African Jewelfish

By | January 23, 2016

The African jewelfish (Hemichromis bimaculatus), a beautifully colored fish, sometimes known as jewel cichlid or jewelfish, belongs to the cichlidae family.

The African Jewelfish are omnivorous and they can grow up to 12-15 centimeters (5-6 inches) long. Its color is red with fine jewel-like blue spots and three dark spots on the sides, the first on the opercle, the second in the midsection, the third at the base of the tail.

These amazing fishes are favorite among many fish keepers, but they are inappropriate for typical community aquariums because of their ruthless territorial behavior, especially when breeding. West African Jewelfish are simply beautiful creatures making it worthwhile to consider keeping a tank just for this species.


The African jewelfish needs slightly acidic water (around pH 6.0-7.8) and relatively warm water (72-82 °F or 22-28 °C) required to thrive in captivity.

Feeding them is pretty straightforward; it will approve most flake or frozen foods and also insects. It does best on meaty foods, so try to provide them some pieces of shrimp or fish as well. Also known to eat plants such as algae, and other weeds. Its tank should have a good power filter on it because it eats a lot, is quite chaotic in making a mess and needs good water conditions.

When the African Jewelfish is ready to reproduce, they will turn a deep red color to let the male find out. The male and female will come together or jaw lock and the male will release sperm on the eggs. The female will then lay the eggs on a flat surface. The female will defend her eggs and will kill anything that comes too close. In a few of days the eggs will hatch and the female still keeps the guard on for the young. The female can breed about every three weeks.