African Cichlids

A basic guide to keeping African Cichlids.

Common Names

•    Jewel Cichlid
•    Egyptian Mouthbrooder

Countries of Origin

West, Central and Eastern Africa.

Cichlids aquarium condition requirements

A tank of 900mm x 380mm x 300mm (36” x 15” x 12”) is suitable for the smaller species of these African Cichlids. Even larger tanks are preferable.

Temperature - 23o/28oC 73o/82oF. Some fluctuation is normal in nature.

Water parameters - medium to hard, neutral water is considered ideal for the fish. Should be well filtered and remain ‘sweet’.

Habitat - Gravel substrate with plenty of rocks.

Plants - African Cichlids will re arrange gravel and rocks to suit themselves, often on a daily basis. Any plants will be uprooted continually.

Cichlids’ behaviour with other fish

African Cichlids are generally large and aggressive. Some can grow to 24 inches (600mm). Some are more territorial and aggressive than others. Overcrowding will lead to territorial fighting. Take expert advice before you buy.

Cichlids’ diet

Most of these fish should be considered as carnivores. Some African Cichlids can be persuaded to accept special pelletised dried foods.

Cichlid health

Not generally a problem. Damage caused by territorial disputes should be carefully monitored and treated as necessary.

Care - easy (health), challenging (in the community)

The Pet Owners Association are grateful to the Federation of British Aquatic Societies for the above information and image.