African Cichlid Facts:

average adult size:4-6 inches long
average life span:5-8 years
minimum aquarium size:20+ gallons
water parameters:


pH: 5-8


A well-balanced Cichlid diet consists of:

  • Food may be dried, pelleted, frozen or live.
  • Avoid exclusive food which is not nutritionally complete.


Things to remember when feeding your Cichlid:

  • Feed small amounts 1-3 times daily, no more than fish will eat in 3-5 minutes.
  • Thaw frozen foods if you choose to feed frozen.


  • Keep in an appropriate size aquarium; provide plants for hiding, various species may prefer sparse or thick vegetation.
  • Stable water quality, water temperature, and pH levels are critical to the health of the aquatic life. If you are unsure of your water quality or pH levels, Home Aquatics offers water testing.


  • The African cichlids contain some of the most colorful of all freshwater fishes. The cichlids are an enormous family of fish and they offer the widest variety of body shapes and behaviors of all freshwater fishes.
  • African Cichlids are grouped into Lake Malawi Cichlids, Lake Tanganyica Cichlids, and other types of cichlids like the Dwarf Cichlids, and West African Cichlids.

Habitat Maintenance

Daily: Check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: Check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: Change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.


Cichlids are an aggressive species of fish and will eat most fish and other tankmates that are smaller than it. It is best to keep Cichlids among their own kind, however they may be matched with other fish of the same size or larger.


Signs of a Healthy Fish

  • Clear eyes
  • Healthy appetite
  • Bright, even coloring
  • Clean in appearance

Avoid overcrowded conditions; they are a major cause of stress and disease. Maintain good water quality with regular water changes and adequate filtration.

Red Flags

  • loss of color or appetite
  • spots or fungus on body or mouth
  • erratic swimming
  • frayed fins

Common Health Issues

Health IssueSymptoms or CausesSuggested Action
Fin rotFrayed or disintegrating fins; the base of the fins usually reddens.Improve water quality; consult your aquatic veterinarian for treatment.
IchWhite spots appear on fins and body; fish rubs against hard objects or swims awkwardly.

Quarantine fish immediately; use a commercial ich remedy for at least two weeks

Most of the African Cichlids available in the hobby are rock dwellers. They live among them for protection and spawns under them. The will also eat algae, insects and crustaceans off the rocks. A good number of rocks forming caves and undercroppings will help create a natural environment for your fish. Clay flowerpots can also make good caves

African cichlids will constantly excavate gravel and rearrange it. So be careful in rock placement, the rocks should be set on the bottom of the aquarium with gravel around them to prevent the fish from digging gravel out from under rocks and causing them to topple. You can glue large rocks together to help avoid a cave in from cichlids excavating, using an aquarium silicone. Aquatic plants won't fare well in this type of aquarium, as these cichlids will dig up them up and eat them.

Except for the herbivorous Tilapia and Geophagus, all Cichlids are predators eating insect larvae, worms, and fishes in the wild. They can be fed live foods, frozen and prepared foods, algae, flake and pelleted foods. Feed 2 to 3 times a day in smaller amounts instead of a large quantity once a day. This will keep the water quality higher over a longer time. All fish benefit from vitamins and supplements added to their foods.

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Assorted African Cichlids

  • Brand: Home Aquatics
  • Product Code: Assorted African Cichlids
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $5.99