Firemouth Cichlid: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Firemouth Cichlid

Firemouth Cichlid is a freshwater fish from Central America. It lives in rivers of Mexico, Belize, and northern Guatemala. Sometimes it’s found in caves too.

Firemouth Cichlids get their name “firemouth” from the bright orange-red color under their jaw. Males show off this color to scare away other males.

These fish eat many things but mostly algae. They can only catch about 6% of fast prey because their jaws don’t stick out very far.

Firemouth Cichlids can live with other fish but may become aggressive when breeding. A tank of at least 100 cm is required for these fish to swim around comfortably.

Firemouth Cichlid Interesting Facts

  • Firemouth Cichlids have bright orange-red color under their jaw, with males using this feature to scare away rivals.
  • These fish are attentive parents, laying eggs underwater and working together to protect their offspring.
  • Their diet mainly consists of algae, and they struggle to catch fast prey due to their short jaws.
  • Males and females differ in size, coloration, and fin shape; males are bigger and brighter with pointier fins.

Firemouth Cichlid Habitat

Firemouth Cichlid is found in Central America, specifically in the Usumacinta and Belize River drainages, as well as near Progreso in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

It lives in freshwater environments and stays close to the bottom of the water (benthopelagic). This fish likes slow-moving waters near riverbanks with muddy or sandy bottoms and lots of plants for protection.

Firemouth Cichlid doesn’t migrate. It thrives in water with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5 and a hardness (dH) of up to 10. The ideal temperature for this tropical fish is between 78°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C).

The habitat of Firemouth Cichlid ranges from 22°N to 14°N latitude and from 95°W to 87°W longitude.

Water Temperature:78°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C)
Water pH:6.5 to 7.5 pH
Water Hardness:Unknown

Firemouth Cichlid Physical Characteristics

Size: 2.7 inches (6.9 centimeters)

Firemouth Cichlid can grow up to a maximum length of 6.7 inches (17.0 centimeters) but usually reaches around 2.7 inches (6.9 centimeters) long.

Males are usually bigger than females and are brighter. They also have more red around their throat, and pointier fins.

Firemouth Cichlid Reproduction

Firemouth Cichlids lay their eggs on surfaces like stones or submerged wood, or in small holes that they dig in the ground.

The Firemouth Cichlids usually lay 100 to 500 eggs at a time. Both parents protect the eggs. Once the baby fish hatch, the parents move them to shallow pits and keep guarding them.

Firemouth Cichlid Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Cichlasoma meeki
Also Known As:Firemouth Cichlid
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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