African Cichlids

Are you sick of boring old goldfish and furry little rabbits for pets? Why not try some African cichlids for a change. These are indeed flamboyant, hardy and full of character. Not convinced? (How could you not love these delightful specimens opposite!) Originating from the three great lakes in Africa – Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganiyika and Lake Victoria, these creatures have made it into tanks in many of our homes as pets.

YOU WILL NEED:

1x large glass tank (4ft and above); 1x substrate material (preferably fine crushed coral sand); 1x Aquarium Filter; 1x Heater; 1x Air pump with air stone; 1x weekly water changes (1-2 buckets only); many rocks, ceramic pots, slates to create caving structures – Now just add some fish and your cichlid tank should look like the one above.

AUTHOR’S OWN EXPERIENCE

I have kept and bred these interesting pets for many years now. They are indeed a great alternative to keeping common dogs and cats as pets. Apart from the massive range of colours and species that exist, they are largely territorial creatures. This is makes it very interesting to watch the different behaviours they display, whether they are:

  • The dominant species establishing balance of power by claiming their territory (e.g. largest piece of rock in the tank, or entrance of a cave which its mates can take refuge in).
  • The male display of dominance over other males.
  • Their unique mating dance.
  • The females’ use of their own mouths as egg incubators and to protect the young, over many weeks.

CURRENT COUNT

5x adult, 30x juvenile Electric Blue
5x adult, 15x juvenile Electric Yellow
1x adult 6-Bar Frontosa
1x adult Synodontus Eupterus – ‘Whiskers’
1x Eastern long-necked turtle
1x Crown-tail Siamese fighter – ‘Bubbles’

Cichlid aquariums are a great way to spice up your workplace or home. If you are in need of any advice, or in need of helping hand in starting up contact the author.

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