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Information about
Neotropical Cichlids
Neotropical Cichlids inhabit the Neotropical Region, which includes all of the tropical biological areas in North, Central, and South America, plus the Caribbean.
 
Click here
now to buy South American Cichlids.
Click here now to buy Central American Cichlids.
     
This page lists several species of Neotropical Cichlids and gives some information about those species.
     
  This video shows a Blood Parrot. This fish is a hybrid of two Cichlid species, a Red Devil and a Golden Severum. This Blood Parrot was about 5" long.
     
This video shows a group of young Parrot Cichlids with various colorations. We rarely have this fish for sale, and it is shown here for your information and entertainment.
     
Here is a Big Ol' Male Texas Cichlid about 10" long with a huge bump on his head. Large old male Cichlids often have big bumps on their heads, but this bump is bigger than most.
     
  Here is a nicely colored Green Terror Cichlid. This fish is about 5-inches long and is probably a male.
     
This video shows a young 2.5" Electric Blue Jack Dempsey. We have been told that this is a color variety of the normal Jack Dempsey and not a hybrid with another Cichlid species.
     
Here is a comment from Prosanta Chakrabarty, PhD, a scientist at the American Museum of Natural History.
 
"Inferring from the molecular evidence I obtained (both mitochondrial and nuclear), the Electric Blue is a Jack Dempsey. I don't know where the rumor started about it being a hybrid with tetracanthus but I can assure you that it is not.
 
The (Electric) Blue Dempsey does not appear to occur in the wild, I would speculate that the color morph appears because of inbreeding within the aquarium trade. Hope that helps, Prosanta"
  
So, according to Dr. Chakrabarty, the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey is a color variety of the Jack Dempsey, and not a hybrid with another species.
       

Common Name

Scientific Names

Maximum Size

     
Green Terror
Gold Saum
 
Andinoacara rivulatus - new
Aequidens rivulatus - old
 
10"
Black Convict
Wild Convict
 
Archocentrus nigrofasciatus
Cichlasoma nigrofaciatum - old
 
6"
Pink Convicts
 
  6"
     
Green Severum
Gold Severum
Red Spotted Severums
Heros efasciatus
Heros severus - incorrect
Cichlasoma severum - old
 
12"
Firemouth Cichlid Thoricthys meeki
Cichlasoma meeki - old
 
10"
Jack Dempsey
Rocio octofasciata
Nandopsis octofasciatum - old

Cichlasoma octofasciatum - older 
 
12"
Electric Blue Jack Dempsey
 
Rocio octofasciata
Nandopsis octofasciatum - old

Cichlasoma octofasciatum - older
  
 
     
Texas Cichlid Herichthys cyanoguttatus
Cichlasoma cyanoguttatum - old
 
15"
Salvini Cichlid Nandopsis salvini
Cichlasoma salvini - old
 
12"
     
Red Devil Amphilophus labiatus
Cichlasoma labiatum - old
 
12"
Blood Parrot  Said to be a hybrid of
Severum and and Red Devil
 
12"?
     

Common Name

Scientific Names

Maximum Size

     

Sometimes these fish appear in books and other websites under more than one name, and that is why we show more than one name in the table. A living organism can really only have one scientific name at one time, but the correct names can change as scientists learn more about the fish and the history of its scientific name.
 
In the table above the upper scientific name is the newer name, and the lower scientific name is the older name. You can see that the genus Cichlasoma is apparently being split into Archocentrus, Heros, Thoricthys, Nandopsis, and more names that are not listed in this table.
 
The maximum sizes are not really the maximum. I have occasionally seen specimens of each of these fish that are bigger than the sizes listed as the maximum in the above table. But fish of the sizes listed would be considered very big for that species.
 
Fish like these Neotropical Cichlids continue to grow their entire lives. Mammals like dogs and cats grow to their maximum size within a few years, stay at that size for several years, then often decrease in size the last few years of their lives. But Neotropical Cichlids continue to grow for their entire lives. So the term maximum size is a bit more vague when applied to these fish.
 
The sizes listed above should be an important guide when buying fish. Be sure you are committed to providing the fish you buy with an appropriate home. Each of these fish will eventually need a big aquarium.
 
Click here to go to another web site which has lots of very interesting details about Cichlids.

     
Green Terror Cichlid, Aequidens rivulatus, also called a Gold Saum.   This picture shows a young male Green Terror about 2.5" inches long. His fins are longer than the fins of a female his size, and he has brighter colors than a female the same size.
     
Red Devil Cichlid Species. Cichlasoma Amphilophus labiatum. This is a picture of a beautiful large male Red Devil.
     
Red Devil Cichlid Species. Cichlasoma Amphilophus labiatum.   Here is another picture of the same Red Devil, and in this picture you can see the bump on his head and his long pointed fins.
     
Soon the young male Green Terror shown above will start to grow a bump on his head like the bump on the head of the Red Devil shown just above. A male Neotropical Cichlid often grows long fins and a bump on his head. The picture of the Green Terror was taken in our facility by TBK. The pictures of the Red Devil were taken by William W. of Michigan.
     
Pet Fish Talk, an MP3 PodCast, is a weekly internet talk show about keeping pet fish, such as Tropical Fish and goldfish, in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds. The shows were hosted by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, Click on this image for more information.  
Click here to hear a Special Interview titled "Breeding Convict Cichlids", an MP3 PodCast, hosted by the Bailey Brothers at PetFishTalk.com.
     

Comments
Neotropical Cichlids are generally very aggressive. Most other Tropical Fish cannot live with these fish. As they mature these fish change colors. Often the males become more colorful, but sometimes the females become more colorful than the males.
 
After they mature, the males begin to create a territory and chase other fish out of their territory. They want to attract a female to their territory, then go through a ritualized test battle with her. Presumably each fish testing the strength of the other.
 
Once a pair bond is established, the two fish work together to defend their territory, spawn, and raise their baby fish. Click here for more about breeding the Pink Convict shown below.

     
Pink Convict Cichlid Female about 2.5" long. Cichlasoma. Archocentrus nigrofasciatus.  

This is a female Pink Convict about 2.5" long. The males are solid pink and sometimes almost white. Pink Convicts are one of the easiest fish to breed. Click here for more details about breeding them.

     
Appropriate Home
A large aquarium with at least 50-gallons of water, an  exterior power filter with a BIO-Wheel, a maximum of 1/4-inch of gravel, and an aquarium heater adjusted so the water temperature is between 72 and 82 degrees F. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.
 
The ad below links to this advertiser.
Hikari USA. Let Your Cichlids Be The Judge Of Our Nutritional Excellence. Click on this image to learn more.
 
     

Recommended Diet
When Neotropical Cichlids are small, feed them floating flake food. Also feed them some freeze dried blood worms and give them an occasional treat of live or frozen brine shrimp.
When Neotropical Cichlids have grown to be about 2.5 inches, they will usually need to start eating pellet food such as Hikari Cichlid Pellets. This food is available in most stores that sell pet fish.
 
Also feed them an occasional treat of live Black Worms and some live or frozen brine shrimp. Click here for more about feeding fish. Some of these Neotropical Cichlids, for example Convicts, seem to do better when fed a few Black Worms. But other Neotropical Cichlids, such as Firemouths, often seem to get bloat when fed worms. Click here for more about Black Worms.

 
The ad below links to this advertiser.
 
     

Compatibility
Either one of these fish to an aquarium or more than 3. If you keep just 2 or 3 of these fish in the same aquarium, the strongest one will make the others miserable, but they will usually do very well in a group of 6 or more in a large aquarium with 50-gallons or more of water.
 
Jack Dempseys and Red Devils may be too aggressive for some of the other fish in this group such as the Green Severums. These Neotropical Cichlids are often kept with a Plecostomus or a Bushy Nose Pleco, White Tip Shark Cats and Pacus.
 
Click here to read more about several other groups of compatible fish.

     
Hole in the Head Disease
Neotropical Cichlids are susceptible to a disease called Hole in the Head. Click here for information about this disease.
       
picture Gallery
 
Texas Cichlids at AquariumFish.net, where you can shop online for a Texas Cichlid.
     
Texas Cichlids at AquariumFish.net, where you can shop online for a Texas Cichlid.
     
Just above, two pictures of a Texas Cichlid that's about 5" long.
 
 
     
Just above, a Jack Dempsey that's about 6" long.
 
 
     
Just above, an Electric Blue Jack Dempsey that's about 2" long.
 
 
     
     
Above, a Regular Severum that's about 7" long, and a Red Spotted Severum that's about 3" long.
 
 
     
Just above, a Venezuelan Eartheater that's about 6" long.
 
 
Green Terror Cichlids at AquariumFish.net, where you can shop online for a Cichlid.
     
Just above, a Green Terror that's about 3.5" long.
      
Lifespan
These Neotropical Cichlids can live to be about 10-years old and when fed premium food and kept in excellent water, some of them can live to be 20-years old. The maximum sizes are given in the table that's above on this page.
     
Click here to go to another page in this website with Customer Comments and our Replies about Neotropical Cichlids.
 
Books about Neotropical Cichlids
The books shown below are listed on Amazon.com. You can click on the title or the image of a book to go to the page at Amazon.com, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   The Guide to Owning Central  American Cichlids
By Richard F. Stratton
Paperback
64 pages 
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. South American Cichlids I
By Ulrich Glaser, Wolfgang Glaser
Paperback
112 pages
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. South American Cichlids II
By Ulrich Glaser, Wolfgang Glaser
Paperback
112 pages
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. South American Cichlids III
By Ulrich Glaser, Wolfgang Glaser, and Frank Schaefer
Paperback
144 pages
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. South American Cichlids IV
By Manfred Goebel, Hans J. Mayland
Hardcover
240 pages
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. Discus Breeding for Beginners
By Jack Wattley
Hardcover
64 pages

Recommended

     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   South American Dwarf Cichlids
By Dieter Bork, Hans J. Mayland
Hardcover
190 pages
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. South American Eartheaters
By Thomas Weidner
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. Fishkeepers Guide to South  American Cichlids
By Wayne S. Leibel and David Sands
Hardcover
     
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   Discus Fish
By Thomas A. Giovanetti
Paperback
80 pages
     
Links
Click here
for more information about Blood Parrot Cichlids.
     
Click here to go to another page in this website with Customer Comments and our Replies about Neotropical Cichlids.
 
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