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Who do cichlids get along with in an aquarium, how to keep these fish

Cichlids – this is one of the most beautiful and difficult fish. Breeders often have to puzzle over how to properly keep these fish, with whom the cichlids get along in an aquarium. Cichlids are considered clever, but capricious pets with predatory habits.

They can simply eat an un-liked neighbor, therefore, choosing a companion for these capricious fish should be approached seriously.

The cichlid family includes many species that differ in the shapes and sizes of the body and fins, and can be colored in different colors. In aquarism, even special cichlid staining is used to give them an unusual shade and look.

Unfortunately, the artificially created pigment does not persist for a long time, and its frequent updating greatly damages the health of pets.

There are freshwater and marine species. Cichlids are common in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

In captivity with very good care, the fish can live up to 10 years, in their natural environment the life span of cichlids is less.

The smallest individuals and in adulthood retain compact body size – up to 2 cm. The largest specimens can grow to almost a meter.

Such large fish in aquariums practically do not contain.

There are about 1,200 species of cichlids in total. The most popular scalar, discus and tsikhlazomy.

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In order for the fish to be healthy and live as long as possible, it is important to follow the basic rules of their maintenance. There are tsikhlidariums on sale – these are aquariums equipped with everything necessary for cichlids, and many professional aquarium shops prepare them according to the needs of a certain type of fish. This does not mean that it is impossible to prepare a cichlid tank by yourself., but you need to follow the following rules:

  1. The capacity of the aquarium should be from 150 liters, some recommend choosing containers from 200 liters.
  2. The lighting should be adjusted in such a way that the fish do not suffer from bright rays. It is better to give preference to scattered light sources.
  3. The aquarium must be equipped with a filter and a water aerator.
  4. Water change in the tank should be carried out weekly.
  5. Cichlids are capricious and do not like cold water or sudden changes in temperature. It is desirable to constantly maintain the water temperature at 27−28 ° C.

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For a comfortable life, fish need shelter, so the aquarium should be decorated and divided into zones with the help of stones, vegetation, artificial caves and shelters.

Cichlids do not require specific feed, but diversity is important for them. To feed the fish you can use squid fillet, lettuce, animal feed, dandelions and even beef.

All types of food can be constantly alternated.

Most often aquarists buy a small flock of grown fry or caviar. It is impossible to take absolutely small fish from cichlids.

A parent couple is very hard to endure parting with offspring, it usually ends with the fact that in search of the culprit of the alleged death (loss) of the children of the fish, they kill each other.

Successfully grown in a flock of cichlids independently choose a pair. This usually occurs at an early age before puberty. The formed couple tries to behave alone.

They will need a separate shelter for breeding. In the affairs of the pack, future parents do not participate, and when approaching the shelter, outsiders can attack and eat the border intruder.

Due to the high level of fish aggression, experienced aquarists usually try to resettle future parents into a separate aquarium.

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Cichlids are considered intellectuals because of their behavior. Small fishes quickly get used to one owner and willingly take food from his hands. But if the owner missed feeding, keeps the aquarium in poor condition, or divided a pair that has formed, cichlids are able to “take offense”.

Loss of trust in a person is not a minute phenomenon. Even if you reconcile the split pair, both fish will show a cool attitude towards the owner for several years.

In mixed flocks, consisting not only of cichlids, one of the fish can take on the role of protector. Such a peace officer will stop skirmishes, disperse fighters and protect herbivorous neighbors from aggressive antics of predatory cichlids.

Careful attitude to the offspring also affects the relationship of fish in the pack. It is known that with the first spawning in captivity, young females can destroy their fry.

Attitude towards such females is sharply negative., members of the pack may even try to kill the negligent mother. In this case, the resettlement of the female for a long time will not help either.

The fish that have been returned to the former aquarium will not be attempted to be killed, but they will not be accepted into the flock again.

It is believed that since cichlids are predatory fish with a developed desire to protect their territory, they cannot peacefully coexist with other species in the same aquarium. However, there is an opposite opinion.

Saturated predators who do not have a lack of food or personal space will not attack even defenseless fry.

For the peaceful coexistence of fish, it is important to observe the following rules:

  1. You can not settle a flock in the aquarium of the wrong size. When selecting fish, it is necessary to calculate the total volume of water in the tank relative to the needs of each fish. When overpopulating the aquarium, herbivorous species will be the first to suffer.
  2. Feeding fish should be timely and varied. Alternate different types of food needed daily. You should not overfeed predatory fish and save on herbivores. Starved herbivorous fish will begin to eat up algae and plants in the aquarium, which will lead to territorial wars.
  3. The desire to defend their territory from cichlids is indestructible. But if you equip an aquarium, dividing it into zones and giving each pair a roomy dwelling, many fights and death of fish can be avoided.
  4. More chances of survival for members of a mixed flock appear in the event that the settlement in the aquarium occurred simultaneously and at a relatively equal age of all fish. Cichlids, which grow in a constant environment of peaceful neighbors, quickly get used to them and do not touch them, even as adults. But a new neighbor, settled much later, is likely to be eaten quickly.
  5. For the young pack you need to carefully monitor. If the cichlids nevertheless began to attack the defenseless neighbors, then it is better to remove the herbivorous fish immediately, without waiting for their death.

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If you ask the aquarist with which fish the cichlids get along with, then he will list only three types:

Cichlids do not get along well with small fish. In addition, they are irritated by sluggish neighbors. It is believed that these predators are completely incompatible with the following species:

  • black telescopes;
  • swordtails;
  • iris;
  • mollies;
  • guppy;
  • goldfish;
  • soma;
  • rasbory;
  • carps;
  • cockerels;
  • tetras;
  • danios;
  • petilia;
  • gourami

On the other hand, cichlids from different regions and different sizes always show character in their own way. Smaller species are more peaceful.

Asian cichlids are considered the most peaceful and peaceful. In the middle of the golden are African fish.

Cichlids- “Americans” are the most aggressive.

With American cichlids, you can keep those fish that are similar in size to adulthood. These are large handsome chromis and large melanotenias.

Small freshwater “Africans” will become good neighbors of haracid species and synodontis.

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Some types of cichlids have their own behavioral habits in relation to the neighbors of another type:

  1. Meek cichlid and cichlisome black-strip are not aggressive towards the fish they are kept in the general aquarium from the young age, provided that there are shelters for couples.
  2. The eight-strip tsikhlasoma is more aggressive and gets along only with medium-sized neighbors.
  3. Tsikhlazoma severum quietly coexists alongside any fish.
  4. Astronotuses grown in the general aquarium form their own cichlid flock and completely ignore all other species of fish, therefore even guppies live with them calmly.
  5. Ramirez’s apistogram (butterfly fish) does not attack even the smallest fish.
  6. Large, parrots reaching up to 8 cm in length are peaceful to almost everyone and always, but only until a stranger invades their territory. Usually exhibit territorial instincts during spawning and before fry grow up.
  7. Chromis-handsome aggressive, but can not touch the fish with which they grew up. They show a very strongly developed parental instinct. There is a case when the owner relocated the chromis fry to protect them from attacks of other fish. Malkov was placed in a separate container, which was placed in the “parent” aquarium in free-floating mode. A pair of chromis that produced fry recognized them through glass and began to drive away other fish from the tank in order to save their offspring. This confirms the theory that fish are able to recognize their children by external signs without all sorts of auxiliary elements like odors or signal substances. At the same time, chromis always eat foreign fry.
  8. Widespread angelfish almost never attack their neighbors.
  9. The Japanese parrot (Therapis) does not like small fish, chases after medium-sized neighbors, but does not eat them.
  10. Johan’s melanochromis ignores fish of other species, the formed pair separates from “its own” and tries to chase away the fish of its own species.
  11. Golden parrot is safe for small and large fish and indulgent to the fry of other pairs.
  12. The Princess of Burundi is an insectivorous species that does not attack other fish and is constantly kept in the pack. This also applies to the spawning period. The fry of all pairs are mixed and raised by the whole flock at the same time.
  13. The blue dolphin grows as long as the aquarium allows. The maximum fixed length is 25 cm. But even being so large, it coexists well with small and medium non-predatory neighbors.
  14. Lombard pseudo-trophies are conditionally aggressive. Fighting is conducted only by males, and only with representatives of their own species. Females and other fish species are safe next to them.
  15. The Queen of Tanganyika is a huge (up to 35 cm) representatives of the cichlid family, who not only peacefully treat other fish, but often suffer from much smaller aggressors. Always try food for a long time and think about whether to eat it. During this time, more nimble neighbors manage to steal food from them right from under the nose. The owner of the aquarium should feed the queen of Tanganyika separately and ensure that no one attacked her.

This is an incomplete list of cichlids. Each aquarist can choose for himself tenants for an aquarium in accordance with personal abilities and preferences.

It is worth remembering that some species are very rare and expensive. But the problem of combining different fishes with a competent approach is completely solvable.

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