General Body Form:
Tall with strong lateral compression. It has a large head and its' forehead is slightly curved around the eyes. The dorsal fin starts at the gill covers. In older fish the tail (caudal) fin is bent slightly in and the outer rays can get very long. In the male the Dorsal and Anal fins are longer and more pointed.
Description : They have a base The Fire mouth Cichlid is an impressive species that originates in shallow, slow-moving waters in
America. They get their name from their intense orange-red throat
and lower operculum (gill cover) coloration. This species does not seem to be
afraid of anything and will usually hold its own when housed with larger, more
aggressive Cichlids. color of tan to gray, with around 6 mild, vertical bands;
on the third to fourth band, there is a black, ocellus spot. They also have a
black, ocellus spot on their operculum, which is bordered with iridescent,
pale-gold hues. They also have translucent fins with a variety of iridescent
blue and orange-red markings. The male Firemouth Cichlid has the most intense coloration as well as elongated and pointy anal and dorsal fins.
The most noticeable trait of the Firemouth is its throat and breast area, which ranges from bright fiery Red to Brick Red and is the reason for the common name. With a closer look you can see a wide range of colors in the fish. The basic background color is bluish Gray, with a slight purple sheen. The under area is Yellow Green to
. The sides have a
series of faint dark bars. Orange
A Golden edged blackspot is right behind the eyes a similar one is found at the start of the tail fin. Other Black marks with Golden edges can be seen on the lower edge of the gill cover and at the start of the clear Pectoral fins. The Dorsal fin is edged in Red and the rays of the other fins are slightly Brown with the membranes speckled with Bright Blue - Green spots. All the scales seem to edged with Red. Females are not as colorful as the males. An all around beautiful fish!
Origin / Habitat :
Status: This species is not listed on the IUCN Red List.
Care and feeding: Since they are omnivorous the Firemouth Cichlid will generally eat all kinds of flake, fresh, and live foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food or pellet everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.
A minimum 20 gallon aquarium is suggested for a pair, though a larger tank would be needed if keeping several. They need good water movement along with strong and efficient filtration. Provide a bottom of fine sand and plenty of hiding places among rocks and wood. Plants are appreciated but should be hardy, such as Sagittaria. Place the plants around the inside perimeter leaving an open area in the center for swimming. The plants should be potted to protect the roots.
The Firemouth Cichlid can be rewarding specimen for a beginning aquarist as they are relatively easy to keep. Do water changes of 15 to 20% a week depending on bio load. They are subject to infections as well as other diseases that ail all freshwater fish.
Acceptable Water Conditions: Hardness: 8 - 15° dH
Ph: 6.5 - 8.0
Temp: 70 - 75° F (21 - 24° C)
Social Behaviors: The Firemouth Cichlids can be a good community fish and are not usually aggressive except when spawning. They should be kept with similar sized tankmates. In a large tank several pairs can be kept. They are monogamous and will pair off, developing a strong nuclear family. They get territorial when spawning and also may burrow, damaging plants at that time. They are, however, very good parents.
Firemouth Cichlid Compatible Tank Mates : Some hobbyists report that they keep them with larger tetras originating from
Fish Disease : Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment. They are fairly hardy but are not immune to ich infestations.
Sexual Differences: The male has a more pointed dorsal and anal fins and is more intensely colored, especially during breeding.
Breeding : Firemouth Cichlids are egg layers that practice brood care; a breeding pair of Firemouth Cichlids will aggressively attack anything that comes near their breeding territory. Although Firemouth Cichlids usually breed well under normal aquarium conditions; to induce breeding the water temperature can be raised to and maintained at 26 – 27 C. The female Firemouth Cichlid will lay around 300 eggs in a carefully cleaned location (driftwood, flat rocks, slate, large plant leaves, cave-like structures, etc.) within the aquarium. The eggs will hatch in 2-3 days and the fry will be relocated to pre-dug pits in the substrate. The fry will be free-swimming within a week. The pair of Firemouth Cichlids will continue to breed every few weeks if the fry are removed 1-2 weeks after they hatch. The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp or crushed flake food and then be moved to other foods as they mature.
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