Above: In this picture a young premium quality Firemouth Cichlid is swimming in one of our aquariums, when one of us snapped this picture.
Comments: These are awesome fish with great red coloring along the underside in adults.
Origin: The ancestors of the Firemouth came from a region from the Yucatan in Mexico south to Guatemala. But now they live in aquariums all over the world.
Maximum Size: In aquariums they are said by others to grow to be about 5" long, but the wonderful fish farmer, Larry Wright, once shipped the Bailey Bros a pair that were 9" to 10" long and about 6" from top to bottom. Unlike mammals most fish, including these Firemouths, have the potential to grow their entire lives, and Larry removed the ones he shipped to the Baileys from a huge pond in Florida, where he raised Firemouths for a long time.
Behaviors: Firemouths are usually semi-aggressive, and they can be territorial especially when spawning. But they are no where near as aggressive as, say, Jack Dempseys, and usually do not do well with Jack Dempseys.
Compatibility: When small Firemouths are OK with other fish of about the same size, but the Firemouths will eventually grow bigger, and as Cichlids they can be hard on less aggressive fish. Good tankmates are Pictus Catfish, Plecostomus Catfish, Corydoras Catfish, Anostomus, Leporinus, and Silver Dollars. Click here to read more about compatible groups of pet fish.
Temperature: Firemouths live best from about 75 to 80-degrees F. with 78 being perhaps ideal. Click here to learn about aquarium temperature, aquarium thermometers, and aquarium heaters.
Feeding: Premium Fish Food Pellets is the best food for these Cichlids to eat. It's best to feed them small pellets when they're young, then gradually increase the size of the pellets as they grow larger. Click here to learn more about and shop online for premium fish foods.
Water Conditions: These fish can adapt to most types of water, and so as usual it's best not to try to change the pH or hardness. Click here for a lot more information about aquarium water conditions.
Aquarium Size: Firemouths will eventually need to live in an aquarium with at least 80-gallons of water.
Decor: Firemouths do not need gravel, and a layer of gravel more than 1/4" thick will usually fill with bits of uneaten food that will contaminate the water. Click here for more about aquarium gravel.
Live plants are beautiful and improve the water quality, but this fish will usually dig plants up, so most aquariums with Firemouths do not have live plants.
Aquarium Filter: Bio-Wheel Filters are highly recommended. Most 80-gallon aquariums have room along the back for two Penguin 350B Filters, and this is sort of the minimum set up for large Firemouths. Better is a 120, 150, or 200-gallon aquarium with as many Penguin 350B Filters as will fit across the back. Click here to learn more about aquarium filters.
The addition of Lava Rocks will keep nitrates in the ideal range. Click here to learn more about using Lava Rocks in aquariums.
Life Span: Firemouths can live for several years. Keep the water conditions excellent and feed them premium foods, and they'll most likely live for many years and breed to produce the next generation of fish for your aquarium.
Gender: It's nearly impossible to tell males from females just by looking at them, when they're young, but as they mature, the males will start to color up with longer more pointed fins than the females that grow plumper as they fill with eggs.
Breeding: Firemouth females lay their eggs on a large flat rock while the male fertilizes them. Both parents then protect the eggs, which hatch in 2 or 3-days, and are then protected by the parents. Click here for a lot more about breeding various tropical fish in aquariums.
Popularity: The Firemouths have been a very popular aquarium fish for a long time.
Names: Their scientific name is Thorichthys meeki.
Variations: There are no variations of this species that are known to us. But this species occurs over a wide geographical area, so there are probably variations in their colors and patterns.
Click here for a lot more information about keeping and caring for Firemouths, including a picture gallery.
We hope you've enjoyed reading these comments.
DrT - 01/31/2015
We have 380-aquariums with lots-and-lots of popular aquarium fish plus lots-and-lots of rare fish!
We consider ourselves to be the link between the world's best sources of fish and the world best customers. We love our work, and we are very responsible.
All of our fish are Premium Quality Fish from the best suppliers in the world. Our fish have better health, more energy and brighter colors, as you can see in our pictures on this website.
We also offer lots and lots of information about keeping pet fish, all from the knowledge of the Bailey Brothers, who have a combined total of 100+ years of experience as breeders, wholesalers, and retailers of pet fish!
Our fish and our customers are treated with the best of care, and we work energetically everyday to make sure every customer enjoys their new fishy friends.
When you purchase pet fish from us, you know you're receiving premium quality fish and premium quality service.
"Received my fish last night and was so pleased! They all arrived alive and appeared to be healthy.
"Once in the tank, they became very active and are now thriving in their new home.
"Beautiful fish, I asked for color and aquariumfish delivered. Processing and shipping was extremely quick."
Nevin and DrTom, the Bailey Brothers
This website is owned and operated by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, who've been together in the fish business for more than 50-years.
The Product Manager has been with the company for more than 35-years.
So we feel very confident that this is the fishiest crew anywhere.