Cichlid Keeping Tips and Species Guide.
Cichlids are one of the most rewarding tropical fish species to keep in the home aquarium. They are very active, alert and are fun to watch. Another great advantage of cichlids over a tropical fish community tank is that you can ignore the rule that is set in place for tropical fish species in the aquarium that you must have 1 inch of fish per gallon. The tropical fish species tank tends to be quite sparse compared to the cichlid tank mainly because most tropical fish school together and cichlids are continually traveling all over the aquarium, actively exploring every inch!
Why Choose Cichlids?
Cichlids are very different then ordinary community tropical fish - they are so incredibly territorial that you will need to put more of them in your tank, in fact you'll have to pack it full and the reason for this is because your cichlids will never able to create their own territory because there are too many fish around for them to establish their own space. If you only have a few specimens, they re so fiercely territorial that when the other fish enters their established territory, they will attack them so viciously that they can kill the invading fish! You'll need to have lots of habitants in your aquarium!
Cichlids are very interactive aquatic pets, some people swear that they recognize their owners. I believe this to be true, when I go to my cichlid tank, they come right up to the glass and want their feeding, they look at me and you can tell they recognize me. When a stranger walks by the aquarium, they all hide. It is commonly said that cichlids recognize the footsteps of their owners and come out to visit and the can differentiate between the footsteps of a stranger when they go and hide!
Another reason to keep cichlids is that you don't need to get many of the same species to form a school. In fact it's not usually recommended because the groups can gang up on the singles and cause big trouble in the tank. It's best to have a single fish of many different species - you can easily have an array of colors, shapes, sizes and patterns. No two fish are alike in appearance and it makes your tank very fascinating to watch.
With that said, you may now be convinced that the cichlid aquarium is the best choice for you and your family. They are much more entertaining then goldfish, which hardly ever move! Now you can continue on and explore the topics here to learn about these exciting and popular fish species and know how to properly care for them.
Cichlid Care Topics:
Fish Tank Requirements
- Cichlid species are a little more complex then the usual tropical fish, but this attributes to their great hobby potential. This article helps you to set up the best aquarium possible for your fish to give you many years of enjoyable cichlid husbandry.
How to Resolve Conflicts & Aggression Between Cichlids
- Having a tank full of aggressive fish can pose some problems. These tips can help you to have a more "peaceful" cichlid aquarium. Nothing can guarantee that they will be able to cohabitate but it's worth a try and the challenge can be very enjoyable for you.
Other Suitable Tank Companions
- There are some housekeeping water dwellers that you may want to add once your aquarium gets it's first algae growth. Since these are very aggressive fish, you can't just place any other species in the aquarium or your current habitants will consider it a delicious feeding!
Cichlids in the Wild
- If you know the natural habitat of cichlid species and where they originate from, either Central American, Lake Tanganyika or Lake Malawi then you can be able to tailor your aquarium ornaments to their natural habitat, it can be a rocky outcropping, sandy bottom or even deep grass.
- When you're at the pet shop, here are some tips on how to choose the best quality and healthiest fish. Tips on how to spot cichlid disease or illness and to avoid getting an unhealthy fish.
- Explaining any special feeding requirements that your aquatic pets may have and suitable foods that you should feed your cichlids. Detailed feeding plan for optimal health, coloration and growth.
Beginner Cichlid Tips
- A very important tip if you are purchasing an aquarium and having cichlids as your very first fish. They are a great choice for the first timer but you will need to cycle your tank somehow and this article explains the best way to do that.
African Cichlid Species
- The most common cichlid species kept in the home aquarium. The African cichlids are the most widely available in pet stores and are the most popular of all cichlid species. This article gives common names and scientific names.
South American Cichlid Species
- Listing the most popular cichlid species as kept in the home aquarium that originate from South America. Popular species include the Oscar and Piranha. This article gives common names and scientific names.