Animal Stories - Red Devil Cichlid


Animal-World Information about: Red Devil Cichlid

A beautiful but violent fish, the iconic Red Devil makes for one of the most striking show cichlids in the hobby!
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Todd - 2008-01-08
We have a very large and very active Red Devil called Jim. He is 5 years old and is 32cm (BIG FISH!) He has a fully grown bump on the head and as many other have written is more like a house pet than a fish. Luckily for us when Jim was young he attacked a smaller cichlid that was put in his tank as a test (to see if he could have friends)the smaller cichlid got caught in Jim's mouth and became wedged. For 2 days he swam around with this fish stuck firmly, the dorsal fin had caught in his lips. Jim was taken out of the tank and had to have the smaller fish forcibly removed. Since then Jim will not attack any other fish, he may chase them every now and then but is happy to live in a community tank with around 26 other cichlids. The next largest in the tank is Stripes a Frontosa Cichlid at around 18cm. Jim is a very friendly fish, you can pat him on the bump, run your fingers over his sides and feel his heart beating. He doesn't mind me cleaning the tank as long as I don't move the gravel - it has to be his way. If I move any gravel with the siphon filter he is there within seconds attacking it and after I have finished he will then redecorate the entire tank. Trying to keep a tank your own way is impossible, but a very worthwhile and rewarding fish!

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  • Alex Burleson - 2012-02-12
    That was quite an interesting learning experience for your fish, I'd say!
  • steve adams - 2012-09-22
    i have two red devils one the size of my hand and thother one is half that size with a knife cup fish scared to put any thing in there with them except convicts or piranhas
  • steve adams - 2012-09-22
    all my my uncles got one big huge reddevil fish and there kill anything you put in there but mind do that only when they get to close to there territory space.
  • steve adams - 2012-09-22
    all my my uncles got one big huge reddevil fish and there kill anything you put in there but mind do that only when they get to close to there territory space.
  • paul riley - 2012-11-26
    I have a 12 inch red devil which when I first got him killed everything I put in with him including 2 10 inch oscars and a 12 inch red belly pacu as well as a 14 inch pleco but in the past year something has happened with him now he accepts having other fish in his tank. I currently have a 3 inch arutus a 3inch johani chiclid and a 6inch albino zebra chiclid which he gets along fine with is this normal
  • Sugipula - 2013-01-16
    Whoa, things just got a whole lot easier.
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josue - 2011-07-30
Can r.d. be with/ oscars, arowanas, fresh water moray eel, pleco, red tail cat, bala shark, mystic shark, motoro sting ray, red ear slider turtle, severum, parrot cichlid, discus, frontosa, pacu, dog tooth cichlid, clown knife, black ghost and jewel cichlid in a 150 gal.?

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  • Red Devil Lover - 2011-08-09
    To be quite honest, I already think your tank is over populated you have some big fish in there. Adding a Red Devil will only cause him/her and the other fish stress.
  • Tank Dwellers - 2011-11-06
    Your tank is capable of handling 50-60 fish you should be fine. My breeder keeps around 150-170 fish in his 240 gal.
  • bill - 2011-12-20
    No, Defintely No, a single pacu,red tail catfish,clown knife fish or arowana would be to big for that tank each requiring 500 gallons, 2000 for the red tail catfish. A few serveums or parrot cichlids would be okay in that tank. Some fontosas by themselves would be okay. And a colony of dog tooth cichlids would be good.6-7 discus with no tank mates would be okay. Red ear sliders are best kept without fish in the tank. A Motoro sting ray would be okay but they are very difficult to keep. 3-4 bala
  • bill - 2011-12-20
    No, Deffintaly No, a single pacu,red tail catfish, mystic shark, clown knife fish or arowana would be to big for that tank each requiring 500 gallons, 2000 for the red tail catfish. A few serveums or parrot cichlids would be okay in that tank. Some fontosas by themselves would be okay. And a colony of dog tooth cichlids would be good.6-7 discus with no tank mates would be okay. Red ear sliders are best kept without fish in the tank. A Motoro sting ray would be okay but they are very difficult to keep. 3-4 Bala sharks would be good. Or one black ghost knife. Or two oscars. Or one red devil. If you put every one of those fish in a 125 gallon none of them could move it would be so crowded!
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-10
    You have a very different grouping of wish. As this guys grow I think you are going to have some issues. I would not add anymore fish. One thing you didn't add is the size of the current tankmates and if you have other tanks to re-home if they out grow the tank.
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Liesh - 2005-08-17
I own 3 red devils, 2 female 1 male. One male and female are in a split tank and spend all their days trying to get to one another. When they do succeed they fight heavily. The female has just layed eggs and will not let the male anywhere near her or the eggs. They are all beautiful fish and love to bite you. They are always hungry and get annoyed when you change their tank, so they rearrange everything until they are satisfied. They love frozen blood worms, and like to kill small fish for the fun of it.

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  • Chynna - 2013-01-18
    All of these articles have saved me a lot of headhaecs.
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Taylor - 2005-09-08
Red Devils are really really aggressive. When they lay eggs don't even think about messing with that fish. I have one and when they lay eggs they're cheeks get puffy and all they do is watch your every move. They are not bad fish but they're just too aggressive for me.

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A. Thomas - 2006-02-10
I have a 5 year old Red Devil that is about 12-13 inches long. I just upgraded from a 29 gal. to a 55 gal. Unfortunately the tank is not very attractive, but the fish makes up for it. "Andre the Giant" doesn't like anything but rocks in his tank. He killed a giant snail in the tank and would swim around with the shell on his nose crashing into the tank. Quite the personality! Very entertaining fish!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-15
    He sounds like he's a lot of fun. Qutie a personality that fellow has:)
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WaelSaikaly - 2012-04-30
I have four relatively small parrots living in a 200 liters tank, I brought a Red Devil that is bigger than them. would the Red Devil hurt the parrot if I put it in the same tank?

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  • Tory - 2012-07-04
    If your red devil is territorial and aggressive than yes it will harm your parrot fish. I have a red devil that is almost 6 years old and about 12 inches long. He has killed a blood parrot before as well as a tiger oscar that was actually bigger than him. I do not recommend having them in the same tank.
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Lisa Ann Myers-Perry - 2011-03-15
In 2007 I wrote about my Red Devil named Dozer, at that time he was 16 years old and going down hill quickly, but I managed to revive him. He is 20 years old now... A much loved pet all these years. We are on day six now as he nears the end, he has been laying sideways on the bottom of the tank with very labored breathing. It is heartbreaking to watch... he tries to right himself when he sees me, only to fall back down. I cannot do any of the things I've read online to euthanize him, I just wouldn't be able to, he has been in my life 20 years now. I just hope he doesn't feel pain and suffering. I am going to miss him terribly. He is the most interactive fish I've ever known. I was even told he is an old soul that came back to be with me, and must be here to work out something related to a past life. I guess he is still holding on to finish what he came for. I will miss oyu Dozer...

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  • jimmy - 2011-10-26
    I feel for you ,and do understand. My red devil called gatekeeper because he would check out everyone who came in my door,passed away 5 years ago at the age of 21. After his death I mourn along with my wife, as he was a family member. And all of my friends were also very sad. I never got another fish, and turned down offers from friends to give me other fish. Nothing could replace ( gatekeeper) . Well about a 2 months ago a pet store owner and friend of mine.called and said to come look at some very young red devil that a breeder had sold him. There were about 20 in the tank,and all stayed on one side of the tank and did not interact with me accept this one male, who reminded me so much of fish. My friend said that's the one I called you about! I took him home and my wife cried she was so happy at how he acted towards her. When dozer pass take your time, it took me 5 years of no fish , then one day your new dozer will come right to you and hopefully your heart and you will smile again about a fish.
  • Tank Dwellers - 2011-11-06
    WOW! That is remarkable, I feel for you and I hope he crossed over peacefully. I have never heard of a 20 yr old cichlid and I am sure that he reached that ripe old age because of your doting over him. Sorry for your loss.
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Tammie - 2012-04-16
Need help, I got a Red Devil Cichlid almost a year ago, it has grown large, about a week ago the fish started to move the stones around to make a steep incline. Now there is a small white item coming out the bottom of it....ok, I have three other Cichlids in the tank, I do not however know the sex of any of them, Is this fish a female and is it trying to lay eggs now and if so how will they grow, will they hatch into fish or will the eggs die off? Need help and if I need to call someone that deals with breeding fish? Thank you Please email me at niterythm_1@yahoo.com ASAP

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-04-17
    What are the other fish in the tank?
  • Catherine - 2012-04-23
    My Red Devil Citty is 5 years old and is about 12 inches. He is in a 55 gal tank, his room mate is a 10 inches Picasimus. They live very well together. I do have Sponge Bob and his house in the tank and Citty will knock them over and bury them under the stones. We hand feed him, but do not put your hands in the tank, he will draw blood....leaves a mark....plan on putting him in a 100 gal tank,
  • Stephanie - 2012-06-22
    You probably have a female and she is preparing to lay eggs. If the eggs don't get eaten by the other fish and are fertilized they the will hatch into frys (baby fish look kinda like eyes with tails lol). The other fish will eat the babies so if you want to keep them you might look into breeder nets that attach to the side of the tank and eventually another tank for the health of your fish because this will cause over population fast! You can feed the babies flake food but you must roll it in your fingers to turn it into powder so the can eat it feed them 2-3 times a day. How ever if the eggs are not eaten or fertilized and the furn white you will want to remove them from your tank the white fungus that grows on them can harm your fish. Hope this helps!!
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Barb - 2012-09-27
Our Red Devil, Spot is 8 yrs old and was very healthy until lately. We moved to Florida in March and Spot was adopted by our son. He is in a 55 gallon tank and within the last few months he has had first ick, that was cleared up and then got a fungus. A month later he got a fungus again which was cleared up and now he has ick. My son thinks he misses us and that is why he is sickly. What could be the problem? A pet store told my son the life span of a Red Devil is 6 to 8 yrs and he is nearing his life span. I don't agree with this.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-09-27
    Keeping any fish 8 years is a great job.  These fish have been known to live for around 12 years.  Your son could be right if the fish's daily routine has changed and has caused it some stress.  Cichlids seem to really recognize their owners.
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ulven - 2012-02-22
I am getting a 10 gallon tank with a 6 inch Red Devil in it. (I know, that is so sad). Will it attack my Pleco? They will be living together in a 55 gallon long, possibly with 2 Red Tailed Sharks, too.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2012-02-26
    They could do fine. The Red Devil and the pleco inhabit different areas of the tank and have different feeding habits, so those things help reduce competition. The Red-tailed Sharks however, do inhabit the same area as the Red Devil, and I would be concerned for them. If they are in the tank already, and the tank is large with plenty of decor for territory and hiding places, they may be accepted. But it is still a risk.
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