Hemichromis bimaculatus – Juwelfish

One of the most beautifully colored fish is Hemichromis bimalulatus, or the Juwelfish. Unfortunately, it is very aggressive during the breeding season.

Hemichromis bimaculatus – Juwelfish

The Hemichromis bimaculatus or Juwelfish can reach a length of about 12 to 14 centimeters. The blue iridescent spots on their bright red body gives them their common name Juwelfish. There is a black dot in the middle of their body and another one just behind the head. The gender distinction is difficult to see.

They are also sometimes offered commercially as Hemichromis lifalili, but that is a slightly different species. The Hemichromis bimaculatus has a black dot on its gill cover, another one halfway down the flank and a third on the caudal peduncle. The Hemichromis lifalli is missing the third spot on its caudal peduncle.

Synonyms: Hemichromis cristatus, Hemichromis fugax.


North and central Africa, Nile basin, not in Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Aquarium

An aquarium of at least 1.20 meters is required for these fish. Furnish the aquarium with sturdy plants and plenty of hiding places. They like to dig in the substrate and like a lot of current.

Water parameters

Temperature: 21-25 degrees Celsius.
PH: 7-7,5
GH: 8-12

In nature, fish have to deal with fluctuating temperatures. Keeping fish at the minimum or maximum temperature for a long time is not always desirable and can shorten the average lifespan of the animals.


The Juwelfish is an omnivore. You can feed them with live or frozen food, such as mosquito larvae, artemia, cyclops, mysis, krill, shrimp, coalfish fillet and mussels, as well as flakes and granules.


Juwelfish are territorial and should be kept in pairs. During the mating season they are very aggressive towards other fish, so only keep them together with other robust cichlids. Outside the breeding season they are fairly peaceful. They swim in the lower layers of water.

Breeding Hemichromis bimaculatus – Juwelfish

The breeding of the Hemichromis bimaculatus – Juwelfish is simple, about 300 to 500 eggs are deposited on a cleaned rock or piece of driftwood. After 3 to 4 days the young hatch and are regularly moved to other nesting pits. Both parents have brood care and protect the young, they are then extremely aggressive. The young can be raised with crushed flakes and brine shrimp nauplii.


John de Lange

Copyright images

Leon van Dijk


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