Symspilum Cichlid

Central American Cichlid | Synspilum Cichlid

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(Please note that the fish shown in the photo is only a representative of what an adult specimen would look like. The color may vary based on the age and sex of the fish you receive.)

Scientific Name: Vieja melanurus

Common Name: Synspilum Cichlid, Quetzal Cichlid, Redhead Cichlid, Firehead Cichlid

Adult Size: 16 inches

Life Expectancy: 9 - 12 years

Habitat: Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico. 

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Ideal Tank Conditions:

  • Temperature Range: 70 - 82°F
  • pH Range: 6.0 - 8.0
  • Water Hardness: 5 - 15

Temperament: Generally considered to be a peaceful and social cichlid species compared to some of its more aggressive relatives. However, it's important to note that their behavior can vary based on factors such as tank size, territorial disputes, and breeding behavior.

Diet & Nutrition: Requires a balanced diet in order to retain its colors. Slow sinking pellets and wafers, frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, Mysis shrimp, krill, chopped cockle, chopped mussel meat and prawns are recommended. Be sure to provide a vegetable component to the diet, such as spinach, lettuce and cucumber.

Breeding  & Spawning: Prior to spawning, the pair will begin cleaning a potential spawning site, such as a flat piece of slate. Up to 1200 eggs will be laid, and these can be expected to hatch within 48-72 hours. The parents will protect the young, which are free-swimming after a week or so.

Gender: Males are larger and display brighter colors than females. They also develop a prominent nuchal hump on their forehead.