Showing posts with label Cichlids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cichlids. Show all posts


Tips on BLOOD PARROT CICHLID Care and Breeding

English: A Picture of my large Blood Parrot It...
A Picture of my large Blood Parrot
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The blood parrot cichlid should not be confused with the parrot cichlid (Hoplarchus Psittacus). Blood parrot cichlids have no binomial nomenclature (scientific designation) to identify them by. Nor do they have a natural habitat. Why you may ask? Blood parrots are a man-made hybrid. They are, in fact, one of the only two fish species found within the Exotic-Aquariums Fish Care and Breeding Guide entirely of man-made origins. Although their parental lineage was never documented and remains shrouded in mystery, the blood parrot was first created in Taiwan around 1986.

Prevalent speculation points to the following cichlid species as the potential candidates of parental origins; the redhead cichlid (Cichlasoma synspilum) and the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) or a coupling between the red devil cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) and the severum (Heros Severus). Despite the fact that all of the aforementioned species are native to either Central or South America, the blood parrot is considered an Asian cichlid because of the geographical location of its hybridization.

Regardless of the point of origin or parental ancestry, blood parrot cichlids have stirred up almost as much controversy as their man-made counterparts, the glofish. Unlike the glofish, blood parrots are a product of selective breeding rather than genetic manipulation. As such they have not banned for sale in most countries as a genetically engineered species. The subject of the controversy revolves around the anatomical deformities inherent in the hybridization of this previously nonexistent subspecies.

Perhaps the most physically detrimental deformity relates to the hybrid's narrow, beak-like mouth. Its vertical mouth opening makes it hard for the fish to feed and leaves it vulnerable to possible starvation. Blood parrots compensate for this deformity by using their throat muscles to finish pulverizing their food. Additional deformities include malformed swim bladders which result in erratic swimming patterns, unnaturally large often misshapen irises and deformed spinal columns that contribute to the fish's unique shape. To add further fuel to the controversy, many breeders inject the fish with colored dyes to increase the intensity and diversity of its color palette and enhance its overall marketability marketing them under the trade name Bubblegum Parrot.

This same practice was also used to transform Indian glassfish into the once very popular Disco fish. The dying of fish for commercial resale is detrimental to the fish's health and frequently shortens their life expectancy. Practical Fishkeeping has been instrumental in exposing these practices to the general public. As a result of many fish stores and online retailers no longer stock the modified variations of these fish.

Although blood parrots were a product of the 80s they were not widely available in pet shops until 2000. Many avid fish enthusiasts were opposed to the sale of these creatures on ethical grounds due to the inherent deformities resulting from their creation. Fish stores who stocked these hybrids were even boycotted. Said boycotts only met with limited success. Some store owners simply cannot afford not to carry this inventory because of the high price tag they fetch. Ethical principles and genetic deformities aside, blood parrots frequently live for 10 years and have been reported to live as long as 15 years of age.

If you are not ethically opposed to owning a blood parrot then you should be aware that this is one of the larger cichlids. Blood parrots commonly grow 8-10 inches in length. A single fish will require a minimum aquarium size of 50 gallons. When kept as a community fish, you will need a substantially larger tank. Care should be exercised when choosing their tank mates. Blood parrots should not be housed with large aggressive fish. They should not be forced to compete for food or turf in a community setting. Angelfish, catfish, danios and larger variety tetras make suitable tank mates.

Blood parrots should be provided with ample room and adequate hiding places so that they can establish their own territorial boundaries. Driftwood, rock work and larger aquarium décor are excellent options. Like many cichlids, these fish are prone to dig up gravel. Choosing a smaller, less course substrate is recommended. These fish tend to function best under subdued lighting. This is attributed to iris irregularities inherent in their breeding.

South American cichlids prefer soft water environments with a ph balance around 6.8. Water temperature should be maintained between 78-86 °F. Lower temperature ranges could result in a loss of coloration.

The blood parrot is an omnivorous cichlid. They will readily accept a wide variety of foods. They are more adept at consuming sinking rather than floating food offerings. Standard food fare can be supplemented with bloodworms and brine shrimp. Commercial products high in b-carotene and canthaxanthin will help enhance and maintain their coloration. These fish are voracious eaters. They are known for generating a large amount of uneaten food debris in a short period of time. A good filtration system combined with frequent water changes and substrate maintenance is a must to keep nitrate levels in check.

Breeding Blood Parrot Cichlids

Although Parrots have been known to mate and even lay eggs, generally they are infertile. Male blood parrots are typically infertile. There have been sporadic cases of successful spawnings, generally when they have been crossed with a non-hybrid fish. The use of a non-hybridized male will increase your rate of success. In commercial breeding, males are injected with hormones to increase fertility rates. Like other cichlids, Blood Parrots will tend the eggs and resulting fry fastidiously. As with any eggs, those that are infertile will turn white and rapidly fungus. The parents will eat infertile eggs to prevent them from spreading the fungus to the fertile eggs.

Once the eggs hatch, daily water changes of 25% are critical to ensuring the health of the fry. Fresh baby brine shrimp are the optimum food during the first couple of weeks. Often pet shops will carry frozen baby brine shrimp, which can also be used. As they fry grow, they can be weaned to finely crushed flake food.

    By Stephen J Broy
    The hottest new trend in aquarium ownership is pet jellyfish. Jellyfish require a specially designed Jellyfish Aquarium Fish Tank to remain alive and healthy. Jellyfish aquariums are easier to maintain than a traditional saltwater tank. Pet Moon Jellyfish have become exceptionally popular in recent years with home aquarists both for their unparalleled elegance and ease of care. The market for moon jellies has increased to the point that two US-based websites are now tank raising these exotic creatures to keep pace with the growing demand.

    Article Source: EzineArticles



Midascichlid shedd.jpg
Photo: Omnitarian. Licensed under Wikimedia Commons.
A native of the lakes in Costa Rica and Nicaragua the Midas cichlid or Amphilophus Citrinellus is a popular fish of many pet shops and fish owners. It is a large fish that can grow to fourteen inches in length. It is quite beautiful and comes in an array of colors. They are normally yellow, red and white or an assortment of these colors. The Midas cichlid can easily be identified by the nuchal hump which is a feature of the adult male. The female version is not quite as distinguishable. The males have larger fins as well.

This fish likes lots of water. It should be placed in a large tank alone or in pairs. One Midas would be happy in a tank of 75 gallons of water. That should be the minimum amount. If the fish keeper still insists on placing it with other fish the best option would be to put fish of the same size. Any fish that looks to be inferior will surely end up in the stomach. The tank should have lots of rocks and wood. Ceramic pieces and slate will make it very comfortable. Since this is a fish that loves to dig it is not a good idea to place many plants in the tank unless they are plants that will prove difficult for the fish to move. Even if they can't move the plant around they will shred it to pieces.

The Midas Cichlid is omnivorous so it should be fed on protein as well as nonprotein foods. Worms, brine shrimp, processed fish food should be used to feed this fish. Vegetables and plants should also be added to the diet. They should be fed two or three times per day.

This fish has an intense breeding season. The male and female will play with each other for weeks and even months. They rub against each other until the time comes for the female to lay the eggs. The couple works together by digging towards the bottom of the tank where the female will lay the eggs. After laying them in rows the male will fertilize each of them. The male becomes very possessive and may attack the female during this period. To ensure her safety the fish keeper should put dividers in the tank. The male will stay with the eggs until the fry is able to go on their own. Both parents have a habit of eating any eggs that are not hatched.

If given proper treatment the Midas cichlid can live for up to fifteen years. The water should be cleaned regularly and have the correct temperature. They produce a lot of waste so the water should be tested regularly for any contaminants and chemical imbalances that would cause them stress. The recommended temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are prone to Hole-in-the-head disease.

The Midas cichlid is a very interesting fish. They have flourished in captivity. Scientists have been using them to help in the conduct of behavioral research.


What You Should Know About CONVICT CICHLID Fish Care

Photo  by Marcel Sigg 
All people that are growing cichlids know that we are in front of an exciting hobby. It is perfect for beginners, especially if they want to raise convict cichlid fish. This is because it is quite easy to take care of them. You are not to have to deal with a lot of problems when breeding them. The zebra cichlid the common name stands out as highly attractive and this does bring in a lot of people wanting to raise them.

Convict cichlid fish are capable of adapting to different water conditions. An aquarium for them needs to include some rocks, artificial caves intended for breeding and some flat stones. Plants are not really needed because they are to be destroyed by this fish. In the event that you do want to add plants for design, you should use plants that are hardier like Amazonian sword plants or java fern.

These fish will accept quite a wide range of PH and temperature. One thing that is really important is that all has to be kept stable and no quick changes have to be made. The water PH level should be around 7 while the temperature is perfect if kept around twenty-five degrees Celsius. Convict cichlid fish stand out as an omnivore and are capable of eating almost anything that you buy. Aquarium plants can also be taken into their diet.

One really important fact is that a convict cichlid fish is really aggressive when placed in the same tank with other fish. When mating season appears this becomes highly true. We do recommend that you keep them in a separate tank when breeding season comes. All convict cichlids will be easy to breed. The parents are always guarding fry and eggs and are really protective parents.

The bottom line is that it will be easy to raise a convict cichlid fish. In the event that one beginner is looking for one fish that can be raised easily and looks very well there will be no real problems.



Photo:  Wikimedia Commons.
Have you ever walked in a shop and wondered why an awkwardly looking fish is staring at you? You might question the aesthetic appreciation of the owner for keeping what seems to be an ugly fish. If you would ask the owner or the keeper of the store, they would tell you that the fish is the bearer of good luck. The strange looking fish is the flowerhorn cichlid. The FLOWERHORN CICHLID has been famous among business owners. Due to their association with bringing great fortune, the Flowerhorn sale has been proliferating mostly in the Asian countries.

The rampant crossbreeding of South American cichlids resulted to the flowerhorn cichlid. The new species of cichlid was developed in the mid 90's in Malaysia. The combination of the species used is still unknown except for those who made them. Both the male and female flowerhorn has the same appearance. One must be very keen to differentiate between the sexes. When the fish is approximately 10-12 centimeters, one can differentiate the male from the female flowerhorn by checking the anal pore. A U shaped anal pore signifies a female flowerhorn, while a V-shaped anal pore is for the male flowerhorn.

The flowerhorn sale is not greatly affected by the sex of the fish. The markings and the huge hump on the head appear both in the male and female flowerhorn. The black markings resemble the Chines characters at times. A fish with a pronounced marking will be considered very special. The hump on the head of the fish is believed to resemble the high- forehead of SHou Xing the Chinese God of Longevity.

The flowerhorn fish is easy to maintain. One must have an aquarium that would have an ample space for the fish to swim in. One to three flowerhorn fish can be kept in a spacious aquarium. If more than one fish is to be kept, however, there should be enough accessories or items that would make the territories of the fish separate and distinct. Small variations in the condition of the water would not bother the resilient fish much. A neutral or alkaline water is best in keeping the fish. Water with a lower pH would fade the color of the fish.

The flowerhorn cichlid is kept because people believe it is lucky or just merely because of its interesting appearance. No matter what the reasons are, flowerhorn cichlids are one of the favorites of an aquarist.

    Quintus Macon is a freelance writer and a budding aquarist who owns a female flowerhorn.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles


Introduction to PARROT CICHLIDS

English: Bloody Parrot, also called the Red Pa...
Bloody Parrot, also called the Red Parrot
(Photo credit: 
Typically speaking there are two kinds of cichlids that belong to the parrot cichlid family, the Hoplarchus Psittacus (Green Parrot) and the Blood Parrot. The Green Parrot Cichlid is known to be the "original" parrot. It is a beautiful green cichlid that originates from the Amazon in South America. Not surprisingly its name came from its big parrot-like mouth. It is known to be less common within the aquarium industry but over the past few years, it is slowly becoming more popular.

The Blood Parrot is noticeably more common in aquarium shops. Interestingly, the Blood Parrot is a fish that has been developed over a few years of selective breeding and when it first came on the scene it was a bright Orange. Nowadays this fish is known to be found in many different colors such as Red, Purple, Blue, Yellow, and Green just to name a few. Given the mass range of selective breeding and colors that have now been produced, there has been a blanket name placed over these multi-colored fish, this is known as the Jellybean Cichlid.

Because the Blood Parrot Cichlid is a man-made hybrid so to speak, knowing the exact origins of this fish become difficult however there is speculation that it might be a cross between the Severum and a Midas Cichlid or Red Devil.

An interesting fact is that it does not have a scientific name due to its hybrid origins, it should also be noted that it will never be given one because of this reason.

Water parameters for this fish are somewhat the same as the original Green Parrot, neutral pH and a temperature of around 26°C or 78°F. Parrot Cichlids have been known to grow to 12 inches in length or more in some rare occasions and can be expected to live for up to 10 years.

Some good Tank Mates for the Parrot Cichlid are as follows;

* Geophagus cichlids,
* Rainbow cichlids,
* Firemouths,
* Severums
* Some Tetra species (make sure they are not fin nippers)

Blood Parrots generally attempt to breed when the water parameters are suitable, and in some cases have been known to attempt to breed every few weeks or so. Unfortunately, the lack of egg fertilization is a common problem associated with these fish and breeding, although consistent might be very unsuccessful.

However more and more people have reported that they have had successful breeding pairs, perhaps this is all a part of their hybrid origins being bred out of them.

    By Craig Wrightson
    If you would like to learn more about Parrot Cichlids and their environment, visit my site African Cichlid Success - NEW eBOOK! Get Instant Access!

    Learn everything you need to know about setting up and maintaining a perfect Cichlid Tank including the unbelievably simple secrets the professional breeders use on caring, feeding, breeding, and diseases!

    Article Source: EzineArticles


Electric Blue Ram Cichlid

Electric Blue Ram (Male) - Photo: Wikimedia
One of the more recent additions to the aquarium trade is the ram, a color morph of the ram cichlid (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) that was developed in 2009. Rams are still less commonly available than other ram varieties and may be more expensive. Be wary of rams sold at "bargain-basement" prices, as they may have been treated with hormones, a practice that weakens the specimens and reduces their lifespan. Always buy from a trusted, reputable dealer or breeder.

Housing an Electric Blue Ram
The ram is not recommended for beginners, but it is not overly difficult to keep either. One pair can be housed in a 20-gallon aquarium, while two pairs will require a tank of at least 40 gallons. As always, more water means that it will be easier for you to keep the water quality high and stable, and since the ram is sensitive to organic waste, such as nitrate, it is unwise to skimp on tank size if you manage to get your hands on this uncommon and beautiful fish.

Since the ram is a type of ram cichlid, your safest bet is to provide it with an environment similar to the habitat of its wild ancestors. Give your ram plenty of cover, ideally by including aquatic plants or submerged land vegetation in the setup.

Densely planted areas and surface cover, combined with at least one open area for swimming, would be ideal. In addition to plants, the electric ram should be given a few caves to shelter in. If you intend to breed the electric ram, provide it with several flat stones or breeding slates in the tank to choose among since this fish likes to deposit its eggs on a flat, horizontal surface.

Suitable Tankmates
The electric ram should never be housed with aggressive fish or quick and energetic species that will devour all the food before the ram finds it. A common mistake is to house ram cichlids and electric blue rams with other dwarf cichlids - avoid this at all costs. Keeping electric rams on their own isn't recommended either; they need some peaceful and docile species in the aquarium to feel safe. Go for slow-moving and tranquil species that won't outcompete the rams at mealtimes.

If your electric blue rams start displaying aggressive tendencies toward tankmates, try including more hiding spots m the setup. A scarcity of suitable sheltering spots can lead to aggressive behavior. Also, electric blue rams always get aggressive during the breeding period because they need to keep their youngsters safe.

Keeping Electric Blues
Electric blue rams should not be placed in newly set up aquariums; they need a stable environment with low levels of organic waste. Successful keeping normally includes mechanical and biological filtration as well as regular water changes. Strong water movement will not be appreciated because wild ram cichlids live in slow-flowing waters.

The normal temperature range for wild ram cichlids is 78 to 85F, and the water in which they live is soft and acidic. A pH value in the 5 to 6 range is ideal for electric blue rams, but aquarist-raised specimens normally adapt to anything below pH 7.1. There are even reports of aquarists successfully housing German blue rams in moderately hard water so this might be possible for electric blue rams as well.

Feeding an Electric Blue Ram
The electric blue ram is an omnivore and needs to be kept on a diet of both meaty and green foods. The stress of being moved to a new environment can make the fish lose its appetite, so be prepared to coax it with mosquito larvae or similar foods. Once it's eating enough, you can start introducing other types of food, such as flakes and pellets, as well. 

A well acclimated electric blue ram normally accepts many different types of food. Keep an eye on the fish during feeding time. As I mentioned, electric blue rams are a bit slow moving and may starve if kept with faster-moving species. To find out more, you can check out Electric Blue Ram Cichlid.


KRIBENSIS * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)

Kribensis * Purple Cichlid - Pelvicachromis pulcher (Pelmatochromis Kribensis)


All About KRIBENSIS Cichlids

Proud family with 23 babies...
Kribensis - Photo   by    sapienssolutions 
The kribensis cichlids are some of the most preferred African cichlids. They are very small in stature. Unlike other cichlids, the kribensis are very peaceful. However, you should note that they become very hostile during breeding time. Nevertheless, they can be kept in a communal fish tank.

The fish species is found in West Africa specifically in Nigeria and Cameroon. Their scientific name is Pelmatochromis kribensis. The name is a reflection of their purplish color. Their habitat should have a lot of plantation and rocks which enable them hide easily. They prefer living in fresh water of around middle pH with a bit of acidity and a mild temperature.

The kribensis cichlids will feed on most aquarium foods. However, some foods with specs of meat will encourage them more in their breeding period. Their color is more pronounced in females rather than males. Therefore, they are easy to distinguish. Also, for the males, they have more color towards the back than the female kribensis cichlids. The tail will tell you this since it has some spots that are a bit dark.

The fish are a bit fun loving and very social. Placing them with other kinds of fish will not pose a danger to the others at all. Although the kribensis cichlids need more swimming areas, you should include rocks and more places to hide. They are burrowers therefore you should be adding more sand in the aquarium.

During the spawning period the female develops brighter colors. The belly in particular is turned to a bright red during this period. During the breeding period, the fish develop a higher degree of aggression.

The fish life span could surprisingly reach 5 to 10 years of age. To sway away predators, the kribensis cichlids have some spiny rays towards the back. Their bodies are structured in such a way that they have a soft and perfect shape. This helps them during swimming helping them move around without much effort.

During feeding, you should feed them on worms and insects. Flakes and pellets offer a good balance to their diet. It is advised that you feed the fish small amounts of food rather than resorting to feed them in a lump sum.

This will encourage them utilize the food and minimize wastage that eventually turns the water in the tank dirty. A funny fact about the kribensis cichlids is that you can keep a male and a female together in one fish tank. The two develop lifelong relations. In the event of death of one of the pairs, it's time to buy a new pair. This is because regardless of how many replacement you make, the compatibility is impossible.

When building their tanks, the tank should be able to accommodate between 80 and 90 liters of water. Since the kribensis cichlids are burrowers, include a larger amount of fine gravel. The substrate should be however free of quartzite substrates since they tend to interfere with larval development and may cause the death of fry.



English: Red Turquise Discus Fish فارسی: ماهی ...
Red Turquise Discus Fish - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
More and more people take up the fish breeding hobby, which would explain a large number of materials and documentation sources that teach breeding discus for beginners. Whether you choose an online e-book or a guide you buy from the bookshop, breeding discus for beginners may prove more easily said than done sometimes. You need to pay all the attention because if you follow some very strict guidelines, the rest of the breeding discus for beginners is truly piece of cake. Let’s see how you recognize the best materials about discus.

First of all, if you have no knowledge of the living conditions of the discus in the wild,  the material about breeding discus for beginners should help you learn how to recreate the most close-to-natural environment you can. In the same category of breeding discus for beginners falls the understanding of the feeding specificity. Normally you feed the discus frozen bloodworms and shrimp, but you may learn that a bag of moss placed in the water will create a closer imitation of the Amazon, as the normal background of these creatures. Thus, breeding discus for beginners requires lots of detailed information and goodwill on the part of the apprentices.

A great place to learn the secrets of breeding discus for beginners is a site such as discus-fish-secrets revealing you plenty of tips about the tank conditions and the prevention of disease too. Lots of e-books and videos that deal with breeding discus for beginners are advertised online, the good part is that they come up with solutions that are close within reach and not too difficult to understand. Make sure you choose one that looks reader-friendly meaning that you don’t need a huge amount of work to understand the supposedly easy breeding discus for beginner’s techniques.


FLOWERHORN FISH: The Herald of Good Fortune

English: Elvis by ILC
Flowerhorn Elvis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In the mid 90's, a new hybrid of the cichlid was created in Malaysia. Various species of South American cichlids were interbred which lead to a hybrid cichlid, the flowerhorn. The flowerhorn fish have a distinctive hump on their head and characteristic black markings on their sides. The black markings on the side of the flowerhorn fish sometimes resemble Chinese characters or numbers are thought to bring luck. 

The hump on the head of the flowerhorn fish is also thought to bring fortune since it somehow resembles the Chinese god of longevity These features appear on both male and female flowerhorns. Unlike other fish hybrids, the male and female flowerhorns are fertile and can be bred easily. This enabled breeders and enthusiasts alike to venture in the flowerhorn sale since there was a demand for it.

Flowerhorn fish is easily maintained. A 200-Liter capacity will be enough to house one flowerhorn fish. They are not sensitive to small degrees of variation in the water condition. However, it is best to have a neutral to an alkaline water so as not to mute the colors of the flowerhorns. When keeping multiple flowerhorn fish in a single aquarium, it is advised that it be limited to up to three only and that there are decorations in the aquarium that would segregate the territories of the different flowerhorns. Likewise, male and female flowerhorns may be kept in the same aquarium, especially when the intention is to breed. When trying to breed, a flat surface should be provided where the female flowerhorn will lay her eggs. Male flowerhorns tend to guard the territory, chasing other fish away, while the female flowerhorns guard the eggs.

Male and female flowerhorns tend to look almost the same when they are small.However, when they reach about 10-12 cm they can be distinguished when the anal pore is checked A female flowerhorn is characterized by a U-shaped anal pore while a V-shaped anal pore is distinctive of the male flowerhorn. Also, mature female flowerhorns have a smaller hump compared to their male counterpart. Despite the slight difference in appearance, the flowerhorn sale for both male and female flowerhorns are at par.

The price of flowerhorns nowadays is not as extravagant as it was in the start Only those flowerhorns with very distinct marks such as those that resemble the Chinese character for luck or those with a well-proportioned hump are valued at the highest price. However, this has not stopped breeders and enthusiasts to stop breeding the hybrid cichlid to enhance the features of the fish. Crossbreeding of flowerhorns are still done today to further enhance the markings and colors of the flowerhorn fish.

There are groups of people, however, who detest the flowerhorn fish. Being developed by man, many groups, religious and environmentalists alike, frown at the creation of the flowerhorn fish. It has been considered an abomination of nature since it would not exist without the tampering of man. There are groups as well that consider the flowerhorns a threat to the ecosystem.

The flowerhorn fish indeed captured the attention of many.With both the grandeur and criticism that it has attained, people will continue to appreciate the flowerhorn fish be it for its beauty or for the associated good fortune that awaits those who keep them.


Pelvicachromis sacrimontis - GREEN KRIBENSIS


A Comprehensive Listing of the Various CICHLID TYPES

A lot of people have been asking me lately about the different cichlid types so I thought I would compile a bit of a thorough list in regards to the various species.

Cichlid (sik-a-lid) fish stem from what's known as the Cichlidae (sik-li-day) family. The Cichlidae family is an extremely large & diverse family having nearly 2000 specimens described and it's believed the still much more to be described scientifically.

different Mbuna from Lake Malawi
Different Mbuna from Lake Malawi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They would have to be the largest family of vertebrates.

Due to the fact that we are constantly finding new species types, estimating the exact number of cichlid types is very hard to do.

These fish come in some of the strangest looking shapes to the most breathtaking colors and throw in some peculiar mannerisms and it makes for quite the character.

Cichlids are found all across the globe ranging from Africa throughout Asia to North and South America.
Cichlid fish which tend to be kept in captivation can come from the African waters as well as the Amazon basin area and also from some the famous lakes like Lake Malawi, Great African Rift Lake and Lake Tanganyika.

Presently there is a massive diversity in the behavior and eating habits of these fish because of the greater number of types.

The majority of cichlid types are herbivorous fishes and feed on vegetation or even algae. The other cichlid varieties are generally omnivorous, will eat anything or they are carnivorous fishes that live on other fish & insects.

The broad range of eating habits has really allowed cichlid fish to occupy numerous habitats. Cichlid fish do not survive in salt water although funnily enough, their ancestors did.

Most cichlid kinds are fairly scaled down in size and many of them tend to be referred to as game types.

This has lead to several different cichlid species being farmed for human consumption. On the flip side, we can't deny a number of fish tank enthusiasts that enjoy cichlid species because of their eye-catching colorings and tendencies.

Angelfish, Oscar fish, Discus fish and Convict cichlid are among the most popular with aquarium enthusiasts.

African Cichlid Species
Most of the Cichlid types that we see in captivity today come from the African Amazonian regions. So on with the listings!

Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi is one of the largest lakes known to man and is home to over 300 varieties of cichlid fish. Some of the well-known African species are:

* Big-lipped
* Moori or Blue Dolphin
* Malawi Eye-biter
* Linni or Elephant-nose Cichlid
* Livingstoni
* Polystigma
* Venustus
* Deep-Water Haplo
* Electric Blue Haplo

Mbuna Cichlids
* Red-dorsal Afra, Dogtooth
* Fuelleborn's, Fuelleborni
* Trewavas, Red-finned
* Electric Yellow Mbuna, Lion's Cove Yellow
* Malawi Golden
* Johann's Mbuna
* Parallel-striped Mbuna
* Purple Mbuna
* Aurora
* Bumblebee Mbuna or Hornet
* Elongatus, Slender Mbuna
* Snail Shell Mbuna
* Kennyi
* Eduard's Mbuna
* Zebra Mbuna, Zebra Malawi, Cobalt Blue or Nyasa Blue

Peacock Group
* Baensch's Peacock, Yellow Peacock or Sunshine Peacock
* Red Shoulder Malawi Peacock
* Lake Malawi Butterfly

Lake Tanganyika
* Pearly Compressiceps
* Compressiceps
* Frontosa
* Black-finned Slender
* Striped Clown Goby, Striped Goby, Tanganyika Clown
* Dickfeld's Juli
* Checkerboard Julie
* Golden Julie or Ornate Julie
* Regan's Julie or Striped Julie
* Masked Julie or Black-and-White Julie
* Fairy
* Daffodil Brichardi
* Lemon
* Elongated Lemon
* Ocellated Shell-dweller
* Pearl-lined Lamprologus
* Five-bar
* Otostigma, Tripod
* Blue-eyed Tropheus
* Duboisi
* Blunt-headed
* Poll's Tropheus
* Aulonocara
* Lamprichthys
* Synodontis
* Afromastacembelus

Cavity Brooder s
* Altolamprologus
* Lamprologus
* Julidochromis
* Neolamprologus

Mouth Brooder Group of s
* Cyphotilapia
* Cyprichromis
* Eretmodus
* Tropheus
* Xenotilapia

Other African Species
* African Butterfly
* Zebra Haplochromis
* Two-spotted Jewel
* Blood-red Jewel
* Purple or the Common Krib
* African Blockhead or Lumphead
* Zebra Tilapia
* Clown Tilapia

North American Species
* Firemouth
* Convict
* Pearlscale
* Texas
* Midas
* Large Lipped
* Long Fin
* Friedrichsthali
* Jaguar
* Jack Dempsy
* Salvin's or Tricolor
* Red-spotted
* Black Belt
* Nicaragua
* Quetzal or Red-headed

South American Species
* Oscar fish or Velvet
* Peacock Bass
* Festa's
* Port Acara or Black Acara
* Pike
* Banded
* Festive

* Blue Acara
* Green Terror or Rivulatus
* Saddle or Two-spot Acara
* Keyhole
* Flag Acara
* Golden Dwarf

New World Dwarfs
* Agassiz's Dwarf
* Yellow Dwarf
* Cockatoo Dwarf
* Three-Stripe Dwarf
* Ramirez' Dwarf

Angel Species
* Angelfish
* Altum Angelfish

Discus Species
* Brown Discus Fish
* Green Discus
* Royal Blue Discus
* Heckle Discus or Pompadour Fish
* Waroo or Triangle

Eartheater Cichlids Species

* Cupid
* Pearl or Mother-of-Pearl Eartheater
* Red hump Eartheater
* Paraguay Mouthbrooder
* Demon Fish.


Tips on RAM CICHLIDS - Care and Spawning

The Ram cichlid or Microgeophagus ramirezi belongs to the family Cichlidae more commonly referred to as cichlids. They are endemic to Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. The aquarium industry markets rams under several trade names including; Ram, Blue ram, German blue ram, Asian ram, butterfly cichlid, dwarf butterfly and Ramirez's dwarf cichlid. The Ramirez's dwarf cichlid is a hybrid originally bred by fish enthusiast Manuel Ramirez.

Ram Cichlid - Photo  by   boscosami  (cc)
Rams are arguably the most peace loving of the entire cichlid family. This makes them very popular with aquarium owners. They make wonderful community tank fish provided they are surrounded by equally docile tank-mates. They mix exceedingly well with tetras. Another aspect of their popularity is their size. They only grow to about 2.5 inches unlike their cousin the angelfish that can grow to up to 6 inches in diameter. This makes them perfect for smaller aquariums such as desktop models. They are most at home in well planted aquariums.

Ram Cichlids thrive in slightly acidic water. A pH of 6.8 with a water temperature range between 72- 78°F is the ideal environment for keeping rams. Under premium conditions you can expect your ram cichlids to live for up to four years.

Rams are omnivorous. They can survive just fine on common variety tropical fish flakes. But supplementing their diet with live food such as brine shrimp, frozen or freeze dried food will help insure their vigor.

Distinguishing males from females isn't difficult. This species is sexually dimorphic, males being larger than females. Males typically possess longer spines on the front of their dorsal fin. Females have rounder abdomens than males. This trait is quite apparent when they are carrying eggs.
Breeding Ram Cichlids

Both the male and the female typically become more colorful when its time to breed. The abdomen of a females' body turns reddish or pinkish when she enters into her spawning cycle. A slightly acid water and warmer water temperatures will help induce spawning.
You will want to place the pair in a breeding tank. Males can become territorial when they enter their breeding cycle.

You will know your rams are about to spawn when the expectant parents begin to clean a flat surface to deposit their eggs on. Cichlids rarely deposit their eggs on barren substrate when a more suitable nursery is available.

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RED DEVIL CICHLIDS - Aggressive But Tons of Personality

There are so many tropical fish keepers in this hobby today that own or are looking to own the red devil cichlid. These fish hold a very special place in this wonderful hobby.

English: Amphilophus labiatum, female, in aqua...
Amphilophus labiatum, female, in aquarium
(Photo credit: 
The red devil cichlid also is known as Amphilophus labiatus, is originally from Central America. This cichlid is considered a medium to large cichlid often growing 10-12 inches in their lifetime. Males are often larger and develop a hump on their head as they age.

Red devil cichlids are often purchased from pet stores as a small 2-3 inch fish. Many people bring them home to their tank not knowing the personality of this Central American cichlid. This is the reason for this article. I would like to enlighten you on the unique personality of this awesome cichlid.

Red devil cichlids are extremely aggressive. Often, males will harass and chase females to the point of death. Many red devil owners choose to give this freshwater tropical fish it's own tank because of its hostility towards other fish.

One should be aware of this aggression if you plan to keep multiple fish in the aquarium tank. So many people get attached to this cichlid to only have it turn on them later and kill everything in the tank. If you choose to keep this tropical fish, you will not be disappointed because of their cool personality.

Red devil cichlids are territorial and they will protect what they claim as their part of the tank. This space will depend on each individual fish. Some claim a corner of the tank while others claim one-half to more than 75% of the tank. This cichlid will kill and often eat fish that can fit in their mouths. Do not keep this cichlid with any peaceful smaller fish. I would like for anyone that is interested in this cool cichlid to please be prepared to give it a tank of its own or be prepared to find another home for it later if you cannot handle the aggression. These fish make excellent wet pets and will do well in a tank to themselves.

The red devil cichlid is often known for jumping and leaving out of the water so ensure you have a tight lid or canopy on the tank. Provide plenty of cover and hiding spaces for this prized cichlid.

    The Red Devil Cichlid can be hit or miss depending on the individual fish. Either way, you get a very unique tropical fish that can give you years of happiness and entertainment. To read more about freshwater tropical fish please visit Tropical Fish Success
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