Cichlids

The South American Cichlids are available in a wide variety, and many of the most popular species come from that vast area. While some will be easy to accommodate in a community of similarly sized fish, others may prove to be too aggressive to live with any other companion fish. So great care is required when selecting these species in order to maintain a compatible collection.

Firemouths (herichthys  meeki) are rightly one of the most popular of the South American cichlids, the best of them having a rich red colouring especially at the mouth, throat, and underbelly. Green spangling throughout the body and finnage adds still more attraction to the species, which is not normally aggressive.

Firemouths (herichthys meeki) are rightly one of the most popular of the South American cichlids, the best of them having a rich red colouring especially at the mouth, throat, and underbelly and green spangling throughout the body and finnage.

Texas Cichlids (herichthys cyanoguttatus) are very attractive, even when still at their juvenile stage. But when they have grown out of this stage they are usually difficult to accommodate with other fish, due to a usually aggressive nature.

Texas Cichlids (herichthys cyanoguttatus) are very attractive, even when still at their juvenile stage. But when they have grown out of this stage they are usually difficult to accommodate with other fish, due to a usually aggressive nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apistogrammas are the largest genus of dwarf cichlids, and their comparatively diminutive size and often brightly coloured bodies make them a firm favourite with many fishkeepers. Quite a few also have very elegant finnage, with extended rays adding a touch of class. Good water quality is an important requirement for most Apistos and a varied nutritious diet is essential for their well-being.

The Umbrella Cichlid (apistogramma borellii) has so much class and style packed into its tiny form. The electric-blue spangling shines out from the finely etched black-edged scales, further embellished by lovely finnage.

The Umbrella Cichlid (apistogramma borellii) has so much class and style packed into its tiny form. The electric-blue spangling shines out from the finely etched black-edged scales.

The Tulip-Tailed Cichlid (apistogramma agassiziiis), also known as the Agassiz's dwarf cichlid, is one of the most popular of an altogether well-loved group of dwarf cichlids. Domestic breeding has produced some varieties from the wild fish, but the original natural form is arguably still the most attractive.

The Tulip-Tailed Cichlid (apistogramma agassiziiis), also known as the Agassiz’s dwarf cichlid, is one of the most popular of an altogether well-loved group of dwarf cichlids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colourful cichlids from the huge inland “sea” of Lake Malawi have become very popular with many specialist fishkeepers. The mouth brooding habits makes the breeding of malawis an interesting pursuit, and given the right surroundings and water chemistry these striking fish will breed in captivity quite freely. They are by nature rather quarrelsome fish, having to fight for their territory in their natural habitat, and a rocky décor with plenty of places for escape from harassment when required is the usual format.

The Red Top Zebra Cichlid (metriaclima pyrsonotos) is just one of many colour forms found in a range of Pseudotropheus zebra variations, and many consider it to be the most beautiful of those forms.

The Red Top Zebra Cichlid (metriaclima pyrsonotos) is just one of many colour forms found in a range of Pseudotropheus zebra variations, and many consider it to be the most beautiful of those forms.

The Malawi Eye Biter (dimidiochromis compressiceps) is quite different in body shape to the more usual Malawi cichlids. Even as a juvenile it is very elegant, but as an adult it is a classic, beautifully coloured, and a fish to covet.

The Malawi Eye Biter (dimidiochromis compressiceps) is quite different in body shape to the more usual Malawi cichlids. Even as a juvenile it is very elegant, but as an adult it is a classic, beautifully coloured, and a fish to covet.

 

 

 

 

The cichlids from Africa’s Lake Tanganyika are quite different in many ways from those found in Lake Malawi, although they are similarly mouth brooders. They are generally also far less aggressive or quarrelsome than their Malawi cousins, and being kept in quite crowded communities seems to be an effective way of maintaining them successfully.

Lemon cichlids (neolamprologus leleupi) can have quite a range of colours within the yellow spectrum. Some are bright yellow while others are quite a dark ochre, and anything in between!

Lemon cichlids (neolamprologus leleupi) can have quite a range of colours within the yellow spectrum. Some are bright yellow while others are quite a dark ochre, and anything in between!

Convict julie (julidochromis regani) is one of several species of “Julie” available to the aquarium hobby, and includes a “black” form that is more heavily and distinctively marked species. The slim body and strong striped markings makes this a favourite Tanganyikan.

Convict julie (julidochromis regani) is one of several species of “Julie” available to the aquarium hobby, and includes a “black” form that is more heavily and distinctively marked species. The slim body and strong striped markings makes this a favourite Tanganyikan.