead cichlid breeding is to get a mated pair as they always have pairing problems. Again, the best way to achieve this is to buy a group of juveniles and let them grow up together. With any luck, you will end up with a breeding pair.


The Redhead cichlid is a beautiful and unique fish that will make a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for as long as you provide them with the right environment and diet.

If you’re thinking about adding Redhead cichlids to your tank, then it’s probably a good idea to purchase a bonded pair or a group of juveniles so they can form their own pairs at their own pace.

If you have any suggestions on what other fish species can be Redhead cichlid tank mates or have any experiences with these beautiful fish that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.

Happy fish keeping!

Black Nasty Cichlid Care 101: Size, Tank Mates, Food & Other Tips

Black Nasty Cichlid

Like most cichlids, the Haitian cichlid is an extremely unique cichlid among the aquarist community. It is also widely known as “black nasty” and its name tells you what they are – one of the most aggressive cichlids in this world.

If you’re looking for a large, solitary cichlid from the popular aquarium options, the black nasty could be exactly what you’re looking for. In this guide, you’ll learn everything about Haitian cichlid care. Managing the size and potential aggression of these fish can be tricky, but we cover it at length.

Read our guide to know the essential features of this violent species.

Species Summary

The Black Nasty Cichlid (Nandopsis haitiensis), also known as Haitian Cichlid, Odo Cichlid, is a big and beautiful species that originated in Haiti where it can be found in fast-moving rivers and streams. These fish are rare in the trade and are not often seen in the hobby, but they make an excellent addition for any advanced aquarist looking for a challenge.

Like many other large Central American Cichlid species, Black Nastys are not for the faint of heart. They are prone to extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to show it. And beyond that, they can reach massive sizes and require a very large aquarium.

Despite their aggression and sizes, Nasties are an amazing species that is a joy to watch. They are very active fish and have beautiful coloration.

Origin: Central America
Family: Cichlidae
Scientific Name: Nandopsis haitiensis
Common Name:Black Nasty, Haitian Cichlid, Odo Cichlid
Size: 14 inch (35 cm) sometimes up to 16 inches (40 cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 105 gallons
Temperature: 73 to 82°F (23.0 – 28.0 °C)
ph: 7.0 to 9.0
Water hardness:9 to 20
Temperament: Very Aggressive
Care level: Advanced

Black Nasty Cichlid Lifespan

How long does Black Nasty Cichlid live for? The Black Nasty Cichlids live for 5-10 years. Considering the usual lifespans of fish, a decade is quite a long time for a species to stick around in an aquarium. They will be your buddy for years if you look after them well.

However, their lifespan depends on several parameters, majorly on how well you cater to their fundamental needs. Now, they are fairly easy to look after; you mainly need to take care of their aggression and the size of your tank as they grow up to be quite large.

You might be interested to read: 10 Most Popular Central American Cichlids with Pictures


Also known as Odo fish, black nasty are typically seen in black and white colors. The males have a white body with black pepper-like spots, and females have a white mouth with a dominantly black body. They are large-sized and do not have prominent genitalia, which makes sexing them a little complicated. 

The species’ nature can accurately be judged by its name itself, as they are black in appearance and have a nasty temperament. They are difficult to breed and, as a result, are difficult to get on the market.

How to Tell if My Black Nasty is Male or Female?

The sexes are slightly difficult to identify but can be demarcated by looking at the genitalia of the fish. Mature males have a hump on their heads, which distinguishes them from the other sex. They are much larger than their female counterparts and much more aggressive. 

Females, on the other hand, are large as compared to other species but still smaller than the cichlid males. However, their genitalia are more prominent and rounder. 

Black Nasty Cichlid Size

How Big do black nasty cichlids get? Black Nasty Cichlids grow up to 15 inches in size, and that is considered quite big in the category of aquarium fish. In the wild, some specimens can reach lengths of 16 inches.

Because of their colossal size, they need a bigger tank, frequent cleaning, and only a select few tankmates.

People look at baby cichlids and often get the impression of them being a small species, but that is definitely not the case. Their growth rate exponentially increases in the later stages of their life cycle.

Care and Tank Setup

First of all, count yourself lucky if you found a black nasty cichlid as it is not readily available on the market. Aquarists have to spend tons of hours researching where to get them from.

It is reasonably easy to take care of these giant fish types, provided you stay alert of their essential needs. The more challenging part is to sex them and find buddies to live with them in the tank, but we’ll get to that later. 

Tank Size

With “no” other tank mates, for a single full-grown black nasty cichlid, we recommend the aquarium size to at least 105 gallons; A minimum sized aquarium of 120 gallons is suggested for a pair.

The size should be directly proportional to the number and ages of fish you’ll be keeping. Double or triple the aquarium size according to total fish, although we highly doubt if anyone can handle more than a pair in their tank.

Water Parameters

The Black Nasty Cichlid prefers medium-hard water, and is a very hardy fish that can withstand a wide range of water conditions. The best way to create an ideal living environment for your Black Nasty Cichlid is to replicate their natural habitat. Try to maintain the following water parameters, and your fish should have no problem thriving.

  • Water temperature: 73 to 82°F (23.0 – 28.0 °C)
  • pH levels: 7.0 to 9.0
  • Water hardness: 9 to 20

Even though these fish are hardy, we still recommend that you invest in an accurate testing kit to ensure you’re getting correct readings so that the slightest change in their environment will not stress your nasties. Black nasty cichlids will also become more aggressive when stressed, so it is best to avoid any potential problems by keeping the water conditions stable.

As we discussed, this species is giant-sized, eats a lot, and consequently excretes a lot. That’s why it’s crucial to filter the water regularly and aerate it well, keeping moderate hardness. 

Author note: As always, invest in a reliable surface skimmer to get the most out of your aquarium.

The aquarium should be heated, depending on your area’s climate. You can use an aquarium heater to maintain the desired temperature within the range. However, If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience with these fish it’s that they can burn themselves on the heater, some even break the heater. So it’s smart to put the heater in the sump or purchase a heater guard to prevent accidents.

Plants and Decor

Plant your tank in such a way that there are natural borders for the territory for each of your fish. This will ensure that every specimen gets its own space to feed, dwell, and rest without disturbing the others.

Black Nasty Cichlid needs a lot of hiding places to rest peacefully, or else they tend to get even more aggressive than usual. Fill your tank with hardy plants like Crinum or tough ferns like Java, as the species won’t eat them, and borders will be maintained.

When you’re arranging the tank, avoid too many large decorations as this species is very boisterous and will get hurt on any items that get in their way. Stick to small to medium-sized objects and you should be good.

Common & Potential Diseases

Aquarium fish are prone to developing infectious diseases, and their treatment can take up a lot of time and energy. A few disorders commonly found in Haitian Cichlids are:

  • Swim bladder disease
  • Cotton wool disease
  • White Spot – Ich

Food & Diet

Black nasty cichlids are omnivore species, which means they eat whatever comes their way, be it plants or other small creatures. Make sure that you give your fish a varied diet with both plant and meat content.

It should be noted that this species tends to have a digestive disorder. Many foods can lead to serious gastrointestinal issues, such as freeze dried krill and brine shrimp.

Feeding your fish on a set schedule with the correct amount is critical to avoiding overfeeding and maintaining their health. Sudden changes in the diet will stress the fish and make them susceptible to bloat. Black nasties grow very quickly, so don’t be surprised if you see them gulping down food voraciously.

Black Nasty Cichlid Tank Mates

Keeping small or medium sized fish species near these aggressive beings is a huge no. They are lone dwellers but survive best when kept singly or as a pair.

Furthermore, it’ll be smart to create visual barriers in your aquarium so that the black nasties don’t see their tankmates directly. These fish are legitimately the anti-social cranky beings of the aquatic kingdom.


These creatures aren’t bred regularly because of which they are pretty scarce. Breeding black nasties is particularly a task as you already know that they do not get along very well with their partners and are picky when it comes to mating. Your best bet to breed them is by keeping the pair together since their young phase. 


Well, that’s about it for our guide on this fatally beautiful species. To wrap it up, we’ll say black nasty cichlids are a good companion if you are fond of big fish. 

However, they are one of the most sensitive cichlids, and even a small change in their environment can lead to stress. So, if you’re a beginner, we would recommend that you steer clear of these guys.

We’re always looking for ways to make this care guide even better! If you have any ideas on what else we could add, please don’t hesitate in letting us know.

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid (Parachromis motaguensis) 101: Care, Tank Size, and More


Thinking about adding a new strikingly colorful fish to your aquarium? The Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid may be just what you are looking for! This fish will become more and more beautiful as it ages, especially the females. 

If you want these fish in your home aquarium, there are a few things you need to know. Their potential aggression can break an already thriving aquarium.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids, including their care, diet, and tank mates.

Let’s get started.

Species Summary

The Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid (Parachromis motaguensis), also known as the Red tiger cichlid and False yellowjacket cichlid, is a stunning fish with an aggressive personality.

These fish were first found in the Motagua basin in eastern Guatemala and Honduras in Central America. They have spread throughout a variety of biotopes, including lakes and larger streams.

Unlike their cousin, the jaguar cichlid (Parachromis managuensis), one of the most popular Central American cichlids, the Red Tiger Cichlid isn’t as commonly encountered in the local fish store.

But this fish is quite popular among aquarists. With its vivid colors, it’s not hard to see why!

Scientific Name:Parachromis motaguensis
Common Name:Red tiger cichlid, False yellowjacket cichlid
Origin:Central America
Temperament:Very Aggressive
Care Level:Advanced
Lifespan:10 – 13 years
Size:12” (30 cm)
Temperature:68 to 86°f (20 to 30°c)
PH:6.0 – 8.0
Water hardness:6 to 16 dH
Minimum Tank Size:75 gallons

Appearance & Popular Colors

Photo: aquarismo.global

Red Tiger Cichlids have beautiful and fascinating colors. They display an array of bright red dots which run along the flanks to the base of the caudal fin. The red pigment seems more prominent in the gill plates.

The female red tiger Motaguense Cichlid usually has a more brilliant coloration that a male, with a deep shade of red and orange. When she is ready to spawn, her colors will be enhanced further, and she will develop an amazing array of hues.

When the fish is young, it’s tough to distinguish males from females. As they mature, the females will start to color up. 


How long do red tiger cichlids live? The average lifespan of a Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid is between 10 and 13 years. Determining the life expectancy for individual fish can be a bit tricky. A red tiger cichlid’s life span is affected by a number of factors such as tank size, water quality, diet, and tank mates.

Maintaining clean tank conditions and providing a high-quality diet can prevent Red Tiger Cichlid from potential diseases and reach their max life expectancy.

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid Size

How big do red tiger cichlids get? Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids can grow up to 12” (30 cm) when fully grown. The males are larger than females. Red Tigers reach their full size when they are about two years old.

Care and Tank Setup

Now that we know a little bit more about Red Tiger Cichlids, it’s time to learn how to take care of them. These fish are not for beginner aquarists. They require an experienced owner who can provide them with the right tank conditions and diet.

Water Conditions

Like most Central American species, the Red Tiger Cichlid is tough and can tolerate some fluctuations here and there. It’s best to replicate their natural environment as closely as possible to keep your Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids happy. These fish are native to the streams and rivers in Central America. The water is typically warm and relatively neutral.

Let’s have a look at the important water parameters for this fish:

  • Temperature: 68 to 86°f (20 to 30°c)
  • pH level: 6.0 – 8.0
  • Water hardness: 6 to 16 dH

Tank size

What is the minimum tank size for Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids? It depends on the size and gender of your fish. These fish get large when they mature. An adult female Red Tiger Cichlid requires a minimum tank size of 75 gallons, while you will need a tank size of 100 gallons at the very minimum for a single adult male.

If you are keeping a pair, then the aquarium should be large. A tank size of 150 gallons would be recommended. RTMs are very active and need plenty of space to swim around.

Plants, Substrate, and Decor

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids need a stable and clean aquarium with no particular requirement of gravel, but you can add a thick layer of a sand substrate. 

Decor should be kept to a minimum in the fish tank. This fish will usually dig plants up, so most Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids aquariums do not have live plants. It is recommended to keep your filter on a low setting.

As one of the riverine species, RTMs prefer areas with fallen trees and rocks. You can create this environment by using bogwood or driftwood as well.

Another important thing to remember is to avoid overcrowding your tank. Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids are known to be aggressive and big swimmers. They need plenty of space to swim and territory to claim as their own.

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid Tank Mates

Who can live with the Red tiger Motaguense cichlid? The best tank mate you can keep with a Red tiger Motaguense cichlid is another Red tiger Motaguense cichlid. However, be sure to purchase a bonded pair or let a group of juveniles (between 6 -10) grow up to form their own pairs. These fish are known to be very aggressive towards those of the same species.

Introducing a female into an established tank with a large male can be risky, especially if they are not raised as a pair.

For a single adult red tiger motaguense cichlid, if it has already established the entire tank as its territory, I recommend not to add any tank mates, especially any other cichlid. Like the Nandopsis haitiensis (Black Nasty cichlid), adult RTMs can be very aggressive, territorial, and nasty.

If you want to add other cichlids to your grow-out tank community tank, then look for fish that look entirely different. Any species with a similar appearance would probably be seen as competition. Here are just a few species that I have seen success with:

Food & Diet

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids are exclusively carnivorous in nature. Choosing the right foods for your Red Tiger Cichlid can help it thrive and live a healthy and active life. They naturally need a higher percentage of protein and fat. Their short digestive tract is meant to break down high fat and protein-rich food sources.

Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids mostly eat animal sources of food, including fish, insects, crustaceans, or a combination of all these. The wild Red Tiger Cichlids typically enjoy preying on smaller fish, worms, and aquatic invertebrates. In the aquarium, they usually enjoy dried and frozen flakes and pellets.

Here are some good foods for this fish:

It is also important to ensure that this feed is appropriate for the species so that they stay active, healthy, and full of energy. Overfeeding is not recommended for Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids as it may lead to health issues.


The breeding process is relatively simple. Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids are egg-layers and will usually spawn on flat surfaces such as rocks or leaves. The breeding process can take up to two weeks and the female can lay up to 2000 eggs that the male will fertilize. 

Both parents will protect and care for the eggs until they hatch about 5-7 days later. The fry becomes free-swimming after another seven days. During this period, the parents will still care for them and protect them from predators. 

You can start feeding the fry with newly hatched brine shrimp or microworms. Once they are big enough, you can start feeding them with flakes or pellets.

It is best to remove the parents from the tank once the fry is free-swimming as they may be eaten by the parents.

One of the most challenging aspects of breeding Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlid is dealing with aggression. A bonded pair will fight other fish violently, and they can also fight each other. Plenty of hiding places with rocks, caves, pieces of driftwood, and a divider are a must.

Now It’s Time To Think

After having a look at the guide, Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids sounds like a great choice for aquariums. You’ll need to decide if you’re willing to own this terrific but feisty fish. 

If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to pass on this species. These fish are big, lurk and strike predators require a lot more care and attention from an experienced fish keeper to thrive. 

But if you’re an intermediate or advanced aquarist who wants to take on the challenge, then Red Tiger Motaguense Cichlids are an excellent option for your aquarium.

If there’s anything you think we should add to this RTMs’ care guide, or you need help deciding if this species is right for your aquarium, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Good luck!

How Big Do Red Devil Cichlids Get? (Tank Size & Growth Rate)


Red devil cichlids are among the more interesting Central American cichlids for aquarium enthusiasts. They have a charismatic personality, and their color scheme goes well with large show tank decorating styles, making them an excellent choice among beginners and experienced aquarists.

However, these feisty fish are aggressive and known for destroying anything they can get their teeth into. If you’re going to keep one, there are a few things you should know.

One question that always arises when considering this fish is how big do red devil cichlids get? In this article, we will take a look at this question and provide some answers.

How Big Do Red Devil Cichlids Get?

How Big Do Red Devil Cichlids Get

Red devil cichlids are not small fish. The answer to this question depends on the particular strain of red devil cichlid and the conditions of their captivity, but in general, they will reach a maximum size of around 15 inches (38 cm) in length. This is significantly larger than many other CA cichlids. The male Red Devil grows larger than the female.

What Size Tank Does a Red Devil Cichlid Need?

Red Devil Cichlids are known for their aggressiveness and large size. A tank of at least 75 gallons is recommended for a single male red devil cichlid, while a single female can be kept in a 55 gallons tank. The larger the tank the better, as this will allow them more space to swim and reduce the chances of them becoming territorial.

If you want to keep more than one red devil cichlid or a breeding pair, then a tank of 125 gallons or more is recommended. It’s best to keep your Red Devil by itself, and we recommend 200 gallons if keeping them with several large cichlids.

Red Devil Cichlid Growth Rate

Red Devil Cichlids grow rapidly in the first few months of their lives, but their growth rate slows down as they get older. The average growth rate for Red Devil’s is like 1.5 inches a month. Most Red Devil Cichlids are around 8-10 inches at the end of their first year. It takes 2-3 years for Red Devil Cichlids to grow their full size.

I bought a 2″ pup from LFS at the start of Jan. Now, a year after I bought him, he is almost an 11-inch bull. How fast they will grow in captivity depends on many factors, including water quality, diet, and tank size. We will talk more about how to make your Red Devil Cichlids grow fast following. 

How to Speed Up the Growth of Red Devil Cichlids?


There are a number of things you can do to maximize the growth rate of your Red Devil Cichlids in the home captivity. 

Offer a Balanced Diet

One of the most important things you can do to ensure your Red Devils grow quickly is to provide them with a balanced diet. This means a diet that includes both live and frozen foods as well as good quality pellet food.

These fish are omnivores, meaning that they’ll eat anything you put in the tank. I’ve seen a significant growth rate and color enhancement with the New Life Spectrum Fish Thera with a lot better ingredients than Hikari. Depending on your Red Devils size and how hard your fish hits pellets, you might need to experiment with various sizes.

New Life Spectrum Thera (Buy from Amazon): 6mm | 3mm | 2mm

Besides the foundation, you can also occasionally give them food like krill, earthworms, and blood worms as treats. It’s best to avoid feeding them with warm-blooded mammal meats, such as beef heart and chicken. These types of foods can cause some intestinal blockages issues.

They also need a diet that has plenty of vegetables and other plant-based foods to prevent the “hole in the head” disease.

Don’t Overfeed

Red Devils are “conscious” fish that can recognize their owner like a betta fish. They might play with you and constantly “beg” for food by wagging around at the tank corners like a dog.

Don’t overfeed them as this can lead to health problems and slowed growth. One to two small meals twice a day is all they need.

Keep the Water Clean

Another important factor in ensuring your Red Devils grow quickly is keeping the water clean. This means doing regular water changes and keeping the tank well-maintained.

As we’ve already mentioned, Red Devil Cichlids are messy eaters and will leave behind a lot of waste, which can cloud the water and stunt their growth.

You have to monitor the quality of your water and replace at least 25%-30% every week, more or less depending on how many fish are in a tank.

Doing a complete water change is usually unnecessary and can cause more stress for your fish. Fish are delicate creatures, so any changes in their environment should be minimal unless there’s something wrong with the tank itself or its filters.

Prevent Common Diseases

While there’s no special disease that Red Devil Cichlids suffer from alone, they are susceptible to many of the same illnesses as other freshwater fish.

Ich and “hole-in-the-head” diseases are the two most common diseases that Red Devils owners have to deal with.

Aquarians must take great care when adding anything else into an established aquarium because small changes could upset the balance, posing risks for disease outbreaks.

Offer a Larger Tank

One of the best things you can do to help your Red Devils grow quickly is to give them a larger tank. A small tank will stunt your fish’s growth.

A larger tank will provide more space for them to swim around in and will help keep the water clean. It will also allow you to add more hiding places with rocks and wood, which will create a more natural environment for them and help promote their growth.

Strong Efficient Filtration

These fish prefer moderate water movement. Utilizing a good quality canister filter paired with a sump setup is recommended for keeping your Red Devils healthy and growing quickly.

A filter that is too weak will not be able to keep up with the amount of waste they produce and will cause the water to become polluted and stunt their growth.

In conclusion

Red devil cichlids are large, aggressive, and fast-growing fish that can reach a size of up to 15 inches in length. You might think that red devils are just big, bad bullies. And you’d be half-right! These aggressors have been known to ram into the glass and break heaters with their powerful jaws and bite owners.

However, they are some of the most rewarding in existence, so if you think that’s up for grabs, we highly recommend giving it a go.

We are always open to feedback and suggestions, so if you have any questions or advice about growing Red Devils, feel free to let us know in the comment.