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Amphilophus citrinellus
Midas Cichlid

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Midas Cichlid - Amphilophus citrinellus

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Amphilophus_citrinellus_5.jpg (19kb)
Photo Credit: William Alton

Name: Amphilophus citrinellus
Size TankpHTemp
Origin: Central America
30 cm 500 L 7.2 25C


In the US, these fish are often mixed indiscriminately with C. labiatus species, and sold under the trade name "Red Devil". Red Devils have a reputation that they are hyperterritorial fish, and have always been when I have had them. I have read that they are less territorial when they are put into very large tanks. They grow very fast, I would say even about twice or three times as fast as an Oscar, and this can become a problem quickly because a Red Devil which is as large or bigger than most any other fish will soon begin a relentless persecution of that fish which inevitably leads to death. On the other hand, they are very responsive to people, almost like a little aquatic dog. They will display for food, follow you around the room, constantly peer at you with their little innocent looking eyes. In fact, their cheerful coloration and enthusiastic, puppy like behavior is often in shocking contrast to the crafty determination they seem to display in murdering their tank mates. Keep these fish by themselves, with either much larger Cichlids (twice as large) or very tough tank mates, such as African Mbuna. Red Devils are among the easiest Cichlids to maintain, they endure extremes of water conditions, temperature, and salinity and will eat almost anything, though in the wild they are said to prefer snails and insects. Except for compatability problems, they are an excellent beginner Cichlid.

Contributed by Jeanry Chandler

These are very similar species to the Red Devil cichlids (Amphilophus labiatus), but there are some distinctions that can be pointed out. A true labiatum will have protruding, fleshy lips, a more slender built, and a triangular-shaped head. These diabolical cichlids can reach a maximum length of 30 cm. The Midas cichlid will develop the nuchal hump (usually with breeding males), a blunter head shape, and a stout, thick body. They're equally nasty and will grow up to 35 cm.

Contributed by Charlie Kim

I have a fully grown 8 year old male called Krueger. He is exceptionally violent, even charging at our dogs. He is however so full of character that I would advise anyone who wants a solo fish to get one.

Contributed by a visitor

I have been raising midas cichlids for a long time. My biggest one is 35 cm, he is a beauty. I have 3 of his sons left over, they are 28 cm. I have three of them in my one of my 760 L aquariums with my 35 cm oscar, breeding pair of buttikoferi, female black belt, upside down catfish, and my large pleco. They are mean fish and do not bow down to anything that is their size. I have their territory set up the same so they don't kill each other, but when I clean the aquarium, that's when the father tries to kill. They can be mixed with other cichlids successfully if you raise them together. They are beautiful fish and a lot of fun. If you're thinking of buying one you should just make sure you have enough tank space, especially when mixing with other cichlids because they will kill.

Contributed by a visitor

I have a 5 year old midas, she is highly aggressive. I like to call her violet. My midas does not go well with any fish, even oscars, and she likes to rearrange the gravel in the tank. This is a very entertaining fish to watch but you need to give them room and keep it solo.

Contributed by Scott Smith

I have had Red Devils a couple a times and all they do is kill takmates. The only fish I have had luck mixing is the Umbees, and Dows cichlids. Mine has killed a lot of fish. It killed a Jaguar cichlid which was twice the Red Devil's size. The Dovii I think is the best tankmate for them but still the Red Devil is the most dominate by far and also the smallest. Currently my Red Devil is 30 cm and my Dows is 45 cm. Very cool fish but by far the most aggresive along with the Dows cichlid.

Contributed by Ron Elliot

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