The optimum aquarium temperature for Cichlids is around 72°F - 82°F (22°C-28°C). Higher temperatures will require less aquarium stocking.
pH ~8.1 | Hardness 12.0
Keep your pH between about 7.8 and 8.5. This is achieved through the use of white limestone rocks or crushed coral substrate.
Relative water hardness should be 10-15dH. This will replicate hard limestone conditions similar to Malawi Lake in Africa.
Max Size ~6+"
While most cichlids will grow fairly large to around 6" in length, some are capable of growing to 12"+ in the right conditions. Keep this in mind when stocking the aquarium.
Nitrite should always be 0.
Cichlids are sensitive to ammonia spikes. Theu will breathe rapidly and noticebly less active.
Nitrates should always be as close to 0ppm as possible. Because of elevated pH and hardness, few aquarium plants do not thrive in cichlid tanks. Water changes are the best way to keep nitrates under control.
Although they can be quite aggressive, if you choose the same typed cichlids they will co-exist very well. Just make sure that you have the right sized tank, some cichlids will grow incredibly large but quite slowly, make sure you are able to accommodate them over time.
Cichlids should be avoided with planted tanks as they are avid diggers and will constantly rescape the gravel in your aquarium. They may also eat and deroot the plants. But this is no big issue as the plants do not enjoy the high pH and in their natural environment it is void of most plant life.
They can be fed most foods and they enjoy the occasional live snack, like discus sinking pellets are the best option as flakes are too thin for these larger fish. Frozen brine and daphnia are also great options and will diversify their meals.
In the right conditions and if you have a male and female they will probably breed, it is best to have a trio for the best chance. They will lay eggs and look after them carefully. Most are mouth-brooders making sure that the fry never leave their sight this will lead to a high chance of success when raising the young.
Cichlids are one of the other very popular types of aquarium fish. Because of their distinct colours and aggressive nature they appeal to a wide range of aquarists. They originate from south America, in areas with a solid rock base such as limestone within a fresh water lake.
The most well-known is probably lake Malawi, one of the largest freshwater lakes in existence. Due to rocks such as limestone bordering the lake, it has caused there to be a very high pH and hardness within the water system.
Due to a different type of water they are usually unable to be put with other community fish unless they share the same water parameters. There are two major types of cichlids, African and American, it is uncommon to house both species as they appear to be more aggressive toward each other, it is better to choose one of the
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.