An Introduction To African Cichlids

African Cichlids Care, Food, Fish Tank, Types & Behavior (2019 Guide)
African Cichlids Care, Food, Fish Tank, Types & Behavior (2019 Guide) from

An Introduction to African Cichlids

African cichlids are a diverse group of freshwater fish that come from the lakes and rivers of Africa. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, from the shallow waters of Lake Tanganyika to the fast-flowing rivers of the Congo. African cichlids come in a wide range of colors and patterns, making them a popular choice for aquariums.

Types of African Cichlids

There are hundreds of species of African cichlids, with more being discovered every year. Some of the more popular species include the Electric Yellow Cichlid, the Frontosa Cichlid, and the Zebra Cichlid. African Cichlids can be grouped into three main categories: haplochromines, mbuna, and haps.


Haplochromines are the most diverse group of cichlids, and include species such as the Electric Yellow Cichlid and the Frontosa Cichlid. These fish tend to be more peaceful than other cichlids, and are well-suited for a community tank. They can reach sizes of up to 8 inches, and are omnivores, meaning they will eat both plant and animal matter.


Mbuna are a group of cichlids that are found in the rocky shorelines of Lake Malawi. They are smaller than haplochromines, and tend to be more aggressive. The Zebra Cichlid is the most popular species of mbuna, and is known for its zebra-like stripes. Mbuna are primarily herbivores, so it is important to provide them with a varied diet of algae and plant matter.


Haps are a group of cichlids that are found in the deep waters of Lake Malawi. They tend to be larger than other cichlids, and can reach sizes of up to 12 inches. Haps are predators, and should be given a diet of meaty foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.

Care and Maintenance for African Cichlids

African cichlids are relatively easy to care for, and can live for up to 10 years with proper care. They need a tank of at least 30 gallons, and should be provided with plenty of hiding places and decorations. The water should be kept at a temperature of 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be kept between 7.0 and 8.2. African cichlids should be fed a varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, and freeze-dried foods.


African cichlids are a beautiful and diverse group of fish that make an excellent addition to any aquarium. With proper care and maintenance, these fish can live for up to 10 years, providing years of enjoyment. If you are looking for a colorful and interesting fish for your aquarium, African cichlids are the perfect choice.

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