|Temperament: ||Territorial; Females are typically placid and peaceful and mix well with other fish in community , but males in breeding condition can be an entirely different beast, territorial about their preferred dwelling area within an aquarium, they may roughly eject fish and shrimp when annoyed. Males can be highly aggressive with other cichlid species, and it is not unusual for a male to kill females he does not approve of. |
For this reason watch new introductions carefully for aggression, and be prepared to remove an aggressive male rather than the more placid female, this helps neutralise some of the more brusque behaviour reinforced by having an established territorial area. When keeping several specimens give them plenty of room and enough nooks and crannies to call their own. Allow a cubic foot or more of water for each male, and do not assume they will tolerate females within that area.
Behaviour in this species is highly variable, and to some extent depends on compatible stocking, treat them as individuals rather than assuming a set level of temperament across the board, some are peaceful, others can be downright vicious. All can be defensive however, and mature males are particularly reluctant to back down over territory if attacked by another territorial species.