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The Jaguar Cichlid – Beautiful Predator Tropical Fish

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Scientific Name: Nandopsis Managuense or known as Jaguar Cichlid
Habitat : Honduras, Nicaragua, South Mexico and Costa Rica
Temperament: Highly Aggressive
Breeding:  Substrate Spawner
Temperature: 76 – 82°F
pH: 7.0 – 8.0
Diet: Carnivore
Difficulty: moderate

The Jaguar Cichlid – Beautiful Predator Tropical Fish

When mentioning the Nandopsis Managuense or the Jaguar Cichlid fish, a big  fish with an appearance of a Jaguar is what comes to mind, well that’s exactly how to describe it. A predator fish with a beautiful marking like a Jaguar.  Jaguar Cichlid belongs to the Nandopsis family. Which is considered one of the largest in the cichlid sub-species.

Jaguar cichlid is native to the Honduras, Nicaragua, South Mexico and Costa Rica. They inhabit lakes in a tropical climate. Optimum pH level is between 7-8.5  Largest fish was measured at 18 inches in length. Aquarium raised and wild specimens may or may not reach this size due to various factors.  Each Jaguar Cichlid has its own unique pattern meaning no fish will have the same characteristic body  pattern. Similar to humans with fingerprint.

Just like any predatorial fish the Jaguar cichlid has a highly aggressive temperament. So if you plan on keeping this fish in a small tank such as a 24 inch tank, then don’t even consider adding any tank mates even if it’s the same species.

Jaguar Cichlid vs Tankmates

Jaguar Cichlid are highly territorial and will likely finish off smaller tank mates in just a matter of days so it is advise to keep them isolated. However some aquarist with large tanks do housed the Jaguar cichlid with other tank mates as seen in the following Jaguar Cichlid videos but don’t expect conflict not to arise from time to time.

How to tell the difference between male or female ?

Male has darker black patterns on the entire body while the females has a lighter pattern on the abdomen.

Male Parachromis managuensis or Male Jaguar Cichlid


Female Parachromis managuensis or Jaguar Cichlid.

female jaguar fish


Picture of the female Parachromis managuensis or female Jaguar Cichlid laying eggs. They have been documented to spawn as many as 1000-2000 eggs. See in this video.

Jaguar Cichlid Laying Eggs


The female do not carry fertilized eggs but eggs are fertilized externally. As seen in the picture the female breeding tube (Ovipositor) clearly visible beneath the abdomen. Eggs are laid on top of rocks or driftwood.

Jaguar Cichlid Laying Eggs


Once the breeding pair have been established and the female eggs have been laid, thereafter the eggs will be  fertilized by the male Jaguar Cichild fish.  As shown in this picture of the male displaying it’s breeding tube.


Despite their aggressive reputation but when it comes to raising their young the Jaguar Cichild does not feed on their own eggs or fry. Once the fry have reached 2 cm in length or about 6 weeks, the female fish will be ready to spawn again.  Instinctively the parent fish will become very protective over the set of new offspring and eggs, as a result will show aggression towards the old fry and will be consumed by both parents, so it is best to separate them after six weeks.

Image Source: eacichlid.co.uk, monsterfishkeepers.com

Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). Parachromis managuensis in FishBase. February 2013 version.

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