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Maintenance and care of aquarium cichlids

Beautiful, wayward, and even clever cichlids, representing a group of perciformes, will become a real decoration of the home artificial reservoir. In the aquarium, they are trying to establish their own rules, to observe their behavior is very interesting. In their natural habitat, they choose not only fresh but also salt water.

Parental care of adults for fry is especially curious, parents will never let them be offended.

Cichlids in nature live in both freshwater and saltwater.

In the family of cichlids about one and a half thousand different species of fish. They have a beautiful, bright oval body, whose length can vary from 3 to 90 cm.

In a wide mouth are the teeth of a roller-shaped form, the line of the lips is well delineated. The male can be distinguished from the female during puberty. growing on the forehead fatty growth.

In nature, as in an aquarium, members of the cichlid family are monogamous. Choosing a partner, they no longer change it throughout their lives.

Different types of cichlids can reach a length of 3 to 90cm

With proper maintenance and care cichlids can live for quite some time. Their natural habitat is South America, Africa, the Amazon River. The man taught the fish to artificial conditions, so in aquariums you can often see such individuals:

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All individuals differ in size and body shape, behavior and color. Among them are those that eat food of plant origin, there are real predators.

Often begins hunting and the neighbors living in the aquarium.

Cichlids are so numerous that it is impossible to describe them in two words. Each individual deserves special attention.

Some species are completely uncaptitious, even beginners can breed them. There are some individuals whose care requires tremendous patience, attention and experience.

The most interesting and vibrant aquarium cichlids are represented by the following fish:

    The blue dolphin is a dweller of African reservoirs, outwardly resembling a marine mammal of the same name; has a bluish color with a silvery overflow, one of the few who can be called peaceful and friendly.

Blue dolphin – fish with blue color and silver tint

  • The cockatoo apistogram is a small fish with a bright red, orange or golden color with a large dorsal fin in the form of a variegated crest; only grows to a length of 6−7 cm, is relatively aggressive.
  • Discus is the most popular species of cichlids for keeping in an aquarium, grows up to 26 cm, has a flat body resembling a disk.
  • The golden melanochromus is an aggressive predator originally from South Africa, it has a beautiful color – a golden body and black fringing its fins.
  • Oscar – the massive inhabitants of South American reservoirs and rivers of Asia with a red-brick color and rounded large fins.
  • There are other cichlids. The types and description of these individuals cause a real delight among lovers of aesthetics.

    But not only external beauty attract aquarium cichlids. Their content is a real pleasure, as they always actively and entertainingly behave even in artificial conditions. They can often be caught digging the ground or digging up the roots of underwater vegetation.

    More aggressive individuals prefer to drive around the aquarium calm and quiet. Their life always boils and attracts attention.

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    Before buying a cichlid for keeping in an aquarium, you should be familiar with the peculiarities of behavior of different individuals. Not everyone can be settled in one container due to their indecision.

    In addition, some prefer plant foods, and some may eat other inhabitants adjacent to them. The overwhelming majority always aggressively protect their habitat, often taking the space of an entire aquarium as their personal territory.

    General requirements of almost all cichlid representatives:

      spacious, voluminous aquariums not less than 60 liters, large specimens prefer tanks 300−400 liters;

    Cichlids need spacious aquariums at least 60 liters

  • water temperature – within 26−27 degrees;
  • in the aquarium, the presence of caves, koryag, grottoes, a large number of stones;
  • preferable settlement in pairs.
  • Fish need regular water changes at least 2 times a week. An aeration system and filtering devices must be installed in the aquarium.

    The diet may be different: Herbivores need chopped green nettle, spinach, cucumbers, dandelions, lettuce and spirulina. The predators menu should include squids, fish fillets, pieces of beef, live food, shrimp.

    Food steam can be waived completely in the incubation period, the duration of which is 15−40 days.

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    Representatives of aquarium cichlids belong to viviparous species. The reproduction process they differ from most other inhabitants of reservoirs. In some individuals, the incubation of offspring occurs in the oral cavity, in the throat sac.

    Others can attach the eggs to the surface of the leaves of plants and stones, taking maximum care and caring for them before the beginning of an independent meal.

    Cichlids can be called exemplary parents. They not only protect the fry, but also protect them in case of danger.

    If you try to lower your hand into the aquarium during the period of maturation of babies, you can get an aggressive rebuff from the female and male. Nutrition for offspring is a secret secreted on the body of adult fish.

    In addition, parents can chop food and spit it out fry.

    Cichlids protect and protect their fry in case of danger

    If different-sex fish live in an aquarium in comfortable conditions for them, then their owner will soon wait for offspring. To accelerate the spawning, the water temperature can be carefully raised to 2−3 degrees.

    The marriage of cichlids is a separate and entertaining process. Once a pair is formed, it begins to plan for itself a place for the future spawning. As such, they will choose a flat stone, which the owner needs to put on the bottom.

    Here the eggs will be attached later. The fish will independently set up a place for themselves, hide it from the eyes of a man behind a hill of soil, clean the surface to shine.

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