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The Firemouth is one of the oldest kept species. It's beautiful colors
and interesting behavior still keep it on the top of any Cichlid lovers
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 6.5 inches (17.0 cm)
||6.5 to 8.5
||Soft to very hard
||75°F to 82°F (26 to 30°C)
Guatemala and the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. It is also said to be
found in underground waterways.
General Body Form:
Tall with strong lateral compression. It has a large head and its' forehead
is slightly curved around the eyes. The dorsal fin starts at the gill
covers. In older fish the tail (caudal) fin is bent slightly in and
the outer rays can get very long. In the male the Dorsal and Anal fins
are longer and more pointed.
The most noticeable trait of the Firemouth is its throat and breast
area, which ranges from bright fiery Red to Brick Red and is the reason
for the common name. With a closer look you can see a wide range of
colors in the fish. The basic background color is bluish Gray, with
a slight purple sheen. The under area is Yellow Green to Orange. The
sides have a series of faint dark bars. A Golden edged blackspot is
right behind the eyes a similar one is found at the start of the tail
fin. Other Black marks with Golden edges can be seen on the lower edge
of the gill cover and at the start of the clear Pectoral fins. The Dorsal
fin is edged in Red and the rays of the other fins are slightly Brown
with the membranes speckled with Bright Blue - Green spots. All the
scales seem to edged with Red. Females are not as colorful as the males.
An all around beautiful fish!
Ideally the Firemouth tank should be at least a fifty-five gallon, with
rocks, driftwood and many plants. Provide an open area for swimming
and displaying. They are territorial but will rarely bother other fish
unless they are in the spawning ritual. Their main way of defense is
to inflate the throat area, which highlights and deepens the beautiful
Red color. Feeding is no problem as they will accept flake, frozen and
medium sized live food. Good filtration and water changes must be provided.
They are peaceful for a Cichlid and should be kept with similar tankmates.
In a large tank several pairs can be kept. In short they are a relatively
peaceful and easily kept fish.
Shallow shore areas of rivers with driftwood or rocks. The water can
be clear murky or non moving.
Open water breeders, the pair will clean a rock or similar object
and the female will deposit up to 500 eggs. Both parents will tend
the fry as they are moved from pit to pit in the aquarium. The female
is more likely to tend the brood and the male defend the territory.
The fry can be fed very fine flake food or newly hatched brine shrimp.
Growth is fairly fast. A healthy pair can have up to five broods a