Midas Cichlids. Characteristics, habitat, care and more….

There are many people, who are really interested in the Midas Cichlids, or Amphilophus citrinellus in scientific terms. That is why in this article you will learn everything about them.

This is a very striking fish with a very peculiar shape. This is the reason why many people want to add it to the fish tanks of their homes.

Yet, Amphilophus citrinellus need a lot of care so that they can thrive well. Thus, they are connsidered fish for advanced breeders with big experience in fish caring.  If you want to know more about their characteristics and care, this is your post .


Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata Superclass Actinopterygii – (ray-finned fishes), Class Teleostei  Order Perciformes -(perch-like fishes) Suborder Labroidei – parrotfishes, , wrasses Family Cichlidae – Genus Amphilophus Agassiz, 1859

Midas Cichlids: Main Characteristics

The red devil cichlid, have a not very long or wide body, which makes them be considered the pit bull of tropical fish

Although their appearance may be deceiving, they seem fat due to the peculiar shape of their head: They have a large forehead and a not so elongated body.

As for the jaw, it’s rounded and the dorsal and anal fins are quite long which allows them to swim with great speed.

This species has sexual dimorphism, so we can differentiate between males and females in a simple way. Males have a kind of hump on the head that sometimes females can also develop but are less imposing than the male ones.

Their body color varies so we can find them in different shades such as white, black, yellow or even orange.

Another difference between males and females is the size. The male can measure up to 30 centimeters, while the females are smaller. We invite you to read our article ram cichlids  to learn about other cichlid species

Standard Length

300 – 350 mm

Let’s meet them


Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

HabitatMidas Cichlids: ponds are one of the habitats where midas cichlids can be found

Midas Cichlids tend to inhabit large, permanent bodies of water including lakes and ponds, although they have also been recorded in slow-moving parts of rivers.

Their favorite locations are rocky walls and banks, where they forage among the crevices.

Midas Cichlids in Captivity

These fish need very exclusive care if we want to keep them healthy for as long as possible. The first thing is to have a fairly large aquarium (larger than 300 liters) where they can swim freely.

Since such an aquarium entails a lot of space, there are few people who have this fish in their homes.

Once you have the tank of at least 300 liters, you will need a rocky decoration to ensure in this way that the aquarium looks as close as possible to its natural habitat.

 So, employing plants and rocks will be a great idea for such a purpose.

Only by providing them a captive habitat quite similar to their natural one, we will be ensuring that our little pet will not suffer from stress.

Moreover, it’s is very important to highlight that there must also be caves where females can raise their offspring and feel protected.


The aquarium temperature should be between 24 and 28 ºC, never above or below.


It’s not difficult to feed Midas Cichlids. You can give them smaller fish than them, plant foods or fish shop food.

From time to time it’s advisable to give them live food so that they don’t lose their natural predatory abilities.


Midas Cichlids are aggressive fish, not suitable for community aquariums with small fish. Yet, they should be associated with fish of their size and that are aggressive enough to face them.

Keep in mind, that Midas Cichlids have powerful jaws, sharp teeth and a physical size advantage in comparison to other aquarium species. Therefore, their aggressiveness shouldn’t  be underestimated and  their tank mates should be chosen carefully.

Midas Cichlid vs Red Devil and Blood Parrot

The Midas Cichlid is often confused with the Red Devil, Amphilophus Labiatus. The Red Devil is much more elongated and its mouth protrudes much more, which is why it has the scientific name labiatus (lips).

However, these species can easily be cross-bred to produce a hybrid.

Given that both are extremely aggressive; it is very difficult to distinguish between hybrids and their parents

How Midas Cichlids Reproduce?

These gorgeous fish reach sexual maturity in just 9 months. In the mating ritual, the male becomes completely aggressive against the female to show his reproductive capacity, even causing damage on some occasions.

Therefore, if you have male and female in captivity, it’s  better to be aware of the mating season.

During the mating ritual, the female shows the ovipositor tube and the male adds to it. For each egg laying they are able to lay up to 200 eggs.

The females separate from the male once they have laid the eggs and proceed to take care of them.

If we want to avoid these problems (the males’ aggressiveness) it’s advisable to separate them in two different aquariums.

In this way, the male can see the female but have no contact with her.

This makes it a little more difficult to have this species as a pet since if it is difficult to have a 300 liters aquarium, imagine having several when they are in the breeding season.

The eggs hatch on the second day after lying, so you won’t have to wait too long to see the young. To protect the larvae it’s better to put them in another container.

The fry will start swimming freely and it’s advisable to feed them with artemias. Yet, they can also eat the food that is given to parents, but it will have to be broken into very small pieces, as if it were dust.

Midas Cichlids and Other Fish

Due to the aggressiveness of this fish, you have to properly select their tank mates.

There are fish with which they can live without any restriction such as the common and galaxy pleco.

However, there are other species with which it will be very difficult for them to live together if they are adults, although the relationship can be very good if they have been raised together since they were little.

Not in all cases it works, but it has a greater margin of confidence. We find species such as oscar fish and green terror fish.

Let’s watch and learn


Deja un comentario