There are many varieties of cichlids (pronounced sick-lids) in the world of freshwater tropical fish but overall they are possibly the most attractive, beautiful and interesting fish of all. Here are just a few types: Angelfish; African Blockhead; Banded; Discus; Dwarf; Festive; Fire mouth; Jack Dempsey; Jewel; Julie; Keyhole Leopard; Lyre tail; Mozambique; Orange Chromide; Oscar; Pike; Red Devils; Red-finned; Zebra. There are of course too many to name here!
But, they really are a most beautiful fish with their round shape and graceful swimming movement. You can see them in my tank on a little video I uploaded to YouTube.com...
The ones above are the most beautiful fish I have ever seen. I really enjoy these which are known as the discus. These particular ones are the Blue Turquoise discus. I love the way their colors seem to change when the light hits their surface at different angles.
As you see in the video these fish can be a little territorial so I tend to keep them in the aquarium without other types of fish. Don't let that put you off because some types of cichlid fish make good tank mates for other types of fish. I also intend to introduce some more types of discus in the future because all discus go well with other discus. You really need to get to know what types are not suited with other tropical aquarium fish though.
There is a large variation of desired water conditions for these types of aquarium fish. For instance many types of these fish do well in slightly alkaline water whereas the discus you saw above need their tank water to be slightly acidic. Some types even need the water to be brackish!
Another interesting and endearing fact about cichlids is their breeding behaviors namely; the amount of parental care they exhibit. Both parents will guard their eggs when laid on a rock or plant for instance. They also exhibit "mouth brooding' where the fry and eggs are protected in the mouth of the parents (usually the female but not always). When they are in the act of mouth brooding they become highly territorial and will attack any other fish that comes near. This is why it is often necessary to remove the fish to another tank until the fry have grown to a sufficient level. Additionally some fish, like the discus above, have their young feed off of a slime coat produced on their bodies via glands in their skin.
If you are interested in keeping these types of fish you really need to read up on the individual ones you want to keep because the range of conditions and type of care they need are quite diverse. Keep watching this page in the future as I add more specific information about different types. In the meantime you can glean some more information about
And for information on African variety click here...
I hope this page was of help.