To date, we know about more than one thousand representatives of Cichlidae, and among them there are several dozen genera and families. Most cichlids live in the waters of South America and Africa. Only a small part of them moved slightly to the north – to Central America and Texas.
Almost all species of African and American cichlids are freshwater.
In nature, there are small and large, herbivorous cichlids, omnivores, carnivores, and algophages (they eat algae). Quite a lot of literature on the network is about American cichlids, as they are good adapters. An interesting body shape, non-standard structure of the jaws and fleshy thick lips.
The most widely used are cichlids from the famous Arikan lakes Tanganyika, Victoria and Malawi, where they are the dominant aquatic species both in size and quantity.
In addition to the huge variety of endemic species, you can find countless color variations. Cichlians live in almost all of Africa, but not so uniformly as in the waters of Central Africa.
A small population of species is found in the Middle East, India and Madagascar. Thanks to an interesting way of life, cichlids and gained wide popularity among aquarists around the world.
Most tsikhlovyh enough motley and bright color, which resembles the cast shadow of reed stems. This type of coloring contributes to the excellent disguise of fish from large predators. Many species have on their eyes a dark vertical strip that hides the pupil.
The color of the fish varies from mood and internal state, and can vary from pale gray and black to very bright and variegated. The constant color change in cichlids plays almost a key role in life.
A distinctive feature of the cichl family from the rest is such that all non-mature young animals have the color of an adult female. And the males, in turn, are not at all similar in color to fry. Partially, young animals become more similar to males as they grow.
Almost all African cichlids have a pronounced sexual dimorphism. The exception is the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika, where only the dominant males differ in color.
The rest of the fish in the flock look the same.
Since many aquarists have to think and guess about the compatibility of various types of fish in one aquarium, an aquarist should be aware of the habits of certain species of cichlids, the natural conditions in which they live, and so on. To determine this point, I recommend remembering this classification:
- Herb-eating cichlids (tilapia, Trophins from Tanganyika, Mbuna from Malawi);
- Acclimatized or wild cichlids;
- Omnivorous cichlids (the vast majority of species of African reservoirs)
- Species adapted to life in captivity;
- Predators (they eat mostly small fish and plankton);
- Cichlids that store eggs in the mouth (views from Lake Tanganyika);
- Small cichlids up to 8 centimeters;
- Cichlids are medium in size. from 8 to 16 centimeters;
- Large cichlids. More than 16 centimeters, as a rule, they are vegetarians or predators.
- Cichlor rock reservoirs. These species are the most territorial and aggressive, which are strongly tied to a specific habitat;
Perhaps this is the main part of the list you need to know. The main feature of the maintenance of several species of tsikhlovyh is that it is extremely not recommended to keep in the general aquarium fish from various species and groups.
Wild representatives are more demanding to the conditions of detention, the quality of food and water. Omnivorous tsikhlovye with regular consumption of food saturated with proteins and fats of animal origin may eventually become infertile.
Predators you will not grow in any way, if in their diet there is no live fish.
Very often, the content of cichlids of different sizes mainly leads to inhibition by larger smaller ones. Therefore, it is recommended to select fish of approximately the same size and food preferences. Accordingly, the aquarium should be spacious for them, so that hydrobionts do not feel oppressed and do not experience discomfort.
Cichlids from rock biotopes and open water lovers can be easily contained in one can, having previously thought out for them diet and types of food. Lake cichlids will not be able to live in a running bank, unlike river representatives.
As you can see, there are many subtleties and nuances, and all of them need to be considered if you have planned to get yourself a tsikhlidnik. I am not a fan of cichlists, that’s not my soul to them. I am more inclined to content haratsinok, for example rhodostomusy, red neon, terntion.
I also dilute them with live beetles in the form of mollies and swordtails. That’s all for today, thanks for taking the time to read the post.
See you soon!