Hemichromis ‘Scarlet Jewel Cichlid, is a cichlid from Africa. There is a lot of confusion about the scientific name for the species and it likely hybrid, so we treat it as an aquarium strain. We acquired this fish a long time ago from a source our records don’t show. Males are much larger than females and not as colorful. They can reach 15cm (6 in.). Females are about two-thirds that size. Unusually for cichlids, males are less colorful than females, displaying blue spangles on drab green-grey bodies and sometimes reddish fish, especially when breeding. The females have blue spangles on red, sometimes scarlet, bodies. Both sexes are much more colorful when spawning. Juveniles resemble males, absent the blue spangles, in coloration.
Jewel cichlids are substrate breeders and form pairs bonds that often last a lifetime. A pair will defend a territory from other fish and when ready to spawn will clean a space on a rock or sometimes in a cave. The pair will lay 100-200 eggs. The pair guards the eggs and keeps them clean until they hatch. The pair then diligently defends the resulting fry from predators. This species is among the easiest of the cichlids to breed.
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