What Can You Put In The Tank With African Cichlids?

African cichlids tank Aquariums
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What Can You Put in the Tank With African Cichlids?

African Cichlids: A Brief Overview

African cichlids are a popular breed of fish that can be found in freshwater tanks around the world. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, making them an attractive addition to any aquarium. African cichlids are typically quite hardy and can survive in a wide range of water conditions, but they need the right environment to thrive. The key to a successful tank with African cichlids is understanding what they need and making sure their environment is tailored to their needs.

What to Put in an African Cichlid Tank

In order to create the ideal environment for your African cichlids, it’s important to consider the type of substrate, decorations, and other items you’ll need to stock your tank. For substrate, you’ll need to choose something that is fine enough to help maintain water quality, but also coarse enough to provide a natural environment for your fish. Natural gravel or small-grain sand are both good choices. Some types of rocks or driftwood can also be added for decoration.

Live plants can also be added to African cichlid tanks, although they should be chosen with care. Most plants will not do well in tanks with high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which are common in tanks with cichlids. Plants that are native to Africa, such as Anubias or Java fern, are more likely to thrive. Other items that can be added to African cichlid tanks include decorations, hiding places, and filters.

What Not to Put in an African Cichlid Tank

When stocking an African cichlid tank, there are a few things that should be avoided. Fish from other regions, such as goldfish and tropical fish, should not be added to the tank. These fish are not typically compatible with African cichlids and may introduce diseases to the tank. Large decorations, such as large rocks or driftwood, should also be avoided, as they can create sharp edges or caves that can injure the fish. It’s also important to avoid overstocking the tank, as this can lead to overcrowding and stress.


Creating the perfect tank for African cichlids requires careful consideration of the type of substrate, decorations, and other items you’ll be adding to the tank. Knowing what to put in and what not to put in the tank is essential for the health and well-being of your fish. With the right environment, African cichlids can thrive and be a beautiful addition to any aquarium.

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