Cichlidae. Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae
Maximum Standard Length
Aquarium SizeTop ↑
48″ x 18″ x 15″ (120cm x 45cm x 37.5cm) – 200 litres for an adult pair.
The tank should be decorated with rocks and bogwood. Care should be taken to secure any decor as the fish will often re-arrange it to suit themselves. Plants can be used but are likely to be uprooted. Lighting levels are not critical and decent filtration should be provided as this fish is a messy eater.
Temperature: 78 – 86°F (26 – 30°C)
Hardness: 10 – 15°H
Primarily herbivorous in the wild, this species is not a fussy eater in captivity. Use a good quality cichlid pellet as the staple diet. Supplement this with meaty foods such as prawn, mussel and white fish. Vegetable matter in the form of spirulina or algae wafers should form an important part of the diet.
Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑
An aggressive species, especially towards conspecifics. It may be possible to successfully keep this species in a community of robust Central American cichlids, if enough rock and bogwood is provided to form sufficient territories for all the fish. There is no guarantee of success if trying this. A bonded pair will often live quite happily together but care should be taken to ensure the female is not bullied.
The pair will prepare a site for spawning – usually a large stone or sometimes inside a cave. The site will be claened and any detritus or other obstructions removed. Spawning will then begin on the prepared site and during spawning the male can be aggressive towards the female. This is normal but the female should be removed if the violence becomes excessive.
Eggs hatch in 2 – 3 days and fry are free swimming approximately 4 days thereafter. Fry should be offered newly-hatched brineshrimp as an initial food and from there progressed to microworm, fry foods and crushed adult flake / pellets.
A strikingly coloured, if somewhat aggressive fish. Also referred to as the White Cichlid, it is occasionally available in the UK through specialist cichlid dealers.