Cichlids have become increasingly popular and are ideally suited to larger aquariums due to colour, size and feeding requirements. Cichlids display many beautiful colours and it is often said that the Rift Lake species are as close as you can get to the stunning colours of marine fish in a freshwater species keeping in mind most cichlids do not develop their colour fully until they are adults and are relatively dull when juvenile. Feed requirements will vary, however most Cichlids readily take a range of pellets, frozen foods and most will benefit from some vegetable matter in the diet. Remember – large species will readily eat any small fish.
The Cichlid family is one of the largest groups of fish with over 650 species found throughout the world. Some of the most popular varieties originate from the Amazon Basin and the Great Rift Valley of Eastern Africa. The Cichlid family offers the widest variety of body shapes, a vast range of sizes, and some very beautiful colouration and patterning. These characteristics are further complimented by their remarkable behaviour, highly complex yet ritualistic. They are very active, intriguing, and many cichlids can be very personable, readily greeting their keepers and begging for food. All these traits make Cichlids a favourite aquarium fish.
When feeding Cichlids you must be aware that not all of them will like the same diet, for example, Tropheus Cichlids and Goby Cichlids are mostly vegetarian, and will relish food like spirulina flake, tablets and pellet’s or even dried Nori paper (sushi wraps), most other Cichlids will eat a range of pellets, frozen foods and most benefit from some vegetable matter in the diet. Cichlids like their water to be clear and clean, so having a good filtration system is a must. The general water conditions vary depending upon the species and some are more difficult to care for than others.
For information about keeping Oscars – click here.