If you want to get the most out of your jewel cichlid’s color, keep the diet as varied as possible. African cichlids are robust, making them ideal choices for beginning aquarists. The mbuna cichlids are among the more brightly-colored cichlid subspecies out there. Fish develop lesions, and their appetites drop off. Please Note: The small (2" or less) African Cichlids are in their juvenile coloration and … They rarely, if ever, play well with other fish, even those from the same subspecies as them, so tankmates may be out of the question. Make sure you provide this subspecies with many hiding places and a sandy substrate that they can dig into. Oscars are quite the active subspecies. The list of tank mates for this subspecies is admittedly quite limited, due to their aggressive temperament. Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki), Caring For The Electric Blue Hap Cichlid (Sciaenochromis Fryeri), Freshwater Crabs: How to Properly Keep Them in your Tank, Aquarium Driftwood: Best & Safest Types for your Tank, Installing a Protein Skimmer: Tips & Mistakes to Avoid. It has a salmon coloured body with thin blue lines and blue tinged fins. Cockatoo Cichlid (Apsitogramma cacatuoides) 3. This means they evolved from marine fish such as wrasses, parrotfish, damselfish, and surfperches. Some guard their eggs in caves, while others mouthbrood. However, with so many different cichlid types out there, it can be hard to know which ones are best for your tank set-up. For more information, please check our, 3. They originated in Lake Malawi, an African great lake that is considered the ninth largest lake in the world. After all, when placed on the cichlid scale of aggression, they’re at the bottom. They will try their best to uproot any plants you put in their tank, as well as move around driftwood and rocks. Usually, this only happens if a foreign fish has accidentally crossed into their territory or if they’re in combat. As their name implies, parrot cichlids have beaked heads that make them look like parrots, with their mouths constantly open. The bottom pharyngeal bone fused into a single tooth-bearing structure manipulated by strong muscles to function as a second set of jaws. Discus are well known for their gorgeous patterns of green, red, brown, or blue, which stretch along their entire bodies. Most species are also fairly hardy and are perfect for both novice and experienced aquarists. Looking for New World Cichlids? You’ll find a lot of variation in size in the New World, including several species of dwarf cichlid. Their bodies are made up of a lovely... Mbuna Cichlid. They can actually change their coloration at will to intimidate other fish. They are quite calm and will not reside in the same water layer as your cichlids. If you intend on owning more, however, you’ll need a much larger tank full of ample decorations to hide in, so their territorial behavior is accommodated. The majority of cichlids lean toward omnivorous habits. They’re the most compressed cichlids available, even more so than angelfish. These include fish found in South America, Central America, and a lone species from the United States (the Texas Cichlid). Let’s take a look at nine of the best cichlids, so you can better decide which cichlid species is right for you! With a beautiful red coloration, blue spots, and a yellowtail fin, there is no denying that this subspecies is a sight to behold. The two groups split thousands of years ago, evolving different immune systems. Cichlids like to dig in the substrate. Oscars may not have the most striking appearance – though the black and orange patterns aren’t too shabby. Electric Blue Cichlid/Electric Blue Hap (Sciaenochromis fryeri) Difficulty: Easy. These particular flukes coat the gills in slime, interfering with your cichlid’s breathing. However, they can come in other spectacular colorations as well. The representative breeds of Lake Malawi are Bumblebee Cichlid, Demasoni Cichlid, Venustus Cichlid, Yellow Lab Cichlid, Peacock Cichlid and so on. That said, it is very important that aqu… As such, it may be wise to leave them in the hands of more experienced fish keepers. (The added oxygen won’t hurt, either). The carnivorous diet doesn’t make water quality easy to maintain, either. Males grow larger than females and have more pointed fins. 11 Perfectly Quiet Wave Makers for Great Water Flow, 9 Types of Goldfish You Never Knew You Needed, Getting Systematic – The 10 Best Genera of Beginner Aquarium Plants. (Oops!). Electric blue haps resemble their name (at least the males): you can’t miss those brilliant blue scales. Because cichlids are mostly aggressive, they are generally not community fish and only do best in species tanks. Overweight fish can lose their beautiful coloration and even die prematurely. Providing caves for hiding and plenty of territory for your cichlid will help diffuse the tension. Cichlids are “secondary freshwater” fish. While cichlids differ, they all share one common feature: pharyngeal jaws. They can be a bit more aggressive than your average tropical fishes, though, so not all types of African cichlids will get along well with other tank mates. Fish information and habitats for large Cichlid aquariums, types of cichlids like the Parrot Cichlid, Firemouth cichlid, Green Terror, Oscar, Texas Cichlid and more. When breeding, females develop a purple or red rounded belly. Avoid any fish small enough to become a snack. Here’s a video explaining more about owning cichlid species. However, in general, the region you pull your species from will give you a rough idea. They also tolerate gouramis, corydoras, and plecostomus catfish without a problem. They tolerate other fish their size, but they’ll bully and attack smaller fish. This will prevent accidental uprooting. They ARE omnivores, but they gravitate toward the meatier end of the spectrum. So long as their water conditions stay stable, kribs remain undemanding for everyone to care for. Likewise, tank mates shouldn’t be extremely active or too small. It is … Females watch the fry for about two weeks, and then they’re on their own. The best plants for a jewel cichlid set-up include sturdy species like Java fern, Anubias, or anything that can’t be uprooted too easily. The cichlid family is incredibly diverse and it is also one of the largest families of vertebrates – there are over 1,600 scientifically described species of cichlid, though it is estimated that that the actual number of cichlids in existence ranges between 2,000 and 3,000. Cichlids are a group of fish belonging to the family Cichlidae and they belong to a group, or suborder, called Labroidei. Not the cleanest eaters in the world, you need to stay on top of your tank water changes and substrate vacuuming to keep up with the extra bioload. The most popular aquarium species come from Lake Malawi as they’re the most colorful. Cichlids are found in many locations throughout the world and include such favorites as the freshwater angelfish, the tiger oscar fish and the jack dempsey cichlid. Cockatoo Cichlid. This subspecies may also be referred to as the tiger oscar, velvet cichlid, or marble cichlid. You identify this nasty disease by loss of appetite and white blotches on the scales. Swim Bladder Disease: Poor nutrition or physical injury from tank mates leads to your fish losing the ability to remain submerged. These cichlids are easy for both beginners and accomplished aquarists. However, if you don’t want to breed these fish, it’s wise to keep this tank exclusively female. Please note: this does not affect the price you pay. Jewel cichlids live up to their name: they’re some of the most stunning fish you can find. Thanks for supporting our site. At just around 3.5 inches (8.9cm), they don’t need much space. During spawning, their aggression goes up, so keep an eye on their tank mates. If you plan to keep a single pair of these, an aquarium of at least 30 gallons will work fine. While it’s true this subspecies can be aggressive during spawning and they tend to peck at the fins of slower fish, there are aquarists who argue that they have successfully kept a kribensis in a community tank as well. Topping out at around 12 inches (33cm), they need A LOT of room. They hail from Africa, South and Central America, and even Asia. Your filter’s outflow should do the trick, but if you pick a species native to a river region, consider adding an air pump for a little more current. Every aspect of the discus makes it challenging to keep. The mbuna cichlids are among the more brightly-colored cichlid subspecies out there. You can also purchase a few of the more popular cichlid subspecies at your local Petco, Petsmart, or fish store. Here we profile some of the world’s most popular freshwater fish species, from the Neon Tetra to the Pearl Gourami. These fish are mouthbrooders, which is always fun to watch. Not content with just the tank, they spy on the entire room to see what’s going on. Highly infectious, the disease can wipe out an entire tank population within a short period of time. We hope to clarify that here. In this article, we’ll break down all the types, their advantages and disadvantages, and help you to understand which may be the ideal match for you. While these mouthbrooders might make attractive additions to your aquarium, the rest of the world kind of despises them. Pelvicachromis pulcher (African) At three to four inches when fully grown, this fish is also classified … These creatures have long bodies that are usually silver or grey when they are young. You should also ask the pet store, private seller, or online vendor where you bought the fish to describe the conditions your kribensis were previously kept in. Share your story here! True to cichlid reputation, jewels like to dig, so provide them with a sandy substrate that won’t injure them in their excavations. If you don’t keep up with water conditions (especially ammonia), they WILL deteriorate. Cichlids vary in their needs, and you should research your desired species before bringing them home. Their head protuberance, or kok, is formally termed a nuchal hump. Just keep in mind that they are bottom dwellers, so if you do want to give them friends, make sure they are fish who inhabit the upper parts of the tank. Paracyprichromis nigripinnis – blue neon cichlid The blue neon cichlid is a very attractive shoaling fish. They’re also HIGHLY territorial, so break up their sightlines with decorations and rocks to prevent excessive aggression toward tank mates. Unless you want to replace your greenery frequently, use hardy species in your aquarium: Make sure you keep the other end of that omnivore habit in mind when choosing tank mates. These fish display a range of bright colors like a peacock’s tail, hence the name. You should also provide them with a thick, sandy substrate that allows them to sift for their food. Temperament: Semi … Because of this, cichlids can come in a wide variety of body shapes, sizes, colorations, and patterns. Even the most peaceful cichlids could decide to munch on tiny tank mates. Don’t be surprised to find them uprooting your plants and decorations and moving them around the tank. In the wild, they keep to themselves, though they tolerate each other in captivity. 10 Most Popular Freshwater Cichlid Fish 1. There are 22 species of peacock cichlids, all hailing from Lake Malawi. Many people believe that set-ups as small as 30 gallons are adequate for these cichlids. Peacocks are the least aggressive of the Malawi Cichlids. Adding more than one Oscar in a tank is a gamble, and is not recommended in less than a 125 gallon tank. The Malawi Cichlids are some of the most brilliantly colored fishes. That means a large tank all to themselves. Blue Acara Cichlids are peaceful. Cichlids are a diverse family of fish kept in freshwater aquariums and mainly native to tropical water bodies in Africa, and South and Central America. They have rounded, diamond-shaped bodies and large eyes that make them seem more emotive than other types of fish. If you have weaker fish – even if they’re the same size – they may get harassed or even attacked. Malawi Cichlids are one of the most popular tropical fish to keep due to their dazzling colours. The content of this website is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. This is a true Severum cichlid, so think of a fish with the following characteristics. Next come the Haplochromis and then the most aggressive are the Mbuna Cichlids. Firemouth cichlids aren’t well-received outside of aquarist circles. Males will often be some mix of blue and orange, as well as possess subtle vertical barring. African Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara spp. 22 species of peacock cichlids have been described, all from Lake Malawi. Hatchetfish from the genus Carnegiella make excellent tank mates for discus. Even experienced aquarists struggle with discus. Cichlids are quite the active, durable fish species, and they’ve been a particular favorite of freshwater aquarium enthusiasts over the years. Convict cichlids get their name from the bands of black and white down their sides, mimicking stereotypical “jailbirds.”. Have you tackled the difficult discus? The size of the cichlids varies between 3cm and 1m. Convict cichlids hold the distinction as one of the easiest species for aquarists to breed. Several cichlids, including discus (Symphysodon spp. Keep up with proper water quality, and they’ll stay happy and healthy. They get their name from the brilliant colors they display, reminiscent of a peacock’s tail. You will need a rather large tank to accommodate your angelfish’s complex social structures, as well any accompanying tank mates you want to share that same space. They are from the same group as damselfish, wrasses, surfperches, etc. What Other Fish Can Live with African Cichlids Are you looking for a species of fish that will be compatible with African Cichlids? Just don’t skimp on the variety! The extra nitrogen load means keeping up with cleaning and filtration. It is the males that display most of the color while the females often look drab in comparison. Tuberculosis: You DON’T want to see this in your tank; it’s not only fatal, but it’s also HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS. Angelfish are EXTREMELY sensitive to water conditions. Aquarists love these little fish for their big personalities. Angelfish still remain one of the most popular cichlids among aquarists – even today. They’re a very hardy subspecies, capable of adapting to most aquarium conditions without difficulty. They get their name for the marine angelfish, despite bearing ZERO resemblance. However, they can be quite aggressive in nature, especially when breeding, which can make them unsuitable for most community tanks. Combining species from the two regions WILL result in a health disaster. These fish zoom around tanks (in addition to rooting around decorations). Wolf cichlid (Parachromis dovii) Also known as Dow’s cichlid, this measures 75cm/30" in males, … Stocking is very important, especially if you want to breed your haps: three females per male prevents stress during the mating season. They’ll honestly take everything you offer them (they’re not picky). Otherwise, you could find that new acquisition on the floor. On the smaller side, they average 5-6 inches (13-15cm) at full size. When choosing your cichlid, plan tank size accordingly. The preferred temperature range varies depending on the type between 22 and 30 ° C. Many cichlid behave aggressively towards alien fish, so the welfare is recommended in a species tank. Who doesn’t recognize the iconic angelfish?g. As such, they’ll nibble on your plant life. These ocelli are suggested to limit fin-nipping by piranhas, a species that is often found alongside these fish in the wild. The number of cichlid species identified in the wild is well over 1,000 and biologists think that many more are waiting to be discovered. These fish have vertical black and white stripes on their bodies, similar to that of convict uniforms (or zebras). So, again, they do very well … Another severe disease that can infect cichlids is fish tuberculosis. Choosing the Perfect Liner for your Pond & Water Garden, Natural pH Control in a Freshwater Aquarium: a Practical Beginners Guide, Protein Skimmer: Ultimate Buying Guide plus 11 Reviews, LED Aquarium Lighting: 11 Great Fixtures for Freshwater, Planted and Reef Tanks. The typical coloration of these cichlids is blood red, though they can also be gray or yellow. They get along well with characins, barbs, danios, and rasboras, adding a great splash of color to your tank. Any brighter variations you may see are usually the result of selective breeding by aquarists; these do not exist in the wild. Kribensis are one of the most colorful cichlid subspecies. If you want to tackle keeping discus, make sure you’re at the top of your game. You have to monitor the water quality closely to avoid problems. They target smaller tank mates. You need to provide plenty of room for swimming space, as well as proper territory. Blue Dolphin Cichlid(Cyrtocara moorii) 2. Convicts do well with consistent water quality. As beautiful as angelfish appear, these cichlids ARE aggressive. Blue Acara Cichlids. They also grow FAST. However, in truth, they are just as aggressive as most other cichlid species. If you run a freshwater aquarium, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for bringing it to life! Cichlid Fish belong to the family Cichlidae in the order Cichliformes. Bolivian rams are members of the dwarf cichlid group. These can include logs, caves, and decorative dens, so they can ease into their new surroundings gradually. Some freshwater cichlids, particularly the tilapia, are eaten as food, while many other subspecies are beloved by fish hobbyists. Electric blue haps have a preference for fish, and they WILL eat smaller tank mates without hesitation. However, there are some generalities to the Cichlidae family you can count on. The most notable of this latter category include the angelfish, oscars, and discus cichlids.