Amphilophus amarillo

For most Amphilophus species, a two-meter aquarium is sufficient, but Amphilophus amarillo is best kept in an aquarium of 3 meters or more!


Amphilophus amarillo

The Amphilophus amarillo is yellow in color with black vertical stripes across the body. Outside the breeding season the yellow color fades and the stripes are hardly visible. There is a hump on the head, hence the nickname hump head. The male have this fat hump on their heads and also more elongated fins. The females lack the hump on their head and show shorter fin.

In an aquarium this fish becomes quite large, up to 35 centimeters. In the wild they stay around 20 centimeters.


Lake Xiloá, Nicaragua.

The Aquarium

Because these fish are so large, an aquarium of at least 2.50 meters is required, but bigger would even be better. The aquarium must be decorated with wood and rocks to create hiding places. In addition, make sure there is sufficient swimming space. The substrate must consist of sand so that the fish can dig. They will show this digging behaviour mostly during the breeding season. It is therefore important that the plants rocks and decoration are firmly fixed as they will come loose or fall as they start digging and shoving rocks around.


Temperature: 25 degrees Celsius.
pH: 7-8,5
GH: 5-15


In the wild, Amphilophus amarillo is a snail eater. However, in the aquarium they will accept almost every food you provide. You can give the both frozen and live food such as mosquito larvae, krill, mysis and artemia. They also accept flake food, granules and spirulina.


When kept in a sufficiently large aquarium, they are generally peaceful towards other species. In nature they occur loose groups outside the breeding season. In the aquarium, however, it is better to keep them in pairs. During the breeding season, these fish can become very aggressive because they strongly defend their territory.

Breeding Amphilophus amarillo

Breeding Amphilophus amarillo is not very difficult. The eggs are laid in a hole or between the rocks. Here the young are also cared for. After about three days the eggs hatch and a week later the fry swim freely. The fry are protected by their parents. If a youngster gets too far out of the nest, it is quickly taken into the mouth by a parent and spit back into the school. The fry can be raised with crushed flakes and newly hatched brine shrimp.




Copyright images

Door Zoofoto! – CC BY-SA 3.0

Additional information





Social Behaviour

Breeding behaviour


Min. aquarium length in cm





Minimum aquarium length in cm

Length maximum in cm

Temperature minimum

Temperature maximum

pH minimum

pH maximum

GH minimum

GH maximum


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