Originating in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the red devil cichlid now lives in the wild in several parts of the world. In the United States, you can can see them in the rivers of Florida and Hawaii. Their popularity can be attributed to their graceful, colorful beauty.
Buy an aquarium 48 inches in length and with a capacity of at least 55 gallons. The red devil cichlid can grow up to 12 inches (though it usually grows to around 8 inches) and will need as much space as possible.
Decorate your aquarium so that you leave a big area open for your red devils to swim. Red devil cichlids are prodigious diggers, so it is wise to fill your aquarium with stones, caves and roots.
Heat the water in your aquarium to 70 to 79 degrees F. Preferably you should provide a pH value of 7.0, but a red devil cichlid can adapt to water conditions with pH of 6.0 to 8.0. You will need to check these levels regularly as they will decrease over time.
Provide your red devil cichlids with a suitable spawning slate, such as a pane of glass. In their natural habitat, red devil cichlids usually breed on rocks or logs.
Provide your red devil cichlid with a wide range of food. Its main diet should be high-quality food pellets, but as it is chiefly a carnivore it will also appreciate such food as earthworms, snails and insects. In addition it is important to regularly feed it plants such as lettuce.
Replace the old water every week with water with the exact same chemical parameters and temperature.
Clean or replace the filters once a week.
Replace the activated carbon in the chemical filter once a month.
- Adjusting the water temperature in the tank can encourage your red devil cichlids to spawn.
- A red devil cichlid spends most of its time in the lower part of the aquarium so make sure it has plenty to do.
- Remember, red devil cichlids are tropical fish; you will need to provide an environment as close to their natural habitat for them to thrive.
- Do not remove the parents from the aquarium after their eggs have been fertilized, as the male likes to protect the territory while the female tends to the eggs.
Simon Thomas has worked as a writer and journalist since 2004. He has contributed articles to several online publications, including Smashing Magazine, an art-and-design e-zine. Thomas holds a B.A. in film and media from Winchester University.