Red Forest Jewel Cichlid

Red Forest Jewel Cichlid
Scientific Name
Hemichromis Lifalil
Family Cichlidae
pH 6.5 – 8.0
dH 2 – 10
Temp 22 – 27 degrees
Size  5 – 6 inches
Life Span 5+ years


Western Central Africa. Found in the lakes and rivers throughout Zaire and Congo.


The Red Forest Jewel’s most striking feature is the intense red colouring. Blue incandescent spots cover their entire bodies with one larger green eye-spot at the rear edge of the operculum and one black spot towards the rear on the lateral line. Males are larger than females. Colours will become even brighter at spawning time with the female turning darker.


Provide the Red Forest Jewel plenty of places to hide with driftwood or make caves with rocks. At least 2 inches of substrate. Any plants need to be tied down or placed in pots as they are proficient in dislodging them. Add plenty of aeration. They are a tolerable fish that can accept a range of conditions. A minimum tank size of 100L. A large enough tank will help reduce aggression as there will be enough space between territories of species.


They are a curious fish that will swim to the glass to see what you are doing. Very active and love to be on show. They have an aggressive nature toward their own kind and other fish. Best to put them in with other aggressive fish as they will easily eat or kill off more placid smaller fish. Their temperate is extremely aggressive during spawning. If the tank is not big enough then removal of a pair while spawning is imperative. An impressive colourful fish to own.


The Red Forest Jewel Cichlid is an omnivore enjoying a wide range of foods. Flake food, cichlid pellets, algae wafers, worms, live and frozen food like brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae.


Red Forest Jewel Cichlid are very hardy and tolerate to a lot of changing conditions. There is no direct disease to look out for but are susceptible to others.


Easiest way to breed them is put them in a group and let them pair up. Once paired, remove to a breeding tank as Red Forest Jewels become extremely aggressive to any other fish while spawning. Colours are even more vibrant when breeding. The male will court the female with a little dance to entice her. Keep a flat clean surface for the female to lay her eggs on like rock or a piece of slate. To help with spawning keep the water well oxygenated, slightly acidic with a marginal temperature rise. As with most fish, feed live foods to improve results. The female will lay upward of 300 eggs. Fry hatch in about 2 days with the parents closely guarding them. Fry will be relocated from one spawning pit to another regularly. Both parents will look after their young. After about 1 month, parenting will terminate. Feed fry baby brine shrimp, powdered fry foods.