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Salvini Cichlid

By | Last Updated : 3rd August 2020

Salvini or Salvin’s cichlid, alternately known as tricolored cichlid or yellow-bellied cichlid, is indigenous to water bodies in north-central and America, and southern Mexico. The fish, first described in 1862 by Gunther, would surely increase the beauty of any aquarium with its bright coloration.

Salvini Cichlid

Quick Information

Scientific NameTrichromis salvini
Other NamesTricolored cichlid, yellow-bellied cichlid, Salvin’s cichlid  
OriginRivers and lagoons in Central America along the region of the Atlantic slope from southern Mexico till Guatemala, as well as Belize, and Honduras; also found in parts of Texas and Florida
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusNot recorded
Behavioral CharacteristicsTerritorial, and moderately aggressive
School SizeNot fit for schooling owing to their dominant nature
Physical TraitsElongated oblong body; pointed snout; long fins, horizontal stripes running from their head to forehead
ColorsBright yellow body; two dark, blotchy lines running from their eyes to caudal fins; turquoise blue dots all over; black markings crossing their face; red belly; bright red coloration on parts of their anal, pectoral, and caudal fins
Size (How big do they get)Big; 5.9 inches (15 cm)
Lifespan10 – 13 years
Sexual DimorphismPresent; Males: Big, dull coloration, with pointed fins; may also have blue streaks on their head; Females: Smaller with brighter appearance, less pointed fins, and redder bellies
Probable Diseases White spot disease, ich
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$ 20
Salvini Cichlid Size
Salvini Cichlid Fish

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelExpert
Tank Size50 gallons (189.2 liters) for a single fish

Water Parameters

pH Level6.5 – 8.0
Temperature72° to 79°F (22.2 to 28°C)
Hardness10 – 20 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowModerate to fast

Tank Ambience

Substrate TypeFine gravel, and sand at the bottom with roots and rocks to hide
Tank MatesCompatible with: Moderately aggressive species like green terror, red devil cichlid, firemouth cichlid, convict cichlid, blood parrot cichlid, and Jack Dempsey
Incompatible with: Small fish species as the Salvini cichlid would consider them prey; bigger, aggressive species like the oscar, and flowerhorn as well as invertebrates like dwarf shrimps
Suitable Position in the TankBottom


DietBrine shrimp, blood worms, flakes, pellets, alongside blanched cucumbers, and spinach
Frequency 2-3 times a day
Male Salvini Cichlid
Female Salvini Cichlid

Important Things to Know For Fish Keepers

  • If your Salvini cichlid does not have the bright yellow and red coloration on maturation, the reasons may include an improper diet. It could also be stressed due to inappropriate water conditions. Also, while getting the fish, clarify its gender as females are more vibrant than males.


Q. How do juvenile salvini cichlids look?

Juveniles have a yellowish or grayish appearance, available at a lower price.

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