Firemouth Cichlid
Alternative Name(s):
Scientific Name(s): Thoricththys meeki
Category: Cichlid
Maximum Size: 15cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 90 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 30" x 15" x 12"
Water Temperature Range: 22-27°C
Water pH Range: 6.5-7.5
Water Hardness Range: 5-15 dGH

General Information: Cichlid from Central America. Both sexes have slate blue body with black and pale blue markings, iridescent spots on the fins, red chins and underbellies, and an extendable sac and red chin flap. Commonly available, moderately tempered cichlid. Often displays and attempts to start fights, but has little conviction as regards actually finishing the fight. Compulsively aggressive to fish with similar markings. Regular bottom feeder, and gravel/sand sifter. Will uproot smaller plants.
Tank Requirements: Sand substrate to accomodate vigorous digging behaviour. Provide plenty of cover and spawning sites - bogwood, roots, clay pots etc. Acidic water preferable, ideally around pH 6.5
Diet Requirements: Omnivore with emphasis on the vegetable aspect of diet. Accepts a wide range of foods including quality cichlid pellets, fresh veg and occasional live/frozen foods.
Compatibility: Relatively mild for a cichlid and can be kept in community with similarly sized peaceful fish, with caution. Aggression increases when breeding, so ensure enough space for territory to be established.
Recommendations: Roomy aquaria. Allow the fish to dominate the lower midwater to bottom with little competition. If in community, use tubes to get foods to the bottom. Firemouths don't compete well at topwater levels.
Common Problems: Parasite issues associated with bottom feeders, worms, protozoa etc, and mouth damage from sparring with more capable fish. Fungal issues if water quality is not sufficient. Subordinate stress.
Similar Species: Thorichthys has several Firemouth species, all subtly different. Geophagus are close relatives. Care is similar for all, though it better not to mix species.
Sexing: Males larger and brighter than females, often more aggressive. Sexing is quite easy when you see both sexes.
Breeding: PH around 6.5 to neutral preferred, rock spawner, fry raised in pits the parents dig for them. Usual tiny foods, aufwuchs, liquify etc until able to handle bigger foods.
Author(s): Fishlady | Photo: | Views: 40916
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  • Just can't stay away

 firemouth question

hi i was wondering if anybody knew if it's ok to keep firemouths on there own in a community tank with other cichilds?

  • Quite a regular

 pH is very wrong

Firemouths are Central American, and therefore should be kept in hard alkaline water.

  • Tropical Moderator

 Re: pH is very wrong

Medium to hard yes, but not particuarly alkaline. Most sources state a pH around neutral from 6.5 to 7.5 Our caresheet has been amended at the lower end, thanks for input

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