Hemichromis is a genus of fish from the family Cichlidae, known in the aquarium trade as Jewel cichlids. Jewel cichlids are native to West Africa. Within West Africa Hemichromis species are found in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes with a variety of water qualities.
Jewel cichlids can reach lengths of 2.76-5.12 in (7-13 cm) in some species. Brighter body coloration is generally evident during breeding. Sexual dimorphism is limited, though male jewel cichlids are typically more brightly colored and in some species have more pointed anal, ventral and dorsal fins. Like most cichlids, jewel cichlids have high developed brood care. Hemichromis species typically form monogamous breeding pairs and the female spawns on a flat surface such as a leaf or stone. Both parents guard the eggs, and participate in fry raising.
Jewel cichlids are neither suited to beginners, nor the usual community tank. Several young specimens may be kept in a spacious aquarium, with stones and wood for cover until a pair forms prior to breeding. Their innate aggression makes them good candidates for keeping in a monospecies aquarium.
Jewel cichlids are omnivorous and will eat both live foods and fish flakes.