Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Moderate • Temperament: Aggressive • Maximum Size: 14"
• Minimum Tank Size: 90 gallons • Water Conditions: 70-80° F; pH 6.0-7.9; dH 5-25
• Diet: Omnivore • Origin: Nicaragua, Costa Rica • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: Midas Cichlid • Aquarium Type: Cichlid-New-World
Midas Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
Midas Cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus) are widely distributed throughout the Central American countries of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where they are found inhabiting a wide variety of permanent bodies of water like lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers.
In their natural habitat, the Midas Cichlid is generally found living near large rocky walls and formations or near exposed tree roots or submerged logs. Midas Cichlids are known equally for their bright coloration and their extreme aggressiveness. In nature their aggressive nature allows them to control a piece of territory, with the largest and strongest holding the best feeding areas, while the smaller Midas Cichlids and other Cichlids are forced to less advantageous territories.
Midas Cichlids are classified as a moderately difficult species to keep in the aquarium due to their very aggressive nature. They are easy to feed and are tolerant of a wide range of water parameters, but require their owners to be aware of how to deal with large aggressive fish.
Short of being housed in a single specimen aquarium, hobbyists will need to implement a variety of methods in order to lesson the Midas Cichlids aggression towards other tank mates.
Simply put the Midas Cichlid is one of the most aggressive New World Cichlid species around. Hobbyists who intend to Midas Cichlids in groups or with other Cichlid species need to take steps to lesson this species aggressive habits. The first step in keeping Midas Cichlid with other tank mates is to house them in a tank large enough to create suitable territory for all the aquariums occupants.
This typically means an aquarium of 180 gallons or more, with properly designed aqua-scaping that creates different distinct areas of the aquarium that can be claimed as separate territories. Equally important is the tank mates themselves, always choose other large robust Cichlid and Catfish species that can tolerate the belligerent disposition of the Midas Cichlid.
Fish that are shaped differently and feed in a different manner than the Midas Cichlid are good choices, as the Midas Cichlid will not see them as direct competition for feeding.
How to successfully keep Midas Cichlid in the home aquarium.
Aquariums housing Midas Cichlids should ideally be designed to replicate their natural habitat as closely as possible. Midas Cichlid will prefer a sandy substrate or a gravel substrate with small smooth pebbles. They prefer to hang out near rocky walls or rock formations, floating or sunken driftwood or large pieces of submerged root structure.
Only the most hardy and well rooted of plants will be able to be kept in the Midas Cichlid aquarium, as they are well known diggers that will constantly uproot and displace any aquarium decor that they are capable of moving. Therefore, it is best to stick with large heavy aquarium decor that will be difficult for the Midas Cichlid to rearrange.
Rocks, flower pots, large wood or root structures and well potted or rooted very hardy plant species will do best in a Midas Cichlid aquarium setup. Be sure to arrange the aquarium to create distinct territories within the aquarium that create a break in the line of sight of the fish. This will help create unique territories that will help lessen aggression between tank mates.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to properly feed Midas Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.
Midas Cichlids (Amphilophus citrinellus) are one of the least difficult fish to feed, as they will attempt to eat anything that looks remotely edible. However, simply trying to eat anything that will fit in their mouth does not guarantee a quality balanced diet.
Being an omnivorous species, the Midas Cichlid should be fed a diet that contains both meaty and vegetable based foodstuffs. This is important in order to provide them all the nutrients and minerals they require to support a healthy immune system. High quality Cichlid pellets and sticks make for a good staple food item for the Midas Cichlid, as they are designed to provide a balanced diet.
Ideally their diet should be supplemented with a variety of food items including: worms, prawns, mussels, peas, spinach and other similar items. Food items containing carotene are also highly recommended, as the carotene will help bring out the bright orange and yellow coloration within the Midas Cichlid.
They should be fed a couple of times per day an amount of food that they will readily consume within 5 minutes. Hobbyists should always monitor the overall girth and health of all their fish and adjust diets accordingly.
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