General information – The jewel cichlid characterized by two black
spots on each side of the body. There is a blue variety and a red variety
of this species. The jewel cichlid considers being a beginner fish. It is
often confused for its cousin Hemichromis lifalili. Jewel cichlids are very
hardy fish that can adept to most surroundings as long as there are
caves and a few flats rocks present. During breeding time the
Hemichromis bimaculatus become so flighty that they will attack the
fingers of the fish keeper who will dare to put its hand in the tank.
According to some people the Jewel cichlid is another one of all those
cichlids that has gotten a bad reputation for being aggressive without
actually deserving it. On the other hand many people say that the Jewel
cichlid is very aggressive and territorial. Males are more colorful than
females, slightly larger than females and females are rounder.
Common Name - Jewel fish, African Jewelfish, Two Spotted Jewel
Fish, Green Jewel, and blue Jewel
Scientific Name - Hemichromis bimaculatus
Origin - Central and West Africa,
Size – 14cm (5.5 inches)
First discovered - Loiselle 1979
photo by: Killer
Nutrition – Carnivorous, does well with flake or pellet food, will accept frozen and live foods as well.
Behavior – Aggressive
Maintenance and care - The jewel cichlid requires 30 gallons tank size. This fish can be kept with
other African cichlids in a cichlid tank decorate with rocks formation and plenty of hiding spots.
Jewel cichlids likes to dig which disturbs plants and can often destroy plants if they are kept in planted
aquariums. Plants like Anubias species and Java fern do well without any cover for their roots as these
are hardy plants that shouldn’t be planted in the bottom substrate but rather attached to rocks and pieces
of bogwood. Use strong filtration in its tank.
Water Parameters - Temperature: 72F-82F (22C-28C), PH: 6-8, dH: 4-18
Breeding - Excellent parents, they guard their fry with fierce determination, don't put your hand in the tank
when they are guarding fry. The most difficult part in breeding the Jewel Cichlid is finding a compatible pair.
After pair created it will be easy task. The female will lay the eggs on a flat surface, the female lays up to
500 eggs which are immediately fertilized by the male. After 2 to 4 days, the eggs hatch and the parents
will move them to another location for another couple of days until the babies are swimming.
Fry can feed with fry foods, crushed flake foods and baby brine shrimp.