African cichlids come in two varieties. Lake Tanganyika cichlids and Lake Malawi cichlids have very different habits and diets, even though they are from the same family.Know More
The main types of cichlids found in Africa can be grouped into two categories. Mbuna or rock fish tend to get most of their sustenance from picking algae from the rocks that are just under the surface on the shoreline. Haps have a much more diverse diet. They eat algae but will also eat zooplankton, scales and meat from other fish. They will also eat whole fish if they are small enough. The fish that stay in the shallow areas have also been known to pick bugs from the surface of the lake.
Cichlids are a hardy fish that do very well in home aquariums. There are a variety of fish foods available. Most contain a blend of plant and fish so that they are adequate nutrition for most fish. In order to maintain optimum health in your aquarium, the food needs to contain high amounts of protein and low amounts of fat and fiber. For best coloration, the diet needs to contain large amounts of spirulina. Cichlids can live without spirulina but will have very bland coloring.Learn more about Fish
The most common African Cichlid species available from pet stores grow to 4 to 6 inches, and some get as big as 10 inches. This family of fish includes more than 100 species with varying degrees of aggressiveness.Full Answer >
The best sand to use for cichlid maintenance depends on the details of the aquarium in use, the pH of the water and other details that vary from one tank to the next; however, silica sand is the best all-around product. Silica sand is readily available, inexpensive and safe.Full Answer >
Aggressive and sometimes predatory, the African cichlid does best with freshwater fish, such as Synodontis catfish, Botia loaches, Labeo sharks, suckermouth catfish and the larger tetras. Issues with cichlid compatibility often stem from aggression, which Cichlid-Forum.com attributes to the fish being too closely related or having too similar morphology, triggering an instinctive territorial response. The Malawi cichlid homepage lists the ideal ratio as being three females to one male.Full Answer >
Female convict cichlids display a yellow-orange color on the belly and dorsal fin, according to About.com. The color patches are more pronounced just before laying eggs. Females are also smaller and rounder than males, which eventually grow a nuchal hump, a fatty deposit on the forehead, as they mature. The male's foreheads are steeper than the female, and their fins are longer and more pointed.Full Answer >