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Jaguar Cichlid

By | Last Updated: 11th June 2020

Jaguar cichlid is a big, aggressive fish indigenous to Central America. It takes its scientific name, Parachromis managuensis after Nicaragua’s Lake Managua, as its holotype had been obtained there.  This species of the cichlid family has black and brown spots throughout its body similar to that of a jaguar, thus getting its name. Besides being a food fish, this unique species is also immensely popular in the aquarium trade.

Jaguar Cichlid

Quick Information

Scientific NameParachromis managuensis
Other NamesManagua cichlid, managuenese cichlid, Aztec cichlid, jaguar guapote, spotted guapote, guapote tigre (in Costa Rica)
OriginCentral America (Honduras to Costa Rica )
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusNot recorded
Behavioral CharacteristicsAggressive, territorial and predatory, not fit for community living
School SizeNot a schooling fish due to its aggression; you may keep them as a mated pair since their juvenile stage as the jaguar cichlid could attack and even kill any new fish introduced to the tank in its adulthood
Physical TraitsElongated, oval-shaped body; large head; up-turned mouth; prominent anal, tail and dorsal fins;
Growth rate (How fast do they grow)Grows up to 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) in the initial six weeks of their life, increasing with maturity
ColorsSilvery or light purple with brown or black spots throughout its body; burgundy red and tan yellow on the head; black bands present in juvenile males and females as well as adult females
Size (How big do they get)Big; 24 inches (60.96 cm)
LifespanAbout 15 years
Sexual DimorphismPresent; Males: Big, brightly colored, lacking the black bands on maturation; Females: Smaller, with black bands even after maturation (thinner vertical, and broken horizontal)
Probable Diseases Cloudy eye; bacterial and fungal infections
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$20
Female Jaguar Cichlid
Juvenile Jaguar Cichlid

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelExpert
Tank Size70 to 80 gallons for a single jaguar cichlid (265 – 303 liters)

Water Parameters

pH Level7.0 – 8.7   
Temperature75.2 – 79 °F (24 – 26°C)
Hardness15 – 25 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowHigh

Tank Ambience

Substrate TypeLarge, rocks and gravel, driftwood, sand, and caves; avoid keeping plants as this big fish with its aggressive nature could destroy it.
Tank MatesCompatible with:  Large cichlid species like Jack dempsey, oscar, convict cichlid, flowerhorn cichlid, red devil cichlid, and green terror; big catfish species such as pleco, sailfin pleco,  redtail catfish, as well as pacu, and giant gourami
Incompatible with: Small fish species as well as snails, and shrimps
Suitable Position in the TankUnknown


DietLive food like bloodworms, mealworms, minnows, tubifex, small frogs, cricket, ocean plankton, and chopped meat; frozen food, flakes, and pellets should also be given
Frequency 2 – 3 times a day
Jaguar Cichlid Size
Jaguar Cichlid Teeth

Important Things to Know For Fish Keepers

  • Never keep this fish in small tanks as they have a reputation of breaking them out of aggression, thus being called “tank busters” by fish enthusiasts.
  • Attach a tight-fitting lid to the tank since they could jump out of the tank if stressed or overwhelmed.
  • You may sometimes find your jaguar cichlid not eating at all. They do have a reputation for being picky eaters. The juveniles are often known to show displeasure in eating the readymade foods like pellets, while some would not feed if inspected or looked upon by their human masters. Consult a fish veterinarian if it shows other symptoms alongside disinterest in eating.
Jaguar Cichlid Fish
Jaguar Cichlid Picture


Q. Do jaguar cichlids have teeth?

Yes, jaguar cichlids do have teeth that are highly powerful like that of a canine’s, helping it to get hold of its prey with immense force, and even kill it at an instant.

Q. What is the difference between a jaguar and a wolf cichlid

Both the jaguar and wolf cichlid are large and aggressive, though the latter is bigger and more ferocious than the former.

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