Juveniles of this species, which is one of the larger cichlids, are occasionally available in the hobby. While these specimens may appear attractive, the real beauty of the Peten Cichlid is fully appreciated only in mature fish. As well as the more usual silver-gray morph, an orange morph occurs. Peten Cichlids were first introduced to the United States in 1975.
This group comprises several genera closely related to the South American genus Cichlasoma, and assigned to it until recently. The earlier name, and also Heros, is still commonly used. Their distribution encompasses lakes, rivers, and streams in not only Central America but also the southern United States and some Caribbean islands. The water in these regions is normally hard and alkaline (pH 7.5-8.0), and still or with a slow to moderate flow. The maintenance/breeding temperature is 24-27°C (75-80°F).