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Checkerboard cichlid - Dicrossus maculatus

Checkerboard cichlid - Dicrossus maculatus

Scientific name: Dicrossus maculatus

Common name: Checkerboard cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 5 - 7 cm (1.97 - 2.76 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.2 - 7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 5 - 16°N (89.29 - 285.71ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 21 - 26 °C (69.8 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels

Food and feeding

Providing a varied diet will keep Checkerboard cichlid happy and eating well. Use a quality flake or pellets for the staple diet but they will also require plenty of live or frozen foods. Blood worms, brine shrimp and daphnia are ideal.


South America; Checkerboard cichlid inhabits the waterways of the Rio Orinoco and the Rio Negro.


Males tend to be larger and display more colouration than the females.


Broad leaves will always be chosen for spawning sites so ensure that some of these plants are added to the breeding tank. The female will stand on her head in front of the male prior to spawning and the chosen leaf will then be used to deposit the eggs on. The female will protect the brood and once the eggs have hatched the fry will move to the underside of the leaf. When they are free swimming, they can be fed on Infusoria initially and later newly hatched brine shrimp.


The expected life span for Dicrossus maculatus is 5 years.

Short description

Dicrossus maculatus prefer to live in soft, acidic water and add some floating plants to subdue the lighting. The rest of the tank should be well planted with hiding places but leave open swimming areas.


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Checkerboard cichlid picture 1 Checkerboard cichlid picture 2 Checkerboard cichlid picture 3

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