Rainbow tsikhlazoma - the brighter the color, the worse the character

Rainbow Cichlasoma (Cichlasoma synspilum) is a large, interesting fish. Of course, its advantage is a bright, attractive color. And the disadvantage is sometimes violent, pugnacious disposition.

It was possible to observe an aquarium with a rainbow cichlazoma, in which she lived, a black pack and a couple of labiatums. At the same time, even the pack, which was twice as large as the rainbow, was lonely huddling in the corner.

Living in nature

The rainbow cichlazoma is a red-headed endemic species that lives in the Usumacinta River and in its basin, which stretches through western Mexico and Guatemala. Also found on the Yucatan Peninsula, in southern Mexico.

Prefers to live in places with a slow current or in lakes without a current. Sometimes a rainbow cichloma is found in bodies of water with salt water, but it is unclear whether it can live in such conditions for a long time.


Rainbow is a large fish that can grow up to 35 cm in length and live up to 10 years. Although they all grow smaller in the aquarium. She has a powerful, strong body of oval shape, a fat cone develops on the male’s head.

It got its name for its bright color, from the head to the middle of the body it is bright purple, then comes yellow, sometimes black with various interspersed with other colors.

Moreover, as they grow older, the color only intensifies, and sometimes it takes up to 4 years to get the brightest color.

Difficulty in content

In general, unpretentious fish, not very demanding on conditions.

But, it is impossible to recommend it to beginners, since it is quite large, can be aggressive and does not get along well with smaller neighbors.


In nature, cichlazoma feeds predominantly on plant foods. Fruits, seeds, aquatic plants and algae are the basis of its nutrition. But, in the aquarium, they are unpretentious in feeding.

The basis of nutrition may well be feed for large cichlids. Additionally, you can feed protein foods: shrimp, mussel meat, fish fillet, worms, crickets and more. Be sure to feed plant foods, for example, chopped zucchini or cucumbers and feed with spirulina.

Aquarium Maintenance

Since this is a very large fish, the minimum volume for keeping is from 400 liters or more. The temperature for keeping the rainbow cichlazoma is 24 - 30 ° C, but if you want the fish to be more active, then closer to high values. Acidity in the region of 6.5-7.5, hardness 10 - 15 ° H.

As for the decor and the soil, it is better to use fine gravel or sand as the soil, since the rainbow loves to dig into it. Because of this, the choice of plants is limited, it is better to use hard-leafed species or mosses, and plant plants in pots.

In general, the plants in such an aquarium are atypical and you can do without them. It is better to add large snags, coconuts, pots and other shelters where the fish likes to hide. However, all this must be reliably fixed, since rainbow cichlazomas may well dig up and move objects.

It is imperative to use a powerful filter and weekly replacement of part of the water with fresh water.


Enough aggressive cichlid. It is possible to successfully maintain with other large cichlids, such as labiatum or diamond cichlazoma, provided a sufficiently large aquarium.

But, unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Fish can both successfully live and constantly fight. Usually an adult couple lives quite calmly with each other, but they will fight to the death with other rainbow-colored cichlazomas.

So, for example, it was possible to observe in the shopping center a rather cramped and groomed aquarium, which contained one rainbow, citron cichlazoma and black paca. Despite the tightness, the paca and citron cichlazomas always occupied one corner, where the rainbow drove them.

As a rule, to create a pair, I buy 6-8 young fish, then one pair is formed, and the rest are disposed of.

Gender differences

The male of the rainbow cichlazoma is much larger than the female, a fat cone develops on his head, and the dorsal and anal fins are more elongated.


The main problem in breeding iridescent cichlases is to pick up a pair that will not fight. If this problem is solved, then getting the fry is not difficult.

A couple prepares a place for caviar, usually a stone or wall in a shelter. This place will be well cleaned and garbage removed.

But, during such cleaning, the male may be aggressive towards the female, this is normal, but if he will beat the female hard, then she needs to be removed or a separation grid should be used.

After spawning, in 2-3 days the eggs will hatch, and after 4 days the fry will swim. You need to feed him with nauplii of brine shrimp, gradually moving to larger feeds.

Parents continue to care for the fry, but can change their attitude if they are preparing for a new spawning. In this case, the fry is better to plant.

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