Category archives: Cichlids

Cichlidany of more than 1, species of fishes of the family Cichlidae order Perciformesmany of which are popular aquarium fishes. Cichlids are primarily freshwater fishes and are found in tropical America, mainland Africa and Madagascarand southern Asia. The majority of species are African, appearing in great diversity in the major African lakes. Cichlids are rather deep-bodied and have one nostril rather than the usual two on each side of the head. The lateral line is discontinuous, and there are three or more anal spines.

They generally have rounded tails and, though sizable for aquarium fishes, usually do not grow longer than about 30 cm 12 inches. In many species, the rear edges of the dorsal and anal fins are pointed and the pelvic fins are elongated.

Depending on the species, cichlids range from vegetarian to carnivorous. They are noted for their complex mating and breeding behaviour. This usually involves courtship and preparation, maintenance, and defense of the nest and protection of the new young. In certain species, however, known as mouthbreedersthe eggs are not placed in a nest but are carried in the mouth of the parent until hatched.

This mouthbreeding behaviour is common to many species of the genus Tilapia and also to certain other Old World genera. Among the better known of the many popular aquarium cichlids are the firemouth Cichlasoma meekia fish with bright red in its mouth and on its throat and chest; the Jack Dempsey C.

Another popular aquarium fish of this group is the angelfishor scalare Pterophyllum. A notable cichlid is Tilapia mossambica, a prolific African species that is now cultivated in many regions as a source of food.

Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Cichlid fish. See Article History. Read More on This Topic. Freshwater perciforms include the cichlids family Cichlid aewhich occur naturally in India, Africa, South America, and…. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.At Live Fish Direct we have over 20 years experience breeding tropical fish.

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From your web site to the quality of product to your staff it has been a wonderful experience.They are known for their unique personalities and vibrant colors. Unfortunately Cichlids sometimes get a bad reputation for being difficult to keep, with people citing behavioral problems as one of the main reasons. Lots of these problems can be avoided if the Cichlid is placed in a suitable aquarium.

So in this article we are going to discuss what makes the perfect cichlid tank. We will start with giving an overview of Cichlids and their basic care requirements, before going into detail about their tank requirements and needs. This acrylic aquarium is not only 17 times stronger than glass but also half the weight.

This would make a great home for the average sized cichlid. Get Tank Now. Without a doubt Cichlids are by far one of the most popular types of freshwater fish. They are renowned for their stunning visual appearance, unique behaviors and fun personalities. They belong to the Cichlidae family, of which there are approximately species within the family. Cichlids body types range from the tiny Neolamprologus multifasciatuswhich are less than an inch long, to the Giant cichlid, which can grow to over 3 foot in length.

Similarly their body shapes also vary hugely from cylindrical and elongated to a more horizontally flat appearance. In general though, people will think of them as medium sized, oval shaped fish with a vibrant, colorful appearance. Once you learn what makes the perfect cichlid tank, you will be rewarded with a stunning fish that is extremely interesting to observe with a wealth of complex behaviors. It should be noted before we go any further that the Cichlidae family is home to some species, so there is no one size fits all approach for Cichlids.

With that said though there some commonalities and some basic guidelines that can be established across all Cichlids. Firstly, they are some of the hardiest aquarium fish around, with the average Cichlid being between 4 to 12 inches in length. As the majority of them come from slow running freshwater rivers, you should make sure that the water flow in their aquarium is slow. The males are territorial and if keeping multiple Cichlids together you should use plants and natural breaks to split up the aquarium to prevent fighting.

The tank should also be placed in a quiet location as they are easily spooked, so choose a low footfall area. As for decoration, let it be known that they constantly dig and uproot plants, so if you want to decorate your tank, make sure to use hardy plants such as java moss.

This way you can bear it in mind when planning your aquarium setup. Oscars are native to South America and are found in the Amazon River basin. Its natural environment is renowned for its slow moving water and sandy substrate. They have been known to grow up to 18inches, so they need a fairly large tank. Ideally a gallon tank and a further 50 gallons for each additional Oscar added.

The aquarium should have good filtration as they are known for being messy fish. If you wish to decorate the tank you can, but make sure the decorations are anchored down as Oscars will attempt to rearrange their tanks. As for lighting, Oscars do not require specialized lighting.

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However you will probably want to light the aquarium, as they are generally dull colors so can be difficult to see clearly without lighting. Once the tank has been setup you now need to maintain the conditions.

Oscars are jumpers so you need to make sure the lid on your tank is secure. Oscars can bump the lid on a regular sized tank, so make sure to fix it down. This aquarium comes as a complete kit, with the tank a fish net, a W heater, a filter, the hood and lights and even some plants! This makes a great aquarium for Angelfish. Angelfish from the Cichlidae family, not to be confused with saltwater angelfish such as the Emperor Angelfishare native to the Amazon Basin and other tropical South American rivers.

Fully grown Angelfish can grow up to 8 inches tall, so a tall tank is crucial when keeping them.Nice video with many shots of a large number of Port Acaras swimming among plants and each other. Nice aquarium and quite a few healthy and vibrant Acaras! Showing a nice sized and healthy looking Wolf Cichlid lazily hovering inside it tanks. You can see it notice the camera and take an active interest in the device as well as the person filming. Cichlids are attractive, active, are generally quite durable fish.

The Cichlid family offers the widest variety of body shapes, a vast range of sizes, and some very beautiful coloration and patterning. These characteristics are further complimented by their remarkable behavior, highly complex yet ritualistic. They are very active, intriguing, and many cichlids can be very personable, readily greeting their keepers and begging for food.

All these traits make cichlids a favorite aquarium fish. Our list of cichlid types covers a wide array of species from all around the world. The cichlid family is so vast that there are many types of cichlids that make good aquarium inhabitants. Some South American Cichlid species are of a more amiable nature, such as the severum, angelfish, and dwarf cichlids. These can be kept in a group environment. But many others are quite aggressive and are best kept singly.

The African cichlids from the Rift Lakes are highly prized for their color. Others for unique characteristics as seen in the popular Tropheus genus, featherfins, goby cichlids, and shelldwellers to name a few. Some cichld species, both African Cichlids and South American Cichlids, reach an impressive size and are great specimens for a large show tank. However some are not really suitable for the home aquarium due to size. But most seen in the hobby have a mix of fascinating of characteristics and are a delight to keep.

Central and South America comprises a huge geographic area with greatly diverse habitats ranging from savannas to rain forests. Other types of cichlids are from the great rift lakes of Africa, as well as other lakes, rivers and streams. Consequently cichlids are found in a wide variety of conditions.

Assorted African Cichlids

They are categorized as "secondary freshwater fish" - meaning their ancestors were marine fish. It is believed that cichlids moved to freshwaters from the marine environment, and they have features relating to a number of marine species including the wrasses, parrotfish, damsels, and surfperches. The actual number of cichlid species is unknown but are generally estimated somewhere between towith at least species scientifically described.

African Cichlids are conservatively estimated at about species, while South American Cichlids and Central American Cichlids are estimated at about species. The cichlid family is so vast that there many good aquarium inhabitants, but there are also many species that are not really suitable for the home aquarium due to size.

For example, the Boulengerochromis microlepis from Africa, which reaches up to 36" 90 cm is really too large for most hobbyists. Some large South American cichlids that are occasionally available in the hobby are the Peacock Bass Cichla ocellariswhich grows to a length of 30" 75 cmand the Wolf Cichlid Parachromis doviiwhich can reach a length of 24" 60 cm.

Both of these will require at least gallons L with larger being better.The number of cichlid species identified in the wild is well over 1, and biologists think that many more are waiting to be discovered. Cichlids are found in many locations throughout the world and include such favorites as the freshwater angelfish, the tiger oscar fish and the jack dempsey cichlid. They can be quite fascinating and territorial, especially when they pair off and start to spawn.

Some will tolerate tank mates and some can only be kept as lone individuals or in very aggressive species only tanks. Some retailers and breeders tend to keep them overcrowded in display tanks to try and limit the aggression and indeed it does seem to work.


However, there could be many factors at play in this scenario. The water quality could be very poor, likely high in ammonia and possibly nitrites thereby causing them to appear more docile. There are just too many other fish to dominate in a crowded tank.

Once you get a few of them acclimated and at home in your aquarium the situation could be completely different. Use caution when selecting tank mates and due your research before getting any of these cichlids to make sure you can meet their requirements. Toggle navigation. Pterophyllum scalare Freshwater Angelfish Can be temperamental with other species when they pair off. Cyrtocara moorii Blue Dolphin Cichlid A popular cichlid that needs a larger aquarium. Really pretty shades of blue depending on the aquarium lighting they are under.

Apsitogramma cacatuoides Cockatoo Cichlid Colorful cichlid that likes hiding places and live plants. Archocentrus nigrofasciatus Convict Cichlid One of the most commonly kept cichlids.

They are great parents and fairly easy to breed. Pseudotropheus Demasoni Demasoni Cichlid A dwarf mbuna cichlid that needs to be kept in groups. Symphysodon aequifasciatus Discus The ultimate freshwater tropical fish species perhaps, it's definitely one of the prettiest and can be considered challenging to keep long term. Thorichthys meeki Firemouth Cichlid Another great cichlid that is an excellent parent to it's young.

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Hybrid Cichlid Flowerhorn Cichlid A beautiful and interesting hybrid cichlid. Cichlasoma octofasciatum Jack Dempsey Named after the famous prize fighter, these cichlids need larger tanks.

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Parachromis managuensis Jaguar Cichlid A big cichlid up to 21 inches that needs a big aquarium. Hemichromis bimaculatus Jewel Cichlid The Jewel cichlid can get aggressive with tank mates like many cichlids when they pair off.

Cichlid Species

Not compatable with other types of fish, not a community fish. Pelvicachromis pulcher Kribensis Cichlid - Krib Another one of the easier to breed cichlids. Astronotus spp. Oscar Fish Often sold to new hobbyists that should now better. Oscars need larger tanks than most hobbyists can provide. A hybrid Blood Red Parrot Cichlid An interesting hybrid cichlid that needs some hiding places and an established tank.

Microgeophagus ramirezi Blue Ram Cichlid Awesome looking cichlid that needs to be slowly acclimated and fed a high quality diet. Amphilophus labiatus Red Devil Cichlid A large and mean cichlid that needs a large tank. Protomelas taeniolatus Red Empress Cichlid Gets to around 5 inches in size and considered one of the less aggressive cichlids. Endemic to Lake Malawi. Heros efasciatus Severum The common severum, needs at least a 55 gallon or larger. Neolamprologus multifasciatus Shell Dweller Cichlid Multies are a special type of cichlid for many reasons.

The first reason is they are shell-dwellers, or Shellies, which means that they live and breed in shells. Pseudotropheus sp.Description: Assorted mbuna are usually a great starter set for a tank as most will have good color even at a small size. If you are interested in having us custom select a compatible mix Assorted mbuna are usually a great starter set for a tank as most will have good color even at a small size.

If you are interested in having us custom select a compatible mix please email your tank size, and any fish currently in your tank. We are happy to help make the process of selecting a good mix for your tank smooth, simple, quick, and pleasant. Category: Lake Malawi Mbuna Cichlids. Buy Now. You guys are great, my fish came in on time, healthy, and well packed. Isaac helped me out a lot with some previous order confusion, and you guys worked fast to find a solution.

And when you guys thought my OB was not going to fit in well for its size, yo read more. Secure online payments through PayPal. All major credit cards accepted. No PayPal account required. Login Form. Gift Cards Now Available. We are experienced aquarium fish breeders with a main focus on African Cichlids, particularly Lake Malawi Cichlids.

Top 10 Don'ts When Starting To Keep African Cichlids - Tips

While this is the bread and butter of our business we have expanded to the breeding of all types of Cichlids including Victorian and Tanganyikan Cichlids. This Week's Featured Fish. Pseudotropheus Assorted Malawi Assorted Mbuna Mix actual item may vary Description: Assorted mbuna are usually a great starter set for a tank as most will have good color even at a small size. If you are interested in having us custom select a compatible mix. Assorted mbuna are usually a great starter set for a tank as most will have good color even at a small size.

My Account.These are an incredibly diverse group of fish. Each species has its own pattern and coloration, so there is one to suit everybody. This includes the peacock cichlids which are some of the most colorful fish available. These fish are generally harder to look after compared to other popular tropical fish.

They are bigger and much more aggressive than tetrasguppies and gouramis. Adding these fish to your tank will brighten it up, as well as keeping it looking active and social. This complete guide will discuss everything you need to know about African Cichlids, including the most popular types, perfect tank setup, how to care for them and much more…. Free Exclusive Bonus: Download the African Cichlid eBook to learn everything there is know about caring for this fish. African cichlids belong to the Cichlidae familywhich includes all other cichlids.

Cichlids are one of the most diverse groups of fish and many species can be found in Africa.


There could be over speciesbut most of these still need to be described by scientists. Each species has its own patterns and colors, so there will always be one that suits you and your tank. Another bonus is that they are quite hardy. Many fish stores will sell some African cichlid species.


You may have to look around a while before you find the rarer and larger species. They are generally more expensive than most other tropical fish. Prices will increase further for the more colorful or larger species. Healthy adults will be more expensive than juveniles. They are very active fish. Whenever they sense movement outside of the tank, they will follow it in the hope that they are about to be fed. Another thing to consider is their aggression.

They can be territorial at times, especially when matingwhich can lead to the death of weaker fish in the tank. To try to reduce fights, make sure that there are plenty of hiding places in your tank. This gives your fish somewhere to escape and also gives them a territory to claim. During the search for food, they may dig into the substrate or dig up decorations in the tank.

So, here are some of the most common varieties:. An adult will reach up to 3 inches and display five vertical black bars down the length of its body. The bars are complemented by horizontal rows of spots that can be a few different colors, usually blue or green.

This is one of the most suitable breeds for first-time cichlid keepers. It is peaceful, not very demanding, and quite easy to breed. The fins have black tips which really stand out against the yellow; the dorsal fin starts behind the head and spans the full length of the body.

A fully-grown adult will usually reach just over 3 inches. This is another example of one from Lake Malawi.

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