What Does It Mean When African Cichlids Shake?

Pseudotropheus Greshakei 68cm Cichlidés Africain du lac Malawi
Pseudotropheus Greshakei 68cm Cichlidés Africain du lac Malawi from www.poisson-or.com

What Does It Mean When African Cichlids Shake?


African cichlids are a type of freshwater fish found in the waters of East Africa. They are popular among aquarium enthusiasts for their beauty and variety. One behavior of African cichlids that is often observed is a shaking or vibrating motion. But what does it mean when African cichlids shake?

Understanding African Cichlids

African cichlids are known for their colorful scales and their variety of shapes and sizes. They are usually peaceful fish and are a popular choice for home aquariums. African cichlids generally live in groups and establish a social hierarchy. This is why they often display behaviors such as shaking or vibrating when they come into contact with other cichlids.

Vibrating as a Display of Dominance

When African cichlids come into contact with another cichlid, they will often shake or vibrate as a display of dominance. This is a sign that they are trying to assert their dominance over the other cichlid. This behavior is especially common among males, as they are usually more aggressive than females. The vibration is a warning to the other cichlid to stay away and not challenge the dominant fish.

Vibrating as a Sign of Stress

African cichlids may also shake or vibrate when they feel stressed. This is usually caused by a change in the environment, such as a new fish in the tank or a change in water temperature. When a cichlid feels stressed, it will often display this behavior as a sign of distress. If the stress is not relieved, the cichlid may become more aggressive or even sick.


When African cichlids shake or vibrate, it is usually a sign of dominance or stress. It is important to recognize this behavior and understand what it means so that you can provide the best care for your cichlids. By understanding their behavior and providing the right environment, you can ensure that your cichlids are healthy and happy.

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