The Black-belt Cichlid is an old favorite. It is easily distinguished by its prominent vertical central-body band, from which the common name derives. This band runs from the center of the dorsal fin right down to the belly, although its breadth and sharpness vary from specimen to specimen and according to the individual’s mood.
- Cichlasoma maculicauda, Herichthys maculicauda, Heros maculicauda
- Widely distributed in Central America.
- Fully mature males reported up to 16in (40cm), but usually smaller; females smaller.
- Not overaggressive given its territorial instincts and large size. Shows a distinct liking for succulent vegetation.
- Wide range of large aguarium foods accepted; vegetable component recommended.
- Large, with sizable shelters (caves, bogwood, etc.) and at least one flat or smooth rock. Well-filtered water important, but water chemistry not critical as long as extremes are avoided. Use only unpalatable or artificial plants. Temperature range: 72-79°F (22-26C).
- Eggs are laid on precleaned site and are protected, as are the fry, by both parents.