Common Jewel Cichlid
Alternative Name(s): Blue Jewel Cichlid, Green Jewel Cichlid
Scientific Name(s): Hemichromis guttatus
Category: Cichlid
Maximum Size: 11cms
Minimum Tank Volume: 140 litres
Minimum Tank Size: 48" x 12" X 12"
Water Temperature Range: 22-28°C
Water pH Range: 6.0-7.6
Water Hardness Range: 5-15 dGH

General Information: Very similar in many aspects to Hemichromis bimaculatus. Red shades on the chin and head, blue iridescent spots, yellow-orange midbody, diffuse reddish tail. Often calm when unmolested, if overcrowded or attacked this fish is lethally self defensive, taking on any fish that attacks it with powerful bites and superior liplocking skills. Only really territorial with unrelated species when breeding, but always aggressive with its own kind and similar cichlids.
Tank Requirements: 48" tank is needed to grow on a group of six until a pairing is made, when all but the pair should be removed. Plenty of hiding places should be provided as well as floating plants for cover with good filtration and moderate to fast flowing water.
Diet Requirements: Omnivore accepting most available commercial fish foods, relishes live or frozen blood worms, shrimp etc and should be given regular vegetable matter.
Compatibility: Can be kept in a community with Synos, Congo Tetras and Loraciids in a suitably large tank, but be aware that aggression increases when spawning, when other occupants should be removed. Does best in pairs, though forced pairings rarely work: allowing a pair to form from a group of youngsters is the best way.
Recommendations: Don't mix Jewel species unless you want a charnel house, although large peaceful community fish may be tolerated. They like sand to dig, plant cover and rocks, bogwood etc.
Common Problems: Fin nipping and hyper aggression in a minority of specimens usually as a result of being kept with aggressive cichlids
Similar Species: There are many Hemichromis of which the lifalili is perhaps the most beautiful, but all are fantastic looking fish. Don't house them together though, and consider purchases for community carefully.
Sexing: Difficult. Spots may be less clear on females, behaviour gives the game away, watch specimens before you buy for compatible mates.
Breeding: Plants, rocks, won't lay unless there is cover. Eggs are laid on flat rocks, up to 300 eggs. Fry are pit raised and require the usual tiny foods.
Author(s): Fishlady | Photo: | Views: 28569
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