How to Setup an African Cichlid Tank

How to Setup an African Cichlid Tank
In order to setup an aquarium for African cichlids you have to choose materials after consulting an aquarium specialist. However, it is quite an easy task and you can do it in a few steps. To know how to set up an African cichlid tank, read further in the following write-up...
The beauty and vibrancy of the underwater world can be brought to homes to add a touch of style. If you are wondering how, then you can breed fish in water tanks. There are a number of species of fish which can be bred in aquariums. The African cichlid fish is one such species that roams freely in the rivers of the African continent and tamed to swim in the water tanks of our homes. African cichlids are a popular choice among aquarists and fish breeders owing to their bright colors and lively demeanor. If you are also a fish enthusiast and want to know how to setup an African cichlid tank, read further for guidance.

Setting Up African Cichlid Tank

Before setting up an aquarium or glass tank, you need to be familiar with the environment in which the fish survives in the wild and aim at giving the fish the same feel of the wild. Given below are some guidelines on setting up an African cichlid tank.
  • The first thing you will need is a tank. You can determine the size of the tank for African cichlids based on the number of fish you are planning to breed. You can choose a tank which is able to hold approximately 35 gallons of water. It is better to get a wide tank as it will make cleaning and maintenance an easy task. Clean the tank thoroughly to remove any sediments or impurities from the walls. Once you are done, mark a certain place and fill water in the tank.
  • The water should have a proper balance of alkalinity and chemical composition. The optimal pH levels required for the cichlids ranges from 7.5 to 8.8. If the water's pH balance is below the recommended level, then you can dissolve sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), epsom salts, non-iodized rock salt or pickling salt to increase its alkalinity. You should also maintain the temperature of the water so that the fish do not have any problems. Make sure the water temperature does not rise above 80 ºF or drop below 25 ºF. Make sure you don't clutter the tank's floor with rocks and plants to restrict the fish's movement.
  • Introduce the African cichlids to their newly prepared home. For African cichlids care, you must take necessary precautions regarding the food, mating and the companions in the fish tank. You can feed the fish with pellets, spirulina flakes, frozen food and worms. Occasionally you can also feed them with live food so that they do not forget their hunting capability.
  • Breeding African cichlids is not an easy task as one thinks. Provide a good environment for the fish to breed. Setup miniature crevices, cave like structures in the aquarium to provide breeding grounds for the African cichlids. You need to obtain a breeding colony or harem of this fish species as the male becomes too aggressive in case there is only one mate. There are chances that the male species may perish due to stress.
  • For the eggs to be fertilized, the female fish carries them in the mouth. This is characteristic of the mouth brooding species. The female scoops up the eggs in her mouth and carried them till they hatch. During this time (approximately 3 weeks), the feeding is also reduced. Once the male fertilizes the eggs, they are laid in the tank, where the female may carry them only occasionally.
  • The baby cichlids that hatch from the eggs have to be separated from the adults lest they are mistaken for food and get eaten up by them. The female can be moved to a smaller tank so that she is comfortable. For feeding the baby fish, you can crush the pellets or flakes mix it with the water. Once the babies have grown they can be transferred to the parent tank.
These were a few instructions regarding how to setup an African cichlid tank in your home. With proper and routine care, you can have a school of healthy African cichlids. All the best!