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.Know More
The electric yellow lab (Labidochromis caeruleus) and demasoni (Pseudotropheus demasoni) grow to a maximum of 4 inches, while the peacock cichlid (Melanochromis johannii) grows to 4 to 6 inches. The Kenyi (Pseudotropheus lombardoi), electric blue (Melanochromis johannii), auratus (Melanochromis auratus), jewel cichlid (Hemichromis bimaculatus), zebra Obliquidens (Astatotilapia latifasciata) and compressiceps (Altolamprologus compressiceps) grow to 5 inches. The red zebra cichlid (Maylandia estherae), bumblebee cichlid (Pseudotropheus crabro) and red empress (Protomelas taeniolatus) grow to lengths of up to 6 inches. The Livingston cichlid (Nimbochromis livingstonii) reaches a length of 8 inches, and the Venustus (Nimbochromis venustus) has a maximum length of 10 inches.
African cichlids are active and need plenty of space to swim and grow. The minimum recommended tank size for these species is 55 gallons, and they prefer environments that contain rocks and rocky ornaments that provide shelter. Cichlids are aggressive and do not make suitable tank mates for other species. In addition, African and South American cichlids cannot be kept in the same tank.Learn more about Fish
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 >
Cichlids eat crickets, shrimp, small frogs, fish eggs and worms. They also eat plant material and other fish. Cichlids kept in captivity also benefit from the added nutrients found in commercial cichlid fish-food pellets. It is best to use sinking pellets when feeding captive cichlids.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 >
Siamese algae eaters grow to a maximum of 6 inches under ideal conditions. The popular aquarium bottom feeder is often just 1.25 to 2.5 inches long when purchased.Full Answer >