Scientific name(s): Thorichthys (was Cichlasoma) meeki
Max size: 15 cm
Temperament: Generally peaceful fish
Suggested for: Community tanks with medium to large sized community fish, but avoid very tiny fish and fancy-finned species (other medium community fish)
Water quality: pH around neutral, soft to moderately hard water.
Temperature: 24 to 28°C
Origin: Central America (other fish from Central & South America)
Comments: Firemouths are one of the most peaceful cichlids, although they may be aggressive towards others of their species and sometimes other tankmates when spawning. They sometimes dig and sift the gravel for food, but do not usually damage well-rooted plants. they prefer a tank with hiding places among rocks or ornaments. As a territorial display, they will often flare their gill covers and inflate their throat sac, showing even more red colour around the throat. Juveniles are silvery with blue irredescences, the fish darken with age and show more intense red colouration.
Suggested foods: A good quality tropical flake, granule or pellet supplemented with frozen shrimp & worm foods, daphnia, beefheart.
Breeding: Firemouths spawn on flat stones. Both sexes defend the eggs and guard the young, often digging pits in the gravel for the fry to take cover in.
Sexing: Males have more pointed fins and more intense colour.
Expect to pay: around $7.00 to $8.00
Availability: fairly good