Aquarium fish cichlid


Aquarium fish cichlids: content, photo

Among the diversity of inhabitants of domestic water bodies, the aquarium fish cichlids are almost the most vivid and interesting to observe (the photos of which are presented in the article). Immediately we warn you: they are not so easy to care for and maintain, therefore it will be difficult for a beginning fish farmer who does not have experience and relevant skills. Failure to comply with certain rules causes illness, and often the death of pets - and they are by no means cheap.

The nature of your pets

Among all aquatic pets, aquarium fish cichlids are considered the most intelligent. It has long been noted that they are able to memorize and recognize the owner. If he managed to gain confidence, the fish swim up to the glass “say hello”, and indeed their behavior becomes more lively. Between themselves, cichlids communicate using some sounds and a variety of body movements. That is why they get along badly not only with other species, but also with relatives of other subspecies - signs that are served by one fish may be misunderstood by another: in their “language” they carry a different meaning.

Aquarium fish cichlids belong to the schooling, so without a large "house" can not do. At the same time for family life, they form stable couples that stay together throughout life.

When offspring appears, cichlids manifest themselves to be extremely caring parents, and in many species, posterity is protected both by the father and the mother. There are species that use their own mouth as an incubator. Even already hatched fry often hide in it in danger. Certain species of cichlids care about the offspring of the entire flock, and very severely. Some young fish that have eaten their caviar due to inexperience are expelled by other individuals for this offense. There are cases when the guilty mother was dropped off for several months, but even after that the flock did not accept her back.

Behavioral features

It is widely believed that carnivorous aquarium fish cichlids are not able to get along in the same space with other species, and even fight with each other almost to death. In some respects this is true, in others it is a delusion. Aquarium fish cichlids have a distinct territoriality and schooling. While they are young, they are indifferent to those around them. But, having matured, they form their own narrow social circle, assign territory to it and no longer allow anyone on it - even kinsmen. That is, cichlids that grew out of eggs in the same aquarium with others, even small fish, will ignore them. But if a stranger is planted into an adult, formed flock, he will be pursued until a stranger is sent off by his master, or they will kill him. Even herbivorous cichlids (and there are such) in relation to their territory are characterized by heightened aggressiveness, often even more than predators. Therefore, very often, when the fry grow up, they are transferred to another aquarium before puberty in order to avoid tragedies and dramas.

General rules for glass house equipment

Since one of the largest schooling inhabitants of your reservoir is aquarium fish, cichlids, their maintenance implies a large “pool”. It should be at least 100 liters, and not at the expense of height - these fish are kept at the bottom or in the middle layer. The main thing in the aquarium - the length and width. The second prerequisite is continuous aeration and filtration; in a little saturated with oxygen and not too pure water, cichlids at first lose the brightness of the coloration, and then start to hurt. As the soil is better to choose sand. Thanks to him, again reduced turbidity. The layer of soil should not be thicker than one and a half centimeters. All aquarium fish cichlids need shelters, and some species, especially when spawning. Clay shards from pots with stowed edges, snags and decorative stones with caves are quite suitable. It is better to choose the latter so that they almost reach the water's edge - then the cichlids will develop the upper layers of their reservoir. If you live aquarium fish Malawian cichlids, vegetation should be almost completely absent, as in natural habitats. Let the bottom be better sown with stones. For those species of cichlids that dig the ground, algae must be chosen with powerful roots, and even planted them in low pots so that their fish do not pull out of the soil.

Importance of origin when cichlid content

Homeland of these fish - Africa and America. But even within a single country, habitats can vary greatly in conditions. Therefore, to determine the parameters of the water, it is necessary to know where you came from when you purchased aquarium fish cichlids. And first of all it is necessary to take into account the hardness of water. Most of the inhabitants of domestic water bodies suitable ordinary tap water, but for this type it is too soft. And Malawian cichlids aquarium fish generally prefer a figure of 12 units. So you have to put marble on the bottom - in a crumb or pebbles.

The next problem is the acidity of water. Aquarium fish cichlids need a neutral environment. It will be necessary to buy tests at the pet store and monitor it regularly.

The temperature is maintained in the range of 23-28 degrees. A short fall is experienced, but not when there are fry in the aquarium - even 23 degrees can kill them.

And finally, the purity of water. One filter is not enough - at least once a week a quarter of the volume of the aquarium should be changed.

Breeding details

As already mentioned, aquarium fish cichlids form stable pairs. To be able to choose from the very beginning, five individuals of each sex are settled into the pond - in time they will figure out who will be with whom. This may be accompanied by fierce battles between males, but this moment will have to be endured - without mutual sympathy, the fish will not breed. Those who did not find a mate and did not get along in a flock, are resettled. For the remaining pairs, the aquarium is zoned - divided into separate territories by at least snags, and in some cases by a glass dropped between possessions. A sign that the two found each other, will be joint digging of the fossa or cleansing of stones.

What to feed?

For the most part, aquarium fish cichlids willingly eat almost any live food. Not bad goes sea fish (take fillets), beef, squid. Even obvious predators sometimes need to give fresh greens - dandelion leaves and lettuce. The basis of the diet that feed Malachian cichlids aquarium fish is frozen cyclops and cereal feed.

In drawing up the "menu" is still to remember how diverse cichlids, and select its components in accordance with their preferences. Otherwise there is a risk to poison your pets.

Cichlid-cichlid in the aquarium

Cichlid, how much of this sound!

Cichlids in an aquarium, a dream or a reality

As a rule, the first inhabitants in the new aquarium are unpretentious and small aquarium fish. But, the appetite comes with eating. And after a while, many people already want to see in their pond not a big-bellied small fry, but a stately beautiful fish. So a dream is born - I want a tsikhlidnik!

Well, let's talk about it. Let's talk about the features of the content of cichlids. Let's debunk some myths and legends. Let's talk about the compatibility of cichlids with other species of fish. In general, about everything that concerns cichlids in an aquarium.

Before you start, you should make a reservation and say that, how many people have so many opinions. And this is not surprising, because the specificity of the content of cichlids is different for everyone. Everyone has their own experience. Therefore, without claiming the laurels of the “Cichlovod”, I ask the cichlid experts to respond and express their opinion. After all, the truth is born in the discussion.

So what is a cichlid? If you give a literal definition - it is an aquarium that contains only fish: the order Perciformes (Perciformes), the suborder Occine (Percoidei), the family Cichlidae (Cichlidae). That is, it is either a specific aquarium, an aquarium that contains only fish of one species, for example, only Discus, or a geographical aquarium, an aquarium that contains cichlids from one region - habitat, for example, African cichlids, or it is a mixed aquarium - common, but only with cichlids.

But, you can keep cichlids with other types of fish. Which is no less interesting.


Having defined the slang word "cichlid", you and I came to the first myth about cichlids - it’s very difficult to keep cichlids with other kinds of fish, they can't be kept with peaceful and medium-sized fish. It is not true! Can.

Some members of the cichlid family are not so harsh and aggressive towards their neighbors. For example, at this moment, I personally have two adults swimming together, large scalars, along with swordtails, patzili and radishes, terntions and danios pink. Nobody offends anyone.

Anyone who has been supported by an angelfish will confirm my words that these sailing warriors are chasing each other more than a bipod floating around. And there are many such examples! The conclusion suggests itself - cichlids can and should be combined with other types of fish. To do this, of course, you need to competently and competently, first of all, follow the rules of the “hostel” and not violate the volumes of aquarium provided for each fish. In addition, it is best to plant cichlids by young, and other fish by adult individuals. If you settle at once all together, then they are called "take root." And on the contrary, it is better for adults who already have existing cichlids not to plant small fish, there is a high probability that the fry will go to feed.

The forum has already discussed the question of what kind of cichlids have a peaceful and calm disposition. This is the forum thread Peace Cichlids. Therefore, here we simply list them: Chromis butterfly, Parrots Pelmatohromis, Labidochromis "Yellow", Scalaria, you can also attach some tsilazy here. This list is not exhaustive and is not a 100% guarantee of a successful outcome! You should always remember that cichlids are wayward, territorial predators. Just the above fish are noted by many as the popular "peaceful cichlids."

For a seed, let me give an example from my aquarium experience, five years ago I was able successfully to combine the following fish in a common aquarium: Tsikhlaz diamonds, black-striped tsikhlaz, "Yelou", leopard nimbochromis with blue gourami, marble gourami, fights, labo, mystus, ternesii, girinohailusami, thoracatum and other catfish. The aquarium just sparked with flowers. All cichlids were planted with young and kept in a spacious aquarium. This aquarium existed for 2 years, then I was "pereklinilo" on goldfish and "cichlid" had to be disbanded. So the final conclusions, taking into account the growth of fish, I can not do. But still this experience can be called successful.

At the time of this writing, I received a letter in the mail asking me to highlight the question of the joint content of cichlids and barbs. Therefore, I can not leave this request without attention.

Reading the forums and the opinions of others on this issue develops a double feeling, someone says it is possible, who says it is impossible. Nevertheless, people give examples of successful content of cichlids and barbs together. And I, perhaps, agree with this. If you follow all the rules, it should work.

Regarding the barbs, one should always remember that these are small but gregarious and bold fish. They can easily bite even a large neighbor, goldfish, for sure. Therefore, it seems to me that the veil scalar, and even more so discus is not the best company for the barbusyatnika. I think that the more acceptable "peaceful cichlids", with the exception of chromis-butterflies, will be more acceptable neighbors. The people also especially notes the successful content of barbs with "eloy" and black-striped tsikhlazomami.

Thus, you can try to combine barbs with medium-sized, tolerant cichlids. Under the condition of a spacious aquarium, zoning of the reservoir and under the condition of not overcrowding

Concluding this section of the article, let us once again emphasize the rules and nuances of the successful keeping of cichlids and other species of fish:

1. We focus on the compatibility aspects of aquarium fish.

2. It is best to combine juvenile cichlids with other species of fish - “take root”.

3. Particular attention is paid to the zoning of the aquarium and the distribution of fish in the water layers. That is, you need to make sure that each type of fish has its own aquarium "snaps" - the territory and still need to try to distribute all the fish so that they swim in different layers of water, and not "drown", for example, all in the middle or at the bottom .

4. It is better to combine other small fish with small or medium cichlids. Ideally, non-cichlids should be of similar size or larger.

5. A huge mistake for novice cichlid lovers, is the purchase of a whole "cichlobalt" at once. Cichlids grow and they need good volumes of the aquarium. It is impossible in 150l. an aquarium to take five tiny angelfish, and even fill themselves up, that they will get along with other neighbors. Angelfish are sweeping cichlids, an adult can have a wingspan of 15 to 15 centimeters!

Be patient, in a year your couple of cichlids will grow up. And watching the growth of fish is no less pleasant than to immediately plant a huge fish. And it is better to wait a bit, than to "treat the aquarium" from the unknown step.

6. It is not necessary to combine cichlids with frankly small and sluggish fish: guppies, neons, goldfish. For medium and large cichlids - this is food. I managed to combine the danios and the scalar, and most likely the secret of success lies in the brisk and superficial swimming of the danios, as well as in the dimension of the scalar. But, it seems to me that no hustle will help tribute when living together with the same diamond tsikhlazoy.


Among aquarists there is a perception that a cichlid is a bare stone desert with artificial plants. In part, this opinion is true. After all, cichlids are really indifferent to living aquarium plants, and as a substrate for their spawning, as a rule, serve flat stones and broken amphoras.

But, first, cichlid cichlid strife. And secondly, it all depends on the desire and attention of the aquarist. It is possible to make an underwater garden with cichlids.

Maybe not the best example, but in the article on the compatibility of aquarium fish, you can see a lot of plants in my aquarium with scalars. This photo is already 3 months old, now the plants have finally grown, and every week I have to squeeze bundles of vallisneria and daughter cryptocorin with a creak in my heart.

So a cichlid aquarium can be not only a bare desert, but also a flowering garden. Moreover, with the help of plants you can well zone an aquarium.

Zoning an aquarium for cichlids is the distribution of plants, grottoes, stones, snags and other decorations, so that separate territories are formed in the aquarium, let's call them “patrimonies”. Each individual cichlid species needs its own “fiefdom” - which it guards, guards, where marriage games and cute parental cares of the offspring take place. Even if you do not plan on breeding cichlids, cichlids should have their own territory.

I probably already tired you with my scalars, but for me this is a topical example. Many people know that the angelfish often fight among themselves and in order to minimize these skirmishes, it is necessary to competently divide the aquarium in the territory. I achieved this with the help of Vallisneria, which I landed at different edges of the aquarium. When Wallisneria expanded, it created a curtain-screen, dividing the aquarium into three rooms (two individual, and the middle, common for conscientious swimming).

In addition, the valisneria created an imitation of the natural habitats of the angelfish, because these South American cichlids live in water bodies with dense vegetation. Actually, therefore, they are so flat.

You can also zone an aquarium using any decorations. For example, you can slightly raise the cobblestone on the bottom or you can cut off the territory with an aquarium snag, mass variations.

What else you need to pay attention to when setting up a cichlid:

- aeration, filtration, weekly water changes are required.

- to the ground cichlids are not whimsical, the choice of fraction and color depends on your desires, as well as the characteristics of a particular type of cichlids.

- the aquarium is equipped with a variety of caves and shelters, for retiring weaker fish and females.

- Aquarium lighting is moderate.

- selecting live plants for cichlid, it is better to focus on hard-leaved aquarium plants with a powerful root system, as well as on fast-growing plants. Not bad, it would be to feed cichlid duckweed. Plants are planted either in pots, or well pressed down with stones or decor.


Until now, among aquarists there are fierce debates about the diet of cichlids. Personally, I always adhere to the golden rule - the nutrition of any kind of fish should be balanced.

Cichlids are predators. Помимо сухих кормов, живых кормов (мотыль, артемия, прочее) и заморозки, они с удовольствием едят "пищу с нашего стола". Многие аквариумисты рекомендуют кормить цихлид (особенно крупных троглодитов) креветками, кальмаром, курятиной, постным мясом, бычьим сердцем, рыбой и даже дорогим кошачьим кормом! Однако, здесь уместно замечание других аквариумистов о том, что такие корма не очень хорошо усваиваются рыбами и ведут в конечном итоге к циррозу печени (особенно это касается мяса и бычьего сердца). Кроме того, аквариумисты обращают внимание, что белковое содержание в мотыле на порядок больше, чем в мускульном мясе.

С такими доводами, невольно соглашаешься. Ведь в Африканские реки Танганьика и Ньяса никто не бросает телятину, а уж тем более кошачий корм!

The conclusion here can be made one, cichlids can be fed with the above-listed "meat" feeds, but as a delicacy rationally (for example, twice a week). It is not necessary even to transfer the largest cichlid exclusively for minced meat. In addition, do not forget about the plant feeding, which many cichlids also respect.

On the Internet there are many recipes for "homemade mixes" for cichlids, which includes protein and vegetable food, and other necessary elements. Perhaps this is the best option feeding "from our table."

As for plant food for cichlids, then everything is much easier. It is best to feed them not expensive aquarium plants or specially, separately to grow duckweed. You can also give scalded lettuce, spinach, green peas and more.

Toward the close of the article, I will give a list of small, small cichlids.

Just ask you, before making a decision, read the information about them and weigh everything.

South American Cichlids:
About 65 species. Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 4cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 6cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 10cm.
Size - up to 6cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 4cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 7cm.

From Africa:
Size - up to 6cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 14cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 8cm.
Size - up to 7cm.
Size - up to 11cm.
Size - up to 14cm.
Size - up to 12cm.
Size - up to 11cm.
Size - up to 10cm.
Size - up to 9 cm.

Well, how could I have tried to lift the veil of secrets about the cichlids. I hope that the article turned out to be interesting. Although I understand that you can’t say it all. The best knowledge is experience.

Cichlids are beautiful fish, interesting, smart fish! Do not be afraid of them. Start with small "peaceful cichlids", look around, and then you look, in a year or two you will have both Akaras and astronotus!

Video about aquarium cichlids and tsikhlidnik

Category: Aquarium Articles / USEFUL TIPS FOR CONTENTING FISHES | Views: 69 296 | Date: 28-01-2014, 16:47 | Comments (53) We also recommend reading:
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Labidochromis Yellow - yellow cichlid fish: content, compatibility, photo-video review


In this article we will discuss, probably, the most popular endemic of Lake Malawi from the group of Mbuna - Labidochromis Yellow! It is worth noting that there are quite a lot of color variations of labidochromis: from white to blue, but it is this yellow color that aquarists love most. These fish deserve national love not only for bright colors, but also for unpretentious content, resistance to diseases, interesting behavior and absolutely not problematic breeding.

Let's take a closer look at these amazing fish.

Latin name: Labidochromis caeruleus "yellow";

Russian name: Labidochromis Yellow;

Synonyms: Yellow, labidochromis yellow, gold, elou, labidochromis yellow, labidochromis lemon, labidochromis hummingbirds;

Order, family: cichlids or cichlids (Cichlidae);

Habitat: Africa, endemics oz. Malawi, Mbuna group. They inhabit the waters of the western coast of the lake along rocky, coastal coastlines, at a depth of 10-50 meters - in shallow water. Despite the wide distribution in the lake, wild specimens of the labidochromis are rarely found in the color yellow. Yellow fish forms are found only in the northern part of the lake, between the Leo and Charo bays.

How long does a labidochromis ellou live: 7-8 years, how many other fish live, see - here.

Water Parameters for Labidochromis Yellow

Aquarium water temperature 24-28 С;

The acidity of water (pH) 7.2 -8.8;

Water hardness (dH) 10-20;

Labidochromis Yellow

These yellow cichlids are often called the most peaceful, dwarf cichlids of Africa. Well, you can agree with this opinion, labidochromis really get along well with their own kind. We can say that they are even slightly shy - hiding like mice on burrows during sudden movements or knocks near the aquarium. However, one should not forget "the norm of any cichlid". They categorically can not contain any goldfish, haratsinovym, labyrinth, viviparous fish !!! Firstly, it is unnatural - fish from different habitats, secondly, the conditions of maintenance and parameters of water differ and thirdly, labidochromis will show aggression to more peaceful inhabitants of the aquarium, especially during the spawning season.

Good neighbors to the yellow labidochromis will be the same "quiet" cichlids, for example, pseudotrophyses and blue dolphins. Somopodous fish (armored and loricariid families) get along well with the fish thoracatum, corridor, ancistrus, L-soma.

Labidochromis Yellow Description

labidochromis in the shelter

Fish in nature reach 10 cm in length, in an aquarium they can grow up to 8 cm. The body is dense, elongated, juicy yellow in color. Along the upper edge of the dorsal fin and along the lower edge of the anal fin there is a black stripe that develops in adult fish and is the brightest in males. Individuals male and female do not differ in color. But the dominant male can be easily identified by the intense yellow color of the body, as well as the black pelvic and anal fins, which contrast sharply with the general color. The black dorsal fin has a yellow rim. This strip in adults continues into a black mask and can go to the stomach. Brown spots appear between the eyes and near the mouth in males.

The color of the ventral and anal fin in females is usually yellow.

Conditions of Labidochromis Yellow

The minimum volume of the aquarium should be 100 liters. Three or four females and one male can be planted in such an aquarium. It is worth noting that such volumes of the aquarium are very, very small, you will see all the charm and playfulness of these fish only in an aquarium from 200-300l. In such volumes you can have a whole flock of yellow, you can clearly see their hierarchy, habits and courtship!

Making an aquarium for a labidochromis yellow, in our opinion, should be as natural as possible and imitate the habitat of the fish. The aquarium is decorated with heaps of stones, grottoes, creates a landscape of gorges, grottoes. Yellow keep the bottom of the aquarium, shelter their house, this is their patrimony and subject for territorial fights.

Though in the lake. Malawi is not particularly snag and vegetation, however, mangrove snags or snags of grapes look very beautiful in an aquarium with labidochromis.

Often there is the opinion that in an aquarium with labidochromis you need to plant Vallisnenriusupposedly it is beautiful and serves as an additional diet for fish. But let me disagree! Firstly, Wallisneria is America, it is more suitable for decoration of aquariums with South American cichlids (angelfish, discus). Secondly, the gastronomic preferences of the yellowberry simply will not allow the vallisneria to grow and grow, no matter how much you plant it, at least thickets, in a month, these two yellow features will mow down the roots.

The most successful group of plants for labidochromis jelly and for cichlids in general is cryptocorynes and Anubiasas. These plants do not touch cichlids, the plants themselves are unpretentious: they do not require strong lighting and special conditions of detention.

As an alternative decor, you can also use coconut shells.

Feeding and diet Labidochromis Jelly

Fish are omnivores - they eat everything they give. Perfectly eat dry, frozen and live food. The diet should include food containing vegetable components (granules with spirulina, can be fed with scalded leaves of lettuce or spinach). You can often hear the opinion that it is necessary to be wary of feeding labidochromis with live feed, in particular with the bloodworm and pipe-worker. Allegedly, it causes "bloating." However, it is worth noting that feeding any species of fish with live food is potentially dangerous. And the point here is not that it is a protein food that is poorly digested, but that such food can carry in itself pathogenic bacteria that destroy the digestive tract of fish. You can preserve live food and yourself from unnecessary trouble by pretreatment of food. For example, dropping a couple of drops of methylene blue or iodinol on it.

Feeding any aquarium fish should be correct: balanced, varied. This fundamental rule is the key to successful keeping of any fish, be it guppies or astronotuses. Article "How and how much to feed aquarium fish" talks in detail about this, it outlines the basic principles of the diet and feeding regime of fish.

In this article, we note the most important thing - feeding fish should not be monotonous; both dry and live food should be included in the diet. In addition, you need to take into account the gastronomic preferences of a particular fish and, depending on this, include in its diet ration either with the highest protein content or vice versa with vegetable ingredients.

Popular and popular feed for fish, of course, are dry food. For example, hourly and everywhere can be found on the aquarium shelves of food company "Tetra" - the leader of the Russian market, in fact, the range of feeds of this company is striking. In the "gastronomic arsenal" of Tetra are included as individual feed for a certain type of fish: for goldfish, for cichlids, for loricarids, guppies, labyrinths, arovan, discus, etc. Also, Tetra has developed specialized foods, for example, for enhancing color, fortified or for feeding fry. Detailed information on all Tetra feeds, you can find on the official website of the company - here.

It should be noted that when buying any dry food, you should pay attention to the date of its production and shelf life, try not to buy food by weight, and also keep the food in a closed state - this will help avoid the development of pathogenic flora in it.

Breeding and reproduction Labidokhromis Jelly

This question does not present any difficulty. We can say that reproduction of labidochromis occurs independently - under optimal conditions of housing, spawning often and in the general aquarium. At the same time, even if you didn’t plan to breed a yellow cake, didn’t put any effort into it, they will procreate themselves ... even with aggressive neighbors ... they will survive a couple of fry from time to time.

Such amazing vitality is due to the intelligence of these fish and the evolutionary habits that they have developed over the millennia. We recommend you to see Animal film African Cichlidswhich makes the viewer take a different look at their pets.

In the photo, the sex differences of the male and female labidohromis yellow

The process of spawning at labidochromis is typical.

The male finds a "secluded place", often digs a hole, where the female lays her eggs. After caviar is fertilized and the female incubates it in the mouth for a month (24-40 days). At the end of this period, a completely independent fry are born (10-30 tails). Usually, the female still guards and protects her offspring for another week, and then lets go "free swimming".

A selection of beautiful photos labidokhromis yellow

Interesting video labidohromis ellou

Cichlid aquarium design ideas

If you are going to settle a cichlid in a home aquarium, pay attention to the correct decorative elements, which will be comfortable for your pets. The cichlid fish tank should have a special design. Making a future home for fish does not tolerate violations, otherwise they will not be able to be healthy, active and successfully reproduce. As good swimmers, cichl fishes require a spacious aquarium with enough decor and shelters that resemble a natural biotope.

How to make a glass pond: instructions

Step 1

Pay attention to the size of the body of their cichlids. African, South American and Asian (there are several species) species are of different sizes, therefore, require different diets and different water parameters. All tsikhlovye are prone to aggression towards a partner, if something does not suit them. In the nursery there should be enough shelters so that they can hide from each other during disagreements.

Large cichlids, such as: Oscar, astronotus, cichlasome biocellatum, parrots, meek, chemichromis bimaculatus and others 20-30 cm in size, require a large space for swimming. It is not necessary to place small objects in the tank, otherwise they will knock them down and break them. A modestly designed aquarium consisting of large stones and caves is perfect for them.

Look at the aquarium with large American cichlids.

Small cichlids, such as dwarfs, also love hiding places and hiding places where they endure stress. Fry need a lot of gorges to hide from enemies. Cichlids from Central and South America sometimes show aggression towards their neighbors in the aquarium, therefore, settling other fish with them, build caves and grottoes in the walls of the reservoir.

Step 2

Bottom layer of the aquarium should be covered with the appropriate substrate. Aquarium pebbles, medium gravel are suitable for cichlids, because they enjoy digging in the ground, "building" passes and grooves. The soil must be treated and cleaned from impurities. The rocky substrate will also provide a kind of habitat for pets, because tsikhlovye of the wild nature live in the bottom layer of water, where there are a lot of sediment from rocks.

Step 3

Choose safe décor items for a cichlid aquarium. The design should not harm the pets, so plan the design in advance, after consulting with a specialist. You can buy an aquarium with all the elements of the decor immediately in the store. If it has small parts, remove them - the fish can swallow them. Large plants, large snags, large caves and soil are suitable for many medium and large cichlids.

Step 4

If you find untreated rocks, stones and soil, be sure to wash them with boiling water with steam. Some elements should be infused in boiled water for several days and then placed in a tank. Aquarium decoration is not allowed when water is already poured into it. First put the product, and then poured water.

Look at the simple and spectacular design of the aquarium.

Step 5

Use caution when planting aquatic plants, without which it is impossible to create the most comfortable design. Large cichlids cut off small leaves and shoots of small plants. Make the decoration of the aquarium with the help of large hard-leaved plants, such as: Anubias nana, echinodorus, cryptocoryne, aponoheton ulvovidny, nymphs. The plants must have a strong root system. Small tsikhlovye not so ruthless to the plants, so indifferent to them, provided the correct diet. Herbivorous cichlids eat vegetation if there is not enough fiber in the feed.

Step 6

In a cichlid aquarium, be sure to place a large flat rock. It is necessary for laying caviar. The design and design of the nursery is impossible without this vital detail. Place a stone with a smooth surface in the corner of the aquarium, where the fish usually spawn.


If you design an aquarium for cichlids yourself, use aquarium silicone for bonding elements - it is safe for the health of the fish, non-toxic. Cichlids prefer the presence of personal space, so during spawning the male and female must find where to hide. Otherwise, they will show aggression towards their neighbors, protecting themselves and the brood.


  1. Do not use sand and small stones as bottom soil. Cichloric fish can swallow a small substrate to the detriment of their health.
  2. Do not wash soil, stones, snags, plants, and aquarium glass with strong chemicals or bleach. Even a small amount of aggressive substances kills fish. The ideal detergent is pure boiled water. Sometimes to remove dirt using a solution of water and baking salt (without iodine), or baking soda. But these methods are acceptable during fish diseases, for the destruction of pathogens, algae and green water. Do not take risks with the use of household chemicals, then your pets will remain beautiful and healthy.

African cichlid species and content rules

African cichlids are perhaps one of the most colorful freshwater fishes of the Cichlid family (Tsichlovye). All species have both industrial and decorative value. Many pets are very inquisitive and friendly to humans, so lovers of aquarism provided them with captivity.

African cichlids won in the nominations "the largest" and "smallest" cichlids in the world. The largest registered Cichl fish is Boulengerochromis microlepis, which reaches a length of 90 cm. There is a species of Transvestitus Nanochromis, which is the smallest known cichlid and barely reaches 2.5 cm in length.

Evolution of cichlids

Считается, что предками всех цихловых рыб были морские рыбы. Они мигрировали в пресноводные водоемы из морской среды, поэтому некоторые виды обладают особенностями морских рыб, и живут в солоноватой воде.

Большинство цихловых восточной Африки обитают в озерах, образовавшихся миллионы лет назад, но не связанных между собой. Это Великие Африканские озера. Эндемики этих озер стали популярными аквариумными рыбками. Только в озере Малави живет более 800 видов, 300 из которых получили описание. Nearly 250 species live in Lake Tanganyika.

Habitat of african cichlids

The two great lakes in East Africa are best known - they are Tanganyika and Malawi. Another big lake in Africa is Victoria. There are also a number of other bodies of water, including the lakes: Edward, Kivu, Albert, and Rudolph, next to which small ponds and lakes spread.

Lake Malawi - located on a large fault of a moving tectonic plate. The water contains a large amount of minerals, here is alkaline water. The pH level is stable, the water is clear and clean. The content of Malawi endemics should occur under similar aquatic conditions. Ichthyologists have described 300 species swimming in rocky areas of the underwater world or in sandy areas.

Admire the variety of cichlids.

Lake Tanganyika - in the sources referred to as the "island-sea" because of the large size of the area. This is the second deepest lake in the world (1470 meters), here the water is saturated with oxygen, it is of stable parameters. The lake is home to 250 species of cichlids and 150 species of other fish. Here they found the largest and smallest cichlid.

Lake Victoria is the third largest in Africa, but relatively young and shallow compared to previous reservoirs. Unfortunately, some species of Cichl here are extinct. When a person changed the basin of the lake, the fish Lates niloticus got there, which caused the decline of the Cichlov population.

Some cichlidae are found in regions remote from the Great Lakes, for example, on the island of Madagascar.

Species diversity

Malawian cichlids are colorful members of the family. In his book "The Cichlids of Lake Malawi," author Mark Philip Smith describes the two main groups of tsikhlovyh from Lake Malawi, Haplochromines and Tilapiines. Tilapiines contains only 5 species, and is further divided into 2 groups. The Haplochromines group contains 99% fish from Malawi. This group is further divided into three groups: Mbuna, Haplochromis and astatylopilia (which has only one species of A. calliptera in Lake Malawi).

Mbuna group - 12 genera are accrued, they are very active and aggressive fish.

The Haplochromis group includes the homonymous genus (Haplochromis) plus a number of closely related genera, such as the peacock cichlid Aulonocara, the Utaka cichlid Copadichromis, and other non-Mbun clans.

Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika - in his eponymous book author Mark Philip Smith writes that there were twelve groups of cichlids found in this lake in 1986. Of the twelve, eight of these groups are endemics of Lake Tanganyika.

Many enthusiasts also focused on special groups from this lake, such as: Cyathopharynx furcifer, shell cichlids, sardine cichlids, cichlids, bullheads, sand cichlids, and the extremely diverse and popular genus Tropheus.

There are several hundreds of bright and beautiful cichlid species found in remote corners of Lake Victoria, but they are endemic species of the genus Haplochromines and Talapines. Occasionally there are rock michipi cichlids in aquariums.

Dwarf cichlids come from the lakes of West Africa. They are inhabited by the following genera: Pelvicachromis, Nanochromis, Steatocranus, Benitochromis, Pelmatochromis, Thysochromis, Chromidotilapia and Tilapia. African dwarf cichlids are pets of aquarists, as evidenced by the popularity of such species as the Kribensis or the parrot cichlid.

Watch a video about African cichlids.

Conditions in the aquarium

The content of most African cichlidae is possible in a glass aquarium. They eat algae, live food, plant food. You can create a semblance of a natural biotope by installing a semblance of rocks or caves of rocks in a reservoir. You should be careful when choosing a soil - the fish can dig it up or eat it if a piece of stone fits in your mouth. Dig up plants, so plant potty-leaved species.

African cichlids need a lot of swimming space, install a volume tank with water of 100-250 liters per pair of fish. It is necessary to ensure good aeration and filtration of water, constant updating of 30% to fresh. Sometimes gravel and filter plates are moved, degrading the quality of the latter. The temperature in the aquarium should be maintained at 24-27o C.

It is important to monitor the level of acidity and alkalinity of water. In all the lakes of Africa, the water is different, so the content of each species requires special living conditions. Malawi has a pH of 7.7 to 8.7, Lake Tanganyika can have a pH of 9.3. The average range for African cichlor is pH 8.5, although they can survive at a neutral pH of 7.0, or even at an acidic pH of 6.0. But low pH makes fish susceptible to color loss, they stop multiplying.

Almost all species of cichlids from Africa are predators: the larvae eat insects, worms and fish. They can be given live foods, frozen and cooked feed, algae, flakes and pellets. Some species are supplemented with carotene so that the scales are saturated with pigment. Herbivorous cichlids prefer vegetable foods that are rich in fiber: spirulina, salads, cereals, moss, and duckweed.

The most beautiful aquarium predators

Predatory aquarium fish have larger body sizes, and may be aggressive towards their relatives, or other species of fish. They are carnivorous (eat meat). The most famous scaly predators in aquariums are cichlids and akaras, piranhas, astronotus, polypteruses, scalarias, discus, haplochromis and other small fishes. About some popular species you need to know in more detail.

Popular and beautiful predators from home aquariums

Many fish of the family Tsikhlovye (Tsikhlidy) in the natural habitat are carnivorous, prey on animals. In captivity, they show a peaceful disposition, if they live in a pair, apart from other fish. People get used to, do not pose a threat to him. These predatory fishes have a very beautiful body color, their nervous system is especially developed. The length of the body is 8-80 cm. African and South American cichlids require a large amount of space, they do not get along well with small and calm fish. Have a habit of spoiling bottom plants by digging them with the ground. During the spawning period, they are especially aggressive - they can drive their neighbors, or even eat them if they see a threat to caviar and fry.

Akars, cichlids from South America, love to terrorize their neighbors in the aquarium. The body is large, 30 centimeters, the body can be a motley color with a shimmering shimmer. They have a large head, thick lips and a large mouth, which allows them to grab large meals. On the frontal part of the males you see a massive fatty growth. It is also territorial fish that do not get along well with other representatives of the underwater world. Cancer has a hard character, but they do not enter into frank fights. You can not settle for small fish and slow.

Look at the confrontation between turquoise cancer and catfish clarias.

Long-eared Haplochromis - beautiful fish, representatives of the Cichlow family. They are also called "cichlid-knives" because of the long muzzle. Body size 18-20 cm, color blue scales, fins painted in red and orange tone. The danger from haplokhromis is such that when attacking other fish, it actually eats their eyeballs. They react poorly to small, defenseless fish, and fish with bright, brilliant color scales. It is recommended to settle in one aquarium with medium fish: cichlids, scalars and barbs. Aggression fish haplokhromis can be minimized if it is placed in a spacious tank of 200 liters, where there are many shelters and swimming places.

How to keep in the tank predatory fish

Place a tank for predatory fish in a calm, well-lit corner. The larger the size of the aquarium, the better for all the fish. Predatory pets need optimal water parameters, do not tolerate temperature fluctuations, which also provokes aggressive behavior. The parameters of the aquatic environment need to be adjusted by instruments, any changes affect the overall condition. Filtration, aeration should be permanent.

Decorate the water landscape with snags, caves, stones, clay pots, water broad-leaved plants with a strong root system. The easiest way to contain predators tsihlazom and cancer because of the larger size and simplicity. Smaller predators require serious training aquarist. Do not immerse hands in the tank with water, treated with cosmetics, or scratched, with bruises. Carnivorous species can attack a wounded arm and damage it.

Look at the feeding of predatory aquarium fish.

Predatory aquarium fish just will not attack their neighbors or people. If this happens, then there are reasons for it, among them may be:

  • Desire to satisfy your appetite, hunger;
  • The desire to defend their territory;
  • Spawning and protection of offspring;
  • Conflict between males over a female, or dominant behavior;
  • Similar body color, or bright body color of another fish;
  • The small size of the body of neighbors, their sluggishness;
  • Aggressive human behavior.

When settling it is necessary to take into account that representatives of one species get along better among themselves. Exceptions are barbs, polypteruses, sharks, piranhas and other species that live better alone, or in very spacious tanks with other fish. African cichlids do not live with South American for the reason that they need different water parameters. Dwarf cichlids live well with apistograms, patsils, mollies, scalars, and pelminochromis.

Do not settle small herbivorous fish with predatory, all aquarian inhabitants must be proportionate, have the same taste habits. Feed everyone in time. Make sure that during the holidays someone feeds your pets, otherwise those who are stronger will destroy the weaker ones. Feed predatory fish in small portions 2 times a day. The abundance of animal feed with protein content is the key to their well-being. If a hungry predator decides to eat another fish, he can wait for it for a long time from an ambush. Try to avoid such moments, create the most comfortable conditions for all pets.

See also: How to feed a cichlid in a home aquarium?