Common Name: Firemouth Cichlid
Scientific Name: Thorichthys Meeki
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-like fish)
Max Size in Aquaria: Up to 6.7”, females usually
Distribution: Mexico, Guatemala, Merida, Progresso, Yucatan
Peninsula, and Central America.
Habitat: Slow moving rivers throughout Central America and
Tank Setup: A large tank of at least 30 gallons with lots of
“hardy” plants, rocks and wood for cover. May be too aggressive
for the everyday community tank but can be kept with robust fish of
the same size.
Water Chemistry: Temperature 26-30 C (79-86 F), pH 7.0-7.5, gH 4-10.
Sexing: The males are larger, and have more coloration and red on the throat,
along with elongated, pointed dorsal and anal fins. Females are smaller
with less coloration and rounder fins.
Breeding: Use a pH of 7.0 or higher. The Breeding pair will clean a rock or large
leafed plant. The female will then deposit 100-500 eggs (depending on
size and time since last spawning). The male will begin to dig pits/holes
in the substrate that the fry will be hid in until they are free swimming.
The fry are tended to by both of the parents, and may be moved from
pit to pit several times by them. The new fry can be fed newly hatched
brine shrimp and/or finely crushed flakes.
Extra Information: The Firemouth cichlid can be quite territorial during spawning, otherwise
quite peaceful. They can flare their gills in aggression much like the
Siamese Fighting Fish.