Why Are My African Cichlids Suddenly Fighting?

Male African Cichlids Fighting Stock Photo Image of fire, cichlidae
Male African Cichlids Fighting Stock Photo Image of fire, cichlidae from www.dreamstime.com

Why Are My African Cichlids Suddenly Fighting?

What are African Cichlids?

African cichlids are a family of freshwater fish native to Africa's Great Lakes region. They possess a variety of beautiful colorations, and their unique personalities make them a joy to keep as aquarium fish. In their natural habitat, African cichlids are found in large schools, but in the home aquarium they should be kept in groups of four or more.

What Causes African Cichlids to Fight?

African cichlids may fight for a variety of reasons, including territory disputes, mating rivalry, or simply to show dominance. Fighting among African cichlids can be particularly dangerous as they are known to possess sharp teeth which can cause serious damage. It is important to identify and address the cause of the fighting in order to prevent further injury.

How Can I Stop the Fighting?

The first step in stopping fighting among African cichlids is to identify the source of the conflict. If the fish are fighting for territory, it is important to provide sufficient room for all the fish. If the fighting is due to mating rivalry, it is best to remove one of the fish from the tank. If the fighting is due to dominance, adding more fish to the tank may be necessary in order to diffuse the dominance hierarchy.

What Else Should I Consider When Keeping African Cichlids?

In addition to the space requirements and potential for aggression, there are a few other things to consider when keeping African cichlids. Water quality is very important, as these fish are sensitive to changes in pH and temperature. African cichlids also require a varied diet, and they should be fed a variety of live, frozen, and prepared foods in order to ensure optimal health. Finally, African cichlids may require special supplements in order to prevent deficiencies.


African cichlids can make wonderful additions to any aquarium, but it is important to understand the potential for aggression. Identifying the source of the fighting is the first step in addressing any issues, and providing sufficient room, removing certain fish, and adding others may help to resolve the conflict. In addition to addressing any aggression, it is also important to maintain proper water quality and to feed the fish a varied diet in order to ensure optimal health.

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