Home / Fish / Red Devil Cichlid

Red Devil Cichlid

By | Last Updated : 5th July 2020

Red devil cichlid belonging to the cichlid family is a large species indigenous to certain parts of Central America. It shares its name with another fish of its family, namely the Amphilophus citrinellus, commonly referred to as Midas Cichlid. Their coloration and immense aggressiveness earn them the name red devil.

Red Devil Cichlid

Quick Information

Scientific NameAmphilophus labiatus
OriginLake Nicaragua and Lake Managua in Central America
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusNot recorded
Behavioral CharacteristicsActive and energetic but aggressive and territorial especially upon maturation, going to the extent of damaging aquarium equipment in a bid to get at their prey
School SizeNot fit for schooling owing to their aggression
Physical TraitsRobust, stocky body; pointed dorsal and anal fins; razor-sharp teeth, as well as powerful jaws, helping the fish to bite their prey with force
ColorsBright red or even white and yellow with black bands or spots on its fins and tail; orange or black lips
Size (How big do they get)Large; 15 inches (38.1 cm)
Growth RateSteady, growing up to 1 or 1.5 inches a month, taking 3 years since its birth to attain its complete size
Lifespan (How long do they live)10 – 12 years
Sexual DimorphismMale: Big with a pointed papilla and a nuchal hump that gets prominent during the breeding period

Female: Smaller with a blunt papilla devoid of any nuchal hump
Probable Diseases Ich
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$ 15 – 20
Red Devil Cichlid Male
Red Devil Cichlid Female

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care Level Intermediate
Tank Size55 gallons (208.1 liters) for a single fish; 120 gallons (454.2 liters)

Water Parameters

pH Level6.0 – 8.0
Temperature70 – 79 °F (23 – 27°C)
Hardness6 – 15 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowModerate  

Tank Ambience

Substrate TypeSand, along with woods and rocks to make provisions for hiding
Tank MatesCompatible with:  Rosy barb, guppies, Albino shark, Asian Arowana; however, when dwelling with other fish they should either be kept in a mated pair or a large tank so that each gets sufficient space and need not fight with one another over their domain

Incompatible with: Jack Dempsey, Oscar alongside all species that are smaller and less aggressive than it; other red devil cichlids too when kept in pairs  
Suitable Position in the TankBottom


DietPellets, flakes, ocean plankton, bloodworms, and brine shrimp
Frequency 2 – 3 times a day
Red Devil Cichlid Fish
Red Devil Cichlid Egg

Important Things to Know for Fish Keepers

  • Avoid keeping live plants as substrates since they might indulge in digging into it.
  • They have an instinct to dig and mark their territory, which is why you often hear sounds of rocks or pebbles moving. It is essential to opt for a bigger tank, especially if there are a lot of inmates, each willing to establish its domain.
  • The red devil cichlid might sometimes undergo a color change and appear black on parts of its fins and also lips. There is not much to worry about if the fish is otherwise healthy, and no abnormal symptoms are detected as they go through color changes as they grow.


Q. What is the difference between the red devil and Midas cichlid?

The red devil shares its name with the Midas cichlid. Still, both have an identifiable difference that is essential to know, for avoiding confusion while buying both the fish. Red devils have a long streamlined body, pronounced fleshy lips, and a long mouth. On the other hand, the Midas cichlid has a less elongated body, flat lips, and a shorter mouth. They are even different in terms of coloration as the Midas has a golden-white body in contrast to the reddish shade of the red devil cichlid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *