Salvin’s cichlid

Aquarium fish: Salvin’s cichlid (Cichlasoma salvini)
Size: 18 cm
Origin: America
Water temperature: 22-32 ° C
Aquarium volume: 180 l

Salvin’s cichlid (Cichlasoma salvini ) – an interestingly colored aquarium fish from the cichlid family.


Central America . The species is found in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Hunduras and Belize. It was also introduced in the United States, Florida and Texas. It lives in rivers and streams with moderate and fast water currents.

Characteristics and disposition

In nature, it can reach up to 22 cm in length. In the aquarium, usually less – about 18 cm males, 14 cm females. Oval, elongated body, usually colored yellow, which may vary depending on the place of occurrence. A series of dark spots run through the center of the torso from the eyes to the base of the tail, and another row of patches above it. Young specimens are yellowish brown or gray, with a yellow discoloration with age.

Males have sharper ends at the dorsal and anal fins. They may also have a slightly blue color on the back of the back and blue stripes on the head. Some people may develop a red discoloration on the abdomen. Females are smaller, but more attractively colored. The middle series of spots in them is more visible – it contrasts more with the color of the body, and the red color is present on the abdomen and the back.

A black spot is visible at the base of the gill covers. Unlike many other cichlids, it spends most of its time (foraging) in the central, open parts of rivers and tributaries, rather than hidden between roots and vegetation. For a cichlid it shows moderate aggression, which, however, increases during the breeding period. According to some opinions, it can be reduced a bit by adding durable plants to the aquarium and providing the fish with a lot of hiding places.

Nutrition and feeding

In the wild, it feeds mainly on small fish and invertebrates.

In the aquarium, you can give good quality fodder for cichlids, live and frozen food supplemented with plant-based products such as spirulina, steamed spinach, and cucumber.


The suggested size of the aquarium for a single individual is approx. 180 liters, for a couple twice as large. Fish should be provided with hiding places made of roots and stones, and an open space for swimming. The substrate is preferably sandy.

Vegetables have a beneficial effect on their coloration and temperament. They do not have a tendency to dig them up and eat them. They require efficient filtration and good water movement. Regular weekly water changes of approx. 20-25% are recommended.

Territorial and moderately aggressive cichlids. They are not suitable for social aquariums . It is best to keep them in pairs or in a species aquarium. In very large tanks, you can combine them with other fish of similar size and similar temperament from Central and North America, eg Cichlid, Red devil. Smaller fish will be treated as food.


Reproduction is quite easy as long as we have a matched pair. Unfortunately, mating adult fish is a difficult task and often the male kills the female he does not know. You can try to separate them with a transparent partition, so that they get used to each other for a few weeks, but there is never a guarantee that the procedure will be successful. Breeders recommend that you buy a group of six or more young fish and allow natural pairing. For reproduction, a 150 cm long tank is required, with a sandy substrate and hiding places made of stones, roots or ceramic pots.

A matched pair does not require stimulation. Fish ready for spawning acquire intense colors. The male chooses a spawning site (most often it is a flat stone, leaf or the bottom of the aquarium) and encourages the female. After courtship, she arranges the eggs in a row and gives way to the male that fertilizes the eggs. The situation repeats itself several times.

During the entire spawning period, the adult female lays 500-600 eggs. As with other cichlids, young parents may eat offspring in their first attempts. Both parents look after the nest and guard the territory. Hatching takes place within 2-3 days and the larvae are transferred immediately to a dug hole in the substrate, where they remain until the yolk sacs are used up. After 4-5 days, the fry begin to swim freely.

In the first period, the artemia larvae should be fed 2-3 times a day.


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