In nature, the Ellioti Cichlid Thorichthys ellioti is a freshwater fish that originates from the Atlantic slope of the Papaloapán River basin in Mexico. A tropical fish, they display an iridescent yellow colored body with blushes of red on their underbelly and outlining their dorsal fin. Adding excitement to their look, they have neon blue dots along their bodies, concentrated around the eye and mouth. Growing up to 6”, females are smaller and rounder than the males and most have a dark blotch in the middle of their dorsal fin. Both sexes are colorful.
The Ellioti Cichlid is somewhat territorial especially during spawning and will harass smaller tank mates of their own species. To help ease aggression, they should have plenty of room to swim and many hiding places where they can establish territories.
In nature the Ellioti Cichlid inhabits the waters in lower and middle river valleys that flow over sandy and rocky substrate where vegetation is minimal, so it essential to replicate that environment in a home aquarium. In an aquarium of at least 50 gallons in size, the substrate should have fine, soft sand in which they can burrow. Rockwork or a tangle of driftwood can provide areas to hide. If live plants are added, they should be hardy ones that are potted with their root surfaces protected. The water temperature of the freshwater aquarium should be in the range of 77°F-82°F with a pH level between 7.0 and 8.0.
Male and female Ellioti Cichlids will form mating pairs where both the male and female share in the care and rearing of the fry. After carefully cleaning rocks or another flat surface in the tank, the female will deposit 100-500 eggs on them. After the male fertilizes them, the eggs hatch within 72 hours. The newly-hatched fry are protected in pits excavated in the aquarium substrate. The fry may be fed newly hatched brine shrimp and finely crushed flakes. Good parents, the mating pair will care for the fry until they are about 1/2” long.
The Ellioti Cichlid is omnivorous, and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex, and ocean plankton, as well as flake food and Cichlid pellets.
Approximate purchase size: 2 1/4” to 2 3/4”