Planning to get African Cichlids for your aquarium??? These tips might help…
African Cichlids are subtropical and tropical fresh water fishes belonging to the family Cichlidae. These are quite admired as aquarium fish and consist of a number of the most vibrant fish one can get. These fish inhabit three lakes in Africa namely, Lake Tanganika, Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria. Cichlids are deep-bodied fishes with a rounded end. The African Cichlids can live longer than most aquarium species, lasting on average for about 5-8 years. Though they are known for their complex breeding and mating manners, caring for them and feeding them is relatively easy. They love their food and feeding them 3-4 times a day keeps their mind off fighting. These fish are highly active and industrious and love having something to do like moving stuff around and even excavation.
However African Cichlids are not a beginner’s fish and should never be bought on impulse. They make up a large group of roughly 600 species, each one with exclusive behavior and differing nutritional and habitat necessities. If you choose and buy fishes hastily and at random, you will surely regret it later. Not all species of these fishes breed easily and are comfortable breeding around new species. You must also take special care in ensuring that two fish of each species should never be kept together in the same tank. Even if two fishes are cichlids from a particular habitat there is no necessity that they should be compatible with each other. One might prey on the other. You must not buy several fish at once. This will disrupt the balance of the nitrogen cycle existing in your tank or aquarium and prove dangerous to the whole aquatic life out there.
Before buying African cichlids, the least you can do is to decide what kind of a setup you want i.e. the size, shape and look of the aquarium. Then you must research and find out what kind of fish would thrive well under these conditions. These fish need large tanks and a highly basic pH to survive. It would be a good idea to add some crushed coral to raise the pH of the tank. You must take care not to buy hybrid fish as they not only dilute the gene pool but also they might turn out to be sterile, incapable of giving rise to further generations.
You must remember that the cheapest is not always the best. Many pet stores sell low priced fish but they might lack identification or might be unreliable. The store employees are not very knowledgeable about the fishes there either. These places have limited choices to offer u too. A good option might be the local fish store where even though fish may be pricey, there is a great deal of options to choose from. You can also buy quality fishes with proper identification via the Internet.