african-cichlid

African Cichlids: A Colorful Brood

Many African cichlids are easily identified by a combination of patterns and intense hues not typically seen in other freshwater fish. Originating from three East African lakes, thousands of species exist each with its own prominent coloration, from solid to striped. Lake Malawi boasts more than 1,000 species alone, followed by Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria. Highly territorial and aggressive, even among its own kind, some species simply cannot live with other fish unless the smaller fish are planned for meals. To reduce aggressiveness, experienced hobbyists maintain larger schools. Although […] Read more »

african-cichlids-aquarium

Aquarium Tips for Mixing African Cichlids

The following are important aspects to consider when mixing African cichlids: Water chemistry, diet, and aggression, the last one a familiar trait among cichlids. Originating from Malawi, Victoria and Tanganyika lakes, African cichlids have evolved to adapt to the different pH found in these waters. Lakes Malawi and Victoria share similar pH levels ranging from 7.4 to 8.6 and can be safely mixed. In contrast, lake Tanganyika has a pH ranging between 7.8 and 9.0 making it difficult to mix these two groups. In addition, avoid combining cichlids coming from […] Read more »

Altolamprologus-calvus

Calvus Cichlid (Altolamprologus calvus)

This species is very slow growing, taking over 6 months to reach an inch and a half long, and over two years to reach sexual maturity. Their bodies are very thin and compact and are dark black in color with many small white spots. Their sloping forehead and large mouth gives them a menacing look, making them a favorite among some cichlid lovers. Compatible: Lake Tanganykan similar size, and African Catfish. Aquarium setup: 50 gallon tank. 72-82°F; pH 7.8-9.0; dKH 12-20. Size: 5 1/4 in (14 cm) Read more »

Cylindricus-Cichlid

Cylindricus Cichlid (Neolamprologus cylyndricus)

The Neolamprologus Cylindricus Cichlid originates from the rocky coastal waters of Southeastern Lake Tanganyika, Africa. This species is one of the smaller of the cichlids, only attaining a maximum size of 4 inches. They have an elongated body, and are silver in color with many dark vertical bands. Their fins are outlined in an iridescent blue which adds to the appeal of these fish. They should be maintained in an aquarium of at least 30 gallons with other smaller Tanganyikan cichlids. Aggressive towards co specifics, you should keep one male […] Read more »

Altolamprologus-compressicep

Gold Head Cichlid (Altolamprologus compressicep)

Native from the rocky coastal waters of Lake Tanganyika, Africa. This species is much smaller then their distant cousins, Dimidiochromis compressiceps, which originate in Lake Malawi, only attaining a maximum size of 4-1/2 inches. stunning cichlids with a yellow and black mask covering the head, and several vertical brown lines covering the body. The Gold Head Compressicep should be maintained in an aquarium of at least 50-gallons with other aggressive cichlids. Compatible: Lake Tanganykan similar size, and African Catfish. Aquarium setup: 72-82°F; pH 7.8-9.0; dKH 12-20 Size: 4 1/4 in […] Read more »

Neolamprologus_sexfasciatus_juvenile

Gold Neolamprologus Sexfasciatus Cichlid

The Gold Neolamprologus Sexfasciatus Cichlid originates from the rocky waters of Southern Lake Tanganyika, Africa. This species is one of the larger of the dwarf African cichlids, and attains a maximum size of 6 inches. They have an elongated body shape, and are gold in color with many dark vertical bands. Their fins are outlined in an iridescent blue which adds to the appeal of these fish. Maintained them in an aquarium of at least 50 gallons with other smaller Tanganyikan or Malawian cichlids, with plenty of rocks, shells and […] Read more »

Julidochromis-ornatus

Julidochromis ornatus cichlid

Julidochromis Ornatus have an elongated body with alternating yellow and white thick stripes. Keep them in a 30-gallon or larger aquarium decorated with plenty of rocks and caves in order to provide adequate hiding places for these territorial fish. They prefer hard water with an alkalinity of 10 to 20 dKH and a pH of 8.0 to 9.0. In order to maintain these conditions, it is best to provide a substrate consisting of aragonite. The aragonite substrate can be mixed with darker gravel to reduce glare from the lighting. Relatively […] Read more »

Labidochromis_chisumulae

Labidochromis chisumulae endemic to Chisumulu Island in Lake Malawi

Photo by Mitja Mavsar The Labidochromis chisumulae is a popular cichlid for the home aquarium. The males grow to 3½” and are usually colored a beautiful light blue with several dark vertical bands distributed across the body and several yellow egg spots on the anal fin. The females reach a smaller size of about 2½” and are cream colored with much paler vertical bands. These cichlids are found in rocky areas where they hunt for smaller crustaceans and insect larvae. Thus, their aquarium habitat should also feature many rocks and […] Read more »

Copy of Neolamprologus_brevis

Neolamprologus brevis a cute cichlid from Lake Tanganyika

The Neolamprologus brevis is an excellent choice if you want to raise cichlids but don’t have room for a large aquarium. These little fishes will only grow to 2.5 inches for males and 1.5 inches for females. Both sexes are light brown in color with several lighter vertical stripes distributed throughout the body. Interestingly, Neolamprologus brevis live in empty snail shells in their native Lake Tanganyika. So their aquarium habitat should also be decorated with several shells for each member to choose from. Territorial fights for these shells do occur […] Read more »