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FAQs on Red Devil Cichlids: Behavior   

Related Articles: Red Devils, Texas Cichlids, Firemouths, Oscars, Neotropical Cichlids, African Cichlids, Dwarf South American Cichlids, Cichlid Fishes in GeneralCichlid Systems, Cichlid Identification, Cichlid Behavior, Cichlid Compatibility, Cichlid Selection, Cichlid Feeding, Cichlid DiseaseCichlid Reproduction,

Related FAQs: Red Devils 1Red Devils 2, & Red Devils Identification, Red Devils Compatibility, Red Devils Selection, Red Devils Systems, Red Devils Feeding, Red Devils Health, Red Devils Reproduction,  & Neotropical Cichlids 1, Cichlids of the World,

Red devil cichlid behavior    12/11/12
Hello and thank you for your help in advance. I have a Red Devil Cichlid that is approximately 8 to 9 years old. I believe it is a male as the previous owner named him Charlie (I do not know how to check gender)- Anyways, lately he has been going out of the water and hitting the glass up, and splashing around. I thought nothing of it. Well today he has been really aggressive and swimming to every side of the tank splashing a lot and it seems like he is trying to get out. He gets out of the water as much as he can. I thought he would stop but he has been doing it non-stop for over two hours. Is this normal? Why is he doing this now and what can I do to prevent this?
Thank you so much!
- Misty
<It's absolutely NOT normal. However, it can usually be explained. How big is the tank? If the tank is too small, he may simply be trying to get out (it sounds suicidal, but if a fish is stuck in what it perceives to be a puddle liable to dry up, it may leap around trying to jump into a bigger pond nearby). Check water quality and chemistry; if ammonia and nitrite aren't zero, and water hardness isn't above 10 degrees dH, and pH isn't between 7 and 8, he might be stressed, and his behaviour reflective of this. What's he with? If there are other nippy, aggressive, or otherwise annoying tankmates, he might be trying to get out. Last but not least, is anyone outside the tank riling him? Oh, for what it's worth, sexing mature Central American cichlids often isn't difficult -- males have a distinctive long, pointed, slightly angled spawning "tube" in front of the anal fin that females lack (theirs is short, blunt, and usually visible only when spawning). Male Midas Cichlids commonly have a well-defined nuchal hump, but not always. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Red devil cichlid behavior    12/11/12

Thanks Neale!
<Most welcome, Misty.>
The tank is 75 gallon. He is fairly large in size.
<I see. Still, should be workable.>
He has two Pleco tank mates that do not bother him at all.
<Good. But do keep an open mind, especially at night; look for signs of missing scales or tattered fins suggesting of the Plecs sucking on the flanks, as they often do with large, slow-moving fish.>
I did a 50% water change thinking that would help, however he still behaved the same after. It does seem like he is trying to get out very aggressively. I don't believe it is for attention and I am the only one here and by no means do I get him worked up. Question, do they like the same diet all the time?
<In the wild they're very omnivorous: algae, snails, benthic invertebrates, carrion would all be part of their diet. So mix it up a little.>
I did get a different fish food than normal, could he become this angry because of that?
<Possibly; use of live foods, especially "feeders", is sometimes a trigger for behavioural changes for the worse.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Red Devil Hiding   10/5/11

Hi, I got a red devil 2 weeks ago and at first she was very active. We even put 4 guppies in there and she killed them all and another red devil but had to take it out because she almost killed him also.
< If you are going to keep a community tank, then it is best to stay away from fish with names like devil and terror in them.>
We bought her a rock cave and after that she would spend the whole time in there. She would only come out if you weren't looking at her. But once you come close to the tank she will dart right back in to the cave. I noticed she stopped eating anything.
We did a 50% water change and took everything out besides gravel. But nowall she does is stay under the heater and won't go anywhere else or a self-made pit. We don't know if she has an infection or its the water.
What should we do?? We're very worried!
<Cichlids are very aware of their surroundings. Chances are that it is not an illness but a case of shyness. The guppies acted as dither fish. They provided some constant movement in the tank. When those guppies were eaten then there was no movement in the tank so now any movement is considered a threat and your red devil will continue to hide. Large, fast moving barbs or tetras would provide the movement needed to get your red devil to come out.-Chuck.>
Re: HELP!!-- 10/05/11
Red Devil Hiding II

Now I noticed that she has black marks on top of her fins and tail.
<Black marks may be just variations in color.>
Red gills and abrasions on her side. I researched it and it looks like ammonia poisoning. I've controlled the ammonia and but will those marks ever disappear and are her gills okay?
<Ammonia problems usually occur when a tank is first set up or when everything in the tank is cleaned to the point that the bacteria needed for biological filtration have been washed away. Ammonia burns are very slow to recover.>
And to help with her shyness, putting barbs or tetras will help?
< Yes>
Will she not try to kill them too?
< Put a group of large tetras or barbs that will not be eaten. The red devil will spend her time chasing all of them and not just one of them.-Chuck>

Severum black for weeks? Psychosocial    9/20/10
Greetings All,
I have just been reading your FAQ on your website and hope that I can get some clarification on what is happening in my tank, in particular with my Severum. I purchased 2 Green Severum about 3 years ago and both are now huge (the size of a man's hand). They have spent all their lives in my 200Litre (ok worked it out to about 52 Gallons) 4 Foot tank with a canister filtration system. They share their space with a Red Dragon Discus and some small Tetras (these frequently get eaten but other than that they get along relatively well).
<Will need more room...>
My ph is fine and there is a long aeration hose that runs the length of the tank. My only recent qualm has been high nitrate levels (my assumption - big fish = messy fish).
<How high is high? I'd keep these/this under 10 ppm, esp. w/, for the Symphysodon>
So I keep the plants fresh and gravel vac every week or fortnight.
One of my Severums is quite active and flouts about the tank as No.1 fish however the other one of late has turned almost completely dark and spends its time laying in the corners or hiding behind driftwood, rather inanimate.
<A bad sign>
I thought it was very sick and perhaps on its last legs (so to speak).
<Likely more psychological than physical>
Surprisingly this fish has been in the same condition for over a month now.
I do not want to over medicate the tank (pet shop advice to use a nitrate suppressant and multi-cure medicine to treat the whole tank) I decided not to because all the other fish are fine.
<I agree with your position... Would NOT treat as suggested by the LFS>
The other day I noticed the two Severums were fighting?
<Quite likely... and in this small volume of water, no where to get away>
pecking at each other, mainly #1 pecking at black, then they started lip locking. I have read so much stuff its confusing me and I am not sure if the black one is sick or brooding?
<More likely the latter>
If they are brooding how long do they stay like this?
<Perhaps forever, or until the "loser" dies from cumulative stress, non-feeding... they need to either be separated (put into two tanks) or placed in a much larger world (a hundred gallons or more)>
Also I put my hand in to see if it was going to move and it swam off and changed back to its normal colour. This Severum also changes back to its normal colour when eating before returning to its corner to sulk and turn black
<Then this is not neurological damage>
again so I'm thinking it cant be a sickness because it can decide if it wants to be active.
Please help. I don't know if I should be separating or accommodating brooding.
Regards, Lisa.
<Moving together to a larger world or placed in separate systems. Bob Fenner>
Re: Severum black for weeks?  9/20/10

Thanks very much for your help. Am now searching for a bigger tank. :)**
<Ah, good. BobF>

Red Devil Hitting the Lid 8/28/10
Hey Crew, I have a Red Devil African Cichlid (for about 6 years now).
< Red Devils come from Central America.>
Reds is moving normal and has a healthy appetite , but he will jump up and hit the lid of the tank. At first I thought it was because he is hungry, but he will do it even after he eats. This has been going on for about 2 weeks now. Red's live in a 55 gallon tank by himself because he killed everyone else. What can be the cause of this behavior?
< Could be things floating on the water that resemble food items. Like a fish hitting a lure at the surface of a lake. The other reason may be because it thinks its escaping a predator. Shadows and traffic near the tank can spook fish into jumping. I would remove items like leaves of plastic plants and maybe move the tank where less people may walk by.-Chuck>
Re: Red Devil Hitting Lid II
Nothing has been added to the tank. The tank has been in the same position for 6 years, and nothing is floating.
<Then the second reason , that he is being spooked by something could be the cause. Maybe shadows or reflections of light hitting the tank. maybe he does it more at certain times of the day than others. next time it happens look around and see if you can determine a pattern to determine the cause.-Chuck>
Red Devil Cichlid Hitting Lid 9/3/10

Chuck, First I would like to thank you for assisting us in figuring out what is wrong with Red's. I am attaching a video so you can see what he is doing all the time. I am noticing that his color is starting to fade (he's getting white all over), a bump is forming on his head near his hump, and is eyes don't look right. He still eats and will follow us around when you go to the tank.
< Sorry , couldn't get the video to open up. I move the question to another crew member to see if they have better luck.-Chuck 
Re: Red Devil African Cichlid 9/3/10
<Mmm, doesn't seem to be "home"/responding>
First I would like to thank you for assisting us in figuring out what is wrong with Red's. I am attaching a video so you can see what he is doing all the time. I am noticing that his color is starting to fade (he's
getting white all over), a bump is forming on his head near his hump, and is eyes don't look right. He still eats and will follow us around when you go to the tank.
Mrs. Marlena Duckett
<Mmm, well "something" is wrong here environmentally, but what? Could there be an electrical short? Some source of poisoning...? Bob Fenner>

Red evil 4/22/09
hello, im very concerned about my red devil.
<Hello Shrhonda, thanks for writing. But please note, we usually bounce back messages that don't have proper grammar and spelling. It's the "currency" of the site; you give us well written messages, and we can
create web pages from them. Web pages turn into advertising, and that pays for the bandwidth. If you don't send us a clearly written message, that system is undermined. If you actually are 8 years old and don't know about grammar and spelling, or English isn't your first language, then accept my apologies; otherwise, fix your messages before you send them please! This is all stated up front where you found our e-mail.>
its about 3-4 years old, he/she is very active, and i have had no real problems with him except for the eating of other friends.
<If he's eaten his tankmates, that's surely a problem? In any case, Red Devil cichlids shouldn't be eating fish. They are "earth-eater" type cichlids, that naturally sift mud and debris to find food, particularly worms, insect larvae and bits of plant matter. The worst thing you can do for this type of fish is allow them to eat fish, either accidentally or deliberately. When animals eat the food they're not meant to, they get sick. Just look at the health of most of the humans around you! We should be eating mostly plants and a bit of meat, but instead we don't do that, and our health suffers through obesity, constipation, heart disease and all the rest. So, concentrate on the natural diet of your fish, and it will always be much healthier.>
anyhow the last two days he/she has been really weird. we did a partial water change on Monday, he/she has not ate but developed black around his/her lips and the edges of the fins and some on the body, but also is staying at the top of the tank on the right side. the a few times today i have watched and all the sudden he will jump up out of the water.
<Difficult to say what's the issue here without water chemistry parameters, specifically nitrite and pH. Usually when fish go loopy after a water change, it's because they've been exposed to some sudden change in pH, temperature, or perhaps even poisons such as detergents that might have been in the bucket. Toxins in the air, such as paint fumes, can also cause problems. If you cleaned the filter too aggressively, it's possible you've removed too many bacteria, and the filter has begun "cycling" again, in which case ammonia and nitrite levels will go up. Check these.
Discolouration around the mouth can indicate incipient infections, particularly Finrot and Columnaris, in which case an appropriate medication such as Maracyn will need to be used.>
his breathing seemed strange so i stuck a air brick in to get more oxygen but i don't really think that was the problem. im worried he/she is dying.
all my levels are in range and i adjusted my temp.
<What do you mean by "the range"? For a Red Devil, this should be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0-20 mg/l nitrate, pH 7.5-8, general hardness 10-25 degrees dH, carbonate hardness 5-15 degrees KH, temperature 25 C/77 F. If you're not at these levels, then something is wrong, and you should fix them.>
he is moving all his/her fins. does not looked harmed. do u think he is just upset with us.
<No; never make the mistake of assigning human feelings to animals. Animals don't work the same way as us. Rather, animals prioritise their basic needs and drives, and the foremost of these is survival. If they are exposed to lethal conditions, they won't do their other things such as feeding and engaging in reproductive behaviour such as territoriality.>
he hasn't even done the normal as to rearrange, u no the plants float at the top and all the gravel to one side. has not done that.
<Review conditions, diet as noted above. For a Red Devil to *not* want to dig and act belligerently is rather unusual!>
<Cheers, Neale.>

fish breeding, Red Devil beh.... English   7/15/08 my red devil has dug a big pit,and he ckeeps chasing my female flowerhorn around,until she hides at the top,could you tell me why he is doing this,thanks tony? <Amphilophus spp are highly territorial nest builders, and unless you have a huge aquarium they assume the entire aquarium is their own domain. So in short, he/she is being territorial (Amphilophus spp. are difficult to sex) and doesn't want the Flowerhorn in its tank. Simple as that. Cheers, Neale.>

Dark Lips on a Red Devil Cichlid Just received a wild caught 9" red devil (Amphilophus labiatus). He seems to have settled in reasonably well, but I noticed today his lips look sooty in color, like he was foraging in black dirt. Just the front of his lips are colored. I don't think it is a pigment change. He appears to be about three years old, and would have probably achieved his final coloration by now. Any ideas? <May be "bruised". Have seen these mouth color changes in "just moved" neotropical cichlids before. Generally will recolorize in time. If the fish is eating (which is almost a given with this species) I wouldn't be concerned. Bob Fenner>

Red Devil Query I have a red devil in a 55 gallon tank, and he is about 25 cm long... I just noticed recently he likes going to the top of the tank and it seems like he's grabbing air, although I know that's no true cause that's just the way fish work, breath thru the water.. I was wondering why would it seem that he is always going up there and doing that?? is he healthy? he also doesn't eat anything some times. he's really picky... I was thinking of giving him to the pet store because I don't know if I can handle him not eating and such. >>>Hello Mike, First thing, please use proper grammar and spelling when you post a query here. Taking time to correct these things just means I have less energy to devote to your question. All of these questions are posted on the site FAQ, so bad spelling and grammar must be corrected. Now... These fish are large, messy eaters and will place a tremendous strain on the filtration system. Nitrogen cycle management is paramount with large cichlids such as these. Failure to do so can cause a myriad of health issues. I need more info. What is your setup? How is the water circulation? How often do you perform water changes? Lack of oxygen in the water can cause the behavior you describe. The fish is literally gasping for air. Regards Jim<<<

Dangerous Devil Behavior? Hi- I have a 6" Red Devil who until recently has acted quite calmly. I've had him for a year and have always been careful to feed him a balanced diet. Recently, he has begun to act strangely. Darting, chasing his tail, and biting at his reflection in the glass, sometimes ramming it full speed. Everybody said to treat him for parasites, which I have done twice. Also I have done a 100% water change twice. This has been going on for about 2 weeks. He does not rub his body on anything and eats normally. It seems like he's just gone crazy! Any help you could lend would be appreciated-- Mike <What you describe so well is not atypical developmental behavior for the few species of neotropical cichlids called Red Devils... they can become incredibly "aggressive", so much so that other livestock cannot be kept with them... Not a disease here, no need to treat, but do take care if you intend to move, mix this specimen with other fishes... it should be the last fish added... and kept separated by a transparent partition for a few weeks... Bob Fenner>

Red devil playing dead? Hello, I have a Red Devil that is about 6-8 inches long, it lives in a 135gallon tank with a Dempsey, blue African and a pike. They all get along just fine since they grew up together from young fry. My question is why does my fish seem to play dead, I keep thinking that when I wake up in the morning he will be dead (or she). Next morning he/she is just swimming happily around, but it will just lay on the floor on its side or even upside down and it will swim upside down to get behind his rock in the corner. Is this something that you have heard of before or could he be sick? <Not likely sick... but a cichlid! That is, these are intelligent, playful fish...> All the other fish in the take act normal. I gave you the info on the size and other fish because maybe they are not meant to be together. I hope you can answer my question, I just need to know if I should go get new filters or anything else that may help him if he is sick. Thanks  - Ammy <Likely you already change out water, vacuum the gravel often... and offer a variety of foods... Your fish are doing fine, and they are a compatible, though rough and tumble grouping. Bob Fenner> 

How Old Can Red Devil Cichlids Get? Hello, I have had a Male Red Devil Cichlid for almost 17 years. If I'd have known he would live this long I would've saved for his college tuition! I got him when he was about the size of a dime, and now he's almost a foot long and still growing. He's in a 40 gallon tank by himself, though he makes friends with just about anyone (human, dog, cat etc.) who takes the time to meet him. Loads of personality! His name is Fred. My question is how old can Red Devil Cichlids live to be? The only sign I can see that he might be slowing down is this: We've always had a game where I try to drop his food pellets directly into his waiting mouth (if I wait too long, he'll leap out of the water like Shamu and grab it for himself!). Whenever I miss and the pellet lands in the water, he'll scramble after it. He always used to get it on the first lunge, but over the last year or so it seems to take him more tries before he gets the pellet. It seems that maybe his eyesight is going. I've heard that Cichlids are known for their keen eyesight, so that might account for his missing the pellets on the first few tries. Besides that, Fred has never had any health problems and is a truly beautiful fish in perfect shape. Nobody has been able to tell me how old Red Devil Cichlids can get. What is the oldest you've heard of? < The problem with longevity records with tropical fish is that nobody wants to keep their fish that long. Many cichlid keepers breed their fish and then move on to the next one. Your track record with your red devil is truly remarkable and you are to be highly commended for keeping you pet alive and well for so long. As a general rule of thumb I personally use a " year per inch" standard. But many fish such as your have far exceeded that. I don't know of anyone who has kept track of their red devil for any length of time. I am sure your fish is getting up there.-Chuck> Thank you! Chris Haller INSECURE RED DEVIL Hi Bob I have recently been given a red devil and I think he is terrific - recently however he seems to be staying for most of the day in his rock cave that he put together himself ! he used to come out and play and landscape a lot. I can't see anything wrong with him but he takes off and hides when ever I approach so I'm finding it hard to check him out. I feed him appropriate food regularly. I am wondering if he is a bit lethargic or sick for some reason or just being an eccentric red devil. Do you have any advice?  Thanks in advance - John, Melbourne Australia  < He may feel more comfortable in his little retreat. If he is eating and looks normal then it is probably a case where he feels more secure in the cave and does not feel a need to come out. I would dismantle his cave and force him to face the light because eventually he will probably become imprinted to his cave and stay in there permanently. This makes for a poor aquarium fish. Get him out and keep him active. Move things around in the tank as well as add a few rocks or take some out.-Chuck> 

Red Devil Acting Strange I have a 6" red devil who, aside from killing any other fish I tried to put with him, has acted quite calm for the year I've had him. Recently he has been darting unexpectedly, chasing his tail, and biting at his reflection in the glass. He eats normally ( a balanced diet). He does not rub his body on anything, has no signs of parasites ( I treated him twice for them anyway, just to be sure) and I have done a 100% change of water twice. He is acting as if he has just gone crazy. Is there a certain time of year when they exhibit strange behavior (like a mammal) or could there be another explanation? Thanks for your help! - Mike < Cichlids from Central America are intelligent creatures and often interact with their exterior surroundings. What you are describing is normal for a fish that has been kept alone for awhile. This turns out is part of their charm and why so many people really like their cichlids for many years. To slow him down you can turn down the water temp to the mid 70's. If you really want to see him go ballistic set a mirror next to him. Don't leave it there too long or he might hurt himself. This is not a disease, just a result of being raised alone.-Chuck> 

Devil Getting His Horns My cichlid (red devil) has a large bump over his left eye, it is about the size of a nickel, and is bulging out. It also is turning colors as if it might be bruised, what is this and how can I treat it? Thanks, Gail <This could be natural growth. An adult male Red Devil will grow such a hump as a sign of maturity. If this is a bruise then just keep his water clean and it will heal. Don>  

Red Devil Changing Color  9/16/05 Hi WWMC! <Hello there.> I have a 55 gallon tank, as you may have heard before, and  one of its occupants is a 3" red devil named Skeeters. Originally s/he was a  pale orange, but now s/he is changing around her/his lips and tail which are  turning black. Do you know what this might be? Is my red devil ok or is this  something to be worried about? <Completely normal for Red Devils to gain and/or lose patches of black, and sometimes white.  Nothing to be concerned about.--Glenn> Red Devils natural diet? And fat lips? Chuck's Take - 02/11/2007 I have a 7' Red Devil cichlid, his name is Marmalade. He currently is the only fish in his 55 gallon aquarium. <And likely to be the only fish tolerated...> The tank is filtered by two <Good> AquaClear 500s, with weekly 25 to 50 percent water changes. <Also> Water parameters: pH-8.2, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-always under 10ppm, and temperature 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Marmalade's tank will be upgrading to a 150 gallon in May. He deserves more tank space to destroy. <Heeeee!>   I am wondering if anyone can tell me what would make up the majority of their natural diet. <Mmm, you can take a look on fishbase.org: http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=4786 here for the most commonly named Red Devil Cichlid (there are a few other species so-named). See the notes under "Biology"...> I can find gut analyses for many Amphilophus cichlids citrinellus, xiloaensis, Amarillo, '¦ but not labiatus. < http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=28238&genusname=Amphilophus&speciesname=labiatus> I want to raise live foods for treats. I currently raise cherry red shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata sinensis), snails, and swordtails (Xiphophorus Sp). In the summer I also raise red worm. <All accepted greedily> I also need to know if anyone has suggestions on fattening up Marmalade's lips. The only info I can find about their fat lips says it is callus buildup from their feeding practices in the wild. I want to replicate Marmalade's natural environment as well as possible. My plan is decorating the 150 with 100+ pounds of honeycomb limestone. My hope is that he will excavate the rock for his live treats and fatten up his lips. Any other suggestions? <Mmm, really just time going by... May "fatten up" or no...> I guess I need to mention that I don't know Marmalade is 100% red devil. I purchased him from a pet store, not an importer. I think he shows mostly labiatus characteristics. His nuchal hump is relatively small. When viewed from overhead his jaws come to a point, not rounded like Amphilophus citrinellus. <Am going to place this note in our resident Cichlid expert's in box as well... Chuck Rambo will likely have much more input here. Bob Fenner> <(Chuck's Take). In the wild these guys feed on all kinds of invertebrates like snails, crustaceans, insects as well as small fishes. These prey items are found in between the cracks of the rocks in their natural environment. The large lips on these cichlids are used like a gasket over the openings so they can suck out the prey out between the cracks. When these fish are brought into the aquarium they stop doing this technique and the lips soon go back to a normal size.  There are many Lake Malawi cichlids that have the same large lips in the wild. So far there has been no documentation of any captive cichlids developing these massive lip structures.-Chuck>

Red Devil Going Crazy......... 9/5/07 Hello, I have a Female Red Devil that is about three years old and is about 8" inches long. I recently moved her from a 55 gallon tank with one other fish into a 100 gallon tank with about ten smaller less aggressive fish. She seems to be doing fine with the other fish, they stay out of her way and occasionally she will dart at one but nothing to serious. <Red devils are hardly community fish, so on the scale of things, you're doing well.> However, lately she has been acting really strange. She has been doing this really weird shaking with her body around her "cave" , sometimes she will dig her nose into the ground and shake I cant tell if she is trying to rub her body on anything, it doesn't seem like she is cause sometimes she does it when nothing is around her. <Probably trying to dig.> She also has been extremely active very excited when I come up to the tank and she will try and bite at herself which she used to do prior but this is a little more extreme than usual. <She's trying to attack you. She views you as a threat.> I thought that maybe she was going to lay eggs or something, but I don't think that is possible without a male is it? <Not usually, though sometimes it happens.> Now the tank I got had previously had other fish in it, is it possible that it may have had some diseases in it or parasites and so now she has it? <Unlikely.> I am pretty new to all of this so I really don't know what to think. Can you help me figure out what is wrong? <Do all the usual things: check pH (should be ~7.5), hardness (should be reasonably high), nitrite (should be zero). Review diet (these are omnivorous cichlids and need a mix of meaty and green foods). But otherwise, assuming there aren't obvious signs of infection or skin damage, I'd tend to leave things be for now.> Thanks, Melissa & Fido (my fish) <Cheers, Neale>

Re: Red Devil Going Crazy......... -- 09/05/07 Thank you for your reply! However, I wanted to add that I noticed that her color as well has gotten very bright (brighter than usual), and she also has something sticking out of her belly on the bottom. Also when I was fixing the plants she was trying to attack my hand and she has never ever done this in the past. I know there has to be something going on with her, could it possibly be that she may be a he? She doesn't have a bump on her head like I have read with most male Red Devils so I just assumed that she was female. <Hmm... well, red devils destroy plants, so that checks. Not sure what the "something" from her belly is, but let's assume it's the genital pore, in which case you likely have a mature male if its long and pointed, a female if its round and stubby. Only old males develop a really big nuchal hump, and some males never develop one. There's also the problem of which species we're talking about here: Amphilophus citrinellus or Amphilophus labiatus; both get called red devils (as ever, Latin names are best!). Colours can vary with age and mood, so not real informative. If you're really concerned, send along a picture. But if she's eating and merely engaging in random acts of violence and destruction, well, that's par for the genus. Cheers, Neale>

Re: Red Devil Going Crazy.........  9/7/07 Here is a pic. The thing sticking out from her/his belly is actually very tiny. And she hasn't been eating at all since I have put her into the new tank. <Hmm... can't really see anything on that photo. Can you do a close-up of her vent? Sexing this species is extremely difficult, and a good look at the vent will help, too. Cheers, Neale.>

2 pictures for you Firemouth Not a Firemouth, Red devil beh.   4/16/08 I have a Firemouth cichlid that I have had for a couple of years now. A few months ago, he started losing his scale color-it almost looked like he was molting. Now, he is completely orange. He has been completely orange now for about three months. He eats well, I give him cichlid pellets, blood worms, etc. he started having the problem when I gave him a bunch of feeder minnows. Water pH is around 7.8, temp is 80 degrees, ammonia level is zero. I regularly do water changes once a month, and he is alone in a 25 gallon tank. He is very large, probably 9 inches long. My question is - what is the matter with him? How can I get his stripes/coloring back? Why does he now look like a giant goldfish with teeth? There are no visible parasites on him. His fins are in perfect shape. Any ideas? I am attaching a couple of pictures showing him when it first started happening, and what he looks like now. Can you help? Thanks----------Wayne <Your Firemouth is really a red devil. Once they change from their grey color to orange they don't go back.-Chuck>

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