Salvins Cichlid

Salvins cichlids are at home in flowing waters. They were first mentioned in German-speaking countries in the middle of the 19th century. Since then it has been known as a colourful fish for aquaria. What the ideal living environment for Salvins cichlids should look like is explained in the following text.

What are the characteristics of Salvins cichlids?

Salvins cichlid is classified as a freshwater fish. It also belongs to the cichlid family. Its home lies in Central South America. Most of the occurrences are in Guatemala and in southern Mexico.


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The appearance of Salvin’s cichlids:

Salvinis Buntbarsch
© Banteo, Salvini4a, marked as in the public domain, details on Wikimedia Commons

With a total length of up to 22 centimetres, adult Salvins cichlids can become relatively large. Juveniles measure about 2 to 4 centimetres.
The body shape of the perch appears rounded, towards the sides it becomes flatter and tapers towards the caudal fin. Green, yellow and blue are typical shades of colour for this breed.

The eye is connected to the caudal fin by a clearly visible black stripe. In addition Salvins cichlids have dark stripe patterns above the eyes, one stripe runs parallel to the dorsal fin. At the fins the perches have red borders. Depending on the region of origin of the fish, the belly is coloured in the same red tone.

  • Average size: 18 to 22 centimetres, young perch 2 to 4 centimetres
  • Round body shape, tapering towards the caudal fin
  • Colours: Yellow, blue and/or green
  • Black stripes on the sides and above the eyes
  • Reddish edges on the fins
  • In some cichlids: Red belly

Housing conditions:

Salvin’s cichlids depend on a generous amount of space. Therefore the aquarium should not have a capacity less than 300 litres. Not only because of their size it is recommended to keep two fish in one tank at a time. Above all because of their biting behaviour, group keeping should be avoided. In a voluminous aquarium they can be mixed with other breeds, at least in the beginning. Thereby sufficient space for hiding should be ensured.

  • Capacity of the aquarium: 300 litres upwards
  • Keeping two cichlids is advisable because of their biting joyfulness
  • Parallel keeping with other perch breeds only in a large aquarium with not yet mature animals
  • Basin should be provided with niches for hiding and must not be too small

Gender differences:

Unlike female cichlids, their males have longer fins. During the fertile period, the colours of both male and female cichlids are particularly bright. Salvins cichlids of the female gender have more red, but remain more delicate than males.

Water values for Salvins cichlids:

Warm water is needed for this perch breed. A temperature of 22 to 32 degrees is best suited for the animals. The average water hardness should be in the range of 3 to 30 dGH, with a pH value of 6.5 to 8.


Food and nutrition for Salvins cichlids:

The perch are carnivorous. They eat young fish, frozen live food, occasionally dry food.

The ideal aquarium for Salvins cichlids:

Apart from the water values mentioned above, Salvins cichlids need different material from which they can build hiding places. Rock-like stones, roots and corresponding plants offer them many opportunities for this. There they retreat or deposit fertilized eggs. It is important to have an aquarium filled with lush plants. At the same time the animals should have space to swim unhindered in the tank. Fine-grained sand is scattered on the bottom. Alternatively, a gravel floor can be laid.

Special features of Salvins cichlids:

With good care the cichlids can reach an age of more than ten years.

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