Rainbow cichlid

Aquarium fish: Rainbow cichlid (Archocentrus multispinosus)
Size: 10 – 17 cm
Origin: America
Water temperature: 22-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 100 l

Rainbow cichlid (Archocentrus multispinosus ) – a colorfully colored aquarium fish from the Cichlids family. Until recently, it was classified as a separate genus Herotilapia , but recently assigned to the genus Archocentrus . In 2008, Oldrich Rocio suggested that it is closer to the genus Astatheros or Rocio ( Cichlid , which is why part of the aquarium community wants to restore it to the genus Herotilapia . At the moment, there is no agreement and no clear classification of this species.


Central America.

The species is found in eastern Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. To the east, widespread in the Petuca River in Honduras and the Marina River in Costa Rica. To the west in the Guasaule River in Nicaragua and Tempisque and Bebedero in Costa Rica. Most often found in cloudy, soft waters, lakes with silty bottoms, wetlands and wetlands.

Characteristics and disposition

In nature, they can be up to 17 cm long, in an aquarium they rarely exceed 10 cm.

The body is oval, stocky and golden, yellow or orange in color. An irregular black strip runs from the eye, along the body to the root of the tail. The iris of the eyes is orange. The fins are mostly orange, with the exception of the light blue pelvic fins and the blue orange anal fin. The dorsal fin is edged with a blue stripe.

The sex of the fish is difficult to distinguish. The adult male is slightly more pigmented and has more pointed tips on the dorsal and anal fins. The adult female is usually smaller. Unlike other Central American cichlids, they have three pointed teeth that enable them to eat long, threadlike algae . Like all cichlids, they also have additional throat teeth that are suitable for grinding food.

The last rays of the pelvic, pectoral, dorsal and anal fins are sharp and serve to scare away predators. Cichlids, compared to other fish, have only one nasal passage on each side. In order to sense the “smell” of the water, they suck in the water and let it out, for a short or short time, depending on the need. Rainbow cichlids are gentle fish. They can be kept singly or in pairs.

However, it should be remembered that, like other cichlids, they show aggressive behavior during the breeding period.

Nutrition and feeding

In nature, they eat detritus, with a predominance of algae and plant matter. In the aquarium, they are not picky fish. They can be given good quality dry, frozen and live food for cichlids. They especially like to eat artemia.

Plant-based foods and those with spirulina are also recommended.


A 100-liter aquarium with a soft substrate, numerous hiding places made of roots and stones, not too brightly lit, will be suitable for an adult pair of honey cichlids. They also do well in plant aquariums. Rather, they do not destroy plants in them, but it is better to place the more durable, growing ones attached to the decoration. The water current should not be too strong.

They can be kept in a social aquarium with, for example, catfish, viviparous fish, tetras, zebrafish, rainbow and armored fish and other peaceful cichlids. Among cichlids , zebra cichlid , parrot cichlid and Meek cichlid will be a good choice.


They willingly breed in well-kept tanks. Breeders recommend buying a group of young individuals, from which a pair will be selected. Separate the remaining fish.

The water in the breeding aquarium should have a pH of approx. 7.0, 5-10 dH and a temperature of 28ºC. Fish for spawning are stimulated by abundant feeding with live and frozen foods and cooler water changes. Ready for breeding, they take on slightly darker colors. The pair selects and clears a spawning site, most often a flat and smooth stone.

The female spawns in a row, the male follows her and fertilizes the eggs. An adult female can lay 300-1000 grains during the entire spawning period. The parents take care of the roe, fanning them with their fins, ensuring the supply of fresh and oxygenated water. Hatching takes about 3 days and the larvae are transferred to a depression in the substrate. After 6-8 days, they begin to swim on their own.

During this time, be careful because a young, inexperienced couple may eat part of the litter. The fry are large enough to accept the artemi larvae immediately.


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