The Definitive Guide To AFRICAN CICHLID

The Definitive Guide To AFRICAN CICHLID

You are currently viewing The Definitive Guide To AFRICAN CICHLID
orange and blue aquarium fish

African cichlid fish is the largest genus in the cichlid fish species, with well above 100 species. Male and female African cichlids will exist well together in the same tank; they will also do well with other aggressive fish such as green spotted buffers and leopard ctenophores. Catfish also make excellent tank mates and will help keep your tank clean.

History of the African Cichlid Fish

Cichlid (Sick-lid) is a member of the Cichlid fish family, a vast and varied group of freshwater species mainly found in Africa and South America. For those involved in taxonomy, the fused lower pharyngeal bones form a single tooth-like arrangement.


African cichlids commonly start in one of the three rift lakes in Eastern Africa, Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, or Lake Victoria. Each of these regions has distinct species that are well adapted to aquatic life. The most famous are the Mbuna (literally “rockfish” in the local language) of Lake Malawi, and the vast diversity of species found in this single area is a focus on the diversification and specialization of evolution.


An African cichlid fish percoid fish needs plenty of room to swim and grow, making a tank of 55 gallons or more a must. The water in the tank must be as healthy as the water in the air, so keeping a pH between 8.0 and 8.5 is optimal. The pH can never be smaller than 7.0. The temperature of the water must be between 74 and 82 degrees. Place many decorations and plants in the tank to allow any fish to cover places, but make sure to leave plenty of space available for swimming. It is best achieved by placing plants and decorations along the back and sidewalls of the tank.

AFRICAN CICHLID fish is such a wonderful fish


Both African cichlids are rated as “aggressive,” which means they are likely to stalk, capture, kill other fish, or are very territorial and consider interlopers as rivals. It means that they don’t blend well with the friendly fish of the group.

There is also a great deal of variety among the species of Africans; others, such as the standard yellow labs or Brichardi, are relatively tame, 

while others, such as many of the Melanochromis varieties (Johanni, Auratus), are much more belligerent and are more likely to cause havoc at some point. 

Cleaning Tank 

About every couple weeks, the tanks should be washed using a gravel vacuum siphon, draining and adding 20% of the water. Be sure to search for fresh chlorine content and, if necessary, use chlorine neutralizer before adding water to the tank. Often make sure the temperature of the freshwater is close to the temperature of the tank water. 

Delete both artificial plants and “furnishes” from the tank to make it easier to clean the dirt. It’s the best way to place them in a bucket when washing the tank. 

Don’t adjust the filter every time you rinse the tank. It will kill any essential bacteria. Only clean off the filter with the old tank water that you wash from the tank. 


An African cichlid fish loves various foods and needs more than just vegetable-based flake fish food for optimal protection and coloring. They also eat food more efficiently than most fish because they have a longer digestive tract. Supplement daily flake food with frozen blood worms and brine shrimp, allowing food to be thawed before eating, fed as much as the fish drinks two or three times a day in 30 minutes. If leftover food is detected, decrease the amount provided at the next meal.

What to Feed: There are several different kinds of food suitable for cichlids. The critical staple food we feed is floating cichlid fish pellets. Using hovering pellets provides the fish more time to deliver before the food sinks to the bottom of the tank and makes the remaining pellets easy to remove.

colorful cichild

Cichlids often prefer plants, such as spinach, sometimes, and dried animal food, such as shrimp.

How much to eat: We eat our cichlids a bit of food twice a day, morning and evening. Just give them food as long as they go for it voraciously. Over-feeding can lead to health issues, such as bloat.


African cichlids exhibit interesting breeding habits for the home aquarium hobbyist. Most show considerable concern for the brood; unlike certain fish that spawn and then leave their eggs or even transform and cannibalize them, they hold their eggs or fry.

Two serious situations are coming to mind. N. brichardi are cave borders that form an extended family; older generations of fries allow the parents to shield the younger ones from potential predation.

Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that many Mbuna is embroiderers of the mouth. When the eggs are laid, the female scoops into her mouth, the male fertilizes them, and the mother holds the eggs for ~2 weeks before well after the fry has hatched. It results in a lower number of bigger and harder fries.

An optimal mating population of several African cichlids is one dominant male to many females; this is made more difficult because most of the species can identify as juveniles, and others are difficult to tell apart as mature adults. It should be remembered that if you wish to breed cichlids commercially, it is strongly advisable that you have a dedicated cichlids tank for each species (along with smaller nursery tanks to optimize the survival of the fry); Africans are not incredibly edgy and interbreeding to produce “mutts” is typical in this setting.

red cichild

Maintenance service

Flush 10 to 20% of the water in the tank every week and refill it with fresh water. When algae grow on the tank’s sides, use an algae magnet to clean the tank walls before adjusting the temperature. Only use water that is either free of chlorine and other contaminants or tap water to stay in a bucket for at least 24 hours before it is applied to your tank.


A stable African cichlid fish would have a bright vision, a healthy appetite, and even color. Some of the diseases that may affect the African cichlid fish include fin rot, which means redness at the bottom of the fins and disintegration of the fins, and ich, which means white spots on the fish’s body. Some symptoms of sickness include lack of appetite, irregular swimming, and lack of coloring.

Leave a Reply