The Jaguar Cichlid Parachromis managuensis (previously Cichlasoma managuense) is a large, semi-aggressive and beautiful cichlid that is a popular and fun companion for the more experienced fishkeeper. Unlike most cichlids the Jaguar doesn't present a permenant patterning until it has fully matured, and its visuals will change as it ages. For instance, while younger Jaguars display prominent vertical black bars, the adults tend to lose these bars and replace them with the eponymous "Jaguar" patterning.
In addition to the name Jaguar Cichlid, these fish are also commonly known by other descriptive names such as Jaguar Guapote, Guapote Tigre, Spotted Guapote, and Tiger Guapote. Other common names are derived from their scientific name, such as Managuense Cichlid and Managua Cichlid, and still others describe the fishes' place of origin, such as Aztec Cichlid.
In the wild these fish will reach up to two feet (24" or 63 cm) and can weigh up to about 3 1/2 pounds. Fortunately, they are much smaller in the aquarium, only reaching about 16" (40 cm). Due to their large size and semi-aggressive temperment, they are a great fish for a huge system of large South and Central American fish but should not be kept with smaller or less aggressive fish. Use dark gravel to bring out their light purple base color.
The Jaguar Cichlid or Managuense Cichlid is moderately easy to care for as long as they have a large tank and appropriate tank mates. They are predators and will eat smaller fish and invertebrates. Many do not tolerate any other fish in their tank unless they are a male/female pair or if the aquarium is sufficently large enough (200 gallons or larger). Even then the male may attack and kill a newly introduced female. They become more aggressive when they are in breeding mode and should either be isolated to their own tank or all other fish should be removed at that time.
They will dig in the substrate, so provide a bottom of coarse gravel with some rocks and wood for places to hide. They will also need a large rock for spawning. Don't include plants as they will be torn apart. Be sure you also have a tight fitting lid as they will jump out at times.