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Rainbow cichlid
Alternative Name(s):
Scientific Name(s): Heterotilapia multispinosa
Category: Cichlid
Maximum Size: 15cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 100 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 36" x 15" x 12"
Water Temperature Range: 22-28°C
Water pH Range: 7.0-8.0
Water Hardness Range: 8-20 dGH

General Information: Pretty Nicaraguan cichlid, known to change colour according to mood, primarily to placate aggressive fish (although it seldom works in an aquarium). Standard cichlid body shape, yellow through to orange, dark lateral stripe usually black, blue rim to the topfin. Fairly peaceful, average cichlid, just about suitable for the ambitious beginner. Territorial but not overly so and only really mean when with eggs and fry. Fairly hardy for a cichlid, thanks to swamp living in nature.
Tank Requirements: Sand substrate and low to medium flow with dim lighting. Some planting to allow the fish to hide away when needed, but otherwise decor to suit the owner.
Diet Requirements: Omnivore, takes most aquarium foods, from cichlid foods of all types to algae wafers, frozen foods and various veggies. Also has dentition that enables it to rasp algae from surfaces in lean times.
Compatibility: Peaceful as cichlids go and can even be mixed with larger Barbs and Tetras. Typically non-competitive, even shy in a cichlid community. Ignores even quite small fish until fully mature. Brusque when breeding.
Recommendations: Don't house them with very aggressive fish despite numerous claims about their placating colour changes. Nicely planted and well decorated aquaria with some clear space. Typical Amazon type setup.
Common Problems: All the usual cichlid health risks, but overall a hardy little fish and disease resistant unless stressed.
Similar Species: Quite few similar looking Heterotilapia, but few with their moderate personality.
Sexing: Males are larger, have a vague nuchal hump, otherwise identical unless the female is in a breeding mind, and her underside may go dark, usually black.
Breeding: Seclusion for the pair may be required, they are reasonably shy. Open breeders, flat rocks, gravel to dig. Fry are tiny but grow quickly. No special requirements outside of good keeping standards.
Author(s): Fishlady | Photo: | Views: 32171
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