Aquarium Fish

Salvini Cichlid

posted: 05/15/12
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Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Salvini Cichlid is also known as the Tricolor Cichlid and the Yellow-Belly Cichlid. Astatoreochromis straeleni is also called the "yellow-bellied cichlid." It is a brightly colored cichlid from the lakes and rivers of southern Mexico and northern Central America. It has a bright yellow body with two blotchy dark lines running from the eyes to the caudal fin and turquoise-blue dots scattered over the body. The fins are long and have a turquoise-blue sheen to them. A bright red coloring is seen in the anal fins and on the body behind the pectoral fin, as well as edging the caudal fin. The head has approximately four horizontal stripes running along the forehead.

The Salvini Cichlid requires a tank of at least 50 gallons with a fine gravel or sand bottom. It does not burrow or destroy plants, which are recommended to use as territory boundaries. The Salvini Cichlid should be provided with numerous rocks and roots for use as hiding places. Plenty of room should be left for open swimming. It may be housed with smaller fish that are also more aggressive, be aware, it is territorial and will bite others.

The male has pointed fins, which is one way to distinguish between the sexes. Salvini Cichlids make excellent parents, and both the male and female share in the rearing of the fry. After carefully cleaning the rocks in the tank, the female will deposit up to 500 eggs.

The Salvini Cichlid is omnivorous and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.

Ideal tank mates include similar sized: Other South American Cichlids, Plecos, Scavenger Catfish and similar sized, miscellaneous fish.

Fish Facts

Name: Salvini Cichlid (Cichlasoma salvini or Nandopsis salvini)

Family: Cichlidae

Range: Central America: Guatemala, Honduras; Southern Mexico

Size: Up to 6 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Fine gravel or sand, rocks and roots for hiding, open swimming

Tank Conditions: 72-79°F; pH 7.0-8.0; dH 10

Minimum Tank Capacity: 50 gallons

Light: Medium

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: Middle to bottom

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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