One of My Favorite Fish: Cryptoheros sp. “honduran red point” “Rio Danli”

One of my favorite species that I’ve ever kept is Cryptoheros sp. “honduran red point” “Rio Danli, Honduras”. This is an undescribed species that makes a great aquarium resident. I maintain a pair of Honduran Red Points at the Fish Lab at Sacramento State. I recently just got another spawn and hopefully will have some fry in a few days.

This is a beautiful species, personally, I think it’s the best looking Convict type. Female Honduran Red Points have magnificent orange bellies while males have a red caudal fin (leading to the name Red Point) and a pink colored belly. What is great about this species is both males and females get fantastic green and blue hues to their bodies as well as their fins.

Honduran Red Point Male showing the characteristic red caudal fin. The color of the caudal fin changes from this color to orange and even green/blue depending on the mood of the male.

Here is the same male from the photo above. You can see the change in caudal fin color. Here, the male is courting.

Female Honduran Red Points are stunning!

Honduran Red Points are easy to keep. They are much less aggressive than the other Convict type cichlids. Pairs tend to form strong bonds and can be easily bred in 20 gallon tanks. They also have much smaller spawns than the typical Convict cichlid. The largest I’ve ever gotten was 60 eggs, much smaller than regular Convict cichlids that have hundreds of fry.

The same male Honduran Red Point as above being territorial.

A pair of Honduran Red Points in their breeding cave.

It’s important to note that there are a few fish going around as Cryptoheros sp. “honduran red point”. Mainly the two fish seen on the market with this name are fish from Rio Danli and Rio Mongo, both in Honduras. THE RIO DANLI FISH IS THE TRUE RED POINT! The fish from the Rio Mongo, although common seen as Cryptoheros sp. “honduran red point” “Rio Mongo”, looks quite different and most likely is represents Cryptoheros siquia. It’s also important to note that their are many hybrids on the market of Honduran Red Points X common Convict. These should be avoided. Be sure if you are going to buy Honduran Red Points you get them from a reliable source that maintains a good line.

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11 Responses to One of My Favorite Fish: Cryptoheros sp. “honduran red point” “Rio Danli”

  1. Sam Borstein says:

    There’s only a pair in the tank, so I know which fish is which.

  2. Neal says:

    Would like to purchase HRP Rio Danli Fry. When they grow and breed, I’ll give fry back to you for research. If you want me to keep notes on the fry, that would be no problem. I’m located in Elk Grove Ca. Will pay or make donation of $140 for 15-20 fry. The HRP danli will remain pure. I only keep Endlers (Pure line breed), and F-1 Gym. Balzani. If you have contacts that have HRP Rio Danli for sale please let me know. Thanks in advance.

  3. Sam Borstein says:

    Sadly, I just have the one pair. These fish are research fish at the Evolutionary Ecology of Fishes Lab at California State University, Sacramento and are therefore not for sale. We rarely if ever release fish to the general public.

  4. Matt says:

    Hi Sam,

    Do you know the origins of the “Platinum” HRP? Rio Danli or otherwise?


  5. Sam Borstein says:

    Hi Matt. I do not know the origins of the Platinum HRP. All I can say is that I have never seen them throw a leucistic fry in my 10 or so spawns. The only way it would be a true HRP is if it was found in a spawn of fish from the RIo Danli, as this is the only location for the HRP. All other fish called HRP that have a different river attached to their name are not HRP.

    It is also important to note that many HRP in the trade are hybrids, so for all I know, a regular convict that maybe had the leucistic gene (quite possible as pink convicts are popular) bred with a HRP.

    This is all speculation, I really don’t know the history of how the “platinum” morph came to be.

  6. Joe Peterson says:


    Your fish are some of the most beautiful cichlids I’ve ever seen… I’ve been trying to get ahold of a pair of HRPs with good lineage and haven’t been having much luck. Everybody who seems promising ends up having what appear to be HRP/convict hybrids. Do you have any recommendation for a reputable source? If not would you be open to parting with a couple of babies in exchange for a donation?

    –Joe Peterson

    • Sam Borstein says:

      Hi Joe. Thanks for the kind comments. Unfortunately, I have just one pair of these fish and very few fry at this time that I’m raising up to replace the adults as they are getting up there in age. Where are you located? I will keep you in mind when I get more fry, but I usually don’t ship fish.

      • Joe Peterson says:

        Thanks for keeping me in mind. I’m here in Sacramento so I could pick them up… I have one lead on a pair down in Fresno so hopefully that pans out. This fish is just too gorgeous to not be available in the area so if I can get a breeding pair hopefully I can raise awareness and fill some of the local demand for them.

        I also wanted to say that the research you’re doing is awesome and a lot of the info I found online about these fish sourced back to you. The trips sound like great adventures so thanks for sharing the experience with those of us online.


  7. Hey Sam! Do you have any updated pictures of this pair? Do you know if these are similiar to the ones Rusty Wessel collected back in early 2000?

    • Sam Borstein says:

      Unfortunately the pair was fairly old and they have passed. I do however have a fair number of offspring I’m raising that have just started to spawn.

      These are fish from the ones Rusty collected from the Rio Danli, so they are the true Honduran Red Points. The fish from Rio Monga is not a Honduran Red Point but most likely a variant of Amatitlania siquia but a nice looking fish none the less.

  8. Pug says:

    Just to answer a point further up, the Platinum “HRP” is a gene in the Rio Mongo fish. I had a pair of F1 Rio Mongo, and 25% of their spawn were Platinum/Leucistic. They are beautiful fish in their own right, but much harder to sell than their full colour siblings.

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