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.Know More
The motion of the sinking pellet stimulates the cichlid's natural, predatory hunting behavior. Any purchased commercial cichlid fish food should not include beef heart as an ingredient; it is a fatty meat that could cause degeneration of the cichlid's liver. Live food can be fed to cichlids in captivity; however, different species of cichlids eat different types of food, so experimenting with dead food first is advisable. Most cichlids also eat algae located in the substrate of their environment.
A cichlid's mouth contains a unique feature called a "moveable pharyngeal jaw apparatus," which helps the fish to chew its food. Cichlids are predatory fish that sometimes attack and eat prey that is too big to swallow whole, and the apparatus located in the back of the fish's throat is an evolutionary feature that allows the fish to trap live prey in its mouth and then slowly grind it up. This decreases the chances of the prey escaping while the cichlid is chewing on it.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 >
African cichlids breed when the male chases the female and does a mating dance in front of her. The female drops her eggs and picks them up in her mouth. The male proceeds to fertilize the eggs.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 >
Care for African cichlids by providing optimal water conditions, creating a good swimming environment, feeding them properly and ensuring a clean tank. Because cichlids are territorial fish, they do well in large groups and with other fish of a similar nature.Full Answer >