by Liz Henry
What is the basic tank setup for an African cichlid tank? What are the 1 2 3 basics to remember when one is new to this African cichlid tank bandwagon? What are the successful steps to follow in order for the African cichlid to feel right at home in his aquarium?
Here are the following basic steps you need:
Before you purchase the tank, you have to know first how many cichlids you want to have in your aquarium. And yes you have to really double check what type of cichlid are you planning to buy, Cichlids are diverse breed of fish and they have different needs and wants when it comes to their habitat. Larger cichlids like the Oscars need bigger tanks but if you are going to have smaller types of cichlid, a 55 gallon tank will do. You must also learn to consider that African cichlids are very aggressive water creatures. They are very territorial and they wouldn’t want to share their tank with any fish that is as colourful and as vibrant as they are. You must also choose what type of aquarium you like to house your African cichlids with. The selection goes from acrylic to wood — make sure you know the pros and the cons of both before you buy,
You also need a cabinet if you are going to set up an African cichlid tank. You need a cabinet because it is where you are going to put your new aquarium in. There are so many that are made of wood with stands and all. Your tank needs a straight and sturdy surface so make sure that the cabinet you choose embodies these qualities too.
Heater is also important but this is only if you live in colder countries.
Your African cichlids need to be in a warmer environment because it is so used living in the rice paddies of Thailand where the water is hotter. You would make your African cichlid so much happier if you let it stay in a tank with a heater and a thermometer – so include these in your must have list.
Substrates – African cichlids are happy when the PH level of the water in their tanks is somewhere between 6.5 to 9.0 but that depends on what kind of species they are. Eco complete is one of the best substrates to consider and yes, do make sure you create caves and crevices so your African cichlids can hide through them.
As far as decoration is concerned, they need to have plants in their environment. Live plants and silk plants are the plants that you can decorate your African cichlid tank with. You should not use plastic plants because their rough and tough texture could damage your cichlid’s fins.
You must also know that you cannot mix all male African cichlid fish in one tank because they are going to attack each other. And this is one aquarium tragedy you should avoid at all cost. Having an aquarium with common cichlid species is a great habby for everyone!.
CaSandra Poulos is an avid cichlid lover, and offers a free email mini course, “Cichlid Fish Keeping & Breeding” at her website: Cichlid Fish Center
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