What can I keep with Jaguar cichlids?


One of our readers would like to know whether their aquarium is big enough to house two Jaguar cichlids. Jeremy Gay advises...

Q) I have a new 150 x 50 x 60cm aquarium. Would it be big enough to house two Jaguar cichlids along with a 20cm plec? Are there any other cichlids I could put in the tank?


A) JEREMY GAY REPLIES: Yes, your aquarium is large enough for a pair of Jaguar cichlids and I have kept them in tanks of that size many times over the years. While males can attain a size of 50cm, 30-35cm is much more realistic and females stay much smaller. I would keep them on their own, and give the plec a pipe that it can fit into but the cichlids can’t, because when they spawn — and Jaguars are prolific — they will harass the plec.

If you’re wanting to keep other cichlid species in there, I would probably keep just one Jaguar, as any cichlid pair will become very aggressive when spawning, and the tank won’t be big enough for others to get out of the way. If you grew them up together from juveniles you could maybe mix a Jaguar with an Oscar, a Synspilum or Severums. For non-cichlids I would opt for large Synodontis species and Disc characins. But just like all cichlid mixes, every fish is an individual and adult fish won’t take kindly to any new cichlid additions, conspecifics, congeners, or otherwise.