Parachromis dovii

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Parachromis dovii
Parachromis dovii guapote.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cichliformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Parachromis
P. dovii
Binomial name
Parachromis dovii
(Günther, 1864)
  • Heros dovii Günther, 1864
  • Cichlasoma dovii (Günther, 1864)
  • Herichthys dovii (Günther, 1864)

Parachromis dovii, the guapote, rainbow bass, or wolf cichlid, is a species of cichlid native to Central America where it occurs on both slopes of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This species grows to a length of 72 cm (2.4 ft) TL. This carnivorous species is important to local commercial fisheries and is sought after as a gamefish.[1]

Aquarium care[edit]


Breeding can be achieved with very little effort and no specific requirements are needed for breeding purposes. As long as water conditions are maintained at a desirable high quality, a breeding pair of such fish will readily spawn. To enhance the likelihood of acquiring a breeding pair, purchase several healthy and active juveniles at a young age (between 6 -10) and grow these specimens until sexual maturity. Generally, you should be left with a breeding pair or two. These fish will noticeably become more aggressive and territorial, Remove all other fish at this point and keep the newly formed breeding pair separate. When a breeding pair had been successfully established, the male will begin to court the female by displaying his erect finnage to the female as he tries to impress her in an attempt for her to accept his mating invitation. The pair will begin to clean a flat surface if the female is responsive of the male's previous courting behavior. The female will then lay approximately up to 1000 orange coloured eggs which will then be fertilized by the male. The female will make numerous passes over the breeding surface, depositing eggs on each pass. Every couple of passes the male will interject and spray his sperm. The eggs will be ferociously guarded by both parents and a high degree of parental care is show to the eggs and fry. If the eggs remain tan, they are fertilized. If the eggs turn white, they have died and become moldy. When the eggs 'hatch' after approximately 5 –7 days, the offspring (known as wigglers at this stage in development) are defenseless and are unable to swim. They will be similar in size to a pinhead and may be difficult to determine if they are moving. They are often transported to pre dug pits by both parents, and are guarded. The fry will begin to swim in approximately 7 days and should be fed with baby brine shrimp or alike. If you would like to rear these fry, they should be removed at this point as they will later be consumed by both parents as the female becomes due to spawn once more. Feed the fry baby brine shrimp until the stage where they are large enough to consume blood worm, daphnia and other live foods. Ideally, you should get the infant Dovii eating tiny cichlid pellets as soon as possible, for ultimate nutrition. Crushing up pellets into powder in an ideal way to get the spawn to a great start physically.

When purchasing fish in an attempt to acquire a breeding pair, try to buy fish from different sources. There is a high probability that when buying fish from the same source, fish will be from the same parents (siblings). Breeding fish in this manner may form offspring with genetic disease usually associated with interbreeding. The most common genetic defect is a male who's sperm is infertile. Breeding partners of the same size is not necessary, as long as the female as somewhere to hide if the male becomes hostile. Males typically become hostile when they are ready for breeding, but the female is resisting his advances.


The aquarium should be large (at least 800 l or 210 US gal) for a breeding pair of wolf cichlids. As with all members of its genus, these fish are large and heavily built cichlids who are aggressive and highly territorial. Be extremely careful putting your hand in any aquarium that is housing a Dovii. Many pieces of flat slate rock could also be included for the female to lay her eggs upon.


The Parachromis are not fussy eaters and will readily accept most food substances offered. The fish's ability to protrude its jaw 9.9% standard length allows it to have a diet composed of 95% evasive prey.[2] Cichlid pellets are an ideal daily food. Diet should be varied however, to include necessary nutrition. Offer a variety of insect, including blood worm, earthworm, mysis, crickets (for larger specimens). Chopped meat can also be offered along with beef heart (offer sparingly due to its high fat content) along with prawn and chopped fish filet. Frozen fish is a much preferred method of feeding fish as many "feeder fish" carry the risk of the introducing disease into your aquarium, possibly harming your fish. Also, feeder fish are overwhelmingly high in fat, creating potential massive damage to the fish's health, especially the liver. During spawning the female may forego eating for periods of time as she prepares a breeding nest, courting activities, or protecting the eggs.


Females tend to be smaller than males but in rare cases can grow as big as their than spawn mates. The gold/yellow colouration is more prominent in the females, especially during courtship, breeding and raising fry. The contrast between the black and gold/yellow will become prominent during breeding behavior. Also, the female will show a small tube sticking slightly out of her bottom to signify she is ready for egg-laying. The male's dorsal and ventral fins are also much more elongated than the female's. Males tend to be more blue, and the most dominant Alpha will have the brightest blue. In a mature specimen, the darker the male is, the more stressed/unhealthy that fish is.

Water chemistry[edit]

pH of 7.0 - 8.0 preferably. Temperature of about 24–27 °C (75–81 °F). Higher temperature will increase metabolism, thus increase eating rate, thus increase growth. Higher temperature is also beneficial in preventing the onset of parasites, such as ich. Lower temperature slows all facets of Dovii, included their immunity, making them more susceptible to disease. However, it has been rumored that replacing aquarium water with slightly colder water would replicate rain fall. In the wild, rain fall represents an ideal time to spawn, and colder water may trigger spawning activity.


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Parachromis dovii" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  2. ^ Hulsey, C. D.; Garcia De Leon, F. J. (2005). "Cichlid jaw mechanics: Linking morphology to feeding specialization". Functional Ecology. 19 (3): 487. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2005.00987.x.

External links[edit]