Emerald perch

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The Emerald Perch (Pelvicachromis taeniatus) is a freshwater fish that sometimes retreats into brackish water areas. It belongs to the family of cichlids (Cichlidae) and is assigned to the Perciformes. West Africa (Benin, Niger Delta) is the home of the emerald perch.

There it can be found in flowing and standing waters. In Germany this small cichlid is also known as the striped per ch. There are numerous breeding variations such as the Nigeria Red.

What are the characteristics of the emerald cichlid?

This colourful c ichlid is particularly impressive due to its shimmering colouring. If the ground is kept dark, this colour contrast immediately catches the observer’s eye. The keeping is not to be described as difficult.

The appearance of the emerald cichlid

The basic colour of this small cichlid ranges from olive green to golden yellow. The edges of the scales on the back are black and the colouring appears darker in this area. The belly is blue to green with a light belly edge. Impressive are the sex-specific fin shapes and their coloured drawings.


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Housing conditions

The emerald perch is peaceful and should be kept in pairs. A socialization with other small, peaceful fish species is possible. Shrimps and crabs as roommates should be avoided. This genus injures the fine fins of these dwarf perches. The following conditions are necessary for keeping them:

  • Freshwater
  • Aquarium from 80 litres water volume
  • Border planting
  • Hiding places (stone, root, clay pipes)
  • open swim space
  • little flow
  • clear and oxygen-rich water
  • Aquarium floor with sand or fine gravel

Gender differences

The sexes can be distinguished by size, fin shape and colouring. The males grow up to 8 cm long. Red and blue spots are on their caudal fin.

Coloured spots can be found on the dorsal and anal fins. It is serious that the unpaired fins are strongly extended and tapered. The females reach a size of 6 cm and the unpaired fins are rounded. The anal fin is rather colourless and the dorsal and caudal fins have a yellowish colour.

Water values for the emerald perch

A species-appropriate keeping of the Emerald splendid perch can be achieved with the following water values:

  • Temperature: 23 to 26 °C
  • pH value: 6,0 to 7,5
  • Total water hardness: 5 to 15 °dGH

Feed and nutrition for the emerald perch

The emerald cichlid is an omnivore. These carnivores like to take delicacies such as live food or frozen food (daphnia, artemia). Dry food (flake food, granulated food, food tablets) can also be fed without problems. These small cichlids tend to be fatty. A supply of worm-like food should be the exception.

The ideal aquarium for the emerald perch

The peaceful emerald cichlid feels comfortable in pairs. The aquarium should hold at least 80 litres. The planting need not be dense. In the wild it uses the overhanging greenery (bushes, trees) in the shore area.

A sufficient free swimming area must be available and a light current would be an advantage. The aquarium floor can consist of sand or fine gravel. Peat can be added for a darker shade of the bottom. The dwarf cichlid likes to rummage on the bottom. Small caves made of roots, stone or clay are also the ideal hiding place for the couple.

Special features of the emerald cichlid

This dwarf cichlid is engaged in brood care.

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