The Salvini Cichlid is an attractive fish that could easily catch any enthusiasts eye. The Salvini is a bright yellow freshwater fish that changes colors as it goes into breeding mode. This will attract many people who want a unique fish that will live for years to come.

The downside about this breed is that they can be more difficult to take care of, especially if you already have an established tank. The breed doesn’t do well with other fish and needs a warm environment to survive. Below we will cover everything you need to know about the Salvini.

Salvini Care:

  • Size: 8.5 to 8.7 Inches
  • Lifespan: 10 Years
  • Ease of care:  Moderate Difficulty
  • Native to: Central America
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 Gallons
  • Water type: Freshwater
  • Temperature: 73F to 85F
  • Compatibility: Same Species
  • Diet: Omnivore

All About Salvini Cichlid

The Salvini Cichlid is a fish commonly found in large rivers within Central America. These fish are often seen in Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. Often times the rivers the fish are found in link directly to the ocean that are in areas that are lower in elevation.

The fish are marked by there beautiful bright yellow coloring and black markings that go horizontal on their bodies. The females of this species usually boast the brightest colors, while the males are duller. These fish are very territorial though and need their own space.

Salvini Cichlid Facts

The Salvini Cichlid is not good a good pick for community tanks. Like stated above the breed is territorial and can act violently to any fish it feels is invading its space. In fact, the only type of fish you will even want to think about put with a Salvini is another Salvini.

Even if you get two of these fish they are not guaranteed to get along, especially if you keep them in a smaller tank. These fish will even act aggressively towards peaceful fish, as well as, snails and crabs. If you keep two of them together make sure there is ample room.

Salvini Cichlid Environment

The Salvini is a picky fish when it comes to their environment. The breed needs at least a 40 to 50 Gallon tank to be comfortable. If you want to bring in another Cichlid then you will need a 90 to 100 Gallon tank with plenty of hiding spots to choose from.

The Cichlids do enjoy having plants in the tank. We suggest that you try to find live plants that are common in the fish’s natural environment. This provides a place for your fish to hide or rest comfortably. In multi Cichlid tanks, the plants can even help reduce some tension.

The Cichlid will need a normal amount of lighting in their tank. The water should always be kept around 73F to 85F to sustain a healthy fish. These fish are used to living in warm environments in Central America and you will need to emulate that in order to keep them alive.

The water hardness needs to be between 8 to15 dGH with 6.4 to 7.8 on the PH scale. You will also need to have a decent amount of water movement for the Salvini. You may also want to have some wood and natural rocks in the aquarium for the fish to hide behind or inside of.

*The Salvini is a messier breed of fish and will need weekly water changes. If the water doesn’t change the fish becomes more susceptible to disease and infections in the tank.

Breeding Your Salvini Cichlid

The Salvini Cichlid can be a little bit trickier to breed than most fish. Since the fish is an aggressive breed, they have trouble getting along even in mating season. While it’s not impossible to get two Salvini to pair up, it can be harder if you introduce them as adults.

The best chance you will have at successfully making a breeding is to raise them together at a young age. Once the fish decide to pair up they will start to make nesting site throughout your aquarium. You can identify these by looking for sites the fish are picking at or cleaning.

Once the male lays the eggs the pair will start to guard them. This may lead to aggression is another Cichlid swims to close to the pair. To cut down on any possible injuries consider moving the rest of your Cichlids to another tank or keeping fish you suspect are coupling in their own.

Once the fry hatch the parent will help feed them for around a month. After this point, you can remove the parents from the tank to avoid the fry being eaten. These fry will become mature when they grow to around 6 inches in length and may need to be separated if aggressive.

*The Salvini breeding tempature is between 72F to 81F.


The Salvini Cichlid is an Omnivore in the wild and can be fed a variety of foods in captivity. It can be fed a combination of plant and meat based foods and stay healthy. The fish can be fed both approved flake foods and freeze-dried foods like bloodworm found in most stores.


The Salvini Cichlid is a beautifully colored breed of fish that can easily be found for sale in most aquatic shops. The fish aren’t receptive to community tanks but can be housed with other fish of the same breed in a large tank. We recommend over 100 gallons for two Salvini to share a tank.

The fish can also eat a mixture of pellets and meat making them simple to feed. They are also easy breeders as long as you raise a male and female together from youth. These fish are freshwater and will require a warm environment with hiding spots and weekly cleaning thanks to their messy habits.