Keyhole Cichlid Cleithracara maronii
maronii, Aequidens maronii
PD: An oval-shaped cichlid with a short body and a rounded forehead. The body has a mottled golden-brown
coloration and occasionally is marked with faint lateral lines. A curved, dark band runs through the eye, from
the front ray of the dorsal fin, down to the corner of the gill cover. A characteristic dark splotch, near
the midsection of the body, is said to resemble a keyhole - hence this fish's popular name. The fins range from body color to dark
green-blue in color. The Keyhole cichlid has the ability to undergo a rapid color change when frightened. The
colors can change to a dark brown.
SIZE: To 6" (15 cm) in nature, although males rarely exceed 4" (10 cm) in captivity. Females
only reach 3" (8 cm) in captivity.
HAB: South America; found in the Rio Maroni on the border of Surinam and French Guyana.
S: bottom, middle
TANK: A 24” (61 cm) tank with a capacity of 20 gallons (75 L) is sufficient. The
tank should be well-planted with plenty of hiding places. The substrate should be fine gravel or sand. Leave
open swimming areas.
WATER: pH 6.0-7.7 (7.1), 3-20 dH (10), 72-77°F (22-25°C)
SB: A shy, peaceful cichlid that can be combined with small schooling fishes . The
parents form strong monogamous bonds.
SC: Tetras, Hatchetfish, Corydoras, Apistogramma, Loricarids, Gouramis.
FOOD: Live; insect larvae, aquatic insects, crustaceans, worms; flakes; pellets. Provide
a varied diet for this fish's colors to stand out.
SEX: Males are larger and his anal and dorsal fins are elongated.
B: Use water with a pH from 6.4-6.8, a water hardness from 3-12 dH, and a temperature from
75-79°F (24-26°C). An open brooder, as many as 300 eggs are deposited on a previously cleaned stone. The
eggs are tended to by both parents, who fan them with fresh water and pick out unfertilized eggs. Sometimes a pair will eat their first
brood, but will spawn again in a matter of days.
If this behavior continues, the eggs should be removed after they are
laid. The fry hatch after 3-5 days and are free-swimming several days later. Start feeding with roftiers and Artemia
nauplii. The parents may continue their care for the fry for up to six months.
BP: 6. The Keyhole Cichlid is an easily bred fish that often will spawn in a community tank.
R: The Keyhole Cichlid's name can be derived from its newly assigned genus name: Cleithracara (Kleithron is a Greek word, meaning "lock"). The Keyhole Cichlid requires frequent
partial water changes. This cichlid is nervous, thus care should be taken when performing tank maintenance. Most
fish available to the hobby are bred in Asia; very few are imported from its native habitat.
DC: 3. The Keyhole Cichlid is a hardy cichlid which can tolerate a range of water properties.
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