Firemouth Cichlid

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Firemouth cichlid - Thorichthys meeki

Scientific name: Thorichthys meeki

Common name: Firemouth cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 12 - 15 cm (4.72 - 5.91 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.6 - 8.5

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 30°N (71.43 - 535.71ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 24 - 28 °C (75.2 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Central America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


This omnivorous cichlid will eat practically everything you offer it. Firemouth cichlids should be fed a well balanced diet of algae, flakes and pellets which are formulated to provide all the nutrients needed to promote good health. A real treat for them would consist of dried krill or tubiflex worms, or live bloodworms and brine shrimp.


Males and females both exhibit the red underside that gives them their common name “firemouth”. The males will definitely show their colors a little bolder and brighter while the females are paler in comparison. The males have longer, pointier fins as well.


The female will lay up to 300 on a flat, hard surface after which the male will follow behind her to fertilize them. Both parents exhibit brood care as the male will stand guard for any predators while the female fans the eggs with her fins. In two to three days the eggs will hatch and it will take another 4 days for the fry to become free swimming. Both parents will continue to guard their fry until they are able to fend for themselves.


Firemouth cichlids are known to live up to 15 years but it is possible for them to live longer if they are very well cared for.


The Firemouth cichlid is found in Central American areas such as Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula.


Thorichthys meeki are listed as being peaceful for a Central American cichlid but they can get fairly aggressive. Many times when in confrontation with other fish, the Firemouth Cichlid will intimidate its opponents by appearing larger and scarier which usually ends up working and no physical bouts need to occur. If these cichlids are going to be in a community tank be sure to place them with other fish that are of similar size and temperament. Thorichthys meeki is also known as Cichlasoma meeki.