Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Turquoise Jewel Cichlid are endemic to slow-moving creeks and tributaries of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority of specimens available within the aquarium trade are produced on a commercial basis, however. Particularly for Turquoise jewels, the extensive color and patterning in which they get their name is not common in nature and has been selectively bred for over time. Both sexes of this species exhibit either a dull red or yellowish base coloration with extremely vibrant metallic blue flecking across the entire body and fins; males can be slightly more colorful during spawning. Very plain individuals of Turquoise jewel could be confused with Blood Red Jewels (Hemichromis lifalili), but Red jewels will have two black spots on their flank while the Turquoise jewel will have three due to the additional black spot on the caudal peduncle. A Turquoise jewel can grow to an adult size of approximately 6″.
Diet Requirements: An omnivorous cichlid, Turquoise jewels will accept a wide range of prepared aquarium diets such as flakes and pellets specifically designed for cichlids. A slowly sinking pellet or granule can work best for these mid to bottom dwellers. For variety they will also feed on frozen foods such as brine shrimp with Spirulina, mysis shrimp and other blends for freshwater omnivores.
Care Requirements: A minimum tank size of 55 gallons would be suggested for a pair of these cichlids. A relatively peaceful African cichlid, Turquoise jewels are well suited for the semi-aggressive community aquarium and with moderately sized active fish. This species absolutely requires a well-oxygenated aquarium. Although they can be social with each other while young, a breeding pair of adults can become territorial and aggressive towards tank mates. Providing additional space can help mitigate this. They can be kept with well established, hardy, aquarium plants with caution as they may do some digging (especially if spawning) and nip at more fragile plant leaves. Recommended water conditions are slightly alkaline for best coloration, 75-79° F, KH 10-15, pH 7.5-8.5.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2” to 2-3/4”, Large: 3” to 4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.