Synonyms: Heros salvini, H. triagramma
Physical description: An elongated cichlid with a pointed head. The caudal fin is fan-shaped and the anal and dorsal fins of the male come to a point. The head is bright yellow in color with some fine turquoise lines located about the lower jaw. The back is darker yellow with some turquoise-tipped scales. A set of wide splotches form a broken line that extends from the tip of the snout, through the eye, and back to the caudal fin. Paralleling this, but located above is another broken band that runs from the top of the forehead, back. Three slender black stripes runs parallel to the mouth but are located farther up on the forehead. The belly is bright red as is the anal fin. The caudal fin is yellow with the bottom rays also having a red color. The dorsal and the pelvic fins are red with a turquoise edge.
Size/Length: Male to 6" (15 cm), female to 4" (10 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Still and slow-moving water with heavy vegetation. Central America; Southern Mexico south to Honduras.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank of 48" (122 cm) with a capacity of 50 gallons (190 L) is ample for adult fish. Provide plenty of hiding places and shelters, such as plants thickets, roots, rocks, and caves. Leave open swimming areas. Use a substrate of fine gravel or sand.
Water chemistry: pH 6.8-8.5 (7.0), dH 6-25 (10), 72-88°F (22-31°C)
Social behavior: A territorial fish that can be kept in a tank with other hardy, medium-sized cichlids and catfish. The Salvini will not uproot plants. This fish forms a nuclear family and is an excellent parent. Around spawning times, this fish becomes extremely pugnacious and territorial. It is advisable to remove the other fish if the bullying becomes too much.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, other South American cichlids, Loricarids, Pimelodids, large Characins, Hemichromis, Tilapia.
FOOD: Live; Brine Shrimp, insect larvae-especially bloodworms, insects, aquatic insects, small fish, earthworms, Tubifex; pellets; large flakes; tablets. The Salvini must be fed a variety of live foods especially bloodworms and Brine Shrimp to develop their beautiful colors.
Sexual differences: Males are larger, with pointed anal and dorsal fins, and are more colorful. Males have a pointed genital papilla.
Breeding techniques: Fish need time to pair. Once a pair bonds, spawning comes fairly easy. Use medium (10 dH), neutral water (7.0), with a water temperature of 79-86°F (26-30°C). Up to 1000 eggs, usually about 500, are laid on a previously cleaned vertical surface or rock. Both parents guard the eggs and the fry. The fry should not be separated from the parents for as they usually do poorly without them. Start feeding with Artemia.
Breeding potential: 6. Spawning comes easily once a compatible pair is found.
Remarks: Now most of the Salvini available are captive bred, and are not as stunning as wild caught individuals. A wild-caught specimen's color, pattern, and size greatly depends on where the individual is from. The Salvini has been found in water with temperatures exceeding 97°F (36°C).
Difficulty of care: 5. A hardy, but aggressive fish that requires a varied diet in order to develop its stunning colors.
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