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The Salvini Cichlid: Cichlasoma Salvini
The Salvini Cichlid or Yellow-Belly Cichlid is a moderately aggressive cichlid that takes on the most vivid colors during the time of breeding. These mouth brooders are often mean to smaller fish, but their good looks make one forget their nasty streak.
The Salvini Cichlid is also called as the Yellow-Belly Cichlid because of its deep yellow color. At the time of breeding they are also referred to as the Tricolor Cichlid. Although they do not always appear terribly colorful – being colored either pale yellow or grey – they take on very intense color variations at the time of spawning.
The Salvini Cichlid can be kept with other moderately aggressive fish like the Jack Dempsey Cichlid or the Red Devil. More aggressive companions are not recommended as Salvini Cichlids tend to hide when with more aggressive fish. By nature, Salvini Cichlids are aggressive, hostile to other fish, and tend to bite. Do not keep them with smaller fish for these may end up in the Salvini Cichlid's stomach.
Salvini Cichlids are omnivorous cichlids which can be fed both live and flake foods. It is best to give them a varied diet.
Sexing is relatively easy as the male is colored more vibrantly and has dorsal and anal fins that are more pointed than those in the female. Female Salvini Cichlids have a bluish-black patch on the middle of their dorsal fins, and are equally beautiful. These fish grow to about 6" in length.
Salvini Cichlids lay eggs on sloped and vertical surfaces. They tend to form nuclear families. They themselves make good and protective parents, and take care of their fry for almost a month. However they do become somewhat more aggressive when breeding.
The Salvini Cichlid has the scientific name of Cichlasoma Salvini. It lives best in a temperature between 72oF and 79oF, and at a pH ranging from 6.5 to 8.0. Occurring as they do in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and the Honduras, a fine sand substrate and hiding places that are provided by driftwood and rocks would help them feel at home. As these fish do not attack and dig out plants you may safely place some plants in the tank, but make sure that you provide some open space for swimming. A Salvini Cichlid in the best of conditions will develop very intense red and gold colors.
[Permission for using the above picture has been given by Jeff Rapps of Tangled Up In Cichlids.]
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