2018-08-10

New World CICHLIDS

female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors
Female Apistogramma nijsseni in mating colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New World Cichlids can be found in the continents of North America, South America, and Central America. These fish make wonderful pets due to their unique colors, their interesting personalities, and the ease with which they may be maintained.

The angelfish is one of the most common New World cichlids. A South American cichlid, the angelfish is beautiful and queenly but needs very specific water conditions. Angelfish are generally triangular-shaped with long, string-like fins trailing behind them and sometimes a stripe or two across their backs.

Another common New World cichlid is the convict, so named because of its feisty temperament. Convict cichlids may be bullies but they can live in a wide variety of aquarium conditions and are easy to keep and breed. Convicts can be identified by their light blue bodies and the dark black, zebra stripes across their backs.

The Jack Dempsey is also a favorite among cichlid lovers. Like the convict, the Jack Dempsey can be moody, and as an adult, he can grow up to nearly a foot in length. Jack Dempseys are dark brown but males usually have splashes or dots of bright blue or green on their sides and humps on their foreheads. Jack Dempseys are easy to keep and need large open spaces as well as caves to hide in.

English: Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), a popul...
Oscar (Astronotus ocellatus), a popular aquarium fish from South America.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the wild, North and Central American cichlids are found in rivers and lakes. Some lay their eggs in the sand of the river bottoms while others lay them simply on top of rocks at the bottom of the lake in which they reside. Some even make their homes in tiny underwater caves and tunnels. South American cichlids are usually found in water conditions that are more acidic such as black water regions in the Amazonian basin.

The aquarium requirements for these types of fish vary according to their natural habit. North and Central American cichlids are more adept at adapting to vary aquarium conditions but need good hiding places or caves in their aquarium for refuge. These should not be kept in any tank with a length of fewer than 48 inches.

The South American cichlid usually needs much more specific water conditions in the aquarium in which it is kept. The pH balance of the water needs to be quite low - sometimes as low as six - and the water itself needs to be very soft. Plants are popular with the South American cichlid, although certain species may cause havoc to underwater plants.

One of the best things about New World cichlids is that there are so many from which to choose. The variety available among these species of fish is simply astounding and there is always something new to discover. New World cichlid fish can be a joy to take care of and a delight to own.



1 comment:

  1. can I put liquid easy balance in with my fish ?

    ReplyDelete