They are an extremely colorful and hardy fish species, which can bring a unique personality to your tank. The number of cichlid species identified in the wild is well over 1,000 and biologists think that many more are waiting to be discovered. Several cichlids, including discus (Symphysodon spp. Who doesn’t recognize the iconic angelfish?g. Angelfish are EXTREMELY sensitive to water conditions. These ocelli are suggested to limit fin-nipping by piranhas, a species that is often found alongside these fish in the wild. The content of this website is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Aquarists love the dynamic nature of cichlids. They can be a bit more aggressive than your average tropical fishes, though, so not all types of African cichlids will get along well with other tank mates. The smallest checks in at just 1 inch (3cm) in length, while the largest tops out at close to 2 feet (60cm). These cichlids are easy for both beginners and accomplished aquarists. Stocking is very important, especially if you want to breed your haps: three females per male prevents stress during the mating season. They target smaller tank mates. While it’s true this subspecies can be aggressive during spawning and they tend to peck at the fins of slower fish, there are aquarists who argue that they have successfully kept a kribensis in a community tank as well. This group of fish consists of piscivorous fish. Convict Cichlid (Amatitlania nigrofasciata), 10. Aquarists love these little fish for their big personalities. Consisting of the whole Aulonocara genus of freshwater fish, peacock cichlid, or simply peacocks, are the most friendly and peaceful cichlids you can find in your aquarium. Just don’t skimp on the variety! This species (pictured above) is sometimes called the Yellow devil as males can be extremely aggressive and hard on females. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions about oscar care, which are often passed around and can seriously harm this species. Kribensis are one of the most colorful cichlid subspecies. The best tank mates for your angelfish should be those which don’t nip or fight, as they are slow swimmers. 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 They also tolerate gouramis, corydoras, and plecostomus catfish without a problem. (That’s right, your oscar can learn to roll over!). These fish zoom around tanks (in addition to rooting around decorations). The carnivorous diet doesn’t make water quality easy to maintain, either. Have you tackled the difficult discus? Male mbunas are notoriously territorial and will defend that territory from anything they see as a threat – especially other males. So long as you have a male and female, odds are you’ll end up with baby convicts in the tank. Please note: this does not affect the price you pay. If you plan to keep a single pair of these, an aquarium of at least 30 gallons will work fine. They get along well with characins, barbs, danios, and rasboras, adding a great splash of color to your tank. As such, they thrive in tanks with very hard water and rocky decor that is lime-based or calcareous. You’ll find a lot of variation in size in the New World, including several species of dwarf cichlid. Just make sure you monitor water quality carefully to prevent disease or stress. There is no natural habitat from which they originated, so it can be difficult to know the right parameters for them to live in. You need to provide plenty of room for swimming space, as well as proper territory. ), 3. It’s possible that your fish has been dyed. Swim Bladder Disease: Poor nutrition or physical injury from tank mates leads to your fish losing the ability to remain submerged. Females watch the fry for about two weeks, and then they’re on their own. Common fish illnesses to watch for include: Unhappily, you can’t mix African and New World cichlids. The average parrot cichlid requires 30 gallons of space, with an additional 10 gallons for every extra fish you add to that tank. Discus are well known for their gorgeous patterns of green, red, brown, or blue, which stretch along their entire bodies. Because of this, cichlids can come in a wide variety of body shapes, sizes, colorations, and patterns. They readily greet their keepers and beg them for food when it’s time to eat. Do you have a favorite cichlid? Avoid any fish small enough to become a snack. Electric blue haps have a preference for fish, and they WILL eat smaller tank mates without hesitation. The two groups split thousands of years ago, evolving different immune systems. It is … This strange trait is mostly due to their teeth sitting deep in their throat, which can make it difficult for them to eat whole meals. Many people believe that set-ups as small as 30 gallons are adequate for these cichlids. As their name may suggest, jewel cichlids truly are the jewels of the aquarium world. Fish develop lesions, and their appetites drop off. However, if you don’t want to breed these fish, it’s wise to keep this tank exclusively female. Monitor the tank for bare patches and make appropriate repairs. So there needs to be a group of over 6 fish. © Loïc Tremblay. Rams learn to greet you at mealtimes, just as dogs might. The mbuna cichlids are among the more brightly-colored cichlid subspecies out there. With 11 species to choose from, you’re sure to find a pattern of colors you’ll want to add to your aquarium. If you have weaker fish – even if they’re the same size – they may get harassed or even attacked. It is believed that most Cichlids will get along with fish species such as Tetra, and Corydoras Catfish, just to mention a few. However, they can be quite aggressive in nature, especially when breeding, which can make them unsuitable for most community tanks. You can add plants to their set-up, but just know that your jewel cichlids will do their best to tear it up. Kribensis is a small, colorful cichlid, tolerant of community tanks. Blue Dolphin Cichlid(Cyrtocara moorii) 2. Looking for New World Cichlids? Gill Flukes: Flukes are parasites. Usually, this only happens if a foreign fish has accidentally crossed into their territory or if they’re in combat. If you intend on owning more, however, you’ll need a much larger tank full of ample decorations to hide in, so their territorial behavior is accommodated. Malawi Bloat: Common to African cichlids, this disease causes abdominal swelling, which can result in kidney and liver issues. Make sure you provide this subspecies with many hiding places and a sandy substrate that they can dig into. Even experienced aquarists struggle with discus. Choosing the Perfect Liner for your Pond & Water Garden, Natural pH Control in a Freshwater Aquarium: a Practical Beginners Guide, Protein Skimmer: Ultimate Buying Guide plus 11 Reviews, LED Aquarium Lighting: 11 Great Fixtures for Freshwater, Planted and Reef Tanks. They’re a very hardy subspecies, capable of adapting to most aquarium conditions without difficulty. Can’t get a dog due to allergies? Some guard their eggs in caves, while others mouthbrood. They’ll follow you around, greet you at the aquarium surface, and even learn tricks. Every aspect of the discus makes it challenging to keep. Your filter’s outflow should do the trick, but if you pick a species native to a river region, consider adding an air pump for a little more current. Unless you want to replace your greenery frequently, use hardy species in your aquarium: Make sure you keep the other end of that omnivore habit in mind when choosing tank mates. Size: 3 1/2” Temperament: Peaceful. Cichlids provide something for everyone. Not the cleanest eaters in the world, you need to stay on top of your tank water changes and substrate vacuuming to keep up with the extra bioload. It is best to set up a single-species aquarium with at least one confirmed pair if you wish to breed them. Among the better known of the many popular aquarium cichlids are the firemouth (Cichlasoma meeki), a fish with bright red in its mouth and on its throat and chest; the Jack Dempsey (C. biocellatum), a rather large dark fish spotted with blue-green; the oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), an attractive fish with an orange-ringed black spot on its tail base; and the discus (Symphysodon discus), a very deep-bodied fish … There are 22 species of peacock cichlids, all hailing from Lake Malawi. Fish information and habitats for large Cichlid aquariums, types of cichlids like the Parrot Cichlid, Firemouth cichlid, Green Terror, Oscar, Texas Cichlid and more. Their head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a nuchal hump. Not content with just the tank, they spy on the entire room to see what’s going on. These fish display a range of bright colors like a peacock’s tail, hence the name. Their trailing fins pose a temptation to other fish, too, so watch your angels in community tanks. Don’t be surprised to find them uprooting your plants and decorations and moving them around the tank. Any brighter variations you may see are usually the result of selective breeding by aquarists; these do not exist in the wild. The size of the cichlids varies between 3cm and 1m. The representative breeds of Lake Malawi are Bumblebee Cichlid, Demasoni Cichlid, Venustus Cichlid, Yellow Lab Cichlid, Peacock Cichlid and so on. The most popular aquarium species come from Lake Malawi as they’re the most colorful. They’re also HIGHLY territorial, so break up their sightlines with decorations and rocks to prevent excessive aggression toward tank mates. Keep up with proper water quality, and they’ll stay happy and healthy. ), some Amphilophus species, Etroplus, and Uaru species, feed their young with a skin secretion from mucous glands. ), though only around 1800 currently have descriptions. All of them hail from just three lakes in east Africa: Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria, and Lake Tanganyika. The larger or more colorful the option, the higher the price. What Other Fish Can Live with African Cichlids Are you looking for a species of fish that will be compatible with African Cichlids? Cichlids like to dig in the substrate. Males grow larger than females and have more pointed fins. Lake Malawi Cichlids They ARE omnivores, but they gravitate toward the meatier end of the spectrum. Males will often be some mix of blue and orange, as well as possess subtle vertical barring. Cichlids are a diverse family of fish kept in freshwater aquariums and mainly native to tropical water bodies in Africa, and South and Central America. So long as their water conditions stay stable, kribs remain undemanding for everyone to care for. However, they have a reputation for rearranging the furniture. The Pterophyllum scalare subspecies, in particular, were bred extensively to develop many wonderful colors and patterns. Pelvicachromis pulcher (African) At three to four inches when fully grown, this fish is also classified … Oscar cichlids are larger than the average cichlid, and have larger-than-life personalities and appearances to match. If that’s not possible, you can always place them in a large freshwater tank; most will adapt without excessive trouble. With such diverse ancestors, it’s no wonder cichlids vary so much in color, shape, and personality. Combining species from the two regions WILL result in a health disaster. So, again, they do very well … Cichlids vary in their needs, and you should research your desired species before bringing them home. Unhappily, oscars grow FAST. Jewel cichlids live up to their name: they’re some of the most stunning fish you can find. Peacock cichlids, native to Lake Malawi in East Africa, live near the bottom … Overweight fish can lose their beautiful coloration and even die prematurely. Not all plants will appreciate these parameters, however, so choose aquarium plants with caution. Scientists estimate between 2000-5000 different species exist (crazy, right? These include many different types of xanthistic forms which are known as the electric blue rams or the gold rams as well as the larger and high bodied, flattened balloon form varieties. Hexamita: Another parasite, brought on by poor water quality. Here we profile some of the world’s most popular freshwater fish species, from the Neon Tetra to the Pearl Gourami. These can include logs, caves, and decorative dens, so they can ease into their new surroundings gradually. The Cichlidae family is a large and diverse family, with at least 1300 scientifically described species, and more than 160 genera. [7] [88] The species Neolamprologus pulcher uses a cooperative breeding system, in which one breeding pair has many helpers which are subordinate to the dominant breeders. You should also provide them with a thick, sandy substrate that allows them to sift for their food. We hope to clarify that here. They also jump, so make sure you have a cover on your tank. True to cichlid reputation, jewels like to dig, so provide them with a sandy substrate that won’t injure them in their excavations. You can also have sturdy plants along the bottom, but try to find ones that don’t grow into the substrate. As such, it may be wise to leave them in the hands of more experienced fish keepers. Even peaceful species get territorial during the breeding season. Most other Malawi cichlids are safe, but NOT African peacocks. For more information, please check our, 3. If you spot a parrot cichlid that is an unusual color, such as purple or green, you may want to consult with the breeder.
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