Consider raising bottom-dwelling fish. It’s also important that you provide plenty of spaces in which your cichlids can lay their eggs. It’s important to know that the species is able to mate within different species (cross-breeding). You should feed small quantities but may feed larger amounts if you are only able to feed once per day. Once fertilized, your fish will either lay their eggs and guard them in a secure cave/tank cavity, or hold them in their mouth for about 21 (mouthbrooding). If rocks are used, they must be secure and not able to fall onto the fish in your tank. Fully grown adults will grow to just over three inches in length. There are several species of fish with which African cichlids cohabitate well. African cichlids will dig in the substrate in the tank, a natural behavior that they use to scavenge and hunt for prey. Your fish may also be prone to other diseases, like Malawi Bloat, Swim Bladder Disease, and Tuberculosis. These fish grow up to three inches in length and have black stripes that run down the length of their bodies. The disease causes a bloated stomach and a lessened appetite. They are herbivores, and both sexes are equally bright in color. Before deciding how you want to decorate the tank of your African cichlids, make sure you choose the right decorative items. Some species are very hardy and suitable for beginners. It’s important to have your tank on a stable surface. nitrobacter consume the nitrite and release a less toxic chemical known as nitrate. These diseases can be caused by a range of factors, such as poor nutrition, injury, or viruses. This will remove waste products and purify the water. In time, the female releases free-swimming fry to the water. Sunshine Peacock: These moderately-aggressive fish are resilient, making them another good choice for new hobbyists. Cichlids are an aggressive, territorial breed, most so during spawning and breeding. Breeding and Lifespans of African Cichlids, The Complete Guide To Caring For And Keeping Plecostomus, The Complete Guide To Caring For And Keeping Guppy, Starting Small? They are also bottom-feeders. While they can be more difficult to care for and need very specific conditions, their unique personalities and vibrant colors can make them an excellent choice for a more advanced aquarium hobbyist. The water in the tank needs to be “cycled”, meaning it needs to be changed every other week, or weekly, depending on how dirty the tank gets. Males tend to be much more colorful than females. You can also feed raw fruits or vegetables along with bloodworms to mix up your cichlids’ diets. When she's not writing about fish you can find her hiking, swimming, and doing yoga. Along with these foods, you can add in your specific fish’s natural preferences, like frozen or live foods (such as fish, insects, and vegetables) along with algae wafers. Malawi bloat, for example, is caused by a poor diet and diminishing water quality. After this point, the female is ready to mate again. They sport a shining mix of yellows and blues. Most Rift Lake Cichlids originate in Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, with a few species native to Lake Victoria in East Central Africa. Because of this, they tend to be a little harder to care for, requiring a larger tank. They also loves green vegetables such as spinach. They can be pretty docile, allowing them to live with some other fish. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 2019 IERE.ORG - Fish Life Today Media. A handful of others come from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. Though they require special care, many different types can be good for beginning aquarium owners because of their toughness. A large part of African cichlid care is being able to recognize the signs of a problem. Coloring can be impacted by the quality of care they receive (we’ll cover that more a bit further down). The outlet from your filter should be enough to mimic the small current found in their environments. African Rift Lake Cichlids are among the most colorful, active and hardy freshwater fish in the aquarium hobby. Their colors rival those of many saltwater fish, and their elaborate mating and brood care behavior are fascinating to watch. African Dwarf Cichlids. Swim bladder disease, noted by a fish being stuck at the surface of the water. For example, many of the African Lake and River Cichlids coexist relatively peacefully with their nature-neighbors. Most African cichlids live for around four to ten years. Be aware that if you raise any open-water swimmers, they are likely to be attacked by your cichlids at some point. To attract a mate, the males will usually perform a courting ritual that involves precise, seemingly choreographed movements and a vivid display of colors. You might think that you are not feeding your African cichlids enough if you see them doing this. Cotton Wool Disease, a fungal infection causing white growths. Owning African cichlids can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. However, peacocks are surprisingly docile. Your filter must be big enough to process all of the water in the tank three to five times in one hour. Kribensis (“kribs”, for short): The smallest of the cichlids, these fish range from three to four inches in length. It’s easiest to use mature fish to ensure their ability to breed. For example, they’re more aggressive than fish such as tetras. To make sure your cichlids don’t dig up your decorations, consider securing everything safely in the substrate. The red-tail shark is another good companion. Their breeding patterns vary depending on their specific type, but most will lay their eggs in the safety of a cave and will guard them until they hatch. Learn more. Zebra Mbuna aka Zebra Cichlids: As the name suggests, these fish have black and white stripes down their bodies. Large cichlids can easily remove small plants and will do so almost immediately upon their introduction to the tank. They will need to match the cichlids in size and aggression but are often able to hold their own against the cichlids’ aggressive behavior. This should be the standard protocol for ensuring that your tank is in a healthy condition for your fish. It has a peaceful temperament and is easy to breed. In nature, their colors determine dominance within and among species, where brighter fish are more dominant and paler fish are more submissive. If you have a larger tank, this risk is reduced, but you should still avoid keeping cichlids together if you want to avoid a fight. Cleaning your tank and performing partial water changes every one to two weeks can also help keep your fish healthy. While these fish will eat both plants and meats in the aquarium, you should make sure you include many different food sources to help them maintain healthy functioning. If you’re looking to add color and excitement to your fish tank, look no further than the African Cichlid. They will most likely be attacked since they will be mostly defenseless. A good rule of thumb for African Cichlids is to get at least a 4-foot-wide aquarium. Make sure the items are relatively heavy so you don’t have to worry about any injury. Female haps tend to be duller in color than the males. Most African cichlids are mature in about three months and can be bred within a year. Because African cichlids tend to dig, you should avoid using an under-gravel filter. These traits will need to be accommodated for in the tank setup if you want to ensure the safety and health of all the fish in your tank. Swim bladder disease causes similar symptoms, but your fish will also struggle to maintain balance and will not swim in normal patterns. African Cichlids at has fish information, cichlid care, breeding, fish diseases, and cichlid pictures for Malawi Cichilds, Tanganyika Cichlids, West African and Dwarf Cichlids. Varieties of food you can give them include small fish meat, tubifex worms, insects, cichlid pellets, frozen food, wafers, or brine shrimp, as well as some household fruit and vegetable supply. There’s always something going on! Care. Orange Zebra: These fish display black stripes or spots on their orange body. It doesn’t matter if you’re someone who is planning on getting their very first aquarium, or a seasoned pro. Also a more aggressive species of fish, it prefers rocks and vegetation. The tank size for African Cichlid varies from specie to specie. Aquarium plants, furniture, and rocky caves are suitable for this. Fish that are at least six inches long should be considered larger, and require a minimum of 30 gallons of aquarium space. The males protect the nest against predators while the females move their tales to mix water and make sure the eggs are intact. Consider our ultimate African Cichlid care guide to help you begin your large aquarium community today. After that, the fry will care for themselves and the female will begin to breed again. Electric Yellow: The Electric yellow cichlid tend to be less aggressive than their relatives, which can make them good fish for the inexperienced tank owner. With proper care, including filtration, lighting, and heating, you can keep these fish happy and healthy. Changing the water often enough keeps the nitrate levels from getting high enough to kill the fish. Maingano:  These have bold horizontal stripes in a variety of blues. They grow to be large, up to nine or ten inches. Flat, smooth surfaces of rocks are ideal, as these will provide ample room for your cichlids to spawn. We hope you got plenty of value out of this care guide. More about African Cichilds Care ican Cichlids Feeding; African cichilds are surface eaters, means that they prefer to have pellets and flake that could float. A common question when deciding to keep African Cichlids is how to raise PH for African Cichlids? The cichlid family is one of the largest groups of fish on the planet with over 650 species found throughout the world. What You'll Learn. Understanding a bit about the types of African cichlids you can choose from is very important (past just a simple color preference). Temperatures range from 74° to 80° F. If the aquarium is kept in a room below 74° F, use an Aqueon Aquarium Heater to … That being said, they will sometimes eat their own fry. They can be finicky, so you may not want these for your first fish tank. They are yellow with dark fin tips, and a long dorsal fin running down the back. They also have horizontal rows of spots, usually in blue or green shades. The clown loach, for example, is a semi-aggressive fish that can certainly hold its own against the territorial African cichlid. African cichlids perform mating rituals in which they display their colors and move in certain ways. You can use aquarium pebbles or medium-sized stones, which will give them plenty of spaces to scavenge without damaging any of your filtration equipment or plants. African cichlids are an extremely active group of fish, making them an aquarium favorite for viewing. If females are surrounded by fewer males of their own species, they will become less selective and engage in breeding with other types of cichlids. Make sure you do your research if you plan on introducing an African peacock cichlid to a preexisting tank. A poor diet can cause damage to the fish’s internal organs, as can feeding too many protein-rich foods. Dec 27, 2020 ; Anshika Mishra 110 0 0 ; There is no doubt that Lake Malwai has produced some of the most beautiful fishes in the world, the hobbyist is obsessed with these fishes for decades, but they come with their share of challenges too. Some fish like to search for food in the sand, so it is ideal to have a fine-grain substrate they can search through without getting injured. For optimal breeding odds, the layout, furniture, and size of the tank must not be changed during this process. Africa’s lakes tend to have hard water, so having a tank with soft water is a definite mistake. The African butterfly cichlid is found naturally in the rivers of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The exact type of food you should feed your cichlid will vary depending on the subtype of cichlid. Any food that is not eaten in thirty minutes should be removed. When it comes to finding the right tank setup, you just have to stick to the fundamentals. Each of these regions has their own distinct species that are well suited to aquarium life. African cichlids are a larger species of freshwater fish that originate in Africa, Asia, and South America. That being said, they will sometimes eat their own fry. Taking care of the fishes is like an investment. These fish tend to be a popular pet among aquarists, due to the large range of colors that you can keep, even if you don’t have a saltwater tank. Binomial name: Labidochromis caeruleus Family: Cichlidae Habitat: Lake Malawi, Africa Lifespan: 6 – 10 years Size: 3.2 – 4 inches Diet: Omnivore but Carnivorous in the wild Minimum Tank Capacity: 30 gallons Temperament: Semi-aggressive Care level: Easy Temperature: 23.9 – 26.1 Celsius Reproduction: Egglayer This will give all of your fish places to escape as well as territory that they can claim as their own. Blue Dolphin Moorii: This fish is popular because of its shiny blue scales. African cichlids possess strong parenting instincts and will become increasingly aggressive during times of breeding. An African cichlid mother is very protective, and if her newborn fry are threatened by other fish, the mother will take the young back into her buccal cavity. They are more aggressive in general than other common tropical fish. Single species of cichlids evolved into 500 new species during a period of one million years. African cichlids are well known among aquarists for their aggression and territorial behavior and hence, they can be difficult to care for when not handled properly. The exact number is more specific to the type of fish. Maintaining a pH of 7.8 to 8.6 will keep the species healthy, as will maintaining hard water of 4 to 6 dH. They can easily make each other sick. The African Cichlids are one of the most diverse species in the market and are mostly kept as exotic showpieces in aquariums. They are larger, measuring at up to ten inches. To get rid of this disease, you will need to complete a water change of fifty percent. They’re found in tanks…, It’s Time To Decide If They’re Right For You, The 15 Best Types Of Freshwater Aquarium Catfish, Clown Loach Care: Tank Size, Food, Lifespan, Tank Mates…, Indian Almond Leaves: Benefits For Your Aquarium, The 35 Best Low Light Aquarium Plants (Must-See), 35 Peaceful Community Fish For Your Tank (Updated List), Malaysian Trumpet Snail 101: Detailed Info & Care Tips. Buffalo Head: They have other names such as “Humphead”, “Lionhead”, and  “Blockhead”, referring to their prominent foreheads. This allows them to produce new teeth to replace those that were lost or damaged. African cichlids are voracious eaters and are prone to overeating, but you need to avoid feeding them too much as this can cause health problems. As a result, you should keep the water in your aquarium moving at all times. They grow to be about five inches in length and are highly aggressive. Although most species found in home aquariums are found naturally in Lake Malawi, others are found in Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. Giraffe cichlids require more experienced handlers, as they can be extremely sensitive to the nitrate levels in their water. Different species of dwarf cichlids have very different care requirements. You need to know the exact needs of your cichlids before deciding what to feed them. Always thoroughly clean anything that comes into contact with the tank water as well. Having a water level test kit on hand is crucial for monitoring the conditions in your tank. You should also use securely placed rocks so that they don’t collapse. Should you want to add more fish to the aquarium, you should accommodate about three extra gallons per additional fish. If you use aquatic plants, select them carefully. You can use plants with sturdy, resilient stems, like ferns or sword plants. Nonetheless, they are colorful fish that don't require saltwater, which is a rarity. The freshwater lakes and rivers that these fish reside in have hard water. This diverse species of fish includes multiple sub-types, like the peacock cichlid, all of which are colorful and easy to care for. This will be close to the natural temperature of the cichlid’s native waters. Hap (short for “Haplochromis”): One of the most common types of cichlids, these fish prefer swimming in open water, they have a medium aggression level, feeding on smaller fish. Females may also exhibit coloration, but their shades tend to be lighter and their patterns less noticeable. Native to Lake Malawi, this smaller type of cichlid is less aggressive than other types, making it easier to raise with other species of fish. Some of the most popular varieties originate from the Amazon Basin and the Great Rift Valley of Eastern Africa. Now that you have all the info you need to make a decision, it’s time to sit down and think. When you bring home new fish species to add to the tank, make sure you quarantine them first so that you don’t introduce new disease to the tank. Smaller Cichlid, like electric yellow Cichlid, needs a minimum of 30 gallons tank. Rocky substrates are other good alternatives, allowing you to imitate the rocky lake bottoms to which African cichlids are native. These fish inhabit the African Rift freshwater lakes, such as Lake Malawi. African Cichlid Care. Try to clean the tank every three weeks. Often, you will need to quarantine your fish if signs of disease begin to show. Gill Flukes, a parasite causing problems with breathing and slimy gills. When trying to breed African cichlids, you’ll need to have a male and female in the same tank by themselves. Others, like the African butterfly, will eat small fish. Aquarium Source is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to In fact, they’re one of the most popular…, Clown Loaches are one of the most popular freshwater fish in the aquarium scene. Peacock cichlids need a minimum of 55 gallons. It is good to include a little of everything including a solid base of fish food. Africa’s great lakes have quite hard water, 4 … There are some common signs of illness to watch for among your collection to prevent fatalities. If you are looking for an exciting new addition to your aquarium, and don’t mind a little bit of extra work, African cichlids might be the right choice for you. Depending on the kind you own, they might be mainly insectivores, herbivores, or omnivores. Most African cichlids prefer either open water or rocky spaces, so make sure to accommodate for both. There are well over 1500 species, many of which have yet to be discovered. Their color is affected by how you care for them. In captivity, it is not uncommon for cichlids to cross-breed. African cichlids possess strong parenting instincts and will become increasingly aggressive during times of breeding. This varies depending on the individual species and the particular fish, however. In the wild, African cichlids have diverse diets, eating everything from plants to insects to meat. Therefore, they need a pH range of 6.5 to 8.5. It is a vibrant yellow in color, with dorsal fins that span the full length of their bodies. An additional air or water pump can be used for this purpose. These are the most colorful freshwater fish, and African cichlid care is relatively easy. The Orange Zebra Cichlid is found in Lake Malawi, and comes in a vivid orange hue. There are many diseases to which African cichlids – as well as other aquarium species – are prone. Potentially fatal swelling in the abdomen. Africa alone is estimated to host at least 1,600 species. I will talk about about pH, substrate, water conditions and what fish I have. There are several plants that you can, however, consider to plant in your tank. Of course, there must also be a suitably-sized filter and heater in each tank. Although these fish are aggressive in general, there can be some slight behavioral differences between them. If you plan on mixing your African cichlids with other fish, they will need to dwell in different regions of the tank. They do this in anticipation of being fed. Many are contagious and can be fatal, so being vigilant for changes in your fish’s behavior or appearance are vital so that you can keep them healthy for the long term. This might not seem that exciting, but it’s a solution that many owners prefer. Our Cichlids are packed carefully and delivered direct to you with a 100% live fish guarantee. African cichlids also prefer alkaline water, which rules out plenty of aquarium plants. First, make sure you line the bottom of your tank with a good substrate. Plecos in particular make great companions for African cichlids, as they dwell on the bottom of your tank (where they are less likely to be disturbed by your cichlids) and will clean up most of the algae within your tank. Don’t add any new fish or decorations, and definitely don’t adjust the water quality, until the breeding has finished. They want to investigate what’s going on in their tank and will show no fear when doing this. The Yellow African is another popular type of cichlid. Ready to get started? South America is home to many of the most popular dwarfs such as Apistogramma and the German ram. Some types of cichlids will even burrow into the sediment and play dead so that they can lay in wait for prey. Many African cichlids are aggressive toward other fish in their native habitat and captivity. Bottom-feeding fish that are large enough to defend themselves will most likely be left alone, such as African catfish. This is usually achieved with a regular tank filter, however, African cichlids that are found in rivers may appreciate a slightly stronger current. maintenance program. There are plenty of colors and patterns of this species for you to choose from, though it can take up to a year for them to develop full color. Feed your African cichlids a varied diet, ideally two to three times a day. It’s tempting to house African cichlids in the same tank as South American cichlids since they look similar. Interestingly enough, blue haps don’t get along well with peacock cichlids, so you may not want to house them together. Just like any fish, this can vary drastically if they live in a suboptimal tank situation with a poor diet and water quality. African cichlids have a huge variety, especially in the wild, though only a few species found as pets. African Cichlids are not the cleanest of fish, so you would need to put in a lot of effort to clean the tank. Otherwise, you run the risk of your other fish being constantly attacked. Electric Blue Hap: Also known as the Hap Ahli, these fish are easy to maintain and come in a solid and vibrant blue color. Many species of African cichlids can breed in captivity. Finally, pay attention to your African cichlids’ diets to maintain good health. This can cause severe respiratory problems. Number one on this list would be fish that prefer swimming in open water. Waters in these African lakes have a pH between 8.0 and 9.0. If you have a cichlid that spends most of his time at the bottom of the tank, wafer or pellet foods are the way to go. Their behavior should be the determinant in how you decorate their tanks, as these active swimmers like to dig and move tank decor. They include plants with sturdy root systems, including the Java fern, Java Moss, Java Fern, and Anubias. Instead, focus more on the pH and temperature of your tank. They tend to be more peaceful than others, and they grow to about 4.5 inches in length). You should also avoid mixing African cichlids with South American cichlids (like convict cichlids). These diseases can often be prevented by maintaining good water quality and limiting behaviors like overfeeding. The right choice is what’s going to be best for you and the aquatic life you decide to take care of. It would be a great menu variation along with the live brine shrimp. They need water that is free from ammonia, meaning you must conduct regular water changes. Butterfly: These cichlids sport vertical black stripes. Breeding- If you want to breed Cichlids, obviously you’ll need to keep at least 2 together. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. This illness also creates white spots but is caused by a parasite. Hexamita, marked by scale lesions and a lack of appetite. The African peacock cichlid is also found naturally in Lake Malawi, and includes twenty-two different species of fish. Special lighting is not required but often used for viewing pleasure. They can take up to a year to show off their true colors, and the brightest colors will only show when they are healthy and vivacious. They will reproduce more fishes to be sold in the market. There are many different types of aquarium catfish out there. Ram Cichlids – Care, Tank Mates, Feeding, Breeding & More The ram cichlid is a freshwater species adapted to living in the Orinoco River basin in South America. Pay attention to the number of cichlids you have in your tank. In this case, the eggs need to be separated into a “breeding” tank. For community tanks, the gallon size should be at least doubled. In addition, leftover food particles can easily contaminate your tank. They need places to hide, though, so evaluating your cichlids’ behavior is important in determining which tank decorations you will use. This type of African cichlid is one of the easiest to raise for first-time cichlid keepers. Research your exact species, because some will grow quite large over time. African cichlids have been known to jump out of the water occasionally, so it’s a good idea to have a sturdy lid on your tank. It is popular with aquarists, and it also goes by the names blue ram, butterfly cichlid, Asian ram, German blue … These fish don’t have specific needs in regards to lighting, but you should try to avoid intense lighting as this can be overwhelming.
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