False Red Terror Cichlid: Everything You Need to Know about Mayaheros urophthalmus


Mayan cichlids for sale

Mayaheros urophthalmus - The Lively Mayan Cichlid

Mayaheros urophthalmus goes by several common names including the Mayan cichlid, Mexican mojarra, and orange tiger. This large, colorful freshwater fish is native to rivers and lakes in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.

Mayaheros urophthalmus or the Mayan cichlid is often mixed up with Mesoheros festae or the Red Terror cichlid.

Growing up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, Mayaheros urophthalmus exhibits an oval-shaped body with vivid turquoise, orange, and black lateral striping that resembles a tiger. Solid variants also exist in blue, orange, and yellow. Males develop a prominent forehead hump.

Mayan cichlids inhabit warm, vegetated, slow-moving waters across their natural range. They feed on insects, smaller fish, and plant matter. Excellent hunters, males exhibit fascinating breeding behaviors and parental care.

This Central American species does well in a large planted tank with driftwood and open swimming space. Some territorial aggression is expected, especially during spawning. Tankmates should be robust, similar-sized cichlids.

Hardy and relatively easy to breed, Mayaheros urophthalmus has potential to gain popularity in the aquarium trade. Their bright colors, lively temperament, and interesting behaviors make them stand out among other large cichlids.

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Quick facts on Mayaheros urophthalmus:

Common Name: Mayan cichlid, Mexican mojarra
Scientific Name: Mayaheros urophthalmus
Species: Freshwater fish
Origin: Rivers in southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize
Size: Up to 16 inches (40 cm)
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Temperature: 72-82°F
pH Range: 6.5-8.0


What is Mayaheros urophthalmus?

Mayaheros urophthalmus is a large, vibrantly colored cichlid species native to Central American rivers, lakes and lagoons. Also known as the Mayan cichlid or Mexican mojarra.

Where are Mayaheros urophthalmus found?

In the wild, Mayaheros urophthalmus is endemic to southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. It inhabits warm, vegetated, slow-moving waters.

How big do Mayaheros urophthalmus grow?

Mayaheros urophthalmus can reach up to 16 inches (40 cm) in length in the wild. In home aquariums they generally max out around 10-12 inches (25-30 cm).

What is their diet and feeding behavior?

Mayaheros urophthalmus are omnivorous, feeding on insects, smaller fish, crustaceans, worms and plant matter in their natural habitat. They are not picky eaters in home aquariums.

What size tank do they need?

At minimum a 55 gallon aquarium is required for Mayaheros urophthalmus, but bigger is better. Leave plenty of open swimming space.

Are Mayan cichlids aggressive?

Yes, Mayaheros urophthalmus can show significant aggression toward tankmates, especially when breeding. Tankmates need to be chosen carefully.