The Fish Files: Orange Chromide Cichlids

Etroplus maculatus, or Orange Chromides, are the perfect peaceful cichlids for a brackish or freshwater aquarium. They are one of the few species of cichlid fish that are well-suited in a community tank. These fish were originally found in both fresh and brackish water, in parts of South America and India. In captivity, brackish conditions have been known to help these fish to resist diseases. You may also notice that those Orange Chromides found in freshwater do not have such a colourful and vibrant orange-y gold appearance.  


Classification  Order: Perciformes Family: Cichlidae
Name Origin
Etroplus: from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘belly, lower abdomen’.
Maculatus: from the Latin maculatus, meaning ‘spotted’.


Care Level Medium
Fish Size Will grow to be around 8cm.
Water Temperature Should be kept between 22 - 30°C.
pH 7.0-8.0
Water hardness 179 – 357 ppm
Aquarium Size Required Minimum of 60L.
Gender Differences Gender differences are difficult to tell in this species due to the amount of conflicting information that can be found. Generally, males tend to have brighter colouration. 
Feed Prefers small live or frozen food such as bloodworm.
Compatibility Generally a peaceful species other than when breeding.



This species, at its full adult size, will be anywhere between 8-10 cm. These omnivorous fish typically feed on algae from surrounding surfaces as well as small crustacean in the wild. In captivity, their diet can consist of a range of flakes, pellets, frozen and live food. 
It has been noted that Orange Chromides like to rearrange substrate in their fish tank. This is a reason why many people who are considering owning this species will opt for sand at the bottom of their aquarium. This being said, these fish will be able to easily uproot more delicate plants like Anacharis. Choose plants like Java Fern and Anubias instead.


As mentioned previously, this type of cichlid is generally very peaceful. It is this peaceful behaviour that sets them apart from most other species of cichlids.
When there is a group of 6 or more Orange Chromides living in the same tank, they will chose their partner and the female will lay eggs shortly after. When the eggs hatch, they will raise the fry together.


Orange Chromides can be bred in captivity, but levels of aggression towards tank-mates will rise. This is why having enough space in your fish tank is vital.
Use shoals of open water fish to create a presence of safety as an isolated tank may make them overly cautious and shy. Given these conditions breeding should occur naturally and without too much trouble in an adult pair. 
At AllPondSolutions, we are proud to offer customers one of the largest selections of tropical fish for sale online, including our community tank bundles which provide a variety of attractive, compatible species to make your aquarium really stand out.  We understand that our customers looking to buy tropical fish value quality and health, and our large range of fish are sourced from the best and most reliable breeders in the world.  Our fish are housed and kept in the best environments to promote the best health and quality when they arrive.