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Paraneetroplus hartwegi


Species information

Species: Paraneetroplus hartwegi

Synoma: Veija hartwegi, Cichlasoma hartwegi, Paratheraps hartwegi, Theraps hartwegi

Common name: Hartwegi, Tailbar Cichlid

Origin: Central America

Localities/Morphs: Rio Grande de Chiapa, between Tuxtla Gutierrez and Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico

Maximum size: males 30cm, females 25cm

Natural habitat: fast flowing mountain streams and rivers and inhabits sandy, rocky, silty, and muddy areas. pretty much inhabits all areas within its territorial boundaries.

Natural foods/prey: Omnivorous, native aquatic plants, shrimp, small fish, and insect larvae.

Water chemistry in the wild: ph 7-8, general hardness 10-30 dgH, carbonate hardness 12-18 dkH

Predators: birds other fish.

Brood size: anywhere from 100 up to 1000 eggs can be layed in a single spawn

Breeding method: prefers to lay eggs on rocks sitting vertically, but will lay eggs on drift wood and sometimes on the side panel of a fish tank.

Husbandry requirements

Minimum tank size: for full grown adults 4x18x18 but anything bigger would be preferred

Sex ratio: 1 male, 1 female

Tolerance of conspecifics: They often pester and kill their own kind, but they are also fiercely devoted parents

Tolerance of heterospecifics: medium - can be kept in a very large community tank. at spawning times best to remove the pair from the community due to their aggression at these times. usually will pick out a spot in a tank and defend its territory fiercely.

Water chemistry in aquaria: pH 7.0-8.0, general hardness 12-30 gH, carbonate hardness 4-9 dKH

Temperature range:24-28 degrees Celsius, can tolerate slightly higher temperatures

Foods accepted: omnivorous, they will take almost everything offered. Pellets, flakes, live black worm, frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood worm and will eat most aquatic plants

Special requirements: keeping in mind that hartwegi are very aggressive especially at breeding time plenty of hiding places for the female is a must and if kept in a community separation might also be required.


  • Many people see the hartwegi a boring washed out coloured aggressive fish, but not so if you have ever had the pleasure of keeping one of these magnificent species.
  • This species is extremely intelligent and will often play games for example a male i used to keep played hide and seek with me which i found very amusing he also used to take food out of my hand and many times refused to eat if i didn't feed him this way, they can also be real sooks and hide if they are upset or if their partner was removed or separated.
  • One of the biggest problems that can arise in keeping hartwegi and many other American cichlids is they are very easily susceptible to hole in the head (HITH) which can be successfully treated with a medication that has the ingredient Metronidazole or using the med Octazine combined with the usage of higher temperatures (30 degrees celcius)is very affective from personal experience. also making sure good water quality are provided and good foods are fed will prevent this problem from ever arising.
  • One big factor with hartwegi is when selecting allot of research must be done in picking out good quality fish as the quality has decreased allot over the years from inbreeding and or crossbreeding. allot of hartwegi available these days are either crossed or deformed due to poor breeding and bad selection in breeding parents one last problem is that the hartwegi are near disappearing due to very small numbers available so go out and get a pair as these fish are one of the most enjoyable fish i have kept to date.


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