Physical description: An elongated cichlid whose body coloration is bright blood-red. The body is spotted with iridescent dots that range in color from yellow to turquoise. The eye has a stripe through it and there is a black spot on the gill cover. A dark spot also marks the mid-section of the fish. A fins are red and covered with many turquoise markings. The dorsal and caudal fins are marked with a red and turquoise edge. These colors describe the coloration in spawning colors. At other times the fish is lighter in red and has an olive back.
Size/Length: To 5" (13 cm)
Similar species: Crown Jewel Cichlid ( Hemichromis cristatus)
Habitat: Central Africa; found tributaries of the Zaire (Congo) and Ubanghi Rivers.
S: bottom, middle
Aquarium: A tank of 30" (76 cm) with a capacity of 20-25 gallons (75-98 L) is sufficient. The tank must be well-aerated. See suggestions for H. bimaculatus.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.8 (7.2), 4-15 dH (8), 73-79 F (23-26 C).
Social behavior: A combative fish that is very similar in behavior to H. bimaculatus.
Suggested companions: See H. bimaculatus.
FOOD: Live; Tubifex , aquatic insects, crustaceans, insect larvae; pellets; flakes; tablets.
SEX: Females have brighter colors while males are distinctly darker.
Breeding techniques: As for H. bimaculatus.
Breeding potential: 7. Breeding is difficult.
Remarks: H. cristatus is sometimes sold as this fish.
Difficulty of care: 5. A hardy, but territorial fish that must have a good oxygen supply to survive.
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