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Old 23-06-2006, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Species Profile: Hemichromis lifalili (Red Forest Jewel)

Scientific Name: Hemichromis lifalili
Common Name: Red Forest Jewel
Distribution: Central Africa; in tributaries of the Zaire (Congo) and Ubanghi Rivers.
Habitat: Soft, acidic forest streams and rivers.
Maximum Size: 4"
Minimum Tank Size: A 2ft tank is sufficient for a single breeding pair.
Tank Set-up: Tropical African rainforest stream set-up; with bogwood, inert rocks, leaf litter (not essential, but helps to re-create soft acidic conditions in their natural habitat), plants, etc. Suitable hiding places in the form of caves made from non-calcareous rocks, bogwood or even flowerpots should be provided.
Temperature: 73-79 F (23-26 C)
pH: 6.0 - 7.5
Hardness: Soft water is best.
Diet: A carnivore, the Red Forest Jewel does well on good brands of cichlid pellets/granules/flakes with a high protein content. However, this diet should be supplemented with live foods (such as Brine Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, mealworms, bloodworm, Tubifex, etc.) as treats once in a while. Those live foods can also be used to condition the fishes for breeding.
Temperament: Generally belligerent and territorial; conspecifics are quite intolerant of each other. However, if the tank is large enough and there is a multitude of hiding places, the aggression is usually much reduced.
Sexing: Females have brighter and lighter colors while males are distinctly darker. Venting is another method of sexing this fish.
Breeding: A substrate spawner. Once a pair is formed, the female will find a smooth surface, such as a plant leaf or the smooth side of a rock, and lay her eggs there. Meanwhile, the male will eradicate any fish in the vicinity which is deemed as a threat to the eggs/fry in typical cichlid fashion. Both parents care for the eggs/fry.
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