Red Devil Cichlid 101: Best Detailed Care Guide | 2022

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: March 20, 2022

The Red Devil Cichlid is a beautiful fish that can be found in the aquarium trade. They are a popular cichlid because they are easy to care for and have a lot of personalities.

If you are thinking about adding a Red Devil Cichlid to your acrylic fish tank, here is what you need to know before you bring one home.

The Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) is a colorful and aggressive fish that can be found in the wild in Lake Tanganyika. This fish can grow up to 12 inches in length, and it is best suited for an African biotope tank.

In the wild, the Red Devil Cichlid is a predator, and it feeds on small fish, invertebrates, and other aquatic organisms. The most common coloration for this particular fish is bright orange with blue and black vertical stripes, but they are also found in golden yellow colors as well.

They are also called the Red Zebra Cichlid or the African Firefish. They were first introduced to the aquarium trade in the early 1900s.

Facts And Characteristics Of The Red Devil Cichlid

Given below are a few facts and characteristics of the red devil cichlid. Let's have a look at all the vital characteristics of the red devil cichlid.

Appearance

The Red Devil Cichlid is very colorful. Their bodies are streaked with bright orange, with blue and black vertical stripes across their body. Their mouths are upturned, which gives them the appearance of having a permanent smile on their face.

Red Devil Cichlid

They have long pectoral fins that hang down from their bodies. They have a unique shape that makes them stand out in a tank of other cichlids.

The Red Devil Cichlids' appearance is very similar to the Red Zebra Cichlid and the African Firefish. Even experts have a hard time telling them apart at times, but some key differences can help you if you get confused.

The African Firefish has no black lines on its body, while the Red Devil has multiple vertical dark stripes all across its body. The Red Zebra Cichlid is usually lighter in color and doesn't have the upturned mouth that the Red Devil does.

They also look a lot like a red devil cichlid from Lake Malawi, which is unusual since they are not closely related. The difference between the two is that the Lake Malawi Red Devil has diagonal stripes and does not have an upturned mouth.

Temperament

Red Devil Cichlids are known for their aggressive temperament. They will often become territorial with other fish in the tank and should only be kept with other large, aggressive cichlids. If you have a large tank and want to keep a Red Devil Cichlid, you should only have one per tank.

Red Devil Cichlid

Some people will recommend that the fish be kept singly instead of in pairs, as they can become territorial with their mate. The Red Devil Cichlid is a very active fish, and they need a lot of space in the tank. They are very sociable fish and enjoy hanging out with other cichlids.

They can also be kept with other peaceful fish, but they may harass their tank mates if the tank is not large enough for both of them.

Finding a companion can sometimes be difficult because these fish like to establish their territory in a tank and require a lot of space. They are very active fish and need a lot of space in the tank and plenty of rocks for hiding.

They are peaceful when they are not breeding but will become territorial with other fish in the tank. When it is not being aggressive against other cichlids, this fish can make an excellent addition to a large tank with other cichlids of the same size.

You must know how to properly care for your Red Devil Cichlid if you want it to live a long time and stay healthy.

When it is not breeding, the Red Devil Cichlid is a peaceful fish when it is not breeding and will typically stay away from other fish in the tank. If you want to keep this type of cichlid with other species of cichlids, you should have a very large tank.

This fish is not suitable for a beginner to keep because of how sensitive it can be to changes in its environment and what types of water condition changes it requires.

In general, the Red Devil Cichlid is not considered a good community fish for your aquarium. It will eat smaller fish and become aggressive as it matures.

It is best to keep this fish alone or with other large, aggressive cichlids in a tank that can hold a large amount of water.

Habitat

Red Devil Cichlid is usually found in Lake Tanganyika. They inhabit areas with rocky bottoms and plenty of hiding places in the wild. Found in countries like Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Red Devil Cichlid

Their natural habitat involves rocky bottoms and lots of hiding places, so ensure your tank has plenty of both. Providing caves and overhangs will make your Red Devil feel right at home. As for substrate, something like crushed coral or aragonite is ideal for keeping the pH up.

They are usually found in Lake Tanganyika, in countries such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Average Lifespan And Growth

Red Devil Cichlid

The average adult size of a Red Devil Cichlid is about 8 inches in length, but there have been some that grow to 10 inches long in an aquarium environment. The life span for this fish ranges from 5 to 7 years with good care.

Breeding

The Red Devil Cichlid is an easy fish to breed if you want to increase your population of this fish in the tank. All cichlids are maternal mouthbrooders, which means that the female will incubate her eggs in her mouth until they hatch.

Red Devil Cichlid

It can be hard for inexperienced aquarists to spawn these fish because they are so aggressive, but if you have a larger tank with lots of low light plants for the fish to hide in, then you should be able to breed this fish.

You will need to provide the Red Devil Cichlid with what it needs to reproduce successfully. Make sure that you have plenty of flat rocks and sturdy pieces of wood in the tank for the fish to spawn on.

You also should provide a lot of places for the female to hide her eggs. The eggs will be laid among the rocks or wood, and she will then take them into her mouth and incubate them until they hatch, which can take up to 21 days.

Once the eggs have hatched, you can feed your female Red Devil Cichlid crushed flake food or brine shrimp to help her recover from the stress of giving birth. You should continue feeding her well for up to a month after she has given birth because she will have used most of her energy during this time.

If you are interested in breeding the Red Devil Cichlid, you should set up a tank that is at least 50 gallons and has lots of hiding places. This fish is known for being an aggressive parent that will kill its fry if it senses danger, so make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots for the young fish.

You also should only use one male Red Devil Cichlid per tank because they will fight if there is more than one male. Spawning usually takes place in the morning, so you can put a pair of Red Devil Cichlids into their breeding tank at night and watch them spawn the next morning.

Once spawning has taken place, remove the parents from the tank because it is likely that they will eat their eggs.

Also Read: Convict Cichlid Care: Best Detailed Guide

Red Devil Cichlid Care Guide

In order to give your red devil cichlid a healthier and longer life, you need to take care of certain things. Given below are the few things you need to keep in mind while keeping the red devil cichlid.

Tank Requirements

The Red Devil Cichlid is a beautiful fish that can be found in the aquarium trade. They are a popular cichlid because they are easy to care for and have a lot of personalities. If you are thinking about adding a Red Devil Cichlid to your tank, here is what you need to know before you bring one home.

Red Devil Cichlid

As mentioned before, the Red Devil Cichlid is an active fish, and they need a lot of space in the tank. They can grow up to 8 inches in length but are usually smaller when purchased. The minimum tank size for this fish is 30 gallons.

They need a lot of rockwork to create caves and hiding places. If you put them with other cichlids or other large fish, make sure that their tank is at least 55 gallons, so everyone will have enough space.

They do best when they are kept in an African biotope tank. The Red Devil Cichlid needs a sandy substrate and plenty of rocks, driftwood, and other decorations that will mimic its natural habitat in Lake Tanganyika.

You should also mimic the water conditions in this lake because these fish are very sensitive to changes in their environment. They prefer an alkaline pH of eight or higher and hard water.

The Red Devil Cichlid is a very large fish and needs a tank that is at least 55 gallons. If you want to keep a pair of them, you will need a tank that is at least 100 gallons. The tank should be long and have plenty of rocks and decorations to mimic its natural habitat.

Water And Lighting Condition

The Red Devil Cichlid is fairly flexible with the water parameters, but they are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. The temperature should be between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be anywhere from 8.0 to 9.5. They prefer more alkaline water.

Red Devil Cichlid

They can handle a water hardness anywhere from 10 to 25 dGH, but they prefer somewhere around 15 dGH. The Red Devil Cichlid is a very sensitive fish and needs to be handled with care. It is common for this cichlid to fall sick if the tank's conditions are not optimal.

They are also prone to "bloat," which is a condition where the fish has a swollen belly and usually dies.

Feeding

The Red Devil Cichlid is an omnivore, so it will eat both meaty foods and plant matter in the wild. You can feed your fish a diet of pellets or flakes supplemented with earthworms, brine shrimp, cockle shrimp, or bloodworms in captivity.

Red Devil Cichlid

You also should try to give them a variety of vegetables to keep their diet balanced. They can be fed live or frozen food, but they should also be given a good quality pellet to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients.

They can even be fed some vegetables, but they grow rapidly and need a good amount of protein to keep up with their energy levels.

In captivity, the Red Devil Cichlid should be fed between 2-3 times a day, depending on the size of its tank and whether or not it is fed with other fish.

They can also eat smaller cichlids if they are hungry enough. The diet of these fish changes when it is in breeding mode, and they prefer to eat a high protein diet.

This is not an easy fish for beginning aquarists to care for because it requires so much attention to its environment, but if you have the proper tank set up and are willing to put in the time, then this fish can be rewarding.

If you are interested in adding a Red Devil Cichlid to your tank, be sure to set up the proper environment for them before you bring them home. This will make it easier for you to care for this fish, and it will also help you keep your other fish safe from being attacked by your Red Devil.

Tankmates Of Red Devil Cichlid

The Red Devil Cichlid is a very aggressive fish and should only be kept with other large, aggressive cichlids. If you have a large tank and want to keep a Red Devil Cichlid, you should only have one per tank.

Red Devil Cichlid

Some people will recommend that the fish be kept singly instead of in pairs, as they can become territorial with their mate.

Their tank mates can be other species of cichlids. Larger cichlids are usually the best choice because their tank can hold a large amount of water, which helps dilute any waste that the fish produce.

The Red Devil Cichlid will not tolerate its kind or other similar types of fish, so it should be kept alone unless you have a very large tank. Some other tankmates may include tetras, African knife fish, an elephant nose fish.

Common Possible Diseases And Their Possible Cure

Diseases that the Red Devil Cichlid are susceptible to include ich tangle fin syndrome, hole in the head disease, fin rot, and dropsy. There are many types of medication that you can purchase from your local pet store to treat these diseases if they occur.

Red Devil Cichlid

It is important to know what type of disease your Red Devil Cichlid has before attempting to treat it because some medications will not work on certain types of diseases or can make the disease worse if they are not used correctly.

Ich - Also known as white spot disease, ich is a parasite that can infect many types of fish. The most common symptom of ich is the appearance of small white spots on the body of the fish.

Ich can be treated with medication, but it is important to remove all of the infected fish from the tank and treat them in a separate tank before returning them to the main tank.

Tangle fin syndrome - This is a type of fungus that can infect the fins of fish. The most common symptom of tangle fin syndrome is the appearance of black or red threads on the fins of the fish. Tangle fin syndrome can be treated with medication, but it is important to remove all of the infected fish from the tank and treat them in a separate tank before returning them to the main tank.

Hole in the head disease - This is also known as ichthyosporidiosis. The most common symptom of a hole in the head disease is black lesions that appear on the head or mouth of the infected fish.

Hole in the head disease can be treated with medication, but it is important to remove all of the infected fish from the tank and treat them in a separate tank before returning them to the main tank.

Fin rot - Fin rot is caused by bacteria that attack the fins and bodies of the fish. The most common symptom of fin rot is the appearance of red or black streaks on the fins of the fish.

Fin rot can be treated with medication, but it is important to remove all of the infected fish from the tank and treat them in a separate tank before returning them to the main tank.

Dropsy - Dropsy is a type of infection that causes the fish to swell up with fluid. The most common symptom of dropsy is the appearance of a bloated fish.

Dropsy can be treated with medication, but it is important to remove all of the infected fish from the tank and treat them in a separate tank before returning them to the main tank.

It is important to practice good tank maintenance to protect your fish from these diseases. Caring for your fish and keeping a clean tank will reduce their chances of contracting a disease.

Changing the water in your tank regularly, maintaining high levels of oxygen in the water, and treating your water with aquarium salt are all effective ways of preventing the spread of disease through your fish tank.

If your Red Devil Cichlid becomes sick with any of the above diseases, it is important to treat your fish in a separate tank. Acclimate your fish to the new tank by floating the bag that holds your fish in the main tank for about half an hour before adding it to the new tank.

If you do not want to put your fish through the stress of moving them to a new tank, you can also treat your fish in their current tank by adding the appropriate medication to the water. Be sure to follow the instructions on the medication carefully to ensure that you are using it correctly.

Also Read: Red Empress Cichlid 101: Best Care Guide

Conclusion

Red Devil Cichlids are hardy fish and do not require any special care, but there are a few things that you can do to make sure that they stay healthy. Make sure to keep the tank clean by changing the water regularly.

Maintain high levels of oxygen in the tank by using an air pump or an oxygen diffuser. Treat your water with aquarium salt to help prevent the spread of disease.

Your Red Devil Cichlids will be healthy and happy in their tank if you follow these simple tips. Thanks for reading!

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