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Cichlasoma salvini


Species information

Species: Cichlasoma salvini

Synoma: Heros salvini, H. triagramma, Nandopsis salvini, Cichlasoma tenue

Common name: Salvin's cichlid, tri-colour cichlid, yellow-belly cichlid

Origin: Atlantic slope of Central America from Rio Papaloapam Veracruz Mexico, southward to Sulpher River near Puerto Barrios, Guatemala (Miller, 1966).

Localities/Morphs: Different colour variations are only recently being "noticed" on collection from the wild. Remain un-named. Only one "varient" (all tank reared) appears to be in Australia

Maximum size: 7" Males, 5" Females

Natural habitat: Any area of plentiful cover - among rocky cliffs to vegatation and driftwood tangles.

Natural foods/prey: Predatory: Small fish, inverts.

Water chemistry in the wild: Neutral to slightly alkaline

Predators: Quite at risk to predation due to small size, though aggressive and skillful enough to hold its own against substantially larger fish.

Brood size: Up to 500

Sexual dimorphism: Females brighter yellow body colour. Females front half of dorsal black in colour. Males larger, develop a nuchal hump, and have longer, pointer finnage.

Breeding method: Cave spawner in general. Will occasionally spawn in open, on cleaned rock/surface. Males tend to guard a perimeter around spawn site and rarely get too close to the fry.

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: 3' generally accepted as minimum. The aggressive nature of the fish means some pairs will require a little less or a little more.

Sex ratio: 1 pair

Tolerance of conspecifics: intolerant

Tolerance of heterospecifics: intolerant

Water chemistry in aquaria: Very adaptable: slightly acid through to relatively alkaline. Hardness of little significance.

Temperature range: 72-82F (22-28C)

Foods accepted: Most prepared foods, small lives foods.

Special requirements: Plenty of cover.


* My recently acquired pair have spawned in a 2' tank and show no aggression toward one another. Once the parents have reared the fry a few weeks though, parents will be moved to a larger tank.

* Salvini are known to be highly aggressive and do not tolerate tankmates in small quarters. In a large enough tank they can be housed with similarly aggressive cichlids, and can hold their own against larger opposition. Known to be highly beligerant toward any fish it is dominant over. Loiselle calls it " a pocket battleship."


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