The Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki) is a colourful and active species of South American cichlid. They have slate grey bodies with dark vertical stripes, and their red fins are often speckled with blue. Firemouths develop a deep red colour around their jaws as they mature.
Firemouths are very hardy and showy fish on average, lending to their popularity. These cichlids stay smaller than some other American cichlid species, with males generally reaching 6" in length. Females will stay closer to 5" when fully grown. Due to their size, a 30-gallon aquarium is recommended as a minimum. They require a water temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Farenheight and do best in a pH between 6.5 and 8.0.
These cichlids are primarily carnivores, and are generally unfussy. They will accept most processed foods such as pellets and flake. When choosing flake or pellet options for this animal, be sure to choose an option high in animal proteins. Their diet should also be supplemented with frozen or live foods.
Firemouth Cichlids will be considered peaceful or semi-aggressive on a situational basis. A single Firemouth Cichlid in a large enough aquarium will not show aggression towards other fish, but an aquarium that is too small or cluttered can make these fish act aggressively. A pair of Firemouth cichlids will act aggressively when trying to breed.
Provided the aquarium is large enough, Firemouth Cichlids can be kept easily with larger tetra species, non-aggressive barb species, loaches, and smaller catfish species. Similarily-sized South American Cichlid species can live well with Firemouth cichlids, provided they are not overly aggressive.