Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Salvini Cichlid, also referred to as the Tricolored Cichlid, are endemic to Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. While this species doesn’t get as large as some of the other Central American cichlids, growing to approximately 6 to 8″, they still have a rather aggressive temperament which may make the Salvini a species best left to the dedicated aquarist. Maintaining the aquascape in an aquarium with an adult Salvini can often feel like a losing battle, as they can dig and move around what decor is present. Salvini are attractive fish as adults with yellow bodies and large patches of black patterning. Individuals may also show patches of red coloration and accents of blue on their scales either normally or due to spawning. Both male and female Salvini can be colorful with minor differences between them. Adult males will develop more pointed fins and females will have a black spot on their gill plate. Most specimens sold however are mere juveniles that will be difficult to sex. Ideally, a single Salvini should be kept unless they are an identifiable pair.
Diet Requirements: Salvini are omnivorous in nature, however a larger proportion of their diet should focus on protein based foods. An unfussy eater, a diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, mussels, and pieces of krill or silverside fish. Foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. Salvini 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. Applicable food options will change with the size 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 30 to 55 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Salvini cichlid. A mature adult will require more space. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm) as Salvini do not like high nitrates and deteriorating water parameters. Poor water quality will result in your Salvini with a greater likelihood of developing hole in the head disease, which is permanent, or coming down with Ich. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter can also be advantageous to maintain a healthier environment for this fish. Salvini 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. 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 aggressive nature of Salvini, only other very robust Central American cichlids with similar temperament should be considered. This species, however, has been observed to be quite variable on the individual level as far as temperament. Purchasing fish at a more juvenile life stage will increase the chances of it getting along with tank mates, however. Recommended water conditions, 74-84° F, KH 5-20, pH 6.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 2” to 2-1/4”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.