Cichlids are fish species belonging to the Family Cichlidae. Some of the most well known cichlid species are Angelfish, Oscar, Jack Dempsey and Discus. You will find more detailed articles about these species and about a wide range of other cichlid species as well, if you scroll down this page. The Family Cichlidae is an extremely diverse family and cichlids inhabit a multitude of different environments. The different cichlid species have developed in order to fit their own specific niches and different cichlid species can therefore vary significantly when it comes to size, temperament, feeding habits, preferred water quality, etcetera. Cichlids live in fresh and brackish waters and can be found in Asia, Africa and south of 30 degrees N in America.
Aquarists usually divide the cichlid species into three main groups: African cichlids, Central and North American cichlids, and South American cichlids. In Africa, the Great Rift Valley region is home to a wide variety of different cichlids that have been extremely popular among aquarists since the 1960s and a lot of the species are endemic to the lake where they live. African cichlids are accordingly divided into four subcategories depending on which lake they live in; Lake Malawi cichlids, Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Lake Victoria cichlids, and Other African cichlids. Dwarf cichlids are sometime counted as a special group even though they technically belong to one of the African or American cichlid groups. Today, there are more than 2000 described cichlid species and this number will most likely increase significantly in the future. Cichlids inhabit waters that have not been thoroughly researched by scientists. Some cichlid species might unfortunately become extinct before we have a chance to find them. The introduction of new food fish in African lakes has for instance severely disturbed delicate ecosystems.
As mentioned earlier, cichlids have adapted to a life in a wide range of different habitats and their degree of specialisation can be astonishing. This also means that some cichlid species will be more difficult to keep in aquariums than other. The mere sizes of some cichlids make them unpractical or impossible to keep for most aquarists. The largest known cichlid species can reach a size of 50-100 centimetres. An example of such a large cichlid is the Boulengerochromis microlepis. This can be compared to the smallest cichlids - the dwarf cichlids in the Apistrogramma group – that never grows larger than 3 centimetres. Dwarf cichlids are popular among aquarists since they do not require very large aquariums, but dwarf cichlids are more sensitive than their larger counterparts and crowding a small aquarium with dwarf cichlids simply because the “fit in the box” is therefore not a good idea. These small cichlids can actually benefit from a larger aquarium, since it is easier for the aquarist to keep up the water quality in a big aquarium with plenty of water.
Even though the different cichlid species can look and act very differently, they all share some common anatomic characteristics. All other known fish species have small intestines that leave the stomach from the right side, but with the cichlid species the small intestine leaves the body at the left side. The cichlids are also equipped with no more than one nostril. This is a characteristic that they share with the Damselfishes. Another interesting fact is that cichlids have teeth in both the upper and the lower jaw – and in the throat!
African Cichlids and Plants - An introduction to cichlids and plants from different parts of africa.
An introduction to cichlids - A short beginner introduction to cichlids.
Blood Parrot Cichlid - Information about Blood Parrot Cichlid
Flowerhorn Breeding - Information about Flowerhorn Breeding
Flowerhorn cichlids - Information about Flowerhorn cichlids
How to buy healthy cichlids - An article about how to buy healthy cichlids
The Evolution of Cichlids - The Evolution of Cichlids
The Trouble With Hybrids - A view on hybrids
Your First cichlid aquarium - Advice on your First cichlid aquarium
Discus Fish Articles
Breeding Symphosodon discus - Preparation, water changes, spawning, raising the young, culling.
Selecting and keeping Discus - Why discus? Possible problems. Selection and purchase. Keeping and raising them.
Discus breeding and Discus diseases - Breeding discus. Raising the fry. Diseases and parasites,
The breeding of Discus - Tips for beginning discus breeders
Dwarf Cichlid Articles
Apistogramma panduro - Keeping and breeding Apistogramma panduro
Apistogramma sp. Maulbrüter - The Mouthbrooding Apistogramma - This newly available fish is a delayed mouthbrooder, mouthbrooding the fry rather than the eggs.
Apistogrammas My Way - Setting up the tank. The spawning. Reverse osmosis water. New species.
Breeding Apistogramma njesseni - Breeding Apistogramma njesseni
Breeding the African Butterfly Cichlid, Anomalochromis thomasi - This small riverine cichlid from West Africa is easy to breed and raise, even in a community setting.
Dicrossus filamentosa. My trauma in their care and breeding- Don's checkerboard cichlids spawned readily, but he had to take drastic measures to raise the young.
Dwarf Crenicichla - Information about Dwarf Crenicichla
Dwarf Pike Cichlids - how to keep and breed dwarf pike cichlids
German blue ram - Everything you ever want to know about german blue rams.
Keeping And Breeding Microgeophagus altispinosa (The Bolivian Ram) - The Bolivian Ram was one of the first fish Rich bred.
Keeping and Breeding Taeniacara candidi - Rick found this dwarf cichlid a challenge to breed and raise.
Kribensis - Learn how to keep care for this popular dwarf cichlid
The Genus Apistogramma (Experiences in Care and Breeding) - Rich finds apistos easy to care for and their breeding behavior entertaining.
North and Central American Cichlid Articles
Breeding Thorichthys aureum - Blue aureums
Convict Cichlid Fish - Information about Convict cichlids.
Parachromis motaguensis - Breeding behavior of Parachromis motaguensis.
Jack Dempsey Cichlids - Information about all aspects of Jack Dempsey Cichlids, their care and breeding.
Jaguar Cichlids - Information about all aspects of Jaguar Cichlids, their care and breeding.
Blue Eyed Cichlid - Archocentrus spilurum - Information about keeping and breeding Blue-eyed Cichlid
Parachromis managuense - Jaguar Cichlid - Keeping and breeding Parachromis managuense - Jaguar Cichlid
Red Devil Cichlids - Information about all aspects of Red devil Cichlids, their care and breeding.
Sajica Cichlid - Some unusual observations when breeding A sajica.
Salvini Cichlid - Information on how to keep and breed Salvini cichlids.
Texas Cichlid - Information on how to keep and breed Texas cichlids.
Wolf Cichlid - Information on how to keep and breed wolf cichlids.
South American Cichlid Articles
Altum Angelfish - Information about Altum Angelfish
Angelfish / Scalare history - Information about Angelfish / Scalare history
Blue Acara - Information about keeping the blue acara
chocolate cichlids - Information on keeping and breeding chocolate cichlids.
Breeding Parachromis - Information about Breeding Parachromis
Breeeding Oscar Fish - Breeding oscars
Cichla - A short introduction to Cichla cichlids
Cichla Breeding - A short introduction to breeding Cichla cichlids
Crenicichla - Information about Crenicichla
Crenicichla Breeding - Information about Crenicichla Breeding
Crenicichla sp. "Pacaya" - A guide to keeping this seldom seen fish.
Crenicichla Types - Information about Crenicichla Types
Feeding Pike Cichlids - A guide on how to best feed your Pike cichlids - Crenicichla -
Green terror Cichlids - Information about all aspects of green terror cichlids, their care and breeding.
Introduction to Pike Cichlids - An introduction to pike cichlids and their care.
Keeping Angelfish / Scalare - Information about Keeping Angelfish / Scalare
Keeping Parachromis in aquariums - Information about Keeping Parachromis in aquariums
Keyhole Cichlid - Information about how to keep, care for and breed keyhole cichlids.
Neo-Tropical Dwarf Cichlid Husbandry - A general introduction to keeping and breeding dwarf cichlids.
Oscar cichlids - A short introduction to oscar cichlids
Spangled Pike Cichlids of the Saxatilis Group - none
Dicrossus maculatus - spade tail checkerboard cichlid - The spade-tail checkerboard cichlid is seldom seen and is difficult to breed.
The Spotted Demonfish, Satanoperca daemon - A guide on how to breed the spotted demonfish
Uaru - A guide to keeping this intresting species.
African Cichlid Articles
Jewel cichlid - Information about Jewel cichlid
Jeweled cichlids - Information about Jeweled cichlids
Pelvicachromis taeniatus "Nigeria green" - Keeping and breeding this african dwarf cichlids.
Spawning Stomatepia pindu - This mouthbrooding cichlid comes from a crater lake in Cameroon, West Africa.
Malawi Cichlid Articles
Aulonocara - Information about Aulonocara
Breeding Aulonocara - Information about Breeding Aulonocara
Breeding the Sulphur-Crested Lithobate: Otopharynx lithobates - A detailed article about breeding this Lake Malawi mouthbrooder, together with some useful general tips.
Haplochromis - Information about Haplochromis
Home-made Rocks for the Mbuna Aquarium - A guide to help you mad home made rocks for your Mbuna aquarium.
Keeping Pseudotropheus - Information about Keeping Pseudotropheus
Malawi Cichlids - Information about Malawi Cichlids
Mbuna cichlids - An article about Mbuna cichlids, their care and breeding.
Pseudotropheus - Information about Pseudotropheus
Breeding Pseudotropheus - Information about Pseudotropheus Breeding
Pseudotropheus introduction - Basic information about Pseudotropheus cichlids from lake Malawi.
Victoria Cichlid Articles
Christmas Fulu, Haplochromis (Xystichromis) phytophagus - This Lake Victoria haplochromine is easy to keep, feed and breed, but is endangered in the wild.
Breeding Astatotilapia nubila - : This Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid has an aggressive temperament and is recommended for more experienced keepers
Breeding Lake Victoria Cichlids - Information about Breeding Lake Victoria Cichlids
Lake Victoria - Information about Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria problems - Information about Lake Victoria problems
Nile perch - Information about Nile perch
Environmental problems of the Lake Victoria Cichlids - Why native cichlid populations, tragically, are dwindling rapidly in Lake Victoria.
Tanganyika Cichlid Articles
Fairy Cichlid - Neolamprologus brichardi - keeping Neolamprologus brichardi
Breeding Julidochromis - Information about Breeding Julidochromis
Feeding Lake Tanganyika cichlids - Information that will help you give your fish a good diet.
Telmatochromis bifrenatus - Care and Breeding of Telmatochromis bifrenatus
Tanganyika Cichlids: Cavity brooders - Information about Cavity brooders
Julidochromis - Information about Julidochromis
Cyprichromis leptosoma - This Lake Tankanyika cichlid needs hard alkaline water, and is a surface spawning mouthbrooder.
Weird and Wonderful Tanganyika Cichlids - An interesting article about different Lake Tanganyika cichlids.
Lake Tanganyika and the Tanganyika cichlids - Information about Lake Tanganyika and the Tanganyika cichlids
Lake Tanganyika Cichlids - There are three biotopes: Open Water, Rocky, and Shell Beds. Each attracts a different fish, which are kept diffrently
Tanganyika Cichlids:Mouth brooders - Information about Mouth brooders
Tanganyika Cichlids:Shell Dwellers - Information about Shell Dwellers
Spawning Aulonocranus dewindti 'Ikola Honey Strain' - Information on keeping and breeding this Lake Tanganyikan mouthbrooder.
Breeding Cyphotilapia frontosa - Breeding Cyphotilapia frontosa
Tanganyika Cichlids - Information about Tanganyika Cichlids
Tanganyika Cichlid Habitats - A guide to the different biotopes in Lake Tanganyika.
Tropheus brichardi 'Mpimbwe' - How to keep and breed this beatiful fish.
Tropheus duboisi 'Maswa' - How to keep this tropheus..
Tropheus moorii - My Experiences - Keepin and breeding Tropheus.
Tropheus sp. - Information about how to keep and breed tropheus sp.
Tropheus sp. Black - how to breed and raise this LakeTanganyika cichlid.