The Firemouth Cichlid is a beautiful cichlid that is somewhat territorial, especially during spawning. Their background color is a pearlescent turquoise-blue with red edging the scales. The throat and breast are red in color, ranging from a brick shade to a fiery red. There is a series of black marks running along the body, starting behind the eye, extending to the base of the caudal fin. The membranes of the fins have turquoise spots and the dorsal fin is edged in red. The pelvic and anal fins are edged in black. They form pairs, make a nuclear family and are excellent parents.
The Firemouth Cichlid requires a tank of a minimum of 30 gallons, with a fine sand bottom for burrowing and plenty of open swimming room. Plants should be hardy, like Sagittaria, and potted with their root surfaces protected. There should also be rocks available, as they like to hide among the rocks and roots. They do get territorial during spawning and will harass smaller tank mates of their own species, so keeping fish that are similar in size is recommended. When attempting to threaten members of their same species, the Firemouth Cichlid will inflate a throat sac and extend its gill covers in an aggressive stance.
The females are less brightly colored than the males and have a blunt genital papilla. The male also has sharply pointed dorsal and anal fins. Firemouth Cichlids make excellent parents, and both the male and female share in the rearing of the fry. After carefully cleaning the rocks in the tank, the female will deposit 100-500 eggs on them. The fry are protected in pits at the floor of the tank and moved several times. The fry may be fed newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flakes. The Firemouth Cichlid parents may raise several broods in a year.
The Firemouth Cichlid is omnivorous, and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.
Approximate Purchase Size: 1-1/2" to 2"