Common Name/Origin: Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus)
The Red Devil comes from the waterways of Central America, specifically around the Nicaragua area.
Size: Typically the Red Devil will grow to 10-12 inches.
Temperament: Extremely Aggressive
Sexing: Male Red Devil fish will develop a “hump” on their forehead. Males typically are a bit larger than the females. Males will have sharper, more pointed anal and pelvic fins.
Tank: Keeping the Red Devil cichlid in the home aquarium is not that difficult at all. Red Devils do require space, since they grow to around 10 inches. A single specimen should be kept in nothing smaller than a 55-gallon aquarium. A 75-gallon is highly recommended.
If keeping a pair of Red Devil cichlids, I suggest a tank 100-gallons or larger. The tank should be at least 6 feet long. This will provide enough “territory” for both the male and the female.
Be sure to provide a tight fitting lid or canopy on top. This will prevent your Red Devil from jumping out and carpet surfing.
Water: pH: 7.0-8.0
Temperature: 76-82 °F
Feeding: Provide a high quality pellet or flake for their staple diet. Red Devils will openly accept meaty food such as bloodworms, shrimp, krill, mysis, and brine shrimp. Live insects such as crickets and earthworms can be fed also. Ensure that your live insects have not been in contact with any pesticides. A well-balanced Carnivorous diet is highly recommended.
Behavior: Red Devil Cichlids are very aggressive. They have a very unique and amazing personality. This Central American cichlid is very territorial and will protect his/her space by chasing, harassing, and possibly killing potential threats. The Red Devil fish can be trained to be hand fed, and they often welcome you at the top of the water waiting to be fed.
Red Devils will dig and rearrange your aquarium. Red devils are diggers and will dig up plants, move rocks, and spit substrate. If you have any real (live) plants in the tank, you may want to take them out. Red Devils are known to shred real plants, so let’s save a few dollars and move the plants to another tank.
Tank mates: Very few possibilities available. Let me state first that each Cichlid is different just as we humans are. The majority of Red Devil owners will tell you that they can not keep any other fish in the tank with their Amphilophus labiatus cichlid.
Only large, aggressive, South/Central American Cichlids should be kept with the Red Devil cichlid. If you choose to experiment with tankmates, ensure your tank is large enough. Do not try to add a tank mate in any tank smaller than 100 gallons and six feet long.
Red Devils will eat or kill any fish that will fit into their mouth or is not as aggressive and tough as they are.
Trying to keep more than one Red Devil will be experimental. Males will allow a female to live with them but they will fight and chase one another. Ensure you provide plenty of hiding spots.
*Potential tank mates: Oscars, Jack Dempsey, Green Terror, Plecos, Armoured Catfish.
Key features: Large hump that will form on the forehead of the males.
Colors variations include red, white, pink, orange and a mixture of these colors.
Many start off with multiple juvenile cichlids and raise them until the aggression kicks in or a pair forms. Even when you successfully pull out one of each sex, their still may be some aggression.
Males will chase and harass the female so please provide plenty of hiding spots. Some hobbyists use tank separators to keep the male away and give the female a break on occasion.
The female will lay her eggs on a flat rock, log, or on another decoration. The male will fertilize the eggs and then stay close to protect the eggs. Both male and female Red Devil cichlids share in the parental duties. Do not remove the parents, they will raise and protect the young fry.
The eggs will hatch between 3-4 days. The parents then move the fry to a pit dug in the substrate. The young fry will eat microorganisms that can be found in the aquarium and on the parents. To keep the young fry alive you need to provide food such as artemia, baby brine shrimp, daphnia, or finely crushed flakes to the fry.
*Disclaimer: Potential tankmates means it will vary depending on your individual Red Devil cichlid. Some will work, while others will be killed or harassed endlessly by the Red Devil fish.
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