Know Your Fish

Salvini Cichlids are Native to Central American region which includes Honduras, Belize & Southern Mexico. Natural habitat of Salvini Cichlid includes moderate to fast flowing rivers & lagoons. Scientific name for this species is Trichromis salvini & common names include Salvin's Cichlid, Tri-colored Cichlid & Yellow Belly Cichlid. This fish is a predator fish which feeds on small aquatic life & fish. Keeping this fish in an aquarium requires thorough understanding of their behavior, requirements & compatible tank mates for Salvini Cichlids, below information will help you with that. 


More then 5 years, few have known to live for 10 years.

Male Salvini Cichlid

Male Salvini Cichlids are bigger in size. They have pointed fins & little dull in coloration.

Female Salvini Cichlid

Female Salvini Cichlids are smaller than males. Have black spots on the gill area & patches on the dorsal fin. Both Male & Female Salvini Cichlids have a red under belly, the colors on the female look more vibrant.

Salvini Cichlid Aquarium Care

Salvini Cichlids are semi-aggressive predator fish. Some fish are way too aggressive & do not like any tank mates. Few Salvini Cichlids do well in both same species tank & Cichlid community tanks with similar sized & temperament fish. Aggression is more when breeding & best to separate the breeding pair. Even as Juveniles these fish can become territorial & demand spacious aquarium with lot of hiding places. These fish can grow around 6 inches in length. Hence, starting big would be an added advantage. These fish prefer moderate water movement in their aquarium, a HOB, Overhead sump filter or Power head filter can be used in their aquarium.

Tank Size

Minimum 50 Gallon (189 liters) 100 Gallon or bigger for Cichlid Community Tank. The bigger the tank, the better!

Temperature Range

72°-79 °F (22.2°-26.1 °C )

pH Range

7.5 to 8 is the pH range ( there should never be drastic change's in the pH level)  

Water hardness

soft to hard water 8 to 15 dGH, under 180 ppm.

What to feed Salvini Cichlids

Salvini Cichlids are Omnivores, in their natural habitat they are known to eat small fish & aquatic life, readily available fish food can be fed which includes Pellets, Flakes, Freeze Dried Worms & they will eat live food as well. Protein based Cichlid fish food should be their stable diet. 

Tank Decoration Salvini Cichlids

While decorating a Salvini Cichlid Tank plants, driftwood & rocks are needed. This will help create lot of hiding places & mimic their natural environment. In a Cichlid community tank the weaker & smaller fish should be provided escape paths & hiding places from the aggressive fish. Even as Juveniles the fish in the pictures are aggressive & always seem to be fighting for a higher hierarchy, at this age the fights are not as serious or damaging compared to adults. I would highly recommend to monitor aggression, sometimes changing tank decoration helps, as the fish need to claim new territory again & seem confused. If this does not work remove the aggressive fish before it inflicts serious damage to other tank.mates. I recommend using driftwood or other aquarium decoration like ceramic or clay pots to decorate the tank. They prefer sand for tank bottom with river rocks.

Tank Mates for Salvini Cichlids

Similar sized Cichlids which includes Jewelfish, Jack dempsey, Severum, Green Terror, Convict Cichlids etc. When you have aggressive or semi-aggressive species aggression has to be monitored. Some Cichlids do well in community tanks & some don't, even with Salvini Cichlids the same rule applies. They can be aggressive in same species tank than in a mixed Cichlid tank. Chasing & hiding is alright, when you see a fish hiding around the filter in the aquarium that means the fish is not able to establish a territory & does not have a hiding spot in the tank. In case you do not provide the hiding spot like a cave or densely planted area etc. This fish will be harassed further. For better success to establish a Mixed Cichlid Aquarium always get them a juveniles, this makes them tolerate tank mates when they are fully grown, with Salvini cichlids I would recommend the same, in case you do end up with a breeding pair as they grow ensure to move them separately as both male & female get really aggressive & attack other fish as a team. Most cichlids first create dominance among their own species; however, salvini cichlids go after other fish first. In case of a bigger or more dominant fish in the aquarium their aggression is subdued, they spend more time hiding and are less active.

Breeding Salvini Cichlids

Best way to breed Salvini Cichlids is by raising Juveniles & wait for them to pair up. Pairing up takes longer than most south American cichlids take. They are ready to breed at 10 to 12 months of age; however, they only pair-up when male reaches the size of approx 6 inches & female around 4.5 inches in length. Once they pair up the eggs are laid usually on a flat surface or a cave, this is when Salvini Cichlids are most aggressive, its best to breed them separately as they will attack any fish in the aquarium. The eggs hatch in 48 to 72 hours, fry are free swimming in 5 to 7 days. Both Male & Female Salvini Cichlids are good parents, they protect the fry, hence they can be kept with the fry for 2 to 4 weeks.

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