African Cichlid Tank

African Cichlids

Range: 3 lakes in Africa: Lake Vitoria, Lake Malawi, and Lake Tanganyika
Diet: Carnivore including insects, small fish and even plant matter
Size: 2-12 inches long
Life Span: 6-10 years

Lake Malawi alone is home to more than 500 species! This has made Lake Malawi a scientific hotspot for studying the evolution of different species. Some species prefer the depths of Lake Malawi, down to 490 feet under the surface while other species prefer shallow waters. They are the most diverse, intelligent, active and colorful fish in the aquarium hobby. They range in color from red, blue, orange, yellow, green, brown, and black. Males are often more flamboyant than females.

The correct way to pronounce their name is “Sick-lid”.

Many species of African cichlids are mouth-brooders. This means that after eggs are laid and fertilized, a parent will suck the eggs up into its mouth for safe keeping. After the eggs hatch, the parent will allow the small fry to swim in and out of its mouth, thus providing protection against the hungry predators that would eat them.

Suckermouth Catfish

Range: Tropical Northeastern South America
Diet: Omnivore including algae, aquatic plants, and small crustaceans
Size: Up to 20 inches
Life Span: 10-15 years

Suckermouth Catfish are also known as the Common Pleco. They are part of the armored carfish family because of their rows of armor-like scutes, or scales, that cover the upper parts of the head and body. The lower surface of the head and stomach is a naked soft skin. It also has a sucker-like mouth that allows it to adhere to surfaces. Sometimes they will even swim upsidedown with their mouths grazing off the surface of the water.