Neon Blue Jewel Cichlid

neon blue jewel cichlid

DIY aquarium background Jewel cichlid and fry Hemichromis

Turquoise Jewel Cichlid - Hemichromis bimaculatus

Turquoise Jewel Cichlid – Hemichromis bimaculatus


Cichlids from the Hemichromis genus are collectively known as the ”Jewel Cichlids”. Many species look similar and this combined with many line-bred variants and crossbreeds can lead to some confusion with regards to identification and common names. They are found in west Africa in a variety of environments and are fairy undemanding with water requirements though they can be sensitive to high pH. Jewel Cichlids can be fairly aggressive compared to their size. They are known fin-nippers and may prey on small fish. A group of juveniles can be kept in a large aquarium but a male/female pair is best kept in a species-only aquarium or with other large fish of a simlar temperament as they will aggressively guard their territory. The coloration of both the female and especially the male intensified during the breeding season. These cichlids are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods. They can be fed appropriately-size flakes (as juveniles) or pellets as well as supplements of meaty frozen foods and vegetation. Spawning occurs after an environmental trigger; namely a temperature change that replicates the rainy season in their natural environment. Eggs will be laid on a flat surface and defended by both parents.

Regans Cichlid - Vieja regani

Regans Cichlid – Vieja regani


Regan’s Cichlid is a large; thick bodied fish with pale grey coloration and a few irregularly shaped black spots on its sides. As the fish mature; they may develop iridescence that can vary in hue from fish to fish from green to gold to blue. Dominant males develop large humps on their heads. Vieja cichlids are some of the more aggressive Central American cichlids. They grow large – especially adult males – and need a large aquarium with plenty of room and territory. The aquarium also needs ample filtration to handle the waste produced by the large fish. These fish are omnivores and should be fed a varied diet of meaty foods with some plant matter – appropriately-sized pellets (or flakes for small juveniles) can be supplemented with frozen and fresh foods on occassion.

Flowerhorn Hybrid Cichlid - Juvenile

Flowerhorn Hybrid Cichlid – Juvenile


Cichlasoma trimaculatus; Cichlasoma festae ; and the Jingang Blood Parrot are the three South American cichlids thought to be cross-bred to form what is known as the Flower Horn cichlid. This interesting looking cichlid has become quite popular amongst aquarists all over the world; and its popularity is only increasing. Coloration ranges from shades of purple to pink to red; with blue iridescent speckling and interesting black markings that often look like ”flowers” or Chinese characters. The shape of these markings are what make many Flower Horns so desirable. Another desirable quality is the size and shape of the nuchal hump; or the big bump on its head. The bigger the hump; it is said; the more luck the owner will have. Because of their genetic origins; the Flower Horn is a very aggressive and territorial fish. It is best to keep them by themselves. They require plenty of open swimming areas as well as decent hiding areas amongst rocks and driftwood. Feed them a variety of foods such as flake; pellet; and occasional frozen meaty foods. Please note : The fish pictured above is a representation of this variety. Due to genetic variations in hybrid species like this one; the fish you receive may have slightly different coloration than the one pictured. Call or email a livestock representative for more information.

Powder Blue Cichlid - Pseudotropheus socolofi

Powder Blue Cichlid – Pseudotropheus socolofi


Pseudotropheus socolofi is powder blue with black edges on the fins and tail. Females exhibit the same coloration as the males; but may lack the yellow egg spots on the anal fin. These Mbuna are found at various points of Lake Malawi near Mozambique. Malawian and Victorian cichlids are similar in care and temperament; leading to fish from these two lakes being grouped together in the hobby. Several hundreds species of cichlid are found in Lake Malawi; along with many regional variations; but Lake Victoria has far fewer due to the introduction of invasive predators. Most cichlids in both lakes are rock-dwellers. They seldom stray far from the rocky bottoms and sides of the lake and will quickly dart into the rocks to hide. As with all cichlids; they are very territorial and will not tolerate other cichlids around �their� crevice. Two of the most popular groups of these cichlids are the �Peacocks� (mostly the Aulonocara genus) and �Mbuna’s� (native term for �rock fish� and including the genera Pseudotropheus ; Labidochromis ; Maylandia ; Melanochromis and others). While aggression and compatibility can vary from species to species; mixing Mbuna and Peacock cichlids is not usually recommended. Mbuna cichlids tend to be more aggressive and may bully the usually more passive Peacocks but some Mbuna cichlids are far more aggressive than others. Several other groups of cichlids can also be found from these lakes; some of which can be large and aggressive predators; research all choices carefully. Decor for a Malawi/Victoria aquarium should be very rocky. Rock ”piles” and shelf-like backgrounds are common designs and can be made from tufa rock; lava rock or slate. Substrates can range from the whitish coral sand used in saltwater aquariums to black freshwater sand or even regular decorative gravels. Wood tends to lower pH and is not usually recommended for African cichlid aquariums. Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists and aquarium staff on African cichlids and many other topics! ** Note about scientific naming : As African cichlids are continually being discovered and redescribed; many scientific names have been changed over time. One of the most affected groups are the fish from the genera Pseudotropheus ; Maylandia ; and Metriaclima . Many of these fish were originally classified in the Pseudotropheus genus but the ”Zebra” group was separated into the Maylandia genus created in 1984. In 1997; the new Metriaclima genus was created as a proposed ”more correct” genus to replace Maylandia . However; the true ”correctness” of the classifications is still highly debated and those three genera are still used interchangeably to refer to the same fish in some references. **

Blue Congo Cichlid - Nanochromis parilus

Blue Congo Cichlid – Nanochromis parilus


The Blue Congo Cichlid ( Nanochromis parilus ) is a unique little dwarf cichlid from slow moving waters in the Congo. They have tan bodies with violet-blue iridescence. Their tail has a distinct striping pattern of blue and red on the bottom half; and may have yellow spots in the top half. Blue markings adorn the face and belly; and the anal fin is red with blue speckles towards the tail. This is a tough little species that will not tolerate others of its own species in a small territory. Keep them as a pair; unless your tank is very large. Other cichlids that are mild-tempered but tough may be housed with these fish. Feed them a variety of foods including frozen treats; flakes; and small pellets. Tank decor can consist of mostly rockwork; caves; driftwood; a soft substrate; and plants. This species is a substrate spawner.

Cupid Cichlid - Biotodoma cupido - Adult

Cupid Cichlid – Biotodoma cupido – Adult


While they are a dull silver-gray as juveniles; the adult coloration of the Cupid Cichlid is no less than stunning! Varying iridescent colors appear in faint markings as the fish matures; and there are many different color variations. A black vertical stripe runs through the eyes. Males have blue lines on their cheeks while females have blue spots. Cupid cichlids do best in pairs; so choose a few young ones and allow them to pair off. They can become aggressive with their own kind; besides their chosen mate. While these cichlids care for their eggs and fry; it is still difficult to raise the babies into adulthood. This cichlid will accept flake and pelleted food; though a diet of frozen larvae and other meaty foods is much preferred. Their ideal tank decor features plenty of open swimming space and rock or driftwood hiding places at the lower levels of the tank. Tankmates that inhabit the higher areas of the tank will most likely be ignored. Hardy tetras; barbs; and plecos are recommended. This delicate species requires extremely good water conditions; so be sure to do regular water changes and maintenance.

Texas Cichlid - Herichthys cyanoguttatus - Small

Texas Cichlid – Herichthys cyanoguttatus – Small


The Texas Cichlid ( Herichthys cyanoguttatus ) is one of the most common and popular of the large Central American Cichlids. Their bodies are covered with metallic blue spots (as opposed to the smaller; more turquoise-green speckles on the closely related Pearlscale Cichlid; H. carpintis ). These cichlids grow very large and territorial and should not be kept with similar fish or in a small aquarium. These fish are omnivorous – eating both meaty foods and plant matter – but despite their boisterous temperaments; they eat more vegetation than meaty foods. Their diet should include plenty of plant-based foods with meaty fresh or frozen foods as a supplement only.

Pearlscale Cichlid - Herichthys carpintis - Juvenile

Pearlscale Cichlid – Herichthys carpintis – Juvenile


Often confused with the Texas Cichlid (Herichthys cyanoguttatus ) ;  the Pearlscale Cichlid ( Herichthys carpintis ) has speckles that are smaller and appear more green; rather than blue like the Texas Cichlid. However; the Pearlscale shares a similar temperament. These fish are fine with other Central American cichlids; but they will not tolerate other Pearlscale or Texas cichlids. A large tank with ample swimming room and rocks for hiding is ideal. As for diet; this fish is actually an herbivore; so a good veggie flake; along with the occasional fresh vegetable matter will be a great diet. Every so often; some frozen meaty food would be ok; but not on a regular basis. This fish may develop a nuchal hump on its head as they mature.

Salvin's Cichlid - Cichlasoma salvini - Small

Salvin’s Cichlid – Cichlasoma salvini – Small


This attractive cichlid is silvery-gold with black; horizontal; blotchy patches on the dorsal half; and a black stripe from the eye to the tail. Females develop red on their bellies; especially when mating; and males have iridescent blue-green spots particularly on the dorsal half. Other semi-aggressive cichlids make good tankmates; though this fish can become extremely aggressive when spawning. Use discretion when choosing tankmates if housing a pair of salvini. Feed them a variety of foods such as a hearty cichlid flake or pellet; as well as fresh vegetables. Tank decor can be basic rock or driftwood with plenty of hiding places and open swimming areas. Salvini are substrate spawners; and prefer a fine substrate.

Nicaragua Cichlid - Hypsophrys nicaraguensis - Small

Nicaragua Cichlid – Hypsophrys nicaraguensis – Small


The Nicaragua Cichlid ( Hypsophrys nicaraguensis ) is also known as the Macaw cichlid for its distinct coloration. It ranges from orange-pink to red-orange toward the back end; and beautiful blue-green on the front of the body. Fins are often very long and may be bright red in color. Females are slightly duller. This is a tough fish; so be sure you keep it with similarly aggressive fish. One established pair per tank is best; as males will fight. Tank decor can consist of rock and driftwood; plus plenty of open swimming area. Feed them a variety of foods; flake; pellet; frozen meaty foods; and fresh vegetable matter.
Thomas Riggson posted at 2011-10-16 Category: Freshwater Aquarium

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