Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Managuense Cichlid, also referred to as the Jaguar Cichlid given its pattern that resembles the wild feline, has a wide distribution throughout Central America but the majority of specimens available within the aquarium trade are commercially produced. Some populations have also been introduced into the United States and the Philippines. While this fish can exceed 24″ in the wild, it is uncommon to have an individual grow larger than 12″ in the home aquarium. This large size and its very aggressive temperament make the Jaguar cichlid a species best left to the dedicated aquarist. This species is often described as having “big cichlid” syndrome because they are always territorial. Maintaining the aquascape in an aquarium with a Jaguar cichlid can often feel like a losing battle, as they can dig and move around what decor is present. Male Jaguar cichlids are generally more colorful than females, and will also develop very pointed dorsal and anal fins. Most specimens sold however are mere juveniles that will be difficult to sex. If one is interested in breeding Jaguar cichlids, keep in mind that a pair can lay up to 3000 eggs at a single time.
Diet Requirements: Jaguar cichlids are exclusively carnivorous. An unfussy eater, a diet made up of various high quality protein based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, mussels, and pieces of krill or silverside fish. Jaguar cichlids will also accept large sinking pellet foods and flake foods, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. We discourage feeding live fish because they are often of little nutritional value and increase the risk of introducing disease.
Care Requirements: A minimum 125 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Jaguar cichlid. An adult requires much more space upwards of 250+ gallons. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm) as Jaguar cichlids do not like high nitrates and deteriorating water parameters. Poor water quality will result in your Jaguar cichlid with a greater likelihood of developing hole in the head disease, which is permanent. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter can also be advantageous to maintain a healthier environment for this fish. Jaguar cichlids are relatively indifferent to aquarium decor, but some stacked rocks to create caves, driftwood and other natural looking arrangements will bring out the beauty of this cichlid in addition to dispersing its aggressive tendencies. Some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate several inches deep is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. Given the extremely aggressive nature of the Jaguar cichlid, only other very robust Central American cichlids with similar temperament should be considered. Purchasing fish at a more juvenile life stage will increase the chances of it getting along with tank mates. The Jaguar cichlid is very predatory in nature; any fish that has the potential for being eaten should be avoided altogether. Recommended water conditions, 72-78° F, KH 6-18, pH 6.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2” to 2”; Medium: 2” to 3-1/2”; Large: 3-1/2” to 6”; XLarge: 7” or larger.
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.