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Rainbow cichlid

Rainbow Cichlid Fish:

Also known as Herotilapia multispinosa, this fish is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the cichlid family and originates from Central America and is native to both the Atlantic slope as well as the pacific slope which ranges from Costa Rica to Honduras and Nicaragua.

The rainbow cichlid is found in small lakes, ponds and swamp areas that usually have a muddy bottom. This fish is slightly elongated and laterally compressed and is usually small in size, measuring about 9 centimeters. The dorsal and anal fins are extended, which is more prominent in the male species whereas the females are smaller than the males.

The distinguishing factor of the rainbow cichlid is that it is very colorful. The fish is vibrant in color and its body is mostly a bright orange, gold or even yellow along with black marks that are seen invariably on the body. The fish is also known to rapidly change its colors according to its mood.  A defining character of the rainbow cichlids is their specialized teeth which help them to feed on algae.

The life span of the rainbow cichlid is about 8 years. This fish is very peaceful in nature and is able to survive with other medium sized cichlids. They relish live food but are open to eating any kind of prepared or frozen food. It can include flake food and cichlid pellets. Before breeding, you can feed the parents with brine shrimp and blood worms.
They need a minimum of 29 gallons of water for a pair and you need to ensure that the tank has sufficient plants with a fine gravel bottom and rocky caves that can be used as a hiding place. The water hardness for these fish to survive should be about 9 to 20 dGH and the water temperature around 21 to 36 degree celcius. Breeding for this species is not very difficult. They clean a spot where they lay around 300 eggs which generally hatch in three days. Once these begin free swimming they can be fed on finely crushed flake. The parents are very protective about their eggs and are constantly on their guard. Having fish as pets can be great but just keeping them in a fish tank is not enough. It is important that you know about pet health care and get timely pet health information. If they are not looked upon with enough care it will lead to a number of health issues.

  Submitted on May 7, 2010