Monday, February 16, 2015

African Cichlids - Aquarium Fish

To some people, there is only one type of freshwater fish worth having in your aquarium, and that is the African Cichlids. However, I don't believe that, as I always liked a decent variety in my tanks, but some people are literally obsessed with these aggressive little bastards nonetheless. I've owned a few of these over the years, and I must say that they are one of the more intelligent types of fish to own.

Most of the African Cichlids I owned, acted like they were starving most of the time, no matter how much I fed them. Some of them will actually watch you through the glass, come up to the top, and/or basically beg for food via slight gestures - anytime you walk by the tank. Yes, they are bad about staring. When I had a couple tanks in my bedroom, my girlfriend that would come over at the time, would always want me to cut their lights off because they kept looking at her - or so she said; ha-ha! Oh, please don't put these Cichlids in small tanks. The smallest tank I've had them in was a 29 gallon (tall) tank. Most of them only grow 4 to 6 inches long, but still, they need room to play!

There are over 1,200 species in the Cichlidae family, with most of them coming from the Tanganyika and Malawai Lakes of central Africa. The first one depicted above, is called the Bumblebee Cichlid. I've only owned one of those before, and it was utterly beautiful. I've had the other ones that are shown here, including some that I couldn't find photos of.

Some people believe that African Cichlids should only be kept with their own kind, outside of a few scavengers you may be required to have. However, I've had them in community tanks without too much trouble. I have had to separate a few of them before, though, by putting them in another tank by their self for a day or two. When I would put them back into the community tank, they would generally have a new attitude. Yes, they have major attitude problems, at times. It is not uncommon for one to try and be "king of the tank." This can be problematic. The power/reign of each fish is often short-lived, as they seem to rotate who is "the boss." They get rough, too, and have been known to kill each other. It happens, but what can I say? Humans are bad about fighting with each other, too.

Oh, make sure you have enough gravel in your tank if you have several African Cichlids in there. I say that, because they love to dig and play in the gravel. They can totally transform the decorations and gravel arrangements in your tank, in a matter of a couple hours, if motivated. I've came home from work before and basically said: "Who in the hell re-done my tank? Is this even the same aquarium?" LOL!

Well, I could babble about these cool fish for several more minutes, but I guess I need to stop right here before it gets too long. Cheers!

Image Credits: The first image was from Wikimedia Commons. Source = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cichlid
The other images were from Bing Image Search using the 'free to use & share' function.

---End of Post "African Cichlids - Aquarium Fish"

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