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Cuban Cichlid (Nandopsis tetracanthus)


The Cuban Cichlid is a unique and majestic species that matures into iridescent purple and black coloration, making it a striking centerpiece for large aquariums. While not as commonly bred as other New World cichlids, it is long-lived and rewarding to keep. This robust species possesses plenty of personality and is known for its aggressive nature.

In its natural habitat, the Cuban Cichlid sometimes inhabits brackish water, although it does not require salt to thrive in captivity. To accommodate its needs, provide a large aquarium with a sandy substrate and ample refuges. Be mindful of its territorial behavior, especially during spawning, and avoid overcrowding or introducing new tankmates when the cichlid is already established.

Due to its powerful bite and potential aggression, tankmates should be chosen carefully, and ornamental invertebrates should be avoided. If breeding is desired, it's best to keep only Cuban Cichlids in the tank to minimize territorial conflicts. Additionally, the Cuban Cichlid tends to be more peaceful with tankmates raised alongside it from a juvenile age.

Maintaining water quality is essential for the health of Cuban Cichlids, requiring powerful filtration and regular water changes. Fortunately, they are not picky eaters and readily accept a variety of high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods. Providing a diverse diet ensures optimal health and coloration.

In summary, the Cuban Cichlid is a majestic and rewarding species ideal for enthusiasts with large aquariums willing to accommodate its territorial nature and provide proper care.


  • Species: Nandopsis tetracanthus
  • Common Name: Cuban Cichlid
  • Appearance: Matured into iridescent purple and black coloration
  • Habitat: Southern Mexico and Guatemala, lakes, and creeks
  • Behavior: Robust, aggressive, territorial during spawning
  • Tank Requirements: Large aquarium with sandy substrate, ample refuges, avoid overcrowding
  • Tankmates: Choose carefully, avoid ornamental invertebrates, prefer tankmates raised together from juvenile age
  • Feeding: Omnivorous, accepts high-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods
  • Water Parameters: pH range 6-7, tropical temperature 24-30°C
  • Size: Grows up to approximately 25cm
  • Sex: Unsexed


Cuban Cichlid

AU$45.00 Regular Price
AU$40.50Sale Price

Tropical Fish Sale

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