Blue Cheek Dwarf Cichlids are "pebble eaters". They scoop up pebbles into their mouth and suck on them, probably eating the algae off. This usually last until adulthood. They might also eat bits of smaller, dead fish. Smaller, deceased fish might have their eyes or head bit off and eaten.
Their main trait is most likely their territorialism. The male will choose a clump of plants or something he can hide behind, such as a rock with a nice blanket of greenery. It will not allow other fish to enter, except for some catfish and other small exceptions. It may dig out a pit incase its surroundings are insufficient to them. Plants won't puposely be uprooted in the process.
Smaller fish are often chased and bit by this fish. The smaller they are and the more closely related they are, the more this fish will attack them. Smaller Apistogramma sp. could even be driven to death through a series of attacks that last maybe only weeks. It will first assume a stalking position. Its back will arch up so its tail is raised high like a flag with its other fins spread. On adult males, the long dorsal spines in the front and the elongated dorsal fin make this an awesome sight. They also take this position when they are after food at the surface. After they strike the food they rush quickly back to their beginning spot.
To fish the Blue Cheek Dwarf Cichlid may feel threatened by, he will turn a grayish color with dark bands running down him. His eyes will obtain a more serious golden color. Then, he will use his tail to swat the fish that has come to close. The red markings both above and below the caudal fin probably help to tell the fish to back off. The Cichlid will not go out and do this to other fish, like his attacks, but will only do it when he is sitting somewhere and another fish approaches him.
Blue Check Dwarf Cichlids can change their color to try to blend into their surroundings. They can only try because they can only change black and white. Dwarf Cichlid has a black bar vertically across their eye. A line of black dots appear from their eye to their caudal fin. The dotted line may look like a line or partially visible. Thin, bright blue lines are below the eye and extend into the gill cover, giving it a pale blue color. Males have red on the upper and lower edges of their caudal fin. Adult males grow their dorsal fin long enough to touch the end of their caudal fin. The part of the dorsal fin that has grown is red. After the dorsal is fin is that long the anal fin begins to grow and the dorsal fin continues to grow. The part of the anal fin that has grown is black. The pelvic fin's tips turn orange at this point. The caudal fin also grows a small spike like point at the top.