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Help Your African Cichlid Make Friends With These Top Tankmates

Do you could have African Cichlids? Fortunate you! These fish are completely beautiful and if you happen to’re on the lookout for a colourful show in your tank, you must look no additional than this illustrious species.

Sadly, whereas African Cichlids are recognized for being exquisitely coloured and patterned, they’re additionally infamous for his or her aggressive, territorial behaviors. Present in a number of African lakes, these fish are accustomed to the rocky terrain these environments provide.

African Cichlids want loads of locations to cover, notably if there are different species within the tank. You want to be sure that your fish has hiding spots and plenty of open swimming room.

To maintain your African Cichlid joyful, you additionally want to supply it with a various weight-reduction plan. Whereas some enjoy eating algae, others like small bugs and tiny fish. Cichlids who will not be correctly fed could grow to be extra aggressive, which might additionally make it tougher to deal with your Cichlids with different tank mates.

What Are African Cichlids?

African Cichlids
Photo by Michael van Gaal

African Cichlids are a number of the most colourful -and hottest – fish for freshwater aquarium setups. As energetic, hardy fish, they’re beautiful and enjoyable to lift – but in addition current distinctive challenges.

Most African Cichlids hail from Lake Malawi, a landlocked lake that’s within the Nice Rift Valley of Africa. This lake is mineral-dense, making it exhausting and alkaline. It’s residence to over 1,000 species of cichlids, and there are three main kinds of African Cichlids that contains that inhabitants.

Most African Cichlids are mbunas. These fish have rounded faces and are fairly territorial. They like to hang around within the rockwork and also will eat algae they’ll develop from about 4 inches to seven inches lengthy.

Peacock cichlids are one other widespread sort of African cichlids. These fish stay deeper down within the lake, the place water tends to be fairly calm. They’ve slanted faces and enormous eyes, referring to hang around simply above the sandy substrate they wait to prey on small invertebrates and different meals. These fish will not be as aggressive as mbunas and don’t do nicely in tanks the place they’re blended with mbunas.

Open water haps are the final sort of African Cichlid. These fish are fish eaters and might be extraordinarily aggressive. Rising as much as a foot in size, these African Cichlids will not be generally elevate din aquariums as a result of they’re a big and aggressive. The truth is, they’ve even been recognized to go after the smaller mbunas!

It doesn’t matter what form of African Cichlid you elevate, you’ll want to ensure you have an exceptionally giant tank. The extra fish you could have, the bigger tank you will want. You’ll need to supply these fish with loads of open swimming house in addition to a number of decorations and rockwork. Plus, these energetic fish are voracious eaters that produce quite a lot of waste, so you will want to ensure you have room to put in , well-functioning filtration system.

Greatest Tankmates For An African Cichlid Tank

African Cichlids 1
Photo by Michael

You want to watch out about including new species to your Cichlid tank. Due to their excessive exercise stage, particular wants for a big, expansive tank set-up, and excessive ranges of aggression, choosing tankmates for African Cichlids shouldn’t be a straightforward process. Cichlids are usually largely tolerant of non-cichlids, notably fish that have a tendency to hang around at totally different ranges of the tank.

rule of thumb is to at all times choose tank mates which might be as giant as or bigger than your African Cichlid. You need to contemplate fish who are usually extra passive, as they gained’t work together as typically with you Cichlids, in addition to those who hang around at totally different place sin the tank. That approach, they gained’t have to return into contact with one another fairly often.

Whereas there aren’t many fish that African Cichlids get alongside nicely with, you is perhaps greatest to maintain them with fish of their very own form. Nonetheless, if you happen to’re on the lookout for a extra various, distinctive tank, you may contemplate including these following species to your African Cichlid tank.

1 Clown Loach

Clown Loach
Photo by Kevin

Also referred to as the Botia Loach, this fish grows to about 4 and a half inches in size. It prefers waters with temperatures between 72 and 86 levels Fahrenheit, and whereas it’s semi-aggressive itself, it is a good factor – it would enable the fish to carry its personal towards the territorial African Cichlid.

This fish is black and tan with 4 barbells that stand out from its mouth. The Botia loach loves to cover, identical to the African Cichlid, so if you are going to buy decorations, rocks, and caves, ensure you purchase a lot – you need tons to go round or you will note the extra aggressive nature of this fish (in addition to your Cichlids!) at play.

These fish are backside feeders, preferring to spend most of their days on the very lowest ranges of the tank. You possibly can feed them meals similar to brine shrimp, bloodworms, and even pellet and flake meals.

2 Leopard Bushfish

Leopard Bushfish
Photo by Danny

This Cute fish grows to round seven inches in size. Though it’s beautiful to take a look at, bearing the identical patterns as the massive cat species after which it was named, this fish generally is a bit aggressive, making it match for the ferocious African Cichlid. This fish enjoys tricking different fish, making an attempt to get them to suppose that they’re items of leaves inside the tank. Nonetheless, when the prey swims by, they may assault. Due to this fact, you must solely preserve Leopard Bushfish with species which might be bigger and never smaller.

Regardless of their aggressive, predatory tendencies, Leopard Bushfish can really b fairly choosy. Chances are you’ll discover that you want to put together separate meals for these fish whenever you home them along with your African Cichlids. You possibly can feed stay, small, or frozen meals, and whilst you could sometimes encourage them to eat some flakes, you shouldn’t plan on it.

3 Plecos

The Complete Plecostomus Care Guide 2

Plecos are basic decisions as companions for many sort of cichlids as a result of they carry out quite a lot of capabilities. These fish are actually good at cleansing your fish tank and can assist preserve it free from algae. They’re bottom-feeders, so that they usually gained’t come into contact along with your Plecos. They gained’t struggle for house, and so they additionally favor the identical temperatures and pH ranges (round 72 to 78 levels Fahrenheit and 6.5 to 7.5 pH). One factor to bear in mind is that these fish can develop fairly giant – as much as two toes lengthy in some instances!

4 Big Danio

Giant Danio
Photo by Shailendra Patil

The Big Danio is one other good possibility in case you are on the lookout for a species of fish that may maintain its personal towards the African Cichlid. Danios favor to spend their time within the backside and center elves to the tank and so they get alongside nicely with Cichlids due to this. These fish, which thrive in colder temperatures of round 64 to 74 levels Fahrenheit, solely develop to about 4 inches lengthy. They like extremely vegetated tanks, so you’ll undoubtedly need to add some stay crops to the tank.

5 Purple Rainbowfish

Red Rainbowfish
Photo by sakichin

This beautiful fish is fairly to take a look at and grows to round 4 inches lengthy. It’s straightforward to look after, however you want to ensure you choose a Rainbowfish that’s totally developed. A few of these fish, notably youthful members of those items, might be notably tiny. If you happen to don’t take the time to ensure your Purple Rainbowfish are giant sufficient to carry their very own towards he African Cichlid, there’s probability that your cichlid will view the Rainbow Fish as a tasty snack.

In any other case, these fish are shockingly straightforward to look after. They like ready meals and are omnivores. They’ve huge mouths however favor smaller items of meals. Tanks ought to be heated to round 72 to 77 levels Fahrenheit.

6 Redtail Shark

Redtail Shark
Photo by Fábio Manfredini

The Purple Tail Shark is a beautiful fish that grows to about 4 inches in size. It has a smooth black physique and a vibrant pink tail – therefore it sname. It’s completely stunning to take a look at however can even maintain its personal towards the African Cichlid. These fish are referred to as territorial species and can arrange their very own territories inside the tank – you gained’t be capable of mistake which territories are theirs!

They like tanks that provide a number of vegetation and rocks, so in case you are including Redtail Sharks to your African Cichlid tank, you’ll want to ensure you have loads of house to go round. In any other case, these fish favor temperatures of round 7 to 79 levels Fahrenheit and a mean pH between 6.5 and seven.5

7 African Purple-Eyed Tetra

African Red-Eyed Tetra
Photo by nesihonsu

African Purple-Eyed Tetras can develop fairly giant. They like heat tanks of as much as 82 levels Fahrenheit, and so they require a number of room to swim round. These fish thrive in related water circumstances, although, and can eat absolutely anything. You possibly can feed your African Purple-Eyed Tetra just about the identical weight-reduction plan that you just give to your African Cichlid – potential meals would possibly embrace frozen meals, algae, flakes, or stay choices. These fish favor pH of round 6.0 to eight.0.

8 Scavenger Catfish

Scavenger Catfish

The Scavenger Catfish loves to cover, however since this fish develop to just about a foot in size, it could have a tougher time doing so! You need to embrace loads of caves, rocks, and different decorations in your tank if you happen to plan on together with this species in your tank. Just like the African Cichlid, it additionally prefers tanks with a number of crops and a sandy substrate.

This fish typically hangs the wrong way up. It is a regular habits and though it would startle you sooner or later, it’s nothing to fret about. These fish additionally like consuming fish flakes, so it’s a good suggestion to throw some sinking pellets in so your catfish can eat to his coronary heart’s content material.

9 Different Cichlids

When unsure, it’s often secure to maintain your African Cichlids with different cichlid species. You need to attempt to preserve cichlid tanks as cichlid=solely tanks, and solely preserve cichlids from the identical continent. For instance, African Cichlids shouldn’t be stored with South American cichlids. They’ve totally different immune programs, so cichlids which might be from one area could make cichlids from one other extraordinarily sick.

Listed below are some species you would possibly contemplate in your African Cichlid tank. You would possibly need to take into consideration Dwarf Cichlids which might be from western Africa. Watch out to pick out solely these from Africa and never South America, for the explanations talked about above. You would possibly need to elect species just like the Krib Cichlid, the Ram, or the Apsitos. They’ll get alongside nicely, preferring acid, smooth waters, however needless to say you’ll solely need to buy bigger dwarf cichlids to keep away from any points.

If you happen to select to maintain Dwarf Cichlids along with your African Cichlids, simply be sure that they’re giant sufficient to carry their very own.

What Species Ought to I Keep away from Protecting With My African Cichlid?

Basically, you’ll want to keep away from holding any fish that’s docile, small, or aggressive along with your African Cichlid. This would possibly embrace species similar to guppies, discus fish, corydoras, glassfish, or angelfish.

You want to be very cautious about including any new fish to an African Cichlid tank, notably as soon as these fish have already established their territory. Though They’re beautiful to take a look at and extremely enjoyable to lift, they prefer to have their very own house and can lash out at anyone who intrudes upon it!

1 thought on “Help Your African Cichlid Make Friends With These Top Tankmates”

  1. The recommendation of the Bushfish and Sharkminnow are absurd. Cichlids and Bushfish almost never get along and will fight constantly, and the territorial nature of the Red-tailed Sharkminnow will guarantee any fight that ensues, which won’t take long, will have a 50/50 chance of being to the death. This is absurd and shows poor research in the behavior of the “recommended” fish. I would suggest you go back over your research and be specific as to what “African Cichlids” you are recommending these with.

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