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Cichlid Species

The number of cichlid species identified in the wild is well over 1,000 and biologists think that many more are waiting to be discovered. Cichlids are found in many locations throughout the world and include such favorites as the freshwater angelfish, the tiger oscar fish and the jack dempsey cichlid.

They can be quite fascinating and territorial, especially when they pair off and start to spawn. Some will tolerate tank mates and some can only be kept as lone individuals or in very aggressive species only tanks. Some retailers and breeders tend to keep them overcrowded in display tanks to try and limit the aggression and indeed it does seem to work. However, there could be many factors at play in this scenario. The water quality could be very poor, likely high in ammonia (and possibly nitrites) thereby causing them to appear more docile. theory is that a crowding situation prevents a lone fish from becoming dominant over a few. There are just too many other fish to dominate in a crowded tank. Once you get a few of them acclimated and at home in your aquarium the situation could be completely different.

Use caution when selecting tank mates and due your research before getting any of these cichlids to make sure you can meet their requirements.


Cynotilapia afra
Afra Cichlid
The Afra Cichlid is a brightly colored mbuna from Lake Malawi Africa.
Pterophyllum scalare
Freshwater Angelfish
Can be temperamental with other species when they pair off.
Cyrtocara moorii
Blue Dolphin Cichlid
A popular cichlid that needs a larger aquarium. Really pretty shades of blue depending on the aquarium lighting they are under.
Apsitogramma cacatuoides
Cockatoo Cichlid
Colorful cichlid that likes hiding places and live plants.
Archocentrus nigrofasciatus
Convict Cichlid
One of the most commonly kept cichlids. They are great parents and fairly easy to breed.
Pseudotropheus Demasoni
Demasoni Cichlid
A dwarf mbuna cichlid that needs to be kept in groups.
Symphysodon aequifasciatus
The ultimate freshwater tropical fish species perhaps, it's definitely one of the prettiest and can be considered challenging to keep long term.
Thorichthys meeki
Firemouth Cichlid
Another great cichlid that is an excellent parent to it's young.
Cichlasoma octofasciatum
Jack Dempsey
Named after the famous prize fighter, these cichlids need larger tanks.
Parachromis managuensis
Jaguar Cichlid
A big cichlid (up to 21 inches) that needs a big aquarium.
Hemichromis bimaculatus
Jewel Cichlid
The Jewel cichlid can get aggressive with tank mates (like many cichlids) when they pair off.
Metriaclima lombardoi
Kenyi Cichlid
Use caution when mixing with other kenyi (must only be in ratio of 1 male to 2+ females) and not with other fish from Metriclima group due to aggression. Not compatable with other types of fish, not a community fish.
Pelvicachromis pulcher
Kribensis Cichlid - Krib
Another one of the easier to breed cichlids.
Astronotus spp.
Oscar Fish
Often sold to new hobbyists that should now better. Oscars need larger tanks than most hobbyists can provide.
A hybrid
Blood Red Parrot Cichlid
An interesting hybrid cichlid that needs some hiding places and an established tank.
Pseudotropheus polit
Polit Cichlid
The Polit Cichlid is a highly aggressive mbuna from Lake Malawi Africa.
Microgeophagus ramirezi
Blue Ram Cichlid
Awesome looking cichlid that needs to be slowly acclimated and fed a high quality diet.
Amphilophus labiatus
Red Devil Cichlid
A large and mean cichlid that needs a large tank.
Protomelas taeniolatus
Red Empress Cichlid
Gets to around 5 inches in size and considered one of the less aggressive cichlids. Endemic to Lake Malawi.
Pseudotropheus Saulosi
Saulosi Cichlid (Dwarf Mbuna)
A dwarf mbuna cichlid that gets to about 3.4 inches as adults.
Heros efasciatus
The common severum, needs at least a 55 gallon or larger.
Neolamprologus multifasciatus
Shell Dweller Cichlid
Multies are a special type of cichlid for many reasons. The first reason is they are shell-dwellers, or Shellies, which means that they live and breed in shells.
Labidochromis caeruleus
Yellow Lab Cichlid
The Yellow Lab Cichlid is a brightly colored mbuna from Lake Malawi.
Pseudotropheus sp.
Zebra Cichlid
The zebra cichlid also known as the Malawi blue or Malawi zebra cichlid and it originates from East Africa in the Lake Malawi.

Author : Mike FishLore

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