African Cichlid Aquarium Featured

African Cichlids are certainly worth the extra considerations needed to keep them. You will have to consider their unique needs when deciding whether or not they are compatible with your vision of your aquarium.

If you are ready for something a little different and enjoy keeping freshwater fish, an African Cichlid aquarium could be for you. These beautifully patterned and colored finned friends have many admirers. Their distinctive personalities and innate intelligence have a way of endearing these fish to their owners. However, if you have never kept this variety of fish, you owe it to yourself to learn about their habits and needs while planning your African Cichlid aquarium.

Many things make this species of fish very special. African Cichlids are usually a very hardy fish that grow very fast, especially when compared to the growth rate of other fish species. However, the very thing that makes the African Cichlid special is what causes the need for would-be owners to plan carefully before purchasing their fish. A fish that grows as large as fast as an Oscar or a Jack Dempsey deserves a home that it will not outgrow!

You should definitely plan to buy the largest aquarium you can afford if you are planning to keep Cichlids. If the aquarium that you can see in your mind's eye is a heavily planted one, you should probably rethink the desire you have to own this type of fish. Cichlids were probably archeologists in another life! They really enjoy digging in any kind of substrate you give them, and can make a big mess out of a carefully planted tank.

An African Cichlid aquarium should instead be outfitted with rock formations, overturned clay pots, and other places where the fish can hide and feel safe. Most African Cichlids are territorial around other fish to a certain extent. Some of these fish can co-exist in the same aquarium with other Cichlids, while some cannot. Other types of fish should not be housed in the same tank, as the Cichlid can be aggressive with them. It is most common for those who keep Cichlids to have a species-specific aquarium because of this aggressive and territorial nature.

Feeding your African Cichlid can be a bit more complicated than just shaking a few dried fish food flakes into the tank daily. In the wild, these fish are vegetarian as a rule. They will eat brine shrimp and daphnia as part of their staple diet, and will also nibble at bloodworms, though the latter are a little too rich for them.

A good Cichlid pellet along with a flaked vegetable-based food containing spirulina and kelp will keep your fish active and healthy. You can also feed African Cichlids human foods such as cooked peas minus their shell, spinach, zucchini, and dark green leaf lettuces like romaine.

You will definitely want to pay attention to the water quality in your African Cichlid aquarium. Cichlids prefer a hard, alkaline water pH of around 7, but a higher pH is well tolerated by these sturdy and colorful fish.

An easy way of keeping the aquarium water clean and clear (and your fish healthy!) without having to do frequent water changes and test the water on a regular basis, is with the use of an EcoBio-Stone. Your choice of product will depend upon the size of your aquarium. All the products in the EcoBio-Block family quickly establish a colony of beneficial bacteria, which break down the toxins which develop with organic waste, into safer by-products. These bacterial and mineral benefits of EcoBio Block products will help make your established African Cichlid aquarium a breeze to maintain.


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