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Keyhole Cichlid (Cleithracara maronii)

Photo of: Keyhole Cichlid (Cleithracara maronii)

Scientific Name(s): Cleithracara maronii, Aequidens maronii, Acara maronii


Common Name(s): Keyhole Cichlid


Family: Cichlidae


Species Type: South American Cichlids


Maximum Size: 4 inches


Life Span: 10 years


Natural Habitat: South American river deltas


Minimum Tank Size: 29 gallons


Tank Region: All over


Possible Tank Mates: Acaras, convicts or dwarf cichlids species from South or Central America. Plecos and American catfish are usually compatible as well.


Description: This species does not light a high amount of light so floating surface plants are recommended. Can be very timid at times, so much so that they will not eat until they become re-accustomed to their surroundings. This fish gets it nickname from the large spot on its flank or side. The original species collected, had this large spot as well as a black mark extending downward from the spot. Many you find today for sale, will also have this marking. It gives the appearance of an old fashion like key hole.


Temperature Range: 72°F - 78°F



pH Range: 6 - 7.8

pH 5.0
pH 6.0
pH 7.0
pH 8.0
pH 9.0


Hardness Range: 10° - 20°



Breeding Information: Use pH of 6.5 and a higher temperature of 78F. The eggs are laid on large flat rocks. Do not remove them after spawning as most are excellent parents. With appropriate pairs, Keyhole Cichlids are not difficult to breed.


Sexing Information: Males tend to be larger with more pointed anal and dorsal fins.


Diet: Omnivorous - does well with flake or pellet food supplimented with live or frozen foods and fresh green vegetables.


Temperament: Generally peaceful and timid.


Common Diseases: None specific to species.


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