Tanganyika Cichlids
Tanganyika Cichlids


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Tanganyika Cichlids

Tanganyika cichlids are a group of African cichlids from the Great Rift Valley region. All Tanganyika cichlids are native to Lake Tanganyika and many species are endemic to the lake. Lake Tanganyika comprises three main biotopes: the first one is the bottom which is covered in empty snail shell, the second consists of underwater reefs and the rocky shorelines that encircle the lake, and the third biotope is the large open water areas. Tanganyika cichlids are found in all three biotopes and the different species have adapted to these various environments.

When you keep Tanganyika cichlids in your aquarium it is therefore advisable to find out which biotope they belong to in the wild, since a rock living Tanganyika cichlid have other preferences than a shell dweller and so on. The water chemistry will however be the same in the entire lake and the water temperature is stable. The Tanganyika cichlids live in the upper part of this deep lake where the temperature stays around 75-84°F (24-29°C). Species that spend most of their time close to the surface will be used to slightly lager variations in water temperature; 73-88°F (23-31°C).

If you keep Tanganyika cichlids that inhabit regions where rivers and streams empty into Lake Tanganyika, they can appreciate a somewhat different water quality but these variations are generally quite small. Since Lake Tanganyika is a large lake the environment is very stable and Lake Tanganyika cichlids are not used to rapid changes. The vastness of the lake also means that any pollution will be diluted. Strive to keep the levels of ammonia and nitrite at zero, and do not allow the nitrate to reach above 20 ppm. The pH should ideally be in the 7.8-8.5 range, the GH 12-20, and the KH 10-15.

Lake Tanganyika is more than 1400 meters deep, which means that it is the second deepest lake in the world. It is also a very old lake. Faulting and tectonic processes in the earth's surface created Lake Tanganyika 7-10 million years ago. Since the lake is so old, the species that inhabits the lake have had a long time to specialize and develop into new species. Today, there are over 250 known endemic fish species in Lake Tanganyika. Since Lake Tanganyika has not been thoroughly explored yet, scientists suspect that they will find even more new species here in the future. Among the cichlids, the level of specialization is remarkable and 98 percent of the known cichlid species in Lake Tanganyika can be found nowhere else in the world. Lake Tanganyika cichlids belong to over 150 different genera and they have adapted to all possible environments within the lake.

Tanganyika cichlids claim territories before they breed, and keeping them in a small and crowded aquarium is therefore unadvisable. You can keep Lake Tanganyika cichlids in a community aquarium, but you should always make sure that they have enough space. It is possible to mix Tanganyika cichlids from different biotopes if you have a big aquarium. One end of the aquarium can for instance be decorated with shells for the shell-dwellers, while the other end has plenty of caves and crevices for the rock-dwelling cichlids.

Tanganyika Cichlid Articles

Fairy Cichlid - Neolamprologus brichardi - keeping Neolamprologus brichardi
Breeding Julidochromis - Information about Breeding Julidochromis
Blue Frontosa - Cyphotilapia frontosa "Zaire blue" - Learn more anout this rare frontosa cichlid.
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.

Species Profiles:
Congo Blackfin - Altolamprologus calvus
Compressed Cichlid - Altolamprologus compressiceps
Frontosa Cichlid - Cyphotilapia frontosa
Duboisi Cichlid - Tropheus duboisi

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Tanganyika Cichlids