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Midas Cichlid

midas cichlid

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Scientific Name:  Amphilophus citrinellus      
Min. Tank Size:   100 gallons      
Personality:   Highly aggressive      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   7.0-8.5/5-25°dGH      
Size:   12"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in a species tank or only with other large, aggressive species.

Midas Cichlid

The Midas Cichlid is a Central American Cichlid endemic to the San Juan River and surrounding area in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. These fish are sometimes mistaken for Amphilophus labiatus, or the Red Devil Cichlid, which is also native to Central America. Midas Cichlids can be identified by the bump on their heads and their bright orange coloration. Though some specimens are grey with black bands running horizontally along the body, most specimens exhibit some combination of yellow, orange and white coloration.

Tank Set-up

Midas Cichlids are best kept in large aquariums decorated with rocks and driftwood branches or roots. Adding plants, whether live or artificial, will be a waste of time and expense since they'll be quickly uprooted by this active fish. Any stacked rocks should be too heavy for this fish to move, or secured firmly in place with aquarium epoxy, to prevent them from falling and cracking the glass.  If you choose to keep this fish with other tankmates, whether it be different species or its own kind, you'll need a very large tank. Because this species tends to be very aggressive, it is wise to provide plenty of hiding places for other fish and to decorate the aquarium in such a way to create territorial boundaries. The Midas Cichlid has the muscle to back up its aggressiveness, so a tank in the range of 260 to 300 gallons would be the minimum recommended if you choose to add other fish. The best option is to simply keep the Midas Cichid in a species tank.

The Midas Cichlid is a messy fish that produces a lot of waste. Therefore, weekly partial water changes are a must, as well as a very efficient filtration system, to maintain high water quality. A filtration system with a filtering capacity larger than the chosen tank size would be recommended.


In the wild, Midas Cichlids are omnivores and their diet consists primarily of plant matter, crustaceans and other fish. In the home aquarium, these fish are likely to accept a variety of foods and should be given both plant- and meat-based foods to ensure a well balanced diet. To promote the best health and coloration, feed a regular varied diet consisting of a quality Cichlid stick or pellet, earthworms, prawns or small crayfish, and vegetable matter in the form of shelled peas, blanched spinach, or a quality Spirulina flake.


Breeding this species can be tricky unless the breeding pair is housed in a separate breeding tank. Males of this species are aggressive under normal circumstances, but often become more aggressive during breeding periods, so it is wise to supervise breeding and remove the female from the tank if the male becomes to aggressive. Once the pair has spawned it is best to allow the male to take over care of the fry and to remove the female from the tank.

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