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This months profile was written by kcgirl81 an active contributor to the site.

Central America


Rainbow Cichlid

Herotilapia Multispinosa


    For those looking to add some color to their Central American tank, this fish will rival even the brightest of the Africans, but with a much calmer temperament. It is readily available over the internet, although may not be as common in retail establishments. Highly recommended in pairs or in a harem type setup.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 5"(12.7 cm), females somewhat smaller.
    Tank: 36 inches
    Strata: Middle
    PH: 7.0 to 8.0
    Hardness: Medium hard (dH 10.0 - 20.0)
    Temperature: 71°F to 78°F (22 to 26°C)


    Order: Perciformes
    Suborder: Percoidei
    Family: Cichlidae
    Genera: Herotilapia
    Species: Multispinosa

Common name:

    Rainbow Cichlid

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Central America (Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua).

General Body Form:
    Elongated and somewhat laterally compressed. Dorsal and anal fins extend to a point, more noticeably so in males. Females are somewhat smaller than males.

Rainbow Cichlid

    Bright orange base color with variable black markings along the length of the body. Markings are more pronounced in breeding coloration. Fins (excluding pectorals) are edged in bright blue, which darkens and can extend up the lower portion of the body in breeding mode.

    Twenty-nine gallons is the smallest tank recommended for a pair. Prefers plenty of rocky caves to use as hiding places, but provide ample open areas for swimming as well. Males will not tolerate other males in a small space, especially during breeding. If keeping more than one pair, provide at least 4' of tank length, with enough caves for each fish. This fish will peacefully coexist with other cichlids as long as there is plenty of living space. Relishes live food, but will eagerly accept all types of prepared or frozen foods.

    Central American Rivers with sandy or rocky substrate and moderate water flow.


    Allow pairs to form naturally from a group of six if possible. These fish are easy breeders, and will defend their fry even in a community tank. Eggs are laid on a flat area of rock or other surface, and are cared for by both the male and female. Parents will take turns fanning the eggs and warding off predators, and will continue to care for fry once they become free swimming. Once free-swimming, fry may be fed microworms and baby brine shrimp for the first few weeks, and will also pick at microscopic flora and fauna present on surfaces in the tank.


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: wiguy81
Date: September 27, 2014
I have had this species for about three months now and have really enjoyed them. I having six in a 125 gallon tank with discus,angels, a few golden rams, 2 vampire plecos, six blue botias, and 4 strata botias. They are very peaceful and are doing very well with temps around 82-85 degrees Fahrenheit.





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