Amatitlania siquia

Amatitlania siquia is just as easy to keep and breed as its cousin the Zebra Cichlid. An aquarium of one meter with some caves will quickly suffice.

Amatitlania siquia

Amatitlania siquia is one of the four newly described convicts by Schmitter-Soto (see reference). Some of the external features that Schmitter-Soto mentions are: Built high, but less high than Amatitlania kanna. The number of scales between the lateral line and base of the first dorsal fin ray is 1.5. Two-thirds caudal fin spot on the caudal peduncle. The number of scales around the caudal peduncle is 15-17. Pectoral fins extend beyond the second anal-fin ray. Pelvic fins extend beyond the fifth anal fin ray and the dorsal fins extend to two-thirds of the caudal fin. Stripe from snout to eye is usually well visible and spots on the soft-beamed part of the back and anal fin. Furthermore, Schmitter-Soto mentions a number of internal features that reveal little else that is shocking.

The distribution area is the largest of all Convicts. As a result, there is quite a bit of local variation. For example, from Nicaragua, we know the Ometepe variant, introduced by Willem Heijns, in Costa Rica the convict from the Nicoya Peninsula, whose males easily reach 15 cm, and of course, the Honduran Convict that has become known under the name “Honduras Redpoint” (which here will also be discussed separately).


Amatitlania, derived from the type place of the type type “Amatitlán” means, a place of abundance in amate” in Nahuatl. “amate” is a type of paper made from the bark of Ficus petiolaris or Ficus indica.

Siquia is the name of the river, chosen as the type location. The name means “Avacado” in the Miskito dialect.


Costa Rica. Nicaragua, Honduras.


Greatest of all Convicts. On both sides of Costa Rica. From the rivers that flow into the Golfo de Nicoya (Pacific side) and Rio Parismina (Atlantic side) to Nicaragua (Including the great lakes and lagoons of the Mosquitian Coast) and further North to the Atlantic side of Honduras, Rio Yeguaré.


Amatitlania siquia shares the temperamental behavior we know from the other Amatitlania.


Omnivorous. Worms, crustaceans, snails, insects and their larvae, small fish, and plant material such as algae plants and detritus.


Easy, as with Amatitlania nigrofasciata.

In many fish species with biparental care, we see that females show a preference for large males. This is coupled with a more remarkable ability to raise more offspring and they literally put more effort into this. This was shown in Amatitlania siquia during a study by Ashley R. Robart in 2012. Even if there are already young, the female continues to do her best with a large male than with a small male. Ashley even showed a direct relationship between the difference in height and the number of times a female lunges at a potential enemy. And as befits a real truth, it turned out to work the other way around. Large males do less of their best than small females. They lash out less often at a potential enemy and the female seems to have to compensate for this.

The question that then arises is “Why does the female prefer a large male when they have to work harder and thus lose precious energy? It turns out that the number of offspring is determined by the height of the male and not that of the female. With this, the male exchanges length for energy, as it were. The whole phenomenon is not new and is known in biology as the “differential distribution hypothesis”. Just think of the differential of a car that ensures that in a bend the wheels on the outside turn faster than those on the inside. Compensatory behavior has been known in birds for some time. In the documentary “Mees tv” by Thijs Tinbergen you can see what happens if one partner of a Great Tit pair fails. It has little to do with fishing, but don’t want to withhold it from you 😉

The Aquarium

Such as Amatitlania nigrofasciata. At least one meter for a couple. Several couples in containers from 140 centimeters. With the exception of the lake types, most like a good flow. Shelters in the form of stones and/or wood are of course indispensable for a burrower like Amatitlania siquia. PH 7 – 8, Dgh 9 – 20, temp 23 – 27 Celsius. Because of his omnivorous eating habits, green food should not be missing from the menu.



Rene Beerlink – NVC

Copyright images

F. Ingemann Hansen –
Jeff Rapps –

Additional information





First described by

Juan Jacobo Schmitter-Soto

Breeding behaviour





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Minimum length


Length maximum


Temperature minimum
Temperature maximum


pH minimum


pH maximum


GH minimum


GH max



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