Beginner Care Guide of Cichlid

Date Posted: 2023-02-20 17:51:56

Common name: Cichlid

Scientific name: Depend on species

Average size: 4-8 inches, depend on species

Lifespan: 10-20 years, depend on species

pH: 7.2 - 8.8

Temperature: 23°C - 28°C

Water hardness: 12 - 30dh

Variety: Cichlid from Lakes Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, African and South America



They eat mostly animal matters including frozen, freeze dried and fresh foods.

Swimming behaviour:

African cichlid swimming at the middle of an aquarium. To create a better view, add some top and bottom swimmers as well.


They may become aggressive and territorial to other species but are generally peaceful with fish of the same size and temperament. However, they may eat small fish which fit to their mouth size.


Aquarium placement:

Keep away the aquarium from direct sunlight and electronic goods.

Aquarium stand:

A suitable aquarium stand will safely support your aquarium.

Aquarium size:

A good rule of thumb is 4 liters of water for every 1 inch of full grown fish.


Decorate the bedding of the aquarium with sandy substrate and with plenty of crack or caves for them to hide.


6-8 hours of lighting is needed for them and avoid extended exposure of lighting to prevent the growth of algae.

Water temperature:

It is recommended to use Aquael heater or Chaning heater to maintain the water temperature in the range between 23°C - 28°C.

Water Change:

Advised weekly change 10 - 25% of your aquarium water, at least 40% of aquarium water monthly by using cleaning tools.

General compatibility:

Barbs, Eels, Loaches, Oscars, Plecostomus, Sharks and African Cichlids. Introduce new fish to aquarium gradually.


Staple diet:

Provide them with cichlid flake, pellet food or freeze dried fish foods. Suggested Tetra Cichlid Sticks, Tetra Cichlid XL Flakes as their main diet to provide them the essential nutrients needed.


Supplements which contain spirulina or vitamin like JBL Atvitol to build up stronger immune system.

Specialty foods:

Diets like frozen, freeze dried or live bloodworms are recommended but remember to thaw these frozen foods before feeding.


Depending on the species and size of fish, feed small amount 1-2 times daily. Take off any uneaten fish food after 2-3 minutes with Nirox fish net.


Sign of healthy

- Clear eye

- Smooth and clean in appearance

- Eat vigorously and swim actively

- Calm and steady gill movement

- Bright and even colouring

Sign of illness

- Loss of body coloration or appetite

- Lying on the bottom of aquarium

- Poor growth or weight loss

- Fins clamped to sides

- Scraping body on rocks

If you notice any illness sign(s), please to test water quality and improve it if necessary.


- Avoid fish tank from being overcrowded as it may cause stress to fish and higher chance for them to get sick.

- Regular water change and an appropriate filtration is needed to maintain a good water quality.

- Check water quality by using JBL Test Kit at lease once a week.