Even though a considerable number of fish vary their colour depending upon mood and emotion, the chocolate cichlid is noted, not only for its range of colour changing, but also for the speed in which it achieves the change. Under regular conditions the general body colour is pale to dark brown and also the belly is a beautiful, metallic purple-brown.
The sides are marked by dark vertical bands. It is also marked with 3 dark smudges, one on the gill cover, a second on the centre of the body, along with a third on the tail root. The fins are usually brownish, and also the dorsal fin has a red edge.
These are fairly big fish, 6-7 inch being about average length for the adults, and they could be trouble makers. To the very best knowledge of the author they’ve not been bred in aquaria. They’re aggressive fish during mating, and it is not unusual for one fish to really kill its partner.