Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

The Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as the Emerald Cichlid is found in the Ucayali, Amazonas, SolimñƒÂ´es, Amapá and Oyapock Rivers in Brazil, Colomiba, Peru, and Venezuela.

The Chocolate Cichlid is a peaceful, rarely aggressive species that prefers living in the silt laden, slow flowing rivers and backwaters of their range where they forage on a variety of invertebrates, small crustaceans, algae, and other plant matter.

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

The Chocolate Cichlid is mostly brown in color but can be tinged with various shades of red, gold,orange, green or yellow.  Although their coloration changes with age, diet, stress, and during breeding, they retain a prominent black spot situated in the middle, upper body and another less prominent spot at the base of the tail.

They have rather large orange to red eyes and their fins vary in color from red to yellow.      Mature males develop a hump on their heads, more elongated fins, and are larger than females.

Because the Chocolate Cichlid grows to almost a foot long, it should be housed in at least a 70 gallon aquarium with a sandy or fine gravel substrate, some driftwood or bogwood, plenty of rock work arranged into hiding places, and some hardy plants if desired for aesthetics.

Despite their large size, Chocolate Cichlids can be safely kept in a community tank environment with other peaceful South American cichlids like Jurpari, Severums, Uarus, and larger cyprinids, characins, catfish, and Loricariids.

Chocolate Cichlids are easy to breed and are captive bred widely for the aquarium trade. They are primarily substrate spawners that will deposit their eggs in holes they have fanned or dug out in the sand.   A flowerpot or piece of slate placed vertically up the side of the breeding tank can also act as a potential spawning site. Chocolate Cichlids are good parents that will carefully guard their eggs and watch over the newly hatched fry.  Normally a placid species, they can become aggressive and somewhat territorial during breeding.

Hypselecara temporalis are not fussy eaters and will eat most live, frozen, or freeze dried food. They enjoy Mysis Shrimp, Bloodworms, Brine Shrimp, red worms, Cichlid pellets, and quality flake foods.

The Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis) is fairly common in tropical fish shops and are available online from dealers, importers, auction sites and tropical fish keeping forums when they are 2-1/4” to 2-3/4” or more in size.

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)

Chocolate Cichlid (Hypselecara temporalis)







Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 76-82° F, KH 1-10, pH 5.5-7.5
Max. Size: 12″
Color Form: Brown, Orange, Red, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Community or Single species tank
Origin: Central America, captive bred Peru
Family: Cichlidae
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

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