Why should you get African Cichlids?
African Cichlids are a great species to keep in your aquarium. They have rapidly gained acceptance with anyone interested in keeping fish and they are common in pet shops. This also makes it easy to get tanks and supplies when setting up a new tank or maintaining your current aquarium. As a matter of fact I get everything I need for my African Cichlids from Amazon as they are convenient and have a wide range.
Behavior of African Cichlids
Responsible ownership of Cichlids begins with knowing how they will behave in certain situations and how you can counter this behavior. They are very different from regular fish varieties and you must care for them in different ways to ensure their health and happiness.
Most of the problems with African Cichlids stem from the aggressive territorial behavior they show and it is a wise idea to make sure you know how to control this and keep your tank free of conflict.
Food For African Cichlids.
Cichlids as a whole are easy to feed and African Cichlids even more so. They are most happy and healthy with a varied diet and will eat both vegetable and animal matter. Formulas such as Hikari Cichlid Gold and Tetra Cichlid Food sticks are great places to start.
Appearance Of African Cichlids
A lot of the reason why these fish are so popular as pets is due to the varied and vibrant color schemes they show. Color is determined by several factors such as a fish’s age, dominance in the tank, their health and general well being. Of importance also is the mood of your fish so if you desire a colorful active interesting aquarium it certainly pays to look after your animals correctly, I like to get most of my supplies here, it is simple and quick and there is a wide variety.
Caring for your African Cichlids
Caring for your fish is most important and one of the main solutions to keeping your animals healthy is to replicate their natural environment as closely as possible in your aquarium, you can find a wide range of aquariums to suit all budgets here.
By mimicking an African Cichlids natural habitat you will find that a lot of the health problems you would otherwise have with your fish are non-existent. Another plus for doing this is that you lower aggression levels of your fish and by doing so lesson the impact of this behavior on your aquarium.
African Cichlids unlike most fish prefer a slightly alkaline water or at the very least just regular water. Of more importance is the temperature and you really do need to regulate this with a heating element. By keeping a constant 82 degrees in your tank you optimize the environment for your fish and maintain their health and wellbeing.
So water temp and alkalinity are very important to control and you must be aware that African Cichlids do require some time and attention to maintain. Luckily the rewards are worth the effort, as you will have a tank full of vibrant colorful active and healthy fish.
Controlling Aggression in Your African Cichlids
Having plenty of space and maintaining the correct environment is key to controlling the African Cichlids natural territorial aggression and need to dominate. Another tip is to buy 2 females to every one male because it is the males who can be most territorial. Go to a respected source to buy your animals and get quality products to house and care for them.
Simply supplying plenty of caves and rocks within your aquarium will surely help keep this behavior under control as will keeping your numbers at a reasonable level and making sure your fish have plenty to keep occupied with.
Common diseases of African Cichlids
Fish, just like all animals, can suffer from sickness. You are the person responsible for maintaining optimum health at all times. In most situations Cichlid diseases appear due to parasites, fungi or bacteria.
Common symptoms in African Cichlids are inflammation of fins, internal organs and skin, color loss, bloating, fin fraying, sluggishness, abscesses, sores, eye cloudiness, problems in breathing and bulging eyes
The trick to keeping healthy fish is always proper maintenance of your tank and correct feeding. You need to constantly look at your fish and be prepared to treat them as the need arises, Amazon is a great source for these products that you need to maintain and look after your African Cichlids.
Secrets To Breeding African Cichlids.
For successful breeding of your African Cichlids there are a few points to keep in mind.
Cichlid breeders need to follow some basic rules so that their fish will be happy and healthy and want to breed. The first and probably most obvious point is that the aquarium has to be kept clean and well maintained; the water should be changed and treated on a regular basis. It is a good idea to invest in a good water filter to remove bacteria from the water and also a heater to help keep the temperature of the water stable. All of these are available online.
Cichlids have organized and interesting breeding activities. There are three main categories of ways that African Cichlids breed; these are cave brooding, open brooding and mouth brooding.
Some species of Cichlids spawn their eggs secretly into caves, crevices and holes; these Cichlids are called cave brooders. It is therefore important that you have rocks etc in the tank that the fish can use to hide.
Open brooding Cichlids, such as angelfish, lay their eggs in places out in the open like rocks, ledges, and plants. The male will ward off intruders, while the female looks after the eggs by ensuring they are covered with water and also separating the infertile eggs.
Mouth brooding is the method most common to the African Cichlids, the Cichlid will lay the eggs and then take them into their mouth, they often mouth brood young fry for several weeks
It is important that the fish have a balanced diet and they are not overfed, fish that are a bit hungrier are more likely to mate.
African Cichlids are interesting and rewarding fish to keep although there is a degree of maintenance involved in doing so. Finding a reliable and cheap source for your tanks and other products will go a long way to making this process as simple as possible and will certainly increase your enjoyment of your African Cichlids.
Origins and Characteristics Of African Cichlids.
African Cichlids (pronounced sick-lids) are a large family of freshwater fish, because of the diverse coloration and their temperament they are a great species for your aquarium. They are amongst the most diverse and specialized group of fish in the world. There are estimates of about 1300 or more species of this kind of fish, with a staggering number of color and size combinations. Many people have probably encountered an African cichlid without even knowing it.
Most cichlids being displayed in aquariums nowadays can be classified into two categories: New World cichlids and African cichlids. There are many different species and sub species of each group. They are a hardy, easy to care for fish species and they tend to have vivid colors. This characteristic is what initially attracts fish collectors and hobbyist to cichlids.
African cichlids come from three lakes in Africa: Lake Malawi, Lake Tanginika, and Lake Victoria. The 1000 species or more African cichlids include some of the most beautiful fish in the world, fresh water or otherwise. African cichlids are known for their beautiful patterns and array of colors that are not typical to most freshwater fish and are the most colorful group of freshwater fish you can find. These fish are simply fascinating to observe and they will amaze you with their social behavior and the degree of intelligence they possess.
The cichlids of East Africa are renowned for their proliferation. With very few exceptions, African cichlids, especially those from Lake Malawi, are among the easiest aquarium fish to breed. Cichlids readily adapt to captivity, they are very hardy fish making them relatively easy to maintain. This is a characteristic of cichlids that makes them very good for people wanting to start keeping fish but who want something with more interest and flair than your average goldfish.
Behavior patterns Of African Cichlids
African cichlids have very interesting behaviors. Most are what’s called “maternal mouth brooders,” that is, the mothers carry eggs and young in their mouths. Once a male has fertilized the eggs, the female will pick them up, and incubate them in her mouth for a period of 3 weeks to 31 days, depending upon the species. Even after the young have been released, the mother will frequently take them back up into her mouth when they are threatened.
In general, African cichlids are more aggressive than their New World counterparts. African cichlids are highly predatory and extremely territorial. In the wild, they often live together in groups or schools of like species. Mature cichlids guard their territory and they are not hospitable and may even behave aggressively to other fish, including cichlids of different species.
Cichlids often express timidity and dominance through their coloration: a pale fish could be a stressed or submissive fish, and a bright fish is usually an aggressive or dominant fish. Sometimes when a male loses his territory, he also loses his bright coloring. These traits make these fish entertaining and most interesting to have in your tank.
In the aquarium, the largest cichlid is usually the dominant one and will behave aggressively towards all of the other fish. Sometimes the smallest cichlid in the aquarium is attacked and killed by the larger, more dominant fish. This occurrence can be dealt with or minimized through crowding or overstocking, which generally works well when done properly.Try amazon for great deals on aquariums
Why Keep African Cichlids?
The popularity, as well as availability of different species of African cichlids in the market has increased dramatically in recent years. Many hobbyists and fish collectors have shown increased interest in these beautiful fish due in most part to the African cichlids’ unique characteristics and unmatched appearance.
Another reason is the ease of care for these fish, even for beginner aquarists. They are intelligent, attractive fishes and they make the most devoted parents. With their amazing diversity and capacity to adapt and survive as pets, African cichlids have endeared themselves to aquarium enthusiasts and beginners alike.
African Cichlids are highly recommended as fish to begin your aquarium with. 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 African 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.
So go out and get some African Cichlids and you will never look at goldfish the same way once your aquarium is full of these colorful, active fish.