fish medium level

Hemichromis stellifer

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Juwel cichlid

Jewel cichlids make excellent parents. Typically the male and female share the task of caring for their young once they have hatched.

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Geographical region
Cenral Africa
Drainage Basin
Congo River
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
River mouth
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Malebo (Stanley) Pool, Democratic Republic of Congo. Distribution region: coastal rivers from Southern Cameroon to Zaire.
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Least Concern (LC)

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Water color
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
23,5-26,5 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

6.8 mg/l
Dissolved Oxygen


Standard length
8 cm
Water volume (min. aquarium)
70 l
Social behaviour
Lives in pair
Behaviour description

Hemichromis stellifer seems to be absolutely undemanding to the water parameters, although in the wild it is mostly found in soft and acidic waters.

These cichlids show a very territorial behaviour, so it is recomended to decorate the biotope tank with plenty of caves and flat rocks in order to allow them to establish their own territory. Harmonizing pairs are usually very peaceful against each other.

Jewel cichlids have a tendency to dig in the substrate which can disturb live plants.

Aggression grade
Day active
Sexual dimorphism

Hemichromis stellifer is a very colorful species with fascinating behaviour that belongs to the more peaceful members of its kind. The sexual dimorphism is limited so the females can be as bright as the males, though male jewel cichlids might have more pointed anal, ventral and dorsal fins. If conditioned correctly, their colors become even more intense during the breeding.

Nutrition in Nature

In Nature this species that lives in creeks, rivulets and other small habitats, feeding on insects, larvae, small crustaceans and detritus.

In the aquarium Jewel Cichlids will eat just about anything you offer them – flakes or pellets and supplement it with various live and frozen foods. They also accept fresh vegetables such as the special freeze-dried seaweed, freshly seared spinach, lettuce, banana.


Breeding tank set-up

Normally they would breed in the biotope community tank. The female spawns on a surface such as a stones, rocks, roots, or plant leaves.


Nutrition parents

Such a supplement of various live and frozen foods is especially important if you want to condition them for breeding. In this case, focus more on live and frozen foods.

Mating type
Spawning behaviour

Hemichromis stellifer form monogamous breeding pairs.  Both parents guard the eggs, and participate in fry raising.

Breeding habits
Hatching period
48-100 hours
Number of eggs in average
Parental care
Fry number
Nutrition fry

The hatching takes place after three to five days. After another six or seven days the babyfish start to swim freely and can be fed with brine shrimp nauplii.  The parents dedicate to parental care of their babies another month.

Notes on reproduction

They can act agressive against tankmates, while having young.