Aquarium Fish Cichlids
The family of cichlids or cichlids has about 1000 species of various fish. Aquarium fish, cichlids, unlike others, have one pair of nostrils, and not two, an elongated fin of the dorsal part, hard rays of the fins, and not one, but two whole side lines, which are the sensory organ of the fish. In general, the family includes a variety of representatives, both in type of nutrition (herbivores and predators) and in size (from 2 centimeters to almost a meter in length).
Basically, all species of the family are freshwater inhabitants, although some of them have adapted to life in salt water conditions. According to the habitat, cichlids, perhaps, have the largest range. They inhabit the waters of our planet from the crystal clear rivers of South America, where you can meet in the wild discus environment, to the African lakes Nyasa and Tanganyika, where the most colorful representatives of the cichlid family live.
Aquarium fish cichlids were loved by breeders not only because of their bright color and attractive appearance. Among other things, representatives of this family are the smartest among the fish, they are able to recognize their owner and lead a fairly active “social” lifestyle. Over the past few years, breeders have bred many breeds of the cichlid family. These are scalars, discus, ostronotus of various colors and body shapes. Very popular now are parrot fish that have been hatched by hybridization and may have yellow, orange, red and even purple and blue color.
A common problem with cichlids is that they do not get along well with aquarium plants. Most fish eat algae, as well as undermine the roots and “kill” the plants in the process of constantly sorting the soil at the bottom. But there are also cichlid aquarium fish that will not touch your blooming water garden. These include scalar, ramirezia, microgeophagus and others. Also, discus will not harm the flora of the aquarium. But these fish are very fastidious, painful and demanding in care. In addition, not all plants will have the water temperature that discuses prefer, namely about 27-29 degrees. Another important point in the content of cichlids is that these fish are characterized by acute geographical regionalism. What does it mean? So this is literally the fact that each fish or their pair denotes its place and carefully guards it. In this regard, we do not advise you to settle fish from one corner of the globe in one aquarium, since some of them can consider the aquarium to be their own, and then constant “conflicts” will be inevitable.
It should also be noted that the aquarium for keeping cichlids must be spacious and well flowing, high-quality aeration of water and its saturation with oxygen are important. It is better if in the aquarium there are 3-4 or more inhabitants, to delimit the territory with canoes, algae, shells, castles or snags, so that each group finds its own house and territory.
Thus, aquarium fish cichlids are considered to be one of the most beautiful and expensive aquarium fish. They are moderately sociable, very friendly and active, but differ in peculiar character traits. Regarding maintenance and maintenance, they are modest, so we do not recommend starting cichlids if you are new to aquarium farming.