Are African Cichlids Easy to Keep?
African cichlids are easy to keep as these fish are very hardy and relatively adaptable. They are not very demanding and have become one of the most popular fish among aquarists.
They prefer harder water, which is suitable for most household tap water conditions. This can be maintained in the aquarium with a few small tricks. They also require their water to be kept warm, but this can be easily managed and maintained.
Since most are omnivorous, so no special diet is needed.
Are African Cichlids Good for Beginners?
They are one of the best-recommended species for novice aquarists, although many are wary of them after their aggressive behavior due to territoriality became notorious among keepers.
Of course, their beauty and magnificent coloring come at a price, but the truth is that not all species are so aggressive and wild. Many are more of the calm, more reserved type.
And with some care and a well-designed aquarium, almost all of them can become one.
Their living conditions and water quality are not very demanding. Try to get the right decorations and equipment as suggested, so that even as a novice aquarist you can achieve success with these specimens.
Not to mention the pleasure and positive feedback you will get from keeping these fish. African Cichlids provide a level of interaction that is very rare among aquarium fish, with many specimens recognizing their owners and becoming excited when they see them.
What is the Best Beginner African Cichlid?
The best type for beginners is definitely the Electric Yellow. Let’s see, what you should know about it.
It is one of, if not the most common cichlid species. This is no coincidence, of course, as its bright yellow coloration and behavior also play a part in this. It is also considered a peaceful, calm species among cichlids, non-aggressive and non-belligerent. It does not often harm smaller species than itself. However, it should be remembered that small fish can still easily become food.
Males naturally protect their territory. They are therefore somewhat more prone to attack during arching, but this is still not comparable to the behavior of other African cichlids during similar periods.
In their natural habitat, they prefer near-shore waters rich in rocks and stones, so try to base your tank on this.
It thrives in average tropical temperatures of 77-79°F. Water pH should be between 7 and 8.5. Try to avoid making it acidic. Electric Yellow cannot be kept in soft water, but the hardness of today’s tap water is sufficient for its needs.
Thorough filtration and regular water changes are also important, so do not allow harmful substances to accumulate. Mating with other African Cichlids or other species is not a problem.
Try to keep them in a large tank and provide them with sufficient and suitable hiding space.
Most dry food is eagerly eaten, but it is always worth supplementing the menu with frozen and live food, such as small krill or artemia, daphnia, with some vegetable supplementation, which includes spirulina tablets
If you do decide to breed them, you shouldn’t run into too many problems, as they are quite easy to breed even for beginners. The breeding happens in their mouth, as indicated by the twin spots on the males, which can be used to distinguish them.
The female, after laying her eggs, begins to take them in her mouth and, by looking at the spots on the male’s tail fin, approaches the male’s colony as eggs. The male then releases his gametes, which eventually fertilize the eggs in the female’s mouth.
The female spawns for 3-4 weeks, averaging 21-27 days, without taking any food. The eggs may be taken shortly before the female releases them, but not before two to two and a half weeks.
It is not always advisable to reintroduce a female into a mixed group that has been killed during the shoot, but it is better to keep her in good condition in a separate quarantine tank for 1-2 weeks.
Fry usually start hunting quickly, can be raised quickly and nicely on small live food, but will also accept dry food. Always count on at least 2-3 females for males, as they may also keep a harem, and may even breed with several females while the other is spawning. The number of offspring is typically between 12 and 25.
What is the Minimum tank Size for Keeping African Cichlids?
Being highly territorial, they require a lot of space. Specimens between 1 and 4 inches will survive in a 30-gallon tank, but larger specimens require at least 50 gallons.
They are social creatures, so at least 5 to 6 individuals per tank is recommended. More than this is of course allowed. In case of adding more fish, allow 3 gallons of space per specimen for safe and comfortable living.
How to Keep Your African Cichlids Healthy?
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced aquarist, due diligence is essential. Be prepared and don’t be afraid to read up on the information you need. All African Cichlids species are different from each other, so it is essential to know the specific characteristics, needs and behavioral habits of the species you are buying.
Try to decorate the tank to provide them with the right habitat, avoiding the possibility of accidents.
Afterward, once you have everything set up and your pets have arrived, don’t neglect to keep a constant eye on the condition of the aquarium water. Make sure you maintain the correct water chemistry and remember to clean and change the water regularly.
Turn on the filters and make sure they are doing their job properly and their efficiency is not compromised, as water left unfiltered can eventually cost your pets their lives.
Finally, one of the most important aspects is feeding. Provide them with the right food to keep them healthy and not to weaken them and make them more susceptible to diseases.
Always feed them only as much as they can consume in half a minute, as any excess will be deposited in the tank and contaminate it.
Keeping African Cichlids is not difficult compared to other species. However, some attention is essential.
If you want to add them to your aquarium, gather the right information and get started! Their colorful appearance will certainly make up for everything.