African Cichlids

 
  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Varies
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Middle
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Various species of African Cichlids
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care

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African cichlids are considered to be one of the most diverse, intelligent, active and colorful families of freshwater fish in the modern aquarium hobby. Most species of African cichlids are also fairly hardy and are perfect for both novice and experienced aquarists. That said, it is very important that aquarists carefully research each species’ specific requirements before attempting to raise them.

African cichlids are considered to be one of the most diverse, intelligent, active and colorful families of freshwater fish in the modern aquarium hobby.

Most species of African cichlids originate from one of Africa’s three great lakes – Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika.

African cichlids come in a dazzling array of colors ranging from red, blue, orange, yellow, green, brown and black.

african-cichlids-1Despite their highly exotic appearance, African cichlids are actually one of the hardiest families of freshwater fish. In fact, they are resistant to most diseases that plague other species of freshwater fish and can easily live for 5-8 years in a well maintained aquarium.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when keeping African cichlids is that they are aggressive and territorial. For this reason, they are best kept in aquariums with their own kind as they can often harass and sometimes kill easier going species of fish. When matching various species of African cichlids in an aquarium it is important to carefully research their specific water requirements, temperaments and regions beforehand. A general rule of thumb is not to mix fish from different regions of Africa.

In their natural habitat, African cichlids dwell in lake bottoms littered with vast amounts of rock and rubble. It is advisable to recreate this type of atmosphere in the aquarium. Not only will this help most species of African cichlids feel at home, but it will also minimize territorial fights because each fish will have an ample number of hiding places to choose from to guard as its own.

African cichlids are gregarious eaters and will readily devour most types of foods. They should be fed on a varied diet consisting of both frozen and processed foods like pellets, brine shrimp, bloodworms and beef heart.

Despite their highly exotic appearance, African cichlids are actually one of the hardiest families of freshwater fish.

The various species of African cichlids have vastly different and extremely interesting breeding habits. For the most part they are parental and zealously guard their eggs and young from other fish.

Electric Yellow Cichlid, Electric Blue Cichlid, Frontosa Cichlid, Red Zebra Cichlid, Moorei Cichlid, Blue Peacock Cichlid, Demasoni Cichlid, Buffalo Head Cichlid, Mbuna Mixed Cichlid, etc.

Photo credit: Julian Matz/Wikimedia; Chrumps/Wikimedia


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Go to Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish

  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Small
  • Temperament: Non-aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): All
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Tetras, Guppies, Swordtails, Platys, Mollies
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly care
Go to Lake Victoria Cichlids

Lake Victoria Cichlids

  • Group: Freshwater
  • Size: Medium-Large
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Swimming Region(s): Mid-Range
  • Suitable Tank Mates: Other Lake Victoria Cichlids, Lake Malawi Cichlids; Non-Conspecific Cichlids
  • Difficulty Of Care: Weekly