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Red Devil Cichlid

red devil cichlid

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Scientific Name:   Amphilophus labiatus      
Min. Tank Size:   100 gallons      
Personality:   Highly aggressive      
Temperature:   75-80°F      
pH:   6.0-8.0/5-25°dGH      
Size:   14"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept alone or with other large, aggressive species.

Red Devil Cichlid

The Red Devil Cichlid is a Central American Cichlid and it is sometimes confused with its relative the Midas Cichlid. Red Devil Cichlids are endemic to two lakes in Costa Rica and Nicaragua - Lake Nicaragua and Lake Managua. Though many specimens of this breed are grey in coloration, some are pink or white. Bright red specimens have also been known to occur and this coloration, paired with the aggressive nature of these fishes, is how this species' common name was derived. Many Red Devil Cichlids also exhibit black spots or bands on the body.

Because they are a very aggressive species, Red Devil Cichlids are best kept in a species tank. 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 Red Devil Cichid in a species tank.

Tank Set-up

The Red Devil 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.


This species is omnivorous in nature which means that, in the wild, it eats a variety of foods including plant matter, crustaceans and sometimes other fish. In the home aquarium, these fish are likely to accept a variety of live, frozen and flake foods in addition to fresh vegetables or algae wafers. 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.


Red Devil Cichlids are substrate spawners and often form monogamous pairs. Despite their aggressive nature, these fish exhibit advanced parental care - they prepare the spawning site by cleaning it and will guard the eggs and care for the fry after hatching. One spawning typically produces between 600 and 700 eggs which hatch after 2 to 3 days and become free swimming after an additional 5 to 7 days.

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