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Chocolate cichlid - Hypselecara temporalis
Scientific name: Hypselecara temporalis
Common name: Chocolate cichlid
Usual size in fish tanks: 26 - 30 cm (10.24 - 11.81 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6.4 - 7.3
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 6 - 16°N (107.14 - 285.71ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 25 - 29 °C (77 - 84.2°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: South America
Temperament to its own species: peaceful
Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful
Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels
South America; Chocolate cichlids are to be found in most of the Amazonian River Basins.
The expected life span for Hypselecara temporalis is 12 years.
Hypselecara temporalis are ones of the more peaceful cichlids that can be kept so do not put them with over aggressive tank mates. Provide them with high quality water and excellent filtration. This species is also known as Esmerald cichlid. They can live in planted tanks as they are not substrate diggers, however to prevent food particles getting trapped in the gravel and decaying it is best to use sand for the substrate. They inhabit natural slow moving waters so this should be replicated in the aquarium and add some rocks or wood to provide hiding places.
If the aquarium is large enough they can be housed with other similar sized cichlids as they do not have a reputation for being aggressive and as long as they can establish their own territory in the tank there should not be any problems. They will also be fine with bottom dwellers and other similar sized species of fish that also have a peaceful disposition.
Food and feeding
Chocolate cichlid can be a very difficult fish to feed. The odd specimen may accept quality flake or cichlid pellets but most prefer to eat crickets or flies. lies. Once they have become established in the aquarium they will start to accept other foods including vegetable matter so try to coax them off the live foods just offering them as an occasional treat.
Males will be larger than the females and should develop a nuchal hump on their forehead.
Provide some flat rocks or slate for the fish to use as spawning sites. The selected area will be cleaned by both parents and when the eggs are laid, they will both protect the site. They may move the eggs to different rocks until they hatch but the eggs will be safe. When the fry have hatched and are free swimming, they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp. Much success has also been found by leaning slate at an angle in the breeding tank in the same way that angelfish use the slate to deposit their eggs. You may find that it may take a few batches of eggs before you get success and obtain some fry but this is a natural part of the parent fish learning to be good parents so patience is the key. Initially you should keep the lighting very dim and try not to startle the parent fish or they will eat the eggs. Once they are experienced breeders they should not startle so quickly and will feel more at ease when raising their young.