Midas Cichlid Care

Midas display at Chicago's John Shedd Aquarium Midas Cichlid Care includes managing aggression, water chemistry and food. South American and Central American cichlids are aggressive in general and are best housed in larger aquariums as space is very important.

This is the case with Midas Cichlids which need a lot of room but space is relative to how many Red Devils are being kept together and their size. For example one could house an adult pair of Midas cichlids in a 55 gallon tank; however, you should not consider housing more specimens in this size tank.

A small group of Midas cichlids could be housed in 150 gallon tank or larger. Take a look at this photo of a very large aquarium full of adult Midas cichlids at the John Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Amphilophus citrinellus or Red Devils need moderate water movement along with strong efficient filtration. Strong mechanical filtration is necessary because these cichlids eat as much food as they produce in waste. It is very easy for large specimens to foul a tank making weekly water changes both essential and necessary.

The Red Devil cichlid is a rewarding specimen for the hobbyist as it is relatively easy to keep as long as the aquarium is large enough and the water quality is maintained. These cichlids are subject to infections as well as other diseases that ail all freshwater fish cichlids, especially if water is stale and of poor quality and oxygenation.

Ich is easily treated with an elevated temperature of 28° C for a few days and to help prevent the notorious 'Hole-in-the-Head' disease (HLLD - Head and Lateral Line Disease) that large cichlids are prone to, perform water changes of up to 50% a week, depending on bio load. Hard water may also contribute to Hole-in-the-Head disease, so using driftwood can help pull the pH down if you have very hard water.

Midas cichlids love to dig so provide plenty of gravel and like most cichlids hiding places are appreciated. It is not uncommon for hobbyists to outfit the aquarium with clay flower pots, rocks including slate and wood. Other great hiding places are PVC tubes which come in various lengths and diameters. Both flower pots and PVC tubes can be acquired at most home centers. While Midas cichlids are avid diggers, live rooted plants don't fare as well as they will be eaten or shredded.

Some hobbyists have had success with java moss which looks great and is somewhat hardy. Also, make sure when aquascaping with rocks try to properly anchor them in the gravel to prevent toppling. Another tip is when keep a solitary specimen large cichlids have tendency to bang heaters against the glass of the tank. This may be due to the orange pilot light which automatically turns on and off. Best to use suction cups with eaters and always unplug the heater when performing water changes.