The Blue and Red Flash Cichlid (Thorichthys aureus)is a Central American species that displays stunning adult coloration. This medium-sized cichlid boasts bright red, blue, yellow, and black across its body. Like most cichlids, juveniles are rather drab compared to the magnificent color of adults, but they often grow to maturity relatively quickly, especially with optimal care. This species is relatively peaceful compared to many other cichlids of similar size, and it can be kept with a variety of other fish in a fairly spacious aquarium.
The Blue and Red Flash Cichlid will thrive in an aquarium with a sandy substrate and plenty of refuge such as clay pots, driftwood, and rock formations. It typically will not eat ornamental plants, but it does need a fair amount of open space and does dig in the substrate, so floating plants and plants that attach to driftwood and rockwork are recommended. It can be kept with other similar cichlids, plecos, catfish, and other durable species in a very large tank as long as there is plenty of cover with decor to create broken lines of sight. Territoriality is typically at its peak during spawning. If spawning is desired, tankmates of other species should be avoided altogether. It is best to grow a group of juveniles together and allow them to pair off naturally, then give each pair its own tank if one wishes to start a breeding program with this species. Dwarf shrimp and other invertebrates should not be kept with the Blue and Red Flash Cichlid. Due to its size and waste production, regular water changes and maintenance are a must.
Feeding is simple for the unfussy Blue and Red Flash Cichlid. High-quality dry, frozen, and live meaty foods will all be readily accepted. Some vegetable matter is also beneficial, although this species is believed to be an insectivore and substrate sifter in nature. Quality and variety are the keys to a diet that will ensure that this fish maintains optimal health and coloration.