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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A thread for anything and everything to do with Trichromis salvini.
Pictures and video. Links to information and articles. Discussion on tank size, set ups, tank mates, spawning behavior, aggression, growth, size ect., ect.
Sort of like a minature Trimac, Salvini is one of my favorite cichlids. Started keeping them back in 2001 and have kept them ever since.
A picture of my current male with one of his young females:

A video of salvini in my 180 gal. set up:
And a picture from back in 2002 of a Male salvini guarding fry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
An article on salvini with some good information: https://cichlidae.com/article.php?id=109
Some video from the past (2015) showing the parents of my current male. Here with fry
And here with wrigglers:
Also a young pair I had in my 90 gal. during the same period of time (2015). A couple more short, low quality videos showing the young pair with fry:

And a picture from 2013 of a male salvini threatening with a large female Blackbelt:

These were the parents of all the salvinis from the videos in this post (female top left side and male in the center, defending his area from female Blackbelt)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Like a lot of CA cichlids, salvinis have more colorful females, then males. IME, males will lose their yellow coloration and turn more blue with size and age. usually by the time there around 3 years old or around 7" or more they become a primarily blue, rather then yellow fish.
An example is this male at young age:

Same male, a little older, on right side of picture. Note the difference in color from young female in center of picture:

And another picture (2008) of a male I had that became blue with a liitle age and size:

Some pictures of young females i have had:


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some video of my salvinis in my 180 gal. showing older male with blue coloration paired and the younger yellow female he is currently paired up with:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some video of my salvinis in my 180 gal. showing older male with blue coloration and a younger yellow female that he is currently paired up with:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Salvini has been a commonly available cichlid for quite some time now. They were available from the box stores pretty much 365 days a year for almost a decade. But sometime about 2 years ago, the box stores stopped carrying them. I think a lot of people tried them and for what ever reasons, they did not really catch on. Tried briefly and then moved on to something else. Now, many of the pet shops stopped carrying them due to low demand.
It's the bright colors that initially draws many people to salvini. But I see 2, possibly 3 main reasons, why salvini has not really caught on.
1st is it's aggression. Particularly males and/or pairs can be very nasty. But IMO it's primarily dependent on what you keep it with and size of tank.
Secondly, in many situations, the fish can stay scared, become very skittish and hide. IMO it needs an active, well stocked tank to be comfortable in. The larger and older it gets, the more prone it is to becoming overly fearful.
And thirdly, I suspect that salvini is less tolerant of poor water conditions then most CA cichlids. It needs decent water conditions to thrive (unlike say, the convict cichlid which will do OK even despite poor water quality).
So first, I'd like to discuss tankmates. In the 18+ years I've been keeping the fish, I've kept salvini with quite a variety of fish and other cichlids. List of all the fish I have kept it with:
CA Cichlids: Convicts, Jack Dempsey, Dovii, Black Belt.
SA Cichlids: Oscar, Red Terror (Mesoheros festae), Angelfish
African Cichlid: Coptodon zillii, Jewel cichlid (Hemichromis guttatus), Zebra Obliquidens (Astatotilapia latifasciata), Astatotilapia bloyeti
African cichlid from lake Malawi: "zebra" types of some sort, Auratus, Kenyi, Bumble Bee (Pseudotropheus crabro), electric yellow, Demasoni, Acei, Sunshine Peacock, Electric Blue ahli (Sciaenochromis fryeri.
Non cichlids: Red Bellied Piranha, Red tailed shark, Rainbow shark, blue/gold/opaline/3-spot gourami, Moonlight Gourami, Giant Danio, Common Pleco (Ptergoplichthys pardalis, BN pleco, Chinese algae eater.

I have kept Salvini in 6 ft. tanks, 180 gal and 125 gal., and in 4ft. 100 gal., 90 gal. , 75 gal. (usually at younger and smaller size), and as very young fish in 33 gal, 29 gal. and 15 gal.
At least in the size of tanks I have, many on this list have proven to be far too violent, and would never house them together again. IME, salvini get along well enough with all the African mouth brooders I have kept them with. Sturdy bottom feeders and loaches usually do OK, and gouramis usually receive even less attention. IME, always a lot of "friction" with male salvini and any other substrate spawning cichlid, though single females have gotten along considerably better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jeffmbunakeeper said:
Don't see this very attractive cichlid anymore, picked up 2 more 40 breeders would that be an acceptable platform for a single breeding pair?
Over the short term it could certainly work. If you intend to just breed the fish and then move on to something else, it might work out OK. Like a lot of CA, salvini will breed at a very young and tiny size.
But as a long term set up for housing salvini, I think it's a little small. And housing them just as a pair, you should treat them just like heavy weight CA, and incorporate a divider between spawns, as well as hiding places the male cannot fit and a close eye. Kept as just a pair, older fish will likely get lethargic and probably stay overly scared and skittish.
Salvini are not really that small. Males can get to around 8", but are deep bodied. More of a middle weight that is fairly comparable in size to a Jack Dempsey.
My current male measured at 8" and a weight of 253 grams. Bear in mind your typical 4" cichlid would weigh in around 20 grams. So more like 12 times the size of a 4" cichlid; not double the size. The female beside my male in the first picture would be 4" or very close to it, to give some perspective.



Females usually get from 5 1/2", up to around 7" . I've had one older female get 7' and quite a few female that got 51/2"-6". A picture of my last large female measured at 6 1/2" and weight of 109 grams. So even the females get as large, and sometimes larger then a big male convict:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jeffmbunakeeper said:
So where would you consider ordering them from?
Where ever you like. I have no real opinion as to where you should purchase them. LFS, online, or from another aquarist. It's your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Some video of Salvini with fry. Sort of suprising the male has been paired up with the same female for over 2 months! It is at least their 2nd attempt at spawning. Usually the male will switch females after every spawn. There is a slightly larger female that the male has already spawned with producing some fry twice. There is a third, smaller female , which the male has yet to breed with though likely just a matter of time before he breeds with her, as well.
The salvini hung their wrigglers on the black brush algae on the wall of the tank. Third time I have seen cichlids do this in the last couple of years. I've had jewels do this twice in my 75 gal. (out of about 20 spawns in the last couple of years). I suspect the power head on the bottom of the tank and the current is at least partially responsible for the cichlids choosing to do this. Normally, they stick the wrigglers in a mass clump on the bottom of the tank, either inside the breeding cave or just outside of the cave. With substrate, they will dig a pit, though I haven't used substrate in any of my tanks for over ten years. I would have bred sals well over 100 times in the last 18+ years and this is the first and only time they have hung wrigglers on the wall of the tank! Unlike jewel wrigglers, the salvini wrigglers stuck very well to the black brush algae and do not fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A few pictures of my current male sal taken a few months ago (4/11/2021):



Organism Fin Underwater Fish Terrestrial plant
Marine invertebrates Organism Terrestrial plant Fish Adaptation
Organism Terrestrial plant Fish Fin Underwater

And the same fish weighed and measured (12/26/2021) at 7 1/4" and 152 grams:
My larger, older male Sal died not too long ago, so this guy is now boss of my 150 gal. Younger, healthier and little more spry then the older male, he takes a much more active interest in the male cons in the tank. With out the older male Salvini holding him back and keeping him down, he promptly defeated the pair of male cons. Now all the male cons hold no territory and are simply part of the pecking order in the tank. I think I will have to go down to only one male convict at most, as with 4 male CA in the tank there is just too much focus on each other.
 

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Wow, thanks for sharing. Your young male is quite an eyeful. Colored up and with some definite size to him... he definitely looks 'all business'. :)
Not surprised he set those Convicts down a notch.
There can be only one!
I had the 'reverse of your situation with the Salvini-Blackbelt deal.. In a 180G, my male Blackbelt pretty much just ignored the female Salvini in there with him (vice versa). Unfortunately, that particular tank boss had it in for a young, WC Red Motaguense in that tank, (who was soon sold off for a tidy little sum...).
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Have you thought of growing out and selling any of your Salvini babies? Who knows, that effort might be worth literally 'tens' of dollars. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you thought of growing out and selling any of your Salvini babies? Who knows, that effort might be worth literally 'tens' of dollars. :D
Maybe 10 cents if that!:LOL:
No market for them. Salvinis were such a commonly available cichlid for at least a good 10 year span. Lots and lots of people tried them. Now they don't even sell them at the box stores for the last 4 years or so, as the market pretty much dried up for them. Over the years I've given away lots and lots of fish, but the market I live in, it's really not worth the effort to try and sell any fish. Even demasoni, which are extremely prolific, I never bothered to try and sell them though I probably could have sold a few. Now if you had a really colorful strain (like the Rio Chacamax strain I mentioned in a post above) you might have something that many aspire to own. Even myself, I'd consider switching from regular aquarium strain to the Rio Chacamax (though most other strains not much of an improvement over regular aquarium strain to bother switching, IMO).
I had the 'reverse of your situation with the Salvini-Blackbelt deal.. In a 180G, my male Blackbelt pretty much just ignored the female Salvini in there with him (vice versa).
Yeah, I could see that as the likely scenario. Different weight class and different sex. Female sal probably wouldn't be seen as too much of a threat. I've kept female sals with both male and female Blackbelt with out any issue at all.
The picture above with male sal threatening with female Blackbelt was when male sal was paired up with a female. They split the tank in half and threatened each other along the border when the sals were in breeding mode. Actually, not such a problem when the male sal stuck to his side. The real scraps happened outside of breeding when the male sal would frequent the far right side of the tank as he did not really respect female BB's claim to the far right side of the tank. I think the only thing that kept it from really escalating was that they were opposite sex. I kept male sal with male Blackbelt and I am sure that one or the other would have eventually killed the another if I had left them in the same tank. I had them with male Coptodon zillii. I didn't have a weight scale back then, but I think the zillii would have weighed in around 3 lbs. He had a very pronounced, special dislike for male salvinis, because of previous encounters with a large sal pair.(but no interest whatsoever in female sals despite having been struck by them as well, in previous bouts) He was right on top of the male sal, the second he tried anything. As the male Black belt became more and more aggressive in the tank, the zillii also took some interest in the BB male. He managed to interfere in there bouts most of the time but also more and more, they managed to fight outside his view. I had to separate them to different tanks as I truely believe that eventually one would have killed the other.
 

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Oh yes, it does pay to keep a close eye on developments in a CA tank! My own WC Parachromis motaguensis, Red Mota was a young juvenile - until he wasn't. And man..... in the blink of an eye, that male Paraneetroplus maculicauda, Black Belt Cichlid was ON him. And Ol' 'Budfy the Black Belt, definitely would have killed that little Guapote', if I hadn't intervened....
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So, Trichromis salvini... Unpredictable? That one species can pretty much encapsulate the entire Central American experience.
They DO play it hard, yo'.
 
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