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Chiseltooth cichlid - Cichlasoma bocourti

Chiseltooth cichlid - Cichlasoma bocourti

Scientific name: Cichlasoma bocourti

Common name: Chiseltooth cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 18 - 20 cm (7.09 - 7.87 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.8 - 7.4

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 8 - 17°N (142.86 - 303.57ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 25 - 28 °C (77 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Central America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Middle levels


Central America; Chiseltooth cichlids are to be found in Belize and Guatemala.


The expected life span for

Cichlasoma bocourti

is 6-8 years.

Short description

Chiseltooth cichlids are classed as semi aggressive and are quite hardy. Although they will tolerate poorer water conditions, to keep them at their best, provide them with plenty of water changes and good filtration.

These fish grow extremely large and as such require a large aquarium especially if kept with other tankmates. The minimum size for the aquarium should be at least 600 litres so make sure that the filtration system used can cope with the large amount of water volume as like all large cichlids - they are high waste producers.

Use sand for the substrate and add plenty of rocks or wood to provide plenty of hiding places. Make sure that if the chiseltooth cichlid is kept with other cichlids, they are of a similar size and there is plenty of room for each fish to establish its own territory or serious squabbles will occur.

Food and feeding

Chiseltooth cichlids will accept all foods, use a quality flake or cichlid pellets but vary the diet with meaty foods. Offer them blood worms, chopped earth worms and brine shrimp. The occasional meal of spirulina flake will also benefit these fish.


Males will have elongated dorsal and anal fins. The females may have a plumper belly. Sometimes the established methods for sexing these fish can prove wrong but if you have kept these for a while you will notice that the males are more aggressive in the aquarium and extremely territorial compared to the females who tend to be more docile.


Provide flat rocks to act as spawning sites, the selected site will be cleaned by both parents. It is easy to see when the breeding pair are about to spawn as their colouration will change to a deep yellow and they will start to dance around each other sometimes in a violent manner. If it gets too violent then separate the pair by means of a tank divider and try again in a few days for better results without either fish getting injured. When spawning is complete, the female will perform most of the tending but the male will occasionally take over. The eggs should hatch in 3 days and the parents will move the fry to a pit in the sand. Once the fry are free swimming they can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp.

The easiest way to get a breeding pair is to purchase a group of juveniles but remember that the fish that do not pair will need to be moved on so make sure that you are prepared for this.


Bought by from

Chiseltooth cichlid, picture 1 Chiseltooth cichlid, picture 2

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