Sunday, November 10, 2019

How to maintain & care of your Cichlid aquarium

Cichlid aquarium

Part of the Cichlid aquarium, cichlid is a popularly sought after freshwater fish. Cichlidae is the largest vertebrate family with over 1300 species identified. With many cichlid species unidentified yet, there could be over 2000 species around the world.

Cichlids' size could range from one inch to 36 inches. They come in different shapes, too. For instance, certain cichlids are cylindrical while certain others are elongated. Some cichlids are compressed laterally. Though cichlids can survive for a small amount of time in saltwater or brackish water, they are mostly found in freshwater.

Cichlid aquarium

Cichlids such as tilapias and tilapia are cultured in parts of Asia as food. Popular cichlid aquarium fishes include angelfish, discus fish, and Oscar fish. Cichlid aquarium is very easy to maintain. They eat just about anything you feed them with and are small. Cichlid game fishes include the cichlid species. One of the most popular sports fishes in South America is the peacock bass. Among anglers, this fish generates $8 million a year.

It is recommended keeping large cichlid aquarium in small groups of a maximum of 12 cichlids in a tank as they are aggressive by nature. Never keep just a pair of them together as one will certainly eat up the other. Fill your cichlid aquarium with enough plants, caves and other hiding places where they can retreat to if a particular cichlid decides to be aggressive.

The cichlid aquarium this cichlid variety is primarily divided into three groups: African cichlid, Central and North American Cichlid, and lastly the South American Cichlids. It is in Africa that a capacious array of cichlids that are quite well known to most aquarists and hobbyists are found specifically in the Great Rift Valley region. It has been the cichlids home since the 1960s in which aquarists started learning about these species. This fishes are endemic in lakes, rivers, and streams.

African cichlids are then divided into four more sub-categories basing on the lake in which they live in. We have the Lake Malawi cichlids, Lake Tanganyikan cichlids, Lake Victoria cichlids, and African cichlids. Dwarf cichlids are sometimes considered as another special group though technically they belong to the African or American cichlid sub-category. As of today, there are more than 3000 known species and are still increasing significantly as more new species are bred.

Mostly, cichlids inhabit waters that are not yet thoroughly researched by scientists and with a higher possibility that some cichlids will become extinct even before scientists can lay their hands on them. This is maybe because of the introduction of new fish food in the African lakes that disturbed the ecosystem.

More cichlid information is that cichlids have adapted an expansive range of habitats which makes their degree of specialization so outstanding. This would also affect the behavior of every variety making some of them harder or more difficult to keep in aquariums compared to other varieties. The mere fact that some of these fishes grew unpredictably huge making them inappropriate and unpractical for aquarium keeps. So far, the largest known cichlid reached the size of 50 - 100 centimeters, quite big, huh?

This particular large species is the Boulengerochromis microlites which is also the opposite of the Dwarf cichlid in the Apistogramma group which is the smallest of the cichlid variety. It only reaches the size no larger than three centimeters making them very well known to aquarists since it does not require very large aquariums. However, dwarf cichlids are more sensitive to care for compared to their counterparts and crowding them in a small cichlid aquarium is not or never a good idea either.

On the contrary to most beliefs, dwarf cichlids are better off in larger aquariums and aquarists may draw a lot of advantages with it too as it is easier for them to maintain water quality. All cichlids share the same anatomic characteristics even if they display different appearance and behavior or temperament. Most fishes have small intestines that make stomach located on the right side but for cichlids, their stomach are at the left side and are equipped with more than one nostril. This also goes true with Damselfishes. Furthermore, there is an intriguing and unique cichlid information about their feature and that is they have teeth in both the upper and lower jaw as well as in the throat.

Cichlid behavior

If we decided to kept cichlid aquarium cichlid behavior is most important to know. Most of the time they very aggressive, considering how territorial this species is.

Temperament during Breeding

If possible, cichlids become even more aggressive during the breeding season to protect their young. There are basically two types of breeders. The first one is open-breeders and would lay their eggs on the substrate, rocks, plants or sands. The second tends to opt for more secure locations like caves, the inside of their mouth or even create holes in the sand to lay the eggs in. Some breeders choose to place their fish in separate tanks during breeding to prevent violent confrontations with other fishes. What is interesting is that the cichlid color changes when they are ready to mate. Specifically, the males develop darker colors during breeding time.

Social interaction

As mentioned, these fish are mostly aggressive, even to their own kind. Alpha males tend to fight other fishes for territory and would not hesitate in swimming after others and biting them in different body parts. This is why some breeders usually heavily stock their tanks with different cichlid types. The technique makes it harder for these fish to maintain dominance and therefore lessen the aggression within the school.

How to Deal with Aggressive Behavior

In order to deal with the aggressive side of cichlids, individuals must first consider exactly what is causing them to behave badly. If it is a territorial war, the most ideal method would be to rearrange the tank designs. This is because the fish use the designs as boundaries to their territory and by rearranging the area; they will become confused and therefore not be too aggressive.

Also, correctly choosing cichlids before buying them would also lessen the possibility of violent behavior. This is because they also operate in an alpha-beta manner. This means that the biggest fish would usually be the school's alpha while the others will be dominated and usually hide in their caves. In order to avoid this, try choosing fish that are roughly the same size.

Paying Attention to Your Fish

If there is any evidence of bullying in the tank, it would be a good idea to separate the fish that is being bullied, especially if they are starting to look weak. Adding more hiding places in the tank would also be helpful as the dominated fish can simply hide whenever the aggressor approaches.

Aggression can be easily pinpointed through frayed fins or fish that are inactive and always close to the substrate. Their colors also change depending on their mood. For example, stressed out cichlids display fainter colors and should, therefore, give special attention until they become happy in the tank again.

Despite their small size, these are very interesting fishes with very active temperaments. When left on their own, there's a strong chance that the dominant one will eventually kill or injure others. This is why every good aquarist takes note of cichlid behavior and performs precautionary measures should it be necessary.

Cichlid breeders are of four types. Breeders' laying their eggs on open surfaces such as logs, leaves, and rocks are the open breeders. Females care for the eggs until they hatch while the male cichlid carefully guards the territory from predators.

Cichlid breeding behavior is that lay eggs in holes, crevices, caves and any other hidden areas. This type of breeder shakes their bodies and flicks their fins to communicate with the young ones.

Eggs are snatched up and kept in the mouth by the ovophile mouth brooders. Examples of this type of cichlids include those found in VictoriaTanganyika and Malawi lakes. Larvophile mouth brooders lay their eggs in open surfaces and wait till they hatch to take the fry into their mouth and offer protection.

Cichlids can be either polygamous or monogamous, though consistency cannot be found in this type of pairing of specific species. Keeping cichlids will show you that they are great parents taking care of their breed diligently during the process of breeding.

Can I put cichlids in a community tank?

Lots of cichlids species really exist. This is absolutely one enormous family and one fish may have a size of 2 to 100 centimeters. In many cases, the cichlid species that you could breed and raise in a common community are Apistogramma, Kribensis and angelfish. We encourage that you pay close attention to the fact that a cichlid has to never live in the same fish tank with fish of a length lower than five cm. Cichlids usually are actually aggressive when they're breeding, so correct focus on this fact is needed.

Also, it's crucial that you constantly pay the correct focus on the fish genre. It is because there's a big chance that they will start battling when breeding season happens. Thankfully lots of cichlids may have no issue in living along with fish that will be identical in dimensions. Good cases can be given in large tetras, livebearers and barbs.

Small dwarf cichlids are truly fragile and they will not be great for a community tank. In addition, big cichlids are unsafe because they often eat their tank mates. The majority of the cichlid species can attain a size of 20 cm and require huge fish tanks. You could raise African cichlids along with various other cichlids. Always keep in mind that suitable fish tank cleaning is needed coupled with maintenance so that violence levels are minimal. Many issues will appear when the tank is stuffed with lots of species that are contained in the same genus. After they will hybridize you'll find it difficult to make sales. Fundamentally you'll need research and also have to be attentive to everything the fish are performing.

Different cichlids species can also be larger. They are typically suitable if you place them in fish tanks with cichlids displaying equal levels of aggressiveness and size. Whenever pondering about mating partners there are lots of potential problems that can appear. The fish tank becomes territory if a couple exists. Cichlids are not really interested in having a company when they're breeding. However, in different cases, big cichlids accept the existence of peace.

To properly summarize everything, if you would like to bring up cichlids then you need to know that making them live near other fish is at times challenging. You won't need to do several time taking analysis and the main point here is that you need to significantly look at raising cichlids alone if you are considering breeding.

Cichlid food

Food is processed with the help of the lower pharyngeal and upper pharyngeal bones which forms the complex and unique muscle structure in cichlids. This is the reason why they are able to eat a wide food variety making it easy keeping cichlids.

Cichlids predominantly eat plant life and algae being herbivores. Sometimes, they are also found to feed on invertebrates and other small animals. Any organic material is food for Detroiters, such as tilapia. Cichlids can also feed on small animals such as sponges, snails, and even parasites found on catfish.

Cichlid food

The best cichlid food today has come a long way from the selections open to the public before. Well, I have always been a traditionalist. I believe that organic or natural food should be given to feed my cichlids. There is an ongoing trend to develop and sell manufactured and processed feeds for this fish that is prevailing in the market today. There are claims that manufactured feeds are better than the organic food that has been usually the choice of enthusiasts.

But before dwelling on that, let me discuss first the types of eater cichlids in general. They can be classified based on the selection of food they prefer to eat. Omnivorous cichlids are those that eat both plants and animals. In their normal environment, they will eat insects, crustaceans, worms and plants. When placed inside an aquarium, their food should consist of the combination of fish flakes, live food and vegetables. Some examples of these omnivorous cichlids are the Petrochromis, Angel Fish and Heros. 

The second type is the carnivorous type. These types are those that eat mainly organisms such as insects, insect larvae, shrimp, crustaceans, worms and fish eggs. But they also have the tendency to eat smaller fishes in the tank, making them perfect predators. Crenicichla, Pike cichlids and Haplochromines are some types of carnivorous cichlids. Those that mainly rely on plant for diet are the herbivorous cichlids. They thrive on algae and other vegetation found in their surroundings. Those that are living in an aquarium are more inclined to eat flake or pellet plant-based food. In some cases, these herbivores can accept live food, often are invertebrates, while some feed on algae that rest on rocks and various structures in the water.

During spawning, it is best to provide protein-rich cichlid food for your breeding cichlids. Their fry can be fed with brine shrimp before they mature and dwell on eating bigger foods. You need to make sure that the food your feeding your pets are clean and do not have diseases. That is the reason there is a growing clamor to feed cichlids with manufactured foods such as pellets and flakes. They can be sure that these are from healthy origins as compared to live food bought in fish stores. There are times that these live cichlid food (such as small fish) are sickly and have diseases, the reason behind why they are being sold as feeds.

The debate on which food is better is something that most breeders consider. The ease in purchasing manufactured and processed feeds is the primary reason for their abundance in the market. One good thing about these types of cichlid food is that they are processed in a way where all the basic needs of the cichlids are identified and are encapsulated in the flakes, pellets or balls. They readily provide nutrients like vitamin C, amino acid, spirulina, carotene and other food supplements needed by the fish. However, organic foods are better because they possess the natural nutrients that provide healthier benefits to your pets. Though finding live foods can be harder as compared to the processed types, you are assured that you provide your fish with the same quality and health content like those that are growing in their natural environment.

The best cichlid food is not determined by the availability in the market or its nutritional content. Whatever works for your pet is the most important choice to make. As long as your cichlid heartily eats whatever is served to them, you may continue to do so. In the end, the reason we select the best food is because we care for their welfare. And as long as they keep eating, we are certain than they'll live longer.

Cichlid food

Cichilds enjoy hunting for their food, so live food is definitely something you should consider. However, there is a risk of disease or population contamination when introducing live food to the tank. This is why most pet stores and fish owners prefer to keep the diet primarily pellets. A treat of live food every once in a while is the best method, with pellets making up the bulk of the diet.

The benefits of using primarily prepared food for your Cichilds are many, ranging from ease of accessibility to making sure they are receiving all of the nutrition they need. You can use automatic feeders with pellets and it is much easier to instruct a sitter how to feed your fish if you aren't trying to show them how to handle live food.

Two notes about live cichlid food. Many aquarists have noticed that their cichlids sometimes become sick and die after eating bloodworms. The reason for this is that the natural habitat of bloodworms contains substances that are toxic to cichlids and if those toxins have found their way into the bloodworm's body, it can harm your cichlid. Also, in their natural habitat, cichlids like to eat the algae off of rocks. You could let the algae grow on some rocks in your aquarium and the cichlids will probably eat it, which will bring you one step closer to a self-sustaining aquarium.

Because Cichlids are predators, they probably won't respond to pellets at first unless they were raised on them from the beginning. You may have to trick them for a while by using an eyedropper to move the pellet around and make it more interesting. Even then they may not take to the taste. Having other pellet eating fish in the same tank could help your Cichild to learn to eat its new food when it sees other fish gobbling it up.

Different species will learn at different rates, so be patient and consistent. Most Cichilds can go for up to a month without eating, so don't give in and let them have live food for fear of starving them. When they get hungry, they will eat nearly anything. Once you have them trained, cichlid feeding is really easy.

Cichlid species

This is predominantly due to the fact that aquarium owners found them easy to feed, compact size, easy to breed and their ability to care for the young ones even when they are captive.

There are more than 2000 cichlid species around the world. Only a few species that are stunningly beautiful are sought after by aquarium owners. Some owners prefer the most common cichlids that are easy to feed, keep and breed.
Some of the popular and most common cichlids include -


Angelfish (Pterophyllumscalare) - Due to its mild disposition, inquisitive nature, elegant and unique appearance, the angel fish that is predominantly found in the Essequibo, Orinoco and Amazon rivers in South America are one of the most popular among aquarium owners. When it is feed time, these fishes swim eagerly to the surface or swim towards the glass as they are not shy with humans. Angelfish, the most common cichlids sought after by aquarium owners tolerate any water condition and are the easiest to feed.

Oscar fish

Oscar fish (Astronotusocellatus) - This fish, considered being a food fish, originates from South America and is also referred to as Oscar, marble cichlid, velvet cichlid or tiger Oscar. Being extremely tough and hardy, Oscar fish can tolerate high toxin levels and any water condition. Oscar fish grows quickly even beyond eighteen inches and eats a variety of foods including flakes, live food and pellets. If you want your Oscar fish to stay bright, colourful, and healthy, it is recommended to feed them with a lot of live food.

Convict cichlid (Archocentrusnigrofasciatus) - This fish is one of the most common cichlids sought after by beginners due to ease of breeding and due to their small size. They are not choosy about the water conditions or food. Convict fishes must be kept in appropriate surroundings. For this, you must recreate their habitat with a lot of artificial caves and rocks. These are used by them for breeding. It is recommended to use external filtration for this cichlid type as they burrow into the substrate.

Discus fish

Discus fish (Symphysodonsppi) - Discus fish is another most common cichlid sought after by aquarium enthusiasts. This cichlid is very sociable and is one of the few varieties that live in large groups in their original habitat. It is recommended to purchase two or more discuss fishes as they love to socialize and their character is enhanced through social interactions. Breeding tanks for discus fishes are very simple. They require many spawning sites, a simple filtration system, and practically no substrate. In order to ensure that the eggs develop in a proper manner, keep the aquarium water soft.

These cichlid species are easy to feed and breed and live for a long period of time. Some Jack Dempsey fishes even live up to ten years. People love to keep Jack Dempsey's due to their vibrant colour. When they are young, these fishes feature a light gray or tan with specks of turquoise. As they grow mature, they turn purple grey with green and blue highlights and golden specks.

Peacock cichlid tank

The peacock cichlid is growing in popularity as a pet. They are traced to Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. The fish are regarded as being amongst the most beautiful cichlids. And best of all, they are some of the most peaceful of all the cichlid species.

They are best for large aquariums and are great for display due to their colors and a massive size. They are named after the peacock's colorful displays. The peacock cichlid has an elongated and a much higher back than other cichlids where their pelvic and the pectoral fins are longer.

peacock cichlid
peacock cichlid

The males grow to around 15 centimeters, while females grow up to 4 centimeters. A dark indigo blue characterizes their colors from the lower jaw up to the rear part of the body. Need not to breed the males and females of the peacock cichlid separately.

They breed very well and display a beautiful blend of colors. They are considered members of the free swimming Haplochromis group. In their natural habitat, they are known to form schools. While breeding them, it is advised that you have one or two males interact with a larger number of females. This will encourage breeding and you could have a whole school in no time.

The peacock cichlid is a mild aggression type of fish. Since the fish exhibit aggressive tendencies, you will need to build their aquarium with this in mind. They will increase in aggression when confined into these small peacock cichlid tanks. Taking this in mind, you can be able to inhibit the aggression as well with extra water volume per fish.

You could also increase breeding. The peacock cichlid tank should be around 100 cm with a capacity for up to 55 gallons of water. In the aquarium, you should set up rocks and provide crevices and cave like designs. Remember the fish's original habitat included crevices and caves.

The water needs to be alkaline in nature therefore; it is advised that you use coral sand substrate. Since the water may change rapidly, it is a good idea to have it changed as frequently as possible. A dirty fish tank is not only disturbing to the eye but also unsafe for fish. The aggression of the peacock cichlid is very minimal compared to most Lake Malawi counterparts.

However, they are good in defending their school and will form territories too. You should not place peacock cichlid with smaller fishes since they may look at them as food. They can be put into the same tank with like-sized fishes like catfish. Mbunas should not be chosen as tank-mates for the peacock cichlid.

They tend to be far more aggressive. Peacock cichlids are omnivores. It is a simple task when it comes to feeding since they are not choosy. They can be fed from foods such as bloodworm, mosquito larvae and crustaceans. The water pH level should be a bit above 8 but not exceed 8.2. They need a relatively warm water temperature of between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius.

Cichlid breeding

Cichlids are fascinating fresh-water fishes that offer great potential and are a delight to cichlid breeding and raise especially if you have established a rapport with them. As you breed cichlids, you have a wonderful opportunity to observe their behaviour and how they take care of their young. You will be surprised at the many ways in which they protect their young just like the humans. In other ways, they can be aggressive and detached parents too.

Cichlid breeding

It is highly recommended to do your research and know exactly the type of cichlid you must choose for cichlid breeding.

Open brooders - Open brooders breed on gravel, logs, plant leaves, rocks and other open surfaces. Instances of open brooder cichlids include angelfish, German blue ram and discuss fish. As many as ten thousand eggs are laid by the open brooders. Oxygen supply is enhanced for the young by the mother who continuously fans them while the father diligently guards the territory. It is fun viewing their strange behaviour during reproducing, such as fan digging and leaf turning in certain American and South American species.

Cave brooders - Cichlids that lay their eggs in areas covered by rocks, in flowerpots, plants and caves are the cave brooding variety. Some famous cichlids in this variety include the convict cichlid and Kribensis. Certain cichlids exhibit cichlid breeding behaviour such as laying eggs after digging a pit. Flicking pelvis fins and shaking the body are ways in which free swimming fry and parents communicate with each other in certain cave brooding cichlids.

Mouth brooders - Mouth brooder cichlids protect their fry and eggs from predators by carrying them in their mouth. After laying eggs are incubated in the mouth in certain Ovophile mouth brooders like the African cichlids. Fry may be kept in their mouth for many weeks. Larvophile mouth brooders lay their eggs in the cave or in the open spaces. After hatching of the eggs, they keep the larvae safe in their mouths. Female cichlids are the ones that usually carry their fry in their mouths.

Factors affecting cichlid breeding

There are many factors that affect cichlid breeding as the female cichlid's ability to breed entirely depends on the species, her age and health.

Cichlid breeding

Temperature and water are other factors that affect cichlid breeding. PH level 76 and temperature of the water should be 78-degree Fahrenheit are ideal conditions for cichlid breeding and hatching.

A major role is played by the environment, too in cichlid breeding. For instance, a lot of hiding places around encourages the cave brooders to lay their eggs. If you have cichlids of this variety then it is recommended to fill the aquarium with many hiding spaces.

You may not enjoy success with cichlid breeding right at the onset as inexperienced and young cichlids may be unable to carry eggs full term. It takes time for them to learn how to breed in a proper manner. Breeding is not a mechanical process. Rather, it happens when conditions are conducive and time is right and therefore requires you to be patient.

When in breeding these species reaches its sexual maturity as young as 16 weeks of age but more commonly maturity is in 6 months. Monogamous pairs of convicts spawn in caves or crevices. However, in the wild these fishes tend to dig up caves underneath large rocks. The eggs normally adhere on top or at the side surfaces of the cave.

After the eggs are fertilized it will take at least 72 hours to hatch. At that very moment, the parents are very busy expelling any intruders or threat surrounding the nest's territory. They also use their fins to fan the eggs to provide oxygenated water to the eggs. They do this not only during the day but also at night. With the use of their sense of smell they recognize the presence of the eggs to keep the correct distance of their pelvic fins for fanning. It is also through the parents smell that they detect egg predators that are snooping around the area.

After the eggs have hatched, it requires another 72 hours for the larvae to absorb their yolk sacs and also give them enough time to develop their fins before becoming a free swimming fry. At this stage, fry forage are done in daylight but in areas that are dense and returns to the cage before nightfall. Like other cichlids, convicts also retrieves their young before dusk by scooping three to four fry at a time into their mouth and goes back to the nest where she spits them out.

Determining day and night and anticipating time before reaching night time is an innate time sensing of fish. Even when cichlids are observed in laboratories without the precedence of dimming lights, these fishes continue to retrieve their young before nightfall. At night, the young remains at the bottom of the cave or nest where the parents continue to fan them.

Both cichlid convict parents are aggressively active in guarding their fry from potential predators. They also have a behavior that readily assists young in feeding like moving leaves or fin digging. Caring of eggs, larvae, or juveniles in the wild would last about four to six weeks. Breeding usually happens only once per season of most females.

Females who breed in aquariums can do it several times in a year with short intervals approximately 12 - 13 days between broods. This is true, of course when rocks or closely similar surfaces are available for them to lay their eggs on.

Convicts are easy to maintain and breed in aquariums. Keep in mind that they are aggressively territorial during the breeding period and are best kept alone in adequate sized aquariums. Their relative size and easy breeding makes the convict cichlid ideal for novices as well as experienced aquarists for aquarium care.

African cichlids

African cichlids are unique in the sense their stunningly colourful patterns cannot be found in any other fresh-water fishes. Their attractive colours make them the most sought after fishes by enthusiasts.

African cichlids are extremely intelligent and they are known for their fascinating social behaviour. Cichlids in the tank respond to passersby by getting active. They swim in swarms and are a delight to feed as they consume whatever is given to them.

African cichlids

These fascinating creatures employ interesting techniques for hunting. N. Livingstonii attracts its prey by posing dead on the sand. When small fishes come closer, it jumps up to catch them.

These fishes are easy to maintain and breed why they are popular pets of African cichid lovers. Scientists and hobbyists are fascinated by these creatures' proliferation and their ability to adapt to captivity. Being hardy by nature, African cichlids can survive under any environmental conditions and are therefore easy to maintain. This is one of the reasons why beginners choose them as pets.

For thousands of years a kind of African cichlid the Tilapia has been an important food source. Right from 2500 BC, Tilapia has been farmed in Egypt according to hieroglyphics. Though Egyptians kept tilapia in aquariums, they were mostly eaten as they are not colourful as compared to other cichlids.

Eggs and young ones are carried by the female African cichlids in their mouths. Depending on the species type, the eggs are carried and nurtured by the females in the mouth after being fertilized by the male. This process is known as mouth brooding and it lasts anywhere between three and 31 days.

During mouth brooding, no food is eaten by the mother. It is interesting to note the motherly love on display even after the young ones are released. When in danger, these little ones are protected by the mother who takes them back into her mouth.

Protective African cichlids parents take great care of their little ones even if they are a part of crowded communities.

Most freshwater fishes do not grow larger than two or three inches. African cichlids however are known to grow up to six inches. Their life span is between four and ten years and some even life for fifteen years.

As compared to other fish types, this species is found to be extremely aggressive, territorial and voracious. I highly recommend it to keep African cichlids with other fishes of their size to avoid any aggressive behaviour. They tend to stick to their own kind in groups when in their wild habitat. Mature cichlids even guard their territory. They are not known to be welcoming or hospitable and do not get along with any other fishes including different species cichlids.

Buy cichlid

It is not an easy preposition buying any kind of pet, especially buying cichlids. Those who wish to keep them as pets must be sure about their decision and commitment towards taking care of them as it takes a lot of energy, effort, time and devotion. It is recommended not to buy any pets if you feel that you are not wholeheartedly inclined towards it. This way, you will waste money as well as harm the animal.

If you are planning on buying cichlids, here are a few tips.

Before you buy cichlids, be sure to learn all about them by conducting a thorough research. Find out what are their specific needs and analyze to determine if you will be able to fulfil requirements of taking care of them well. Most of the time, people reach out for pets without knowing the kind of effort that goes into caring for them and the poor animals end up ill or dead.

Buy cichlid

Choose trusted sources to gain knowledge on them. You can take the help of your friends and acquaintances who already own cichlids. Seek them out and ask them for advice on the best source of cichlids and what goes into taking care of them. There are many places where you can find cichlids including a cichlid breeder, a local pet shop and online. It is important to choose a reliable seller who will sell you the healthiest cichlids and who will be willing to replace them if anything should go wrong.

If possible, buy cichlid from a local source as this will ensure you can visit the store in person to observe the fish before purchasing them. This will also give you an idea of what exactly you are getting into. Online shops are the best bet for those looking for special cichlid breeds.

Check the cichlids you wish to purchase carefully. See if they are alert and active and observe if they tilt while swimming or swim straight. Cichlids that are healthy and active swim laterally. Observe to see if they swim robustly or tend to stick to the surface struggle to breathe. Observe if there are red spots on their bodies and if they have fins that are flat. Fins must not be ragged or ripped as this is not a healthy sign. If you find cichlids exhibiting any of the above symptoms, you know that this is the wrong place to purchase them.

Do not hesitate to ask questions and clarify any doubts you may have when you are buying cichlids. Apart from other resources, the best source to gain knowledge from is people who have firsthand experienced in breeding cichlids. Only by asking questions can you learn enough to discriminate and choose the best cichlids.

Be sure to ask about the return policy of the store. If your cichlids fall sick the moment you take them home, you must be in a position to return them or exchange them for healthier cichlids.

It is highly recommended not to take hasty decisions. Take enough time to learn about the pet before you make the purchase. Observe cichlids for some time and research well on how to take care of them. It is not easy caring for fish.
Talk to experts and take an informed decision. If you decide on buy cichlids, you must make a commitment to take good care of them and see them all the way through.

Cichlid care

Cichlids of all species have become more and more popular over recent years. The reason for this is that they are really suited to aquarium life. Generally, they feed without any problems, and it is not too difficult to get them to breed. So it is easy to see why they are the aquarium fish of choice for many people. However, this does not mean that you can completely ignore them and they will be ok. That sort of approach will lead to a tank full of dead fish.

An important aspect of cichlid care is the correct diet for your fish. There needs to be sufficient variety on their diet to ensure that they remain healthy. This variety comes from live food, frozen food, flakes and pellets. Food should be given in moderation. Cichlids are like other aquarium fish, they will continue to eat when full, so it is important not to overfeed them.

There are many species of cichlids. Some species are carnivorous and feed on live food almost only. There are herbivores that feed on plants and weeds, and there are omnivores that feed on both. It is important to know what species you have in your tank. You will not have a happy, or indeed healthy, carnivorous fish if you only feed them plant based flakes.

Water temperature is another key factor in ensuring a healthy aquarium. The correct temperature should be between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to keep the water temperature constant. Cichlids do not like fluctuations in water temperature. Fortunately, this should not be a problem, as most tank heaters can be set to specific temperatures. It is also important to think about where you position your tank. Do not place it where there could be big changes to the surrounding temperature, such as next to a radiator or window. Sun shining brightly through a window and into the tank can raise the water temperature significantly.

Cichlids prefer alkaline water. This is near 7.5 to 8.5 on the pH level. Alkaline testing kits are freely available at pet suppliers, as are water treatment chemicals. Treat tank water at least two days before introducing your fish to make sure that pH levels have settled down. You should also recheck pH levels after every partial water change.

Your tank should have a filter that is of the correct size and power for the size of your tank. A filter that is not powerful enough cannot keep water in your aquarium clean. Apart from affecting the visual appearance of your tank, it will lead to problems with the health of your cichlids and makes them more susceptible to disease. An appropriate filter and regular water changes will help to maintain the health of your fish.

You need extra cichlid care try to replicate some of the cichlids natural conditions in the wild. These means, for example, putting plants and rocks in your tank. You also need to have a reasonable thickness of gravel in the bottom of the tank. The gravel helps to regulate the water alkaline levels.
If you have chosen cichlids for your fish tank, you may well know their aggressive nature. Caring for cichlids can be challenging unless you know how to handle the situations that can arise with these fish. To counteract their type of personality, there are things you can do that will bring more harmony to your aquarium.

Male cichlids can show their aggression when trying to mate with a female. If you don't have the right ratio of males to females in your tank, it may cause the males to be more competitive. This can lead to a dominant male constantly fighting and chasing other males. Also, it may cause the persistent chasing of a designated female, occasionally to the point of its demise.

To lessen the rivalry, you will need to make sure that there is at least a 3:1 ratio between females and males. This will give the males more than one female to focus on. To distinguish between males and females of the cichlid species, you need to watch their behavior as they mature. Reducing the number of males in your tank should decrease the conflict that can occur between these fish.

You may find that not all cichlids have the same temperament. Some will be more aggressive than others. Some will only attack their own kind, while others will go after any fish. When you choose fish for your tank, try to pick species that have the same disposition. This will put them on even ground if fighting should occur.

Because of their unique environmental requirements, cichlids need a fish tank that has specific mineral content, temperature, and pH levels. When choosing your fish, you will want to choose either African cichlids or South American. This is because they both come from different surroundings;Therefore, they require different conditions. Even the five different lakes, where African cichlids originate, have distinctive qualities. Cichlids care can very rewarding so do some research before purchasing your fish to make things easier for you in the long run.

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