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Keeping a Red Devil Cichlid in an aquarium

How to Keep Red Devil Cichlid in an aquarium

Red Devil Cichlid 1Red Devil Cichlid 1

The topic of this article is Red Devil Cichlid, which does not seem to be the easiest species of fish to keep for hobbyists. But still, these fish can be a nice addition to the tank with their beautiful red color. These fish are named devil due to their aggressive character. Continue reading to find all the required information about Red Devil Cichlids.

Red Devil Cichlid 4
Red Devil Cichlid 4


General description

Red Devil Cichlid is scientifically named Amphilophus labiatus, which comes from Central America. The usual size of Red Devil Cichlid is around 38 cm or 15 inches and they can live up to 12 years. To reach their maximum size they need about 3 years and they can be sexually active only when they reach at least a size of 15 cm or 6 inches.

These fish usually can be found in various colors and it is one of the more colourful fish in an aquarium. In the wild they can be gray or dark brown to blend with the surroundings. While some can have such bright colors as yellow and red. Often their fins can be black colored. Also, one of the other visual characteristics of these fish is their red or black colored lips.

Red Devil Cichlid 1
Red Devil Cichlid 1

Diet of Red Devil Cichlid

The feeding of these fish is pretty simple, as they can eat almost anything. But still there is a diet you should follow. The only thing that you should not feed them with is meat, as they may have difficulties with its digestion. To provide them with all the important nutrients you can feed them with pellet food for Cichlid that you can purchase from pet shops. Also, you can feed them with vegetables like spinach and so on. They can eat animals too, like earthworms.

Tanks requirements

It is recommended to keep one Cichlid in a tank of 70 gallon or at least 55. But if you are going to keep them with other tankmates it is recommended to keep them in the best 125 gallon tank.  Add hiding places in the tank such as plants and rocks, to keep the fish separated and decrease the amount of aggression. But be sure to leave some space for them to be able to swim as it is very important for them. Hide the heaters and filters as Red Devil Cichlids tend to attack them. To keep them safe hide the heaters behind the rocks or under the sand. You can definitely create a beautiful aquarium with Red Devil Cichlids.

Tankmates for these fish

Choosing a tankmate for Red Devil Cichlids is a difficult task as they are pretty aggressive with neighbors. Do not keep more then 2 Red Devil Cichlids as they do not like their own species. It is recommended to keep them with bigger species of fish so that they can handle the aggression. Provide hiding spaces in the tank in order to keep the fish separated from each other. You should never have them in the same tank as other aggressive fish such as betta fish.

Red Devil Cichlid 5
Red Devil Cichlid 5


How to breed Red Devil Cichlid?

Red Devil Cichlids are open spawners. They usually prefer to spawn while bent on substrate. Usually the spawn is about 600 eggs which have a yellow color. The female take care of the eggs until they hatch after 3 days.  After about a week they start to swim freely.

Red Devil Cichlid 2
Red Devil Cichlid 2


Diseases of these fish

Due to bad water conditions Red Devil Cichlids can often get some infections or diseases. Ich is one of these diseases, which can be cured by increasing the tank water temperature up to 30° C for about 3 days. If this does not help you can try copper treatment. You can get copper based medicines and follow the instructions of the treatment that come with the medications. You can also increase the water temperature with the medicine treatment as well.

Red Devil Cichlid 3
Red Devil Cichlid 3

Another common disease is Head and Lateral Line Disease which can often be caused from bad water conditions and from Vitamin C and D deficiency and some other nutrients. Hard water can also cause this disease. One of the best ways to cure this disease is with the help of good water filtration.

Just like other types of fish Red Devil Cichlids can get skin infections and parasites like worms and so on. You can read more and do your own research about this. So, whenever you notice a sign you can prevent it on an early stage.

When you add something new to the tank be it a new decoration, a plant or a tankmate, be ready to bring some bacteria as well. Whenever you decide to add some new objects to the tank make sure to clean them carefully to get rid of all the bacteria before introducing them to the tank.

Overall specifications

  • Level of care: Easy
  • Lifespan of the fish: 10 + years
  • pH level of the water: 6.5 – 7.5
  • Behavior of the fish: Aggressive
  • Origin of the fish: Central America
  • Size of the fish: 10 – 12 inches (25 – 30 cm)
  • Temperature of the water: 24°C – 27°C (75°F – 80°F)
  • Tank Size: At least 55 gallon minimum for one Red Devil Cichlid

Overall, these fish can be a real pain for hobbyists but if you are someone who likes new challenges then Red Devil Cichlids are exactly what you need. With their beautiful bright color they can add new breath to you tank, but at the same time be careful when keeping them in community tanks. Keep them only with tankmates that are bigger then they are and make sure to keep them in a large tank to avoid aggression. Provide them with good filtered water to avoid all types of diseases and keep their diet as required and they will be the best tank fish for you. Also, do not forget to provide them with a lot of hiding places but at the same time with a lot of swimming space as well. Take care of your tank and good luck with your choice. For more useful fish information, you can check out The Aquarium Guide.

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