The Chocolate Cichlid is a fairly rare but also readily available. It reminds me a lot of an Oscar, except with a much smaller mouth. They also do not get quite as large. The Chocolate is a heavy bodied fish and even though they have a small mouth they will fight.
I tried keeping a pair and they did not get along, one was a female so it was either two females or a male/female pair. I tried numerous times throughout the 3 or so years I kept them, they never got along. They both reached 8.5-9” before strangely losing both of them at different times in different tanks for no real reason, and no other fish in those tanks were affected.
They are a fish that often changes colors too, going from a deep dark red to a light orange with dark blotches. I think it is highly dependent on fish stress level. The darker color seems to be seen when they are normal, where as the lighter color comes during times of stress such as a tank switch. They do well with most other peaceful South American cichlids and smaller catfish.
Scientific Name: Hypeselectara Temporalis
Common Name: Chocolate Cichlid, Emerald Cichlid
Regions of Origin: South America
Temperament: Generally considered a peaceful Cichlid, but not always. They will fight with other Chocolate Cichlids. They also reach a decent size so they could bully smaller fish but the small mouth keeps damage to a minimum.
Diet: Smaller fish, crustaceans, and other live prey items. In captivity a large protein rich pellet can be used as staple, such as Hikari Cichlid pellets.
Water: PH 6.0-7.2, 72°-82°
Tank mates that failed – Jaguar cichlid, Red Devil/Midas cichlid
Tank mates that worked – Oscar, Convict cichlids, Angelfish, Catfish
Chocolate Cichlid up close
Adult Chocolate Cichlid 8″ or so
Another shot of an Adult Chocolate Cichlid
The same Chocolate Cichlids as posted above, even as juveniles (About 2.5″ in this pic) they didn’t get along well. This photo was from about 3 years prior to the above photos to give you an idea of growth rate.