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Wolf Cichlid

By | Last Updated : 3rd August 2020

Wolf cichlid indigenous to Central America was described in 1864 by Gunther. They stand unique because of their robust, sturdy, built, and attractive appearance. Still, they are not suited for everyone due to their aggressive demeanor, as keeping them requires a lot of care and a specialized setting.

Wolf Cichlid

Quick Information

Scientific NameParachromis dovii
Other NamesRainbow bass, guapote, dovi cichlid
OriginCentral America in the slopes of Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusNot recorded
Behavioral CharacteristicsTerritorial, active, and predatory
School SizeNot fit for schooling because of their aggression and large size; only a mated pair may coexist
Physical TraitsRobust, heavily built, muscular body, with a large-sized mouth and teeth
Growth RateFast, up to a length of about 9 – 12 inches (22.86 – 30.48 cm) in a year
ColorsMales: Golden yellow or silvery body with black, purple, and blue spots; Females: Yellow body

Both genders have green and red patterns on their head and bluish-green coloration on their tail and fins
Size (How big do they get)Big; 28.3 inches (72 cm)
Lifespan15 – 20 years on an average (that can go up to 30 years with proper care)
Sexual DimorphismPresent; Besides the color differences, males are larger than their female counterparts
Probable Diseases Head and lateral line erosion (HLLE), alongside bacterial and fungal infections
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$ 15 – 20
Wolf Cichlid Teeth
Wolf Cichlid Size

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelExpert
Tank Size180 – 200 gallons (681.3 – 757. 08 liters) for a single fish

Water Parameters

pH Level7.0 – 8.0  
Temperature75° – 82°F (24 – 28°C)
Hardness5 – 20 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowFast  

Tank Ambience

Substrate TypeSand and gravel, alongside rock, wood, and pebbles to hide
Tank MatesCompatible with: They are barely compatible with most fish and can either be housed singly or as a mated pair with their species or those with a similar temperament.

Incompatible with: Small, medium-sized fish as well as bigger species with a gentle temperament 
Suitable Position in the TankTop, middle or bottom


DietLive or frozen food like brine shrimp and bloodworms, alongside flakes and pellets
Frequency 2-3 times a day
Female Wolf Cichlid
Baby Wolf Cichlid

Important Things to Know for Fish Keepers

  • Maintain caution while cleaning the aquarium as the wolf cichlids have a reputation of biting their fish owners in aggression.
Dovii Wolf Cichlid Fish
Rainbow Bass


Q. Why is the wolf cichlid called the rainbow bass?

It is called rainbow bass due to its appealing appearance, similar to the colors of a rainbow. Its other name, “guapote” means handsome in Spanish.

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