Curious: What is the draw with cichlids?

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by Novemayune, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. NovemayuneValued MemberMember

    I know there are many people on here who keep cichlids. Indeed there is an entire fish section on the wall at the local PetSmart with nothing but cichlids. I even knew someone in college who kept them. What makes them so enjoyable as pets? Are they all aggressive and territorial? What has your experience with them been?
  2. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    The males in particular are pretty aggressive. They interact with each other, fighting for space and mates. I think the biggest draw, though, is that African cichlids have some of the brightest colors in freshwater fish. When they're doing a mating display, they actually shift colors as rapidly as an octopus can, and, depending on the species, the colors can be absolutely spectacular.
  3. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I have a 75 Gallon Fish Tank that is Mbuna populated with 5 groups of 6 each and LOVE them the most out of all my fish! They are gorgeous and are not that bad aggression wise once you crowd the tank a little as you should with African Cichlids.

    I always suggest them to other folks who ask me about them. On top of that, I think they are extremely entertaining and "intelligent", so to speak.

    P.S. They are quite friendly and aren't timid like some fishes are.
  4. lucky strike 21Well Known MemberMember

    i used to think like that too until i got a blood parrot lol
  5. kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    I have an apisto (in my avatar) and he's more interactive than a betta. I hold a flake in the water and he comes up and nibbles on it. :)

    I actually saw a show on TV a few nights ago about Rift Valley cichlids. Scientists rank cichlids as some of the smartest fish :) I sometimes forget that the fish we keep come from somewhere originally, so it was neat to see fish I recognized in the wild.

    You can avoid problems with aggression by appropriate stocking. Ernesto (my apisto) is the only cichlid in that tank, so he isn't aggressive at all. I have two German Blue Rams in another tank, but they're both females and get along well.
  6. CichlidnutFishlore VIPMember

    There are over 1,000 species of Cichlid. Not all are aggressive.

    I like Cichlids because they are smart and interactive. My water puppies.

  7. Disc61Well Known MemberMember

    Aggressive yes but not all and yes there are indeed 1,000 's to choose from. there are 1,000 to choose from just African Cichlids alone. as mentioned by sirdarksol the color is amazing in most of them, i would think that the color may be the biggest draw.
  8. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Agreed, they can be highly interactive and have complex social behaviors. People often overlook the fish in our own backyards, the centrarchids, who are similar to cichlids in intelligence and in some cases just as colorful.
  9. ayladWell Known MemberMember

    This is something I didn't know. If the OP doesn't mind me adding a question of my own, which species have the best color-shifting?
  10. Quinn_Lamb98Well Known MemberMember

    i know many people keep them because they are fasinated in there breeding activity and colours. i read that many people keep them to get ready for salt (high care level ie. messy eaters.)
  11. allaboutfishWell Known MemberMember

    I keep mine for 2 reasons
    1. Personally
    Most cichlids have an awesome personality. Always going upto the front of the tank watching you and always begging for food. Plus some even want to be pet (my blood parrot for an example)
    2. Color
    I think cichlids have some of the best colors. Especially angels, rams, and blood parrots.s
  12. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I think many aquarists don't realise the broad range of cichlids. Angels, Discus, mbuna etc - the cichlid family is very diverse.

    Typically, I think many think of the likes of the Yellow Labs, Electrics, Dwarfs etc - mainly the Lake Malawi species. Very vibrant colours, interesting and personable. Then you've got the likes of the Jag's, JD's, Oscars, Jewels, Severums etc that have some of the most amazing colour patterns.

    Their size and shape also sets them apart from the crowd, which makes them more appealing.

    I actually tossed up going SW or Lake Malawi, eventually I settled on SW. From a vibrance perspective, cichlids are close as you'll get to the colours of a reef IMO.

    EDIT: Oh, and they are one of the few species where over-stocking is encouraged :D :D :D
  13. MotherMajesty:)Valued MemberMember

    Loved the video. Cool tank. It was cute the way the dogs had to get in on the act!
  14. NovemayuneValued MemberMember

    Thank you everyone for your input. I know that you all really care about your fish, and sure, I could read about cichlids here and on wikipedia, but you gave me that which I couldn't find in an article - your personal experience and why they draw you in.

    I can't believe how big some of them get. I do know that my college friend was always talking about what he had to do for his cichlids. In fact I consulted him when I was considering getting my tank and he suggested I go with cichlids, but I know that's not something I'm ready for. And thanks for sharing the video - I get what you mean about being friendly and not so shy.
  15. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Some are shy though - they really run the gamut.