Thorichthys Ellioti


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Sep 22, 2011
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Common name: Ellioti's cichlid

Scientific name: Thorichthys ellioti

Family: Cichlidae

Origin: Southern Mexico

Maximum size: 6-7 inches

Temperature: 23-28

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Care: A very similar fish to the far more common firemouth cichlid, but arguably less aggressive even than them. Inhabits similar conditions and comes from slow moving rivers and pools with lots of branches, rocks and leaf litter. pH and hardness tend from the neutral to alkali ends of the spectrum but mine have bred happily in relatively soft, acid water. Tank mates, like with the firemouths should not be too aggressive and also not too small. Be very careful with shrimp and snails as they view these as a tasty snack.

Feeding: Cichlid flakes/pellets, most live food, seems to love mosquito larvae and blood worms but also takes brine shrimp very happily.

Sexing: Females smaller but often equally colourful with similar flashes of blue across their sides. Males are larger and, whilst still having the single horizontal line and spot they lack the dorsal fin spot, however there is some debate as to whether this is a mark of a degree of inbreeding with similar species. Males also show more pointed fins, with a slightly more pronounced red edge to the fins.

Breeding: Apparently they prefer enclosed areas of smooth rock, however mine have always laid on wood despite being given appropriate rocks. On hatching the fry are transferred to holes in the substrate, which they're generally quite good about leaving alone unless they're breeding, but in that situation sand is desirable. They make quite good parents, although the male can get aggressive to the female and deaths do result.

Caring for fry, male above female

Male with fry

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