Checkerboard Cichlid – Dicrossus filamentosus

Checkerboard Cichlid - Dicrossus filamentosus

  • pH: 4.5-7
  • gH: 1-8 dGh
  • Temperature: 27-30C
  • Maximum Size: 8-10cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 60 litres, 60x30x30cm

The checkerboard cichlid originates from Venezuela and Colombia where it lives at the margins of rivers and other bodies of water.


This is a peaceful and quite shy species so shouldn’t be kept with boisterous or aggressive tank mates. Peaceful tank mates, especially those that use the higher levels of the tank will be fine.

Housing and Feeding

Dicrossus filamentosus appreciates a tank with plenty of plants to provide cover as their nervous nature means they will be far more comfortable if they know there are plenty of places to retreat to and hide.

Checkerboards will take most commercial foods and sinking varieties are best to ensure they get some before other tank mates take it all. Live foods are the best for conditioning prior to breeding.


Despite having a relatively wide range of tolerated pH and hardness, this fish requires very soft and acidic water to spawn successfully. A pH below 5 and plus hardness as low a 1 dGh is necessary. The pair will spawn either on a leaf or similar or directly on the substrate. The female takes care of eggs and fry after spawning. Once the fry hatch and have used up their yolk sacs they will need feeding with infusoria until they grow big enough to take microworms and baby brine shrimps.


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