Max Size: 15cm

Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki)

The Firemouth Cichlid, Thorichthys meeki, is easy to maintain, hardy, peaceful, but very territorial. Nevertheless, these Cichlids bring a unique splash of colour to any tank with their attractiveness and vibrancy. They provide continuous entertainment in the aquarium hobby, making them extremely popular.

It is suitable to keep Firemouth Cichlids in a community aquarium; however, they can be extremely aggressive during spawning season toward their own species and other community fish. Aside from this, these Cichlids cannot handle stress well and prefer larger tanks with more space, which helps them establish separate territories.

A large enough tank is necessary to allow the fish to establish their own territory safely, so you might want to consider tankmates with similar sizes like South American Cichlids. The perfect tank mates are active schooling fish like Catfish, Plecos, Rainbowfish, and Tetras. Fish species that move slowly, such as Dwarf Cichlids and Angelfish, are more likely to be bullied, so it would be best to avoid these as tankmates. It would be best if you also avoided shrimp and snails; otherwise, they may be eaten.

A male will sometimes puff and flare out his gills, revealing his bright red throat as a sign of dominance. This is a threatening display designed to intimidate and chase off other males looking for mates swimming in their territory.

The majority of their time is spent around plants if you observe them closely. They like to rearrange and move things, including the substrate, and dig out plants.

The heads and bodies of Firemouth Cichlids are pearlescent greys to blueish-olive in colour. Males display a distinctive orangy-red colouration on the underside of their heads where their gills are located.

The Operaculum's lower part has a distinctive black mark that defines Firemouth Cichlids. Except for their pectoral fin, all of their fins have red edging and infrequent blue spots. Furthermore, some of these fish have darker lateral bars along their sides.


Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlid
Firemouth Cichlid
Quick Facts
Scientific NameThorichthys meeki
Year Described1918
Other NamesNone
OriginsAustralia, Belize, Guatemala, Hawaii, Israel, Mexico, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan8 - 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH8 - 15
75 - 86℉
23.9 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Firemouth Cichlid will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Sexual Dimorphism

Identifying males and females of Firemouth Cichlids is pretty straightforward. A male's fin rays are generally longer and brighter than a female's. Also, they tend to be larger than females and have more pointed anal and dorsal fins. In contrast, females are smaller than males and have larger stomachs giving them a more rounded shape.

Other Cichlids of interest

African Butterfly Cichlid(Anomalochromis thomasi)
Banded Apistogramma(Apistogramma bitaeniata)
Blue Panda Apistogramma(Apistogramma panduro, Apistogramma pandurini)
Bolivian Ram Cichlid(Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
Checkerboard Cichlid(Dicrossus filamentosus)
Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid(Apistogramma cacatuoides)
View all Cichlids
Date Added: 22/04/2021 14:30:50 - Updated: 24/08/2022 15:25:28