I bought two of these beautiful fish, mainly for their appearance. Two months later they suddenly started keeping to themselves in a hollow log in my 125 liter tank. Four days later there were what seemed like 50-60 fry. I also have two blue johanni(s) a blue zebra cichlid and a couple of siamese algae eaters in the tank with them and my jewels defend their territory aggressively, but do not go looking for a fight. Out of 50-60 fry only 8 have survived and are now ready to move to another tank. These fish are truly beautiful and I would recemmend them to anyone interested in cichlids.
I have 4 Jewels in a 200 liter community tank. I have gouramis, tetras, angelfish, barbs and a pleco in it. The jewels don't even bother the littlest of fishes I have there. They breed in my live plants and lay eggs in the gravel in my tank, the male flips on his back and does "dances" for the female, and they swim off. I recommend the jewel to anyone!
Jewels are beautiful but aggressive fish, they even bite me. They´re very interesting to watch beacause of their colors and behavior. When they are breeding, they put the eggs over a flat rock and a couple of days after (at the moment of hatching) the couple will move the fry to a hole on the gravel made by the male. There the tiny jewels will stay some days (4-5) and finally will be able to swim guided by their parents.
These are beautiful fish, but can be hard to keep with others of similar size. These cichlids should not be trusted with any tetras or similar, or they will be eaten. For anybody with a cellar these cichlids love live food, wood lice serve exceptionally well for this and the jewels can be "trained" with these tasty morsels as they soon learn to recognize them. Jewels are very in tune with their surroundings and bolder than most cichlid species, they will soon learn any person that they frequently see and behave accordingly - if they are not afraid of you or you often give them live food then they will come to you and even eat from your fingers. Be careful though, when fully grown these fish have a wicked set of teeth. DO NOT put your hands in the water when they are protecting eggs or fry, they will take lumps out of them. When you introduce these fish into your aquarium, before you move them in, place or rearrange new hiding holes for them and any other fish. If you want them to breed, place some smooth stones at the FAR END of the tank, do this because they vigorously protect their breeding area and this prevents too many confrontations. Do not trust these fish with other similar sized cichlids, unless you are sure that they can defend themselves. Although they can be hard to keep with other fish, they will be rewarding as they will soon learn to get along and will play and interact with other fish. One more thing: DON'T let these cichlids breed in a small tank by themselves because some times the female may prevent the male from nearing the eggs and vice-versa, and in the fight they may end up tearing pieces out of each other.
I have 2 jewel cichlids. At first I kept them in a tank with several other fish including Cardinal Tetras, Red Tail Shark, 2 catfish, swordtails, platys and an Angel fish. When the fish started to go missing we decided we would need to give them a tank of their own, which we did. In September last year (2001) they gave us fry - we didn't realise they had fry, as we had been on holiday for 4 days over a weekend and we noticed one of the fish twitching. As I got closer to the tank I realised there were loads of fry underneath the fish and lots being sucked into the filter system which we turned off straight away. A fatal mistake we made was separating some of the fry from the parents over fears they may start to attack them. As it was, the fry we separated didn't last that long. We had 5 left from over 30 fry and they are much smaller than the rest of the 'kids'. When the fry were very small the parents would make sure they all stayed together. If they strayed too far away the parents would scoop them up in their mouths and spit them back into the group. The parents started becoming very aggressive with each other, even now one of the fish roams the tank freely while the other one is confined to the side of the castle! The fish love catfish granules and I have taught them to eat out of my hand. It's mainly the fry which are now quite large considering they are babies. We have had to give some away to the local pet centre due to the tank being overcrowded, that was an emotional time! The fry do nip at your hands and fingers, but it's not painful and they haven't drawn blood...yet.
We have recently bought 2 jewels, unknowing that we were soon to have fry roaming our tank and our kissing gourami, leopard sailfin catfish, electric yellow and cobalt blues afraid to even stick their noses out of hidey holes. Yes these are beautiful fish with amazing colour displays, but don't think you can keep moody parents anywhere near anyone who can't fight back or get out of the way fast enough. Just yesterday I watched the female play 'tag' with our 14 year old, 15 cm kissing gourami for about 5 circuits of the 120 cm tank. They are definitely the dominant fish now that they are parents, while before the were very shy, feeding last and the cobalts and gourami were the top fish. The pecking order has most certainly been turned upside down.