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Hypselecara temporalis (Emerald Cichlid, True Chocolate Cichlid)

The two species known as the "chocolate cichlids" in the genus Hypselecara are commonly confused. They are both very variable in colouration depending on their mood, ranging from bright metallic green through moss green, burgundy, dark brown to black. Of the two species, Hypselecara coryphaenoides is often the more brilliantly coloured once mature, tending towards shades of green and red, whereas Hypselecara temporalis favours brownish hues, but both species are dramatic and very changeable fish.

Juvenile fish usually have dark vertical bands visible on the flanks; these are normally lacking on adults, though they may appear when the fish are stressed. Both species have red eyes.

Typically Hypselecara coryphaenoides has a black blotch midway along the flank and another smaller black blotch at the base of the tail, plus an irregular longitudinal band running from behind the eye to the base of the tail. Hypselecara temporalis generally lacks the longitudinal band. But both species are very variable, and these markings should not be relied upon.

Another difference between the two species is in the shape of the head. Hypselecara coryphaenoides has a less steep profile, than Hypselecara temporalis.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Hypselecara prefer soft, slightly acidic water. This is especially true for Hypselecara coryphaenoides, though Hypselecara temporalis may be a trifle more adaptable.

They avoid open areas in the wild and are typically found in dark, vegetated areas. In the aquarium the tank should not be excessively bright, and floating plants, whether real or plastic, are recommended.

Potentially a good community fish, though its large size and potentially predatory nature precludes the addition of small fish such as neons. Do not keep with nippy or aggressive tankmates either. Peaceful dwarf cichlids and acara are recommend; angelfish also work well as tankmates.

Breeding is uncommon in home aquaria. Adults pair off and defend territories quite strongly; ideally, pairs should be removed to a breeding tank at this stage. They may do a little digging as well. Eggs are laid on solid surfaces and protected by both parents. Eggs hatch within five days, and the fry are free swimming two to three days later. At this point they will accept brine shrimp nauplii and liquid fry food. The fry are sensitive to water pollution and grow rather slowly.

Family Group: South and Central American Cichlids
Distribution South America: Amazon River system
Temperature 25-30 C
Size Up to 20 cm
Water Parameters Soft and acidic water preferred
Water PH 6.0-7.5
Diet Adaptable
Care Level Difficult
Water Chemistry less than pH 7 - acidic
Schooling Fish No
Sociability Peaceful

Shop stock

The latest shops to have this fish stocked in-store are listed below. Click on a shop name for full shop details, or click the link below the shops to view ALL shops that stock this fish.

Abacus Aquatics Kent DA15 8DJ View shop

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