Firemouth Cichlids are Central American Cichlids from Guatemala and the
Yucatan. They are known by the scientific name Thorichthys meeki and also
by the name Cichlasoma meeki . Their distinctive feature is a bright red
color on the lower mouth and extending along the belly. The rest of the body
is a sandy brown with dark bands, however there is significant variation in the
basic background color. Proper diet is
essential to ensuring they develop the red "mouth". They will eat flake foods,
blood worms, brine shrimp and cichlid sticks.
Firemouths can be combined with other
Neotropical Cichlids in a
tank of at least 50 gallons. The tank should be well planted and well
rooted, as their tendency to dig in the substrate is hard on plants. The tank should
have rocks and hiding areas, but should also have open
areas for swimming. It should have a sandy bottom for them to dig in. The
Firemouth is aggressive and should be kept with other fish
of the same approximate size and temperament. They should be kept in pairs
and will benefit from having a group of their own kind.
Firemouths are aggressive when they are establishing territory for mating and
when they lure a female. The males have long pointed tips on their dorsal
and anal fins, but behavior is a better indicator of sex. Firemouths are monogamous and lay
several hundred eggs on a vertical surface, such as slate rock. During the
breeding process they will dig up the substrate and rearrange the aquarium to
their liking. The eggs hatch in a couple of days and the fry are swimming
in about four days. The fry can eat brine shrimp right away. The fry
are protected by both parents.
||26 - 30 C; 79 - 86 F
||6.5 - 7.5
||15 cm; 6 inches
||Normal, Egg Layer
Neotropical Cichlids such as the Green Terror, Green
Severum, Gold Severum, Salvini, Texas
and Blood Parrot. Also Plecos.