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Jaguar Cichlid

(Parachromis managuensis)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 16"
• Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-85° F, pH 6.0-8.0, KH 4-12
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Central America   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: Managuense   • Aquarium Type: Cichlid-New-World

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Species Information

Jaguar Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Native to various ponds, lakes, streams and rivers of Central America, Cichlasoma managuense, reclassified as Nandopsis managuensis, reclassified as Parachromis managuensis, and finally reclassified as Parapetenia managuensis, is also well known as the Managuense, Aztec Cichlid and the Jaguar Cichlid.

A beautiful, but extremely aggressive, territorial, and predatory species with a rather unique look; Jaguar Cichlids are named for their gold to bronze scales with black markings; their pattern gives their bodies the appearance of a Jaguar pelt. They have translucent fins with iridescent, gold and black patterns that can also contain beautiful, blue-green hues.

A male Jaguar Cichlid will grow out to be larger than a female and will develop longer, pointed dorsal and anal fins and will have a more intense coloration than a female.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Jaguar Cichlid in the home aquarium.

Jaguar Cichlids require an aquarium of at least 75 gallons and should be provided with a sand or gravel substrate and multiple places where they can find shelter (driftwood, cave-like rock structures, etc.). Jaguar Cichlids are known to dig in substrate, which will cause uprooting in regard to live plants; live plants should have strong root systems, be placed in pots within the substrate, or species that will attach to and grow on driftwood and other structures should be used.

Jaguar Cichlids are a large, aggressive and territorial predatory species, thus tank mates should be considered carefully and should be comparable in size and temperament. The overall size of the aquarium, decor and tank mate selections will go a long way to keeping a Jaguar Cichlid in an aggressive community cichlid aquarium.

Hobbyists who keep them in smaller aquariums like a 75 gallon for example will most likely end up with a species only setup once the Jaguar Cichlid reaches full maturity.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Jaguar Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.

Jaguar Cichlids are carnivorous, facultative piscivores (feed primarily on smaller fish but will also accept a wide range of other meaty foods) and should be fed a variety of foods, such as live or frozen ghost shrimp, minnows, bloodworms, blackworms, mealworms, crayfish, small frogs, and crickets. Jaguar Cichlids will also accept some freeze-dried foods and prepared Cichlid pellets.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Jaguar Cichlid in the aquarium environment.

Jaguar Cichlids are egg-layers that practice brood care; a breeding pair of Jaguar Cichlids will become extremely aggressive and will viciously seek and destroy all other tank inhabitants while breeding; it is highly recommended that a breeding pair of Jaguar Cichlids be kept in their own tank.

Once a mated pair is established, the female Jaguar Cichlid will lay around 1500 eggs in a carefully cleaned, flat location (driftwood, flat rocks, large plant leaves, etc.) within the aquarium. The eggs will hatch in 2-4 days and for protection, the new fry are often transported to pre-dug pits by the parents.

The fry will be free-swimming within a week and can then be removed from the aquarium (the parents may consume them if they are left in the tank for longer than 2 weeks). The newly hatched fry can be fed a diet of baby brine shrimp and moved to other foods as they mature.

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