Cleithracara maronii



    One of the most peaceful cichlids, Shy and reclusive the keyhole cichlid will make a fine addition to a community set up. Not seen as much as before , don’t pass up this fine fish when it is available.



Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: 4 3/4″ (12 cm)
Tank: 36 inches
Strata: All
PH: 6.8 to 8.0
Hardness: dH range: 20.0
Temperature: 75°F to 81°F (25-27°C)


Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Cichlasomatinae
Family: Cichlidae
Genera: Cleithracara
Species: maronii


Common name:


Keyhole cichlidDistribution

    South America: Rio Orinoco basin, and rivers of Guyana .

General Body Form:Tall in proportion to its length the keyhole is an oval-shaped cichlid with a short body and a forehead that is rounded . The rear portions of the dorsal and anal fins are drawn out to a point. In the adult males this is much more pronounced.


Coloration:The body has a mottled yellowish cream coloration, sometimes leaning toward brown. Occasionally the body is marked with faint lateral lines. A curved, dark band runs through the eye, from the front ray of the dorsal fin, down to the corner of the gill cover. The keyhole shaped marking, which the keyhole cichlid gets it’s name from is located in the middle of the rear half of the fish. This marking may look like a keyhole or just a black dot.

Maintenance:The keyhole needs to feel secure in its tank, you should provide plenty of hiding places in the form of caves and driftwood. Plants are also helpful. The substrate should be fine gravel or sand and you should leave some open areas for swimming. Once established they are not difficult to keep they will accept all types of food including flake, frozen and live. Not overly fond of strong currents.


Biotope:Small creeks in the coastal zone, which have clear water and little current


They can be one easier cichlids to breed, and have even bred in community tanks. Several young should be placed in your tank and allowed to pair off. They are open breeders, up to 300 eggs are deposited on a cleaned stone. The eggs are cared for by both parents, who will fan them with fresh water and pick out the unfertilized eggs. Many times a pair will eat their first brood, but they will spawn again in a matter of days. You can remove the eggs after they are laid if this continues and raise them in a separate tank.. The fry hatch after 3-5 days and are free-swimming several days later. Start feeding with roftiers and baby brine shrimp. The parents may continue their care for the fry for up to six months.


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