Red breasted cichlid, Amphilophus longimanus Red

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Matt Clarke on Amphilophus longimanus Red, an attractive Central American cichlid for those with larger aquariums.

Scientific name: Amphilophus longimanus "red"

Size: Up to about 15cm/6".

Origin: Quite a large

distribution across Central America, being recorded in Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Water: This species is robust and adaptable. It's been recorded from waters with a temperature ranging from 26-37˚C/79-99˚F, so will probably do best with the heater set on the high side.

Aquarium: A Central American cichlid tank, ideally about 120 x 30 x 45cm/48" x 12" x 18" or larger, furnished with water-worn rocks and bogwood. Keep either a group of juveniles and let them pair off naturally (removing the spares as you go), or if you're brave and experienced, you could try a community of a few species.

Diet: A. longimanus feeds upon invertebrates, particularly larval dipterans, hidden within the leaf matter. Therefore, bloodworms and black mosquito larvae ought to be the ideal foods for this fish.

Habitat: This species is found in large rivers and lakes, up to an altitude of 850m. It is found in both stagnant conditions and running waters, but generally occurs where the bottom is soft.

Availability: These fish were imported from a supplier in Germany by Maidenhead Aquatics in Harlestone Heath.

Notes: Sometimes called the Rose- or Red-breasted cichlid, this fish develops a prominent orangey-red area on the chest region. Adults get darker markings along the lateral line, including a prominent spot, as they mature.

Rarity rating: Quite uncommon in the hobby. This is being sold as a separate race of longimanus called "red", but may or may not be the normal form.

Price: 16.50 for a 5cm/2" fish.

This article was first published in the Christmas 2003 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.