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Firemouth Cichlid

Central American Cichlids

Firemouth Cichlid, Thorichthys meeki

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.

Scientific Name: Thorichthys meeki
Family: Cichlid
Temperature: 26 - 30 C; 79 - 86 F
pH: 6.5 - 7.5
Size: 15 cm; 6 inches
Life Span: 10 years
Breeding: Normal, Egg Layer
 

Compatibility:

Neotropical Cichlids such as the Green Terror, Green Severum, Gold Severum, Salvini, Texas and Blood Parrot.  Also Plecos.