How to Care for Cichlids

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    Oct 01, 2013
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My Aquarium Setup: Steveni Taiwanese Cichlid (male)
My Aquarium Setup: Steveni Taiwanese Cichlid (male)
Photo by MSVG

Cichlids are tropical fish that you can have in your aquarium at home. Unlike other fish species, cichlids are very active and lively. They can also be territorial. As such, it is essential that you know how to properly take care your cichlids. Many fish tank owners have cichlids since these fishes are interactive. In fact, they can even recognize their owners. No wonder there are many people who want to have cichlids.

Water and Temperature
When you have cichlids in your aquarium, the very first thing that you should cover is the amount of water and the temperature in your fish tank. Remember that you need to create an environment that is as close as to the actual habitat of cichlids. In that way, you get to provide them an artificial yet good habitat. Make sure that temperature of the fish tank is consistent (about 82 degrees Fahrenheit). The main reason why you should have the right temperature is because this directly affects the behavior and the metabolism of cichlids.

Right Location of the Fish Tank
You need to provide a consistent temperature for your aquarium. There is no specific temperature but you have to make sure that it is not too cold and not too hot either. Exposure from the sun should also be avoided. Never place the aquarium outdoors.

PH Level of the Fish Tank
The pH level can also affect cichlids. For this particular species, you need to have alkaline water. Compare to other species who want neutral water, cichlids like alkaline water. To measure the alkalinity, you may use a pH kit. The desired pH level is 8.5. Another important thing that you should keep in mind is that you should never make sudden or immediate changes to your fish tank since they may shock cichlids.

Using a Fish Tank Filter
To ensure the health of your cichlids, you need to use a reliable water filtration system. In this case, it is strongly suggested that you use sponge filters instead of under-gravel filters. Using sponge filters provide a clean environment for your cichlids. If you know how to use the filter and if you know how to clean it then the water filter can last for several years.

Feeding Cichlids
Before you buy the items you need to feed your cichlids, you need to identify the type of cichlid first. For cichlids that are herbivores then you should not use fishmeal based foods. For omnivores, you need to use both fishmeal based and plant based foods. In buying fish products for cichlids, you need to ensure that these items are clean. Having algae and rocks in your fish tank can also help feed your cichlids since these fishes feed on algae.

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This article was contributed by James Taste. James also contributes for Fintastic | Custom Built Fish Tanks.

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