Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki) – Complete Species Guide

Hailing from Central America, these beauties are a staple in home aquariums. A firemouth cichlid are great for beginners, and countless people have said how easy it is to keep the freshwater fish in a tank.

Firemouth Cichlid

Table Of Contents:

The Firemouth Cichlid (Tank Boss)

Basic Facts

Name: Firemouth Cichlid

Scientific Name: Thorichthys meeki (Herichthys meeki)

Group: Freshwater Fish

Size Of The Fish: Medium-Large Fish

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive/Territorial

Aquarium Size Required: Large

Where It Swims: Bottom-Middle

Care Difficulty Rating: Easy-Medium

Good Paired With: Cat Fish, Tetra Species, Other Firemouths

Origins

The Firemouth Cichlid (Thorichthys meeki) is a tropical fish from the family Cichlidae. It was discovered in 1919 by Walter Brind.

The scientific name of the Firemouth Cichlid comes from the American ichthyologist Seth Eugene Meek. (Ichthyologist means someone who studies fish.) It was named in his honor.

The common name of this fish, Firemouth Cichlid, comes from 2 factors. One, the fiery red coloration around their gills and mouths. Two, the display males do during the breeding season.

To look impressive, these cichlids flare out their gills, and it seems as if their mouth is on fire.

Their natural habitat is Central America. A fish native to Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula,) El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica.

They’ve also been introduced into Hawaii, the US mainland, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and even Singapore!

They live in slow moving ponds, rivers without fast currents, and canals with sandy and muddy bottoms. The cichlid firemouth inhabit the middle and bottom of the water areas.

Firemouth Cichlids taken by @tf_tropical_fish on Instagram
Firemouth Cichlids thanks to @tf_tropical_fish on Instagram

Appearance

While Firemouth Cichlids aren’t some of the most vividly colored freshwater fish out there, they still have a unique coloration.

Like many types of Cichlid species, they are sexually dimorphic. However, the differences aren’t extreme. It can be challenging to tell the sex of your fish.

(Don’t bother trying to sex your firemouth cichlid when they are young. Juveniles are almost impossible to tell apart.)

Markings and Colors: The males are brighter than the females and juveniles. The male and the female firemouth gain their coloring when they reach maturity.

It becomes much more noticeable on the adults during the breeding season.

The Firemouth Cichlid has orangish-red or red coloration markings on their neck, abdomen, and gill covers (opercles). However, the males’ markings are always brighter.

The male and female firemouth also have blue spots or turquoise spots on their anal fins. The female usually has a dark spot on her dorsal fin.

Size and Shape: The males tend to be larger than females and have more sharply pointed dorsal and anal fins.

Their fin rays trail longer than females, and their pointed dorsal and anal fins are much longer too. The adult male has a visible genital papilla too.

The females are plumper and fuller looking.

Behavior: In general, males are more aggressive than females. Though, sometimes a female can be quite protective of her eggs.

You may have heard that Firemouths flare their gills and expand their throat sac. All year round, males flare their gills when they want to intimidate or are aggressive, females don’t usually.

Yet, in the breeding season, both male and female fish do it.

On color (for the juveniles), they have a light-gray to olive-gray for most of their body, with a blueish tint. When they reach maturity, their skin becomes almost entirely violet.

The Firemouth Cichlid has another marking that depends on the freshwater fish and environmental conditions.

Sometimes, they have broad, dark-colored lines that extend along the body. They might have a black spot in the middle, or a horizontal stripe.

Their opercles have one black spot on them, called an eye spot, and most of the fins are light pink, with blueish flecks. The eyes are usually a blue color, with black pupils.

In captivity, they grow larger than in the wild. The largest length for males is 6″ (15cm). Females are smaller. They have a very fast growth rate, and reach full size quite quickly.

Their lifespan is usually 10-15 years.

Firemouth Cichlids Fish taken by @christhefisherman on Instagram
Firemouth Cichlids Fish thanks to @christhefisherman on Instagram

Breeding

Like most, but not all fish, they lay eggs. Also, they are mouth breeders.

In the wild, in the warmer months, the water changes. This fuels the beginning of the breeding.

There are changes in the behavior of both sexes, but the males are more noticeable. Their colors and patterns become more vibrant.

They become more aggressive. They fight other males in the fish tank to impress the females.

Over a few days, they will usually pick their mates, which they stay with for the rest of their life. Breeding follows soon after.

The female becomes fertile and begins looking for a place to put her eggs. Firemouths often lay their eggs on a flat rock. Once she is ready, lays the eggs in long rows. The male follows, fertilizing them.

Firemouth Cichlid Thorichthys meeki

The usual clutch size for a Firemouth is up to several hundred eggs.

They’re excellent parents.

The female does most of the egg looking after. She stays and tends to the eggs, while the male is on guard, protecting the territory. The eggs hatch after 3-4 days. After that, they care for the fry.

Once the fry have hatched, the parents move them to another location and stay there until the babies can swim.

The parents continue to care for the fry. They do this for around six weeks until the babies can take care of themselves.

After this, the parents and fry go their separate ways, though the same couple may raise several broods in the one year.

When you want them to start breeding, raise the tank temperature to 82°F (28°C) over the course of 2 days or so.

When they have paired off, or they are too aggressive to their tank mates, separate the couples from the other fish with a divider. Or put the pairs in a separate breeding tank.

You should have appropriate places for them to put their eggs. Like PVC pipes, upside-down flowerpots, and flat rocks.

They lay about 100 – 500 eggs.

When the fry have hatched, check up on them occasionally for the first week or so, but they don’t need feeding yet. The parents keep them in pits to guard them.

After the 7th or 8th day, they can swim. This is when you should start feeding them.

They grow fast, make sure there’s enough room in the tank.

Recommended high-quality foods for the first three weeks are brine shrimp, crushed flake food, micro worms, and other foods designed for fry.

When they reach three weeks of age, you can introduce dried fish food. When they mature, feed them what you feed other Firemouths.

When you have the fry, it’s essential to change 10% of the water every day with aged water.

(A word of warning, sometimes, first-time parents have been known to eat their hatched young. Don’t panic if this happens. But they stop eating the fry after the second or third time.)

A Firemouth Cichlid Fish taken by @tf_tropical_fish on Instagram
A Firemouth Cichlid Fish thanks to @tf_tropical_fish on Instagram

Looking After Firemouth Cichlids

It’s best to keep them with their species, or a pair if you know their sex.

They are relatively large fish, and they tend to be aggressive, so they need plenty of space and swimming room.

A freshwater aquarium with a tank size of fifty gallons (189 L) is a good starting point and makes for a perfect size for a couple.

If you are thinking about keeping a group, a tank size of 100 gallons is excellent (if you can manage it).

Live plants with large leaves is a good idea, such as Sagittaria.

It gives these cichlid fish something to hide behind. Plant them in pots, root surfaces covered with stones around the sides of the tank leaving swimming space in the middle.

That stops the fish from disturbing and moving the aquarium plants.

Have a sand bottom or fine gravel substrate so it’s easy for them to do their burrowing.

Another idea is putting rocks, roots and driftwood and arrange them to make plenty of nooks, crannies, and caves. So they can seek refuge and hide if they need to.

Group Of Firemouth Cichlids taken by @johancistrusGroup Of Firemouth Cichlids taken by @johancistrus
Firemouths taken by @johancistrus

Water Conditions k & Ideal Water Parameters

To keep the water parameters healthy for the fish, filter the tank water often, a good choice is at least once a week. Good water quality and water movement are essential for their health.

Filtering it often keeps nitrite and ammonia out of the water. However, with nitrate, it’s okay to have some in the water conditions, but nothing over 20mg a liter.

An addition of lava rocks can help keep the nitrates under control.

These cichlid fish are susceptible to harmful nitrogen compounds.

Having live vegetation in the aquarium and a good external filter helps maintain water purity and fish health. Cichlids are sensitive to changes in the pH levels, and pollutants.

It’s essential that you change 15-20% of the water weekly.

When you replace the water, you need to clean up the decomposing organic matter. Do this with a gravel cleaner.

When you clean the tank, remove most, but not all the algae growth from the glass panes. You may not like it, but alga is an excellent source of food for the Firemouth cichlid.

Temperature

75–86 °F (23–30 °C) is the recommended tank water temperature range.

PH And Hardness

pH Range: 6.5 – 8.0

Water Hardness Range: 8-15 dGH

Firemouth Cichlid taken by @christhefisherman on Instagram
The Firemouth Cichlid Thanks to @christhefisherman on Instagram

Suitable Tank Mates

This cichlid quite aggressive, and they don’t seem to be afraid of anything. Also territorial, and protect what they believe is theirs.

Because of this, careful planning must go in if you wish to have a harmonious tank.

In general, having lots of tank mates for these fish isn’t the way to go. They’re not very good community fish.

The firemouth cichlid gets very defensive during the breeding season. In some cases, they have been known to eat tinier fish tank mates.

Despite everything mentioned above, if you plan carefully, you can avoid most of these problems.

Step one would be having a big community tank.

Step 2 is to choose the right tank mates! Here are some recommended species.

Others of their species are a good bet. However, have several of them.

A definite no-no 2 males together. Two females aren’t such a good idea either. It’s best to have a mix of both sexes.

Gouramis and Mollies. Many species of Gouramis (except Siamese Fighting Fish) are generally not aggressive. Mollies are excellent too. They are some of the most serene fish around,

Make sure the ones you choose are larger than the Firemouth Cichlids. This will minimize most conflict.

Other ideas would be Catfish and the Tetra group of fish.

All in all, you can keep Firemouths with other species, you have to be careful about which ones you choose. However, if you decide to keep the cichlid by themselves, that’s an excellent idea too.

Two Firemouth taken by @kevinmeeki on Instagram
Two Firemouth thanks to @kevinmeeki on Instagram

Feeding

In the wild, Firemouths, like other Cichlids, have a varied diet. They are primarily carnivorous, but they are omnivores.

They feed upon all sorts of things, such as larvae, invertebrates, small fish, and worms. They also eat some algae.

The food you give them must be high in protein in a varied diet, and you mustn’t overfeed them, and must be high quality.

Newly-bought firemouth cichlid fish are often timid and shy. They aren’t familiar with their new surroundings. At first, they may refuse to be fed, but if you feed them, then leave, they might eat.

(The timidness can last up to several months, so be patient.)

Here are a few foods you should consider feeding your Firemouths.

Bloodworms and white worms are a good option for fulfilling the meaty need. As are brine shrimp and tubifex worms.

(However, shrimp and blood worms are quite meaty. So, they should only be given occasionally. Consider them as a treat food.)

Frozen Foods is good for Firemouth Cichlids too. Examples would include of frozen foods is artificial food such as flakes and tablets, Cyclops, and frozen shrimp.

Flakes and Pellets are a good supplement to their diet. Make sure they’re high quality.

Other Options To Consider

Mosquito larvae, daphnia and ocean plankton.

Vegetables are good for these fish too. Great options are spinach, blanched and finely chopped, and pieces of cucumber.

Leave some of the growth of algae on your tank. They like to eat that in the wild.

Some of the most popular cichlids in the aquarium trade. The firemouth cichlid is an appealing fish, low-maintenance and perfect for a beginner just starting in the aquarium cichlid hobby.

Do you have a Firemouth cichlid, or are planning on getting one? I’d love to hear about it.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Jaguar Cichlid (Parachromis managuensis) – Complete Species Guide

You’ve chosen to include the Jaguar Cichlid in your aquarium, have you? It’s a good choice, regarding appearance. They’re beautiful fish.

However, be warned. Jaguar Cichlids are some of the larger fish in the aquarium trade, and they can be very temperamental.

Spotted Jaguar Cichlid

Jaguar Cichlids are aggressive and territorial. Though if you provide them with the right conditions, tank, and feed, they’re great.

For more information, read on.

Table Of Contents:

Jaguar Cichlid With Tank Mates

Basic Facts

Name: Jaguar Cichlid

Scientific Name: Parachromis managuensis (parachromis managuense)

Group: Freshwater

Size Of The Fish: Large

Temperament: Aggressive

Aquarium Size Required: Large

Where It Swims: Bottom/Middle Areas

Care Difficulty Rating: Medium

Good Paired With: Other Jaguar Cichlids, Aggressive Cichlid Species

Origins

Jaguar Cichlids are from Central America. These are freshwater fish, living in lakes and basins throughout several countries. Mostly found in Nicaragua, but also in Honduras in the Ulua River and Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, they’re most prevalent in the Matina River.

Jaguar Cichlid taken by @fishy_wishes_ on Instagram - Here we share everything you need to know about Jaguar Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jaguar Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @fishy_wishes for this photo of a large Jaguar Cichlid

However, now they’ve spread throughout Central America. Including Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and southern areas of Mexico.

Though they’re sometimes found in South America with other native South American cichlids. Also in the United States or Singapore.

It’s not included on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

The habitats of their preference are usually waters like cloudy lakes and sometimes rivers. They also prefer warmer water, without too much oxygen.

Jaguar Cichlids live in water bodies with muddy bottoms.

However, they can sometimes be found in places with sandy bottoms, such as ponds, springs and canals. They’ve also been bred in captivity for many years now.

Their common name ‘Jaguar Cichlid,’ comes from the pattern of the spots being likened to a Jaguar.

The second part of their scientific name, Parachromis managuensis, comes from the habitat where the first of their species was found.

The ‘holotype’ (the first known specimen of a species) came from Lake Managua in Nicaragua. Today, that lake has a large and thriving population of these fish.

Jaguar Cichlids are known under many different names. Including Aztec Cichlid, Managua Cichlid, and Managuense Cichlid, Spotted Guapote, Guapote Tigre, and the Jaguar Guapote.

(‘Guapote Tigre’ is Spanish, it means the Guapote Tiger/Jaguar.)

A popular fish among fish keepers in home aquariums, readily available in fish stores and online.

In their native habitat, they grow quite large and are sometimes used for human consumption when over a certain size.

Appearance

The majority of their colors consist of tones. But, keep them in clean conditions, and the patterns stand out. The extra colors vary for each.

It can be interesting to see how they develop, and which hue is the most intense.

Sexual Differences: here is how to sex a jaguar cichlid.

Markings and Colours: In the earlier stages of life, the males have more spots. However, as they grow older they lose them. They reach a stage where the spots disappear entirely. The females go through a similar process, but they keep most of theirs.

Another difference is the edging of the males’ fins are brightly colored. The female has coloration but less vibrant.

Size and Shape: The males are always bigger than the females. Usually, there is an inch or so difference in length. They have broader and sharply pointed proctal and dorsal fins.

The females are rounder in shape.

Jaguar Cichlidae Parachromis managuensis

Behavior: In the breeding season, the males become very aggressive, ready to impress the females. Also, but this happens all year round, the females tend to stay in the tank’s bottom area.

(Even if after you’ve followed all the pointers listed above, and you still can’t tell, ask your local vet or expert.)

Jaguar Cichlids are robust fish.

They have light-colored skin, usually pale yellowish-brown, to yellow to bronze. When they are younger, they display dark-grey/black vertical stripes across their body.

However, it completely changes when they become mature.

Slowly, as they reach sexual maturity, the vertical stripes disappear, replaced with dark spots. They are present all over the body but mostly on the gill cover and lower sides.

They sometimes have black bars on the gill covers too.

They have a horizontal line of dots across the lateral line of the bottom of their body. Jaguars also have dark bars extending to the dorsal fin.

The dark bars are some of their most recognisable features.

Like the Jaguar, no two body patterns of the fish are the same, and none of them have the same amount of spots. Their fins are dark-grey/black, becoming significantly darker during the breeding process.

Sometimes, the background color of their skin has a light bluish-green to a purple tint. There’s often a burgundy red tint on the head.

Both sexes have lower lips with two to four small incisor teeth.

Jaguar Cichlids are predatory fish. They have sharp teeth at the back of their throat. It makes hunting easier. They also have sharp edging on the ends of their fins.

These are for protecting themselves from other predatory fish.

In the wild, the average size is 24 inches (60cm), and the females being smaller. However, there’s no reason to panic. You don’t need to punch out a wall to accommodate them!

They don’t grow this big in the aquarium. Males grow to an average of 16″ (40cm), and for females, their sizes are a bit smaller, at 13″ (35cm).

Keep in mind they may not grow to that exact size, and many factors come into play to determine how big each one grows.

Jaguar Cichlid taken by @project_cichlids
A lovely Jaguar Cichlid pic taken by @project_cichlids

They are some of the longest-living Cichlids. Their lifespan is 10-15 years, but most live for around 15. Many experts say with proper care and a healthy diet, you can extend their lifespan.

Breeding

Breeding Jaguar Cichlids isn’t for amateurs, it’s better if you’re a more experienced fish keeper. This fish species get unpredictable during the breeding season.

For Jaguar Cichlids, there isn’t a set time of the year; it depends on the water conditions. Specifically, the temperature. They start to prepare for reproducing when the water gets warmer.

When you want them to begin, raise the temperature. Do this over a period of two days. Don’t shock the fish. The recommended temperature is 82° F (28° C).

The warmer temperatures will trigger a spawning response in some of the aquarium fish.

The male/s get aggressive and can attack tank mates and smaller fish (if you have any.) The other large fish don’t run such of a rish, but sil, Move the Jaguar Cichlids breeding out of that aquarium.

Put them into a particular breeding tank.

(If you don’t have one of these, using a tank divider is a good solution.)

If you are keeping these fish for breeding, it’s best to raise them in a pair from as early in their lives as possible.

A definite no-no is introducing a female straight before they breed. Why? The males have a nasty habit of sometimes killing an unknown female.

These freshwater fish court each other, but this may take a while.

Once the courtship has finished, spawning begins. The usual spot of preference is a flat rock, make sure you include this, and caves, hiding spots and rocks for females to seek refuge.

The female lays the eggs; the male fertilizes them. The number is always variable, but she can lay up to 5000 eggs! However, the usual range is 3000-5000 eggs.

The male protects the unhatched offspring, and the mother looks after the eggs. You may notice the female flaps her fins around the breeding site.

This is so the tank water continually moves to provide oxygenated water for the eggs.

In 3-5 days, the eggs hatch, and the fish larvae emerge. As they are still encased in their yolk sacs, they provide food for the larvae.

No need to feed them during the first week of their lives.

Once they consume the yolk sac, this is when the parents take responsibility for feeding them. The fry are fed organic matter, and they can’t swim at this stage. Let another week pass by.

By now, the fry are free-swimming. The parents can continue to look after them for another six weeks until they are old enough to look after themselves.

However, some Jaguar Cichlids may consume their fry if left in with them for more than two weeks. If they do, remove the fry immediately.

Suggested foods for the fry would be baby brine shrimp. Also, artificial feed designed for fish hatchlings, like baby powder food.

Once they’ve grown into juveniles, feed the same thing you give the other adult fish in the tank.

Looking After Jaguar Cichlids – Aquarium Care

Jaguar Cichlids are aggressive fish. However, with specific aquarium and water conditions, their aggression level can lower.

Looking after these magnificent fish takes planning.

The bigger the tank, the more space they have, the less aggressive they will be. It’s best to keep them in couples.

The best Jaguar Cichlid tank size is something with a large tank capacity, ideally 100 gallons (378 L). Each fish in the fish tanks must have designated territory and plenty of room.

Keep decor and decorations simple and to a minimum, preferably around the perimeters of the tank. They’re going to get knocked over all the time.

As with most Cichlids, include a flat rock as a spawning site. Have hidey-holes and cave-like areas. Arranging Driftwood is a great way to do this. But balance it out with plenty of open swimming space.

Many aquarists advise not to have any plants at all. They like to dig into the substrate and sand. The plants could be uprooted, or torn apart by clumsy maneuvers.

These fish prefer dark, cloudy habitats in the wild with good water movement. The water is usually filled with plant debris.

An easy way to replicate this is to have a handful of leaves in the filter, and a bag of aquarium safe peat. (Change the leaves every two weeks.)

Ensure your filter is powerful, and can do lots of filtration, because they produce a lot of waste!

Make sure all tank equipment is external, as they can do a lot of damage to any internal systems.

Your aquarium must have a tight-fitting lid. Jaguar Cichlids can and will jump out of the tank.

Sometimes these fish can suffer from a problem disease called Ich or White Spot Disease. If that happens, copper based fish medications are available to help treat it.

The copper use must be kept within the proper levels.

Remove any water conditioners while the fish are under this treatment.

Spawing Jaguar Cichlids taken by @xtrippyhippyx
Spawning Jaguar Cichlids taken by @xtrippyhippyx

Tank Conditions

Once you’ve set up the tank correctly, looking after Jaguar Cichlids is easy. The water conditions and water quality needs to be regulated. For these fish, use a large simp or canister filter.

Over time, nitrates and phosphates can build up, and water hardness increases. Prolonged exposure to these weaken the fish’s immune system and cause a breeding ground for diseases.

The hardness of the water can increase with the evaporation of the water. You don’t want too much of these, as it’s harmful.

Like a few other Cichlids, these are sensitive to pH instability, pollutants and sudden water changes.

You need to do water changes twice a week, with 20-30% of the water. When you do this, use a gravel cleaner. This removes decomposing organic matter.

This is critical for the animal’s health.

Keep your lighting low or subdued.

Temperature

These fish like the aquarium temperature to be slightly warm. They’re from a tropical climate. The best Jaguar Cichlid water temperature range is 74-79° F (24-28° C).

The higher the tank temperature, the more aggressive the fish. It’s best to keep it around 74° F (24° C).

PH And Hardness

Jaguar Cichlids thrive best with 10-15 dGH water hardness and pH of 7-8.7.

Suitable Tank Mates

These freshwater fish aren’t the most compatible community fish when it comes to other inhabitants of the aquarium. Take a breeding pair of Jaguar Cichlids. Sometimes, mating pairs kill fish that get too close.

However! You can keep them with other fish. You need to be selective, cautious, and monitor them closely. This becomes especially important if you are breeding them.

Make sure you don’t have small fish as their tank mates.

In preparation for the tank mates, you need a large tank. The usual recommended size is 100 gallons, (378 L.)

It leaves lots of space for the fish and the Jaguar Cichlids. You should always choose companions larger than the Jaguar.

Onto the recommended Jaguar Cichlid tank mates.

Others Of Their Species. Raise them together from the start.

Other Cichlid Species. You need large, aggressive Cichlids; this will lower the amount of conflict. Recommended species are Red Terrors, Green Texas Cichlids, and Oscar Fish. Also, the Jack Dempsey, Carpintis Cichlids, and the Convict.

Catfish. These are big fish and have a temperament that doesn’t cause them to get into many conflicts. Choose a large type of Catfish or a common pleco.

Tinfoil Barbs. These fish hail from South-East Asia, and are a peaceful fish. This and their size make them an excellent choice.

Feeding

In the wild, these freshwater fish are carnivorous and predators. Specifically, they are piscivores, which means they eat other fish.

They eat a variety of meat, but their diet mostly consists of other fish and smaller invertebrates.

They are also what is known as ‘raptorial’ feeders. In biology, it means predatory on other animals. It also says that they aren’t fussy eaters, they’ll eat just about anything they can fit in their mouth.

These fish love to eat! They have massive appetites.

Careful not to feed them by hand though, as they may attack it.

Live Foods. This should make up the bulk of their diet, and they eat many types of fish and foods. Variety is essential.

The foods include types of worms such as bloodworms, blackworms, and mealworms. Ghost shrimp is good too. They also like minnows, crayfish, crickets, even small frogs.

Frozen Foods. A good option, as well. You don’t have to feed them only live food, a balance of both of them is excellent as well. Feed them the same foods, only frozen, as mentioned in the live foods.

They’ll usually accept large pieces of frozen and dry foods.

Other Options To Consider

Pellets and Flakes. They don’t always eat these, and shouldn’t make up the bulk of their diet. However, flake food and pellets make an excellent supplement/addition.

Keep in mind sometimes your Jaguar Cichlids may not accept these. The food you choose must high-quality and designed for Cichlids.

Things To Avoid

Many fishkeepers advise against feeder fish bought from pet stores, as these might introduce diseases into the tank.

Meaty Food. Don’t feed them any animal meats used for humans consumption; it makes them ill. Don’t feed them beef heart either for the same reason.

Overfeeding. This is never a good idea. Feeding them daily is the best feeding frequency.

Jaguar Cichlids. Aggressive, territorial, large, and sometimes, the terror of the tank. But they’re beautiful, uniquely colored fish.

Something I forgot? Or have a question? Leave a comment at the end.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid (Rocio octofasciata) – Complete Species Guide

Jack Dempsey Cichlids aren’t that hard to take care of. They have many things going for them. Jack Dempsey fish are hardy, low-maintenance, tough fish. They’re also very colorful.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid

The characteristic iridescent scales are a pleasure to look at in fish tanks. Their dark black skin makes it stand out more. All sorts of colors, from light blue to a rich gold.

Table Of Contents:

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Care, Tank Mates, Fully Grown

Basic Facts

Name: Jack Dempsey Cichlid

Scientific Name: Rocio octofasciata (cichlasoma octofasciatum), (Parapetenia octofasciata), (Archocentrus octofasciatus)

Group: Freshwater

Size Of The Fish: Medium

Temperament: Aggressive – Territorial

Aquarium Size Required: Medium

Where It Swims: Middle To Bottom Area

Care Difficulty Rating: Easy

Good Paired With: Other Jack Dempsey Fish, Catfish, Goldfish

Origins

The Jack Dempsey Cichlid was named after a professional boxer.

He was from the US, and he wasn’t just any boxer. From 1919 to 1926, (7 years), he reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion!

This cichlid has robust facial features and is an aggressive fish. Despite the reputation for aggressiveness, they aren’t the most out of all the cichlids.

The story behind the scientific name (Rocio octofasciata) is as interesting. The genus name (Rocio) was named after the discoverer’s wife.

Rocio in Spanish means ‘morning dew’. This is likely a reference to the ‘spots’ on the body of the Jack Dempsey.

The other part of the scientific name (octofasciata, the name of the individual freshwater fish). Supposedly comes from the Latin words “octo” (meaning eight) and “fascia” (meaning stripe or belt).

Putting those two together, you get “eight striped.”

They hail from various countries throughout Central America. Including Southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, where they’re more commonly known as the Mexican Blue Frontosa.

Jack-Dempsey-Rocio-octofasciata

Whether accidentally or on purpose, the Jack Dempsey fish has been introduced to North America, specfically the United States, Thailand, and Australia.

They’re a freshwater fish, but very adaptable. Their usual habitats include water bodies with slow water movements. Rivers, streams, and drainage ditches!

Also in canals with sandy or muddy bottoms, and waters with warm and murky swamp areas.

They’re not listed on the IUCN Red List, so they’re not threatened.

Readily available in pet stores and for purchase online, usually in a purchase size of 1″ to 2″ long.

Large Jack Dempsey Taken By @maidenheadaquaticssummerhill - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Large Jack Dempsey thanks to @maidenheadaquaticssummerhill on Instagram

Appearance

These aren’t the most colorful freshwater fish, though they are some of the more colorful central american cichlids. But they make up for it with their unique ‘spots’ and sparkling scales in a variety of colors.

Here is how to sex a Jack Dempsey cichlid.

Markings and Colors: The males are brighter in color and patterns than females. The male sometimes has a black, round spot at the base of the tail, and the center of the body.

In contrast, the female can have a small one on the lower edge of each gill cover and one on the dorsal fin. Females always have fewer spots than the male.

The males also have more sparkly scales and red edging around their anal and dorsal fins.

A male has blue spots directly back from the eyes, and no spots near their mouth. A female has blue markings across the whole cheek.

Size and Shape: The males are bigger than the females with a longer and pointier dorsal fin. They also have a bigger head and a more defined and square jawline.

Behavior: During the breeding season, the behavior, colorations, and attitudes of the fish change. Males become much brighter and their turquoise flecks become more vibrant.

They also become much more aggressive and territorial than usual.

Females sometimes change color too. When she is feeling frisky, sometimes she becomes very dark. The blue specks on her gills and jaw become brighter.

A beautiful Jack Dempsey Cichlid taken by @kevinmeeki
A beautiful Jack Dempsey Cichlid taken by @kevinmeeki

(Even if after you’ve followed all the pointers listed above, and you still can’t tell, ask your local vet or expert.)

When the fish are born, and a juvenile, their coloration is dull. They don’t have any of the spots or sparkly scales Jack Dempsey fish are known for.

The colors develop slowly, taking a year or more to appear. When the fish matures, it becomes vibrant.

They have purple-gray skin, with iridescent scales all over. These come in the colors of light green, blue, and gold, varying in their shades.

There are two grey-black bars on their face. These extend from the top of the head to the eyes and are positioned between the eyes. They also have dark bars going vertically across the body.

Their colors change when they age. If they get stressed, they become paler, and their spots and markings are less vibrant. Of course, the male’s colors become brighter during the breeding season.

The Jack Dempsey is a medium-to-large fish, which grows to a maximum of an adult size of 10″, but the range is 8-10″, (20-25 cm). They are smaller in the wild than they are in the home aquarium

They have a lifespan of 10-15 years.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Taken By @jeans_zoo - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @jeans_zoo on Instagram for this Photo of am Amazing Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

Breeding

It starts with the breeding season. In the wild, it begins when the temperatures get warmer.

If you are planning to breed them, it’s best to have several fish. Six is a good starter. You’re likely to get more couples.

When the breeding starts, it can be a risky time for other fish in the tank. Watch the behavior of the Jack Dempsey Cichlids, especially the males. If they’re too aggressive, step in.

The males’ colors brighten, and their behavior becomes territorial. This is the time when they begin to pair off. Make sure the pair isn’t bothering the fish in the aquarium. If they are, you need to separate the couple from the others.

If you have a separate tank set up for breeding, put the breeding pair in there. If you don’t, place a divider in the tank.

Jack Dempsey fish are monogamous, and they mate for life.

Have a clean, flat surface for the fish to spawn and lay their eggs on. Flat rocks, upturned flowerpots, or something similar.

They prefer an enclosed spot.

The process of breeding goes like this. The female lays her eggs on the chosen spot. The male fertilizes the eggs after. The parents dig a pit around the area to hide the eggs from sight.

(It’s essential you don’t have plants near they could accidentally dig up!)

The clutch size depends on the female. On average, the female lays 500-800 eggs. Both parents guard the eggs protectively. The male gets even more aggressive at this point.

The eggs take three-six days to hatch. They’re looked after by the parents until they can move by themselves and become free swimming. This usually takes another four days.

By this time, they can eat.

Here are a few foods to consider. Powdered fish food, newly-hatched brine shrimp, and food designed for Cichlid fry. When they develop into juveniles, you can feed them the same food you give your adults.

Breeding Problems And Solutions

Jack Dempseys are easy to breed, but a few problems can arise.

#1 When the fry hatch, the parents split the jobs. The male looks after the territory, keeping everyone safe. The female tends to the unhatched eggs, the larvae and juveniles.

If the male neglects his responsibility or is too excited about it, this may infuriate the female. Usually, nothing happens. However, the parents may eat the eggs and larvae!

If this shows signs of happening, remove the male from.

#2 The female can lay up to 800 eggs. The aquarium may be too small to hold them all. If she shows signs of being overwhelmed, step in.

It may seem cruel, but it’s the best thing you can do. Take 50% to 70% of the fry out of the tank. You can use them as live food for other fish. This leaves the female to concentrate on the remaining hatchlings.

Despite all this, Jack Dempsey Cichlids are attentive parents. They look after their offspring well.

Jack Dempseys Cichlids Taken By @rivers.2.reefs - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @rivers.2.reefs on Instagram for this Photo of a Jack Dempsey Fish With Gold Stripes

Looking After Your Jack Dempsey Cichlids

Plan your tank carefully to avoid problems. They are a medium-sized fish. A fifty-five gallon tank size is a good starting point, as it gives them plenty of space.

The bigger the area, the less likely they are to be aggressive.

However, if you have lots of fish in a community tank, go with a bigger tank size, something like a 100 gallon aquarium. Many aquarists recommend the dimensions of 4 ft, or if you can manage it, 5 ft.

Rocks, both flat and those that form caves and hiding places are integral to your tank. Make sure you place the stones first. Jack Dempsey Cichlids dig into the substrate.

If you like it to look natural, decorate it with bogwood.

With plants, you need tough, hardy ones that either grows on the bottom or are floating. Try not to have too many. The ideal ones are Anubias or the Java Fern.

Place the rocks and ground decor in a way that breaks up the aquarium into territories. Also, have vertical structures, so they have something to hide behind.

An important note. When you first buy them, they’re quite shy, awkward, and afraid of their new surroundings.

It’s best to introduce them to their tank mates right from the start.

When you introduce them, make sure the lighting isn’t too bright, and there are places for them to hide.

Electric blue Jack Dempsey Cichlid - Taken By - @cichlid_obsession on Instagram - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @cichlid_obbession on Instagram for this Photo of a Beautiful Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

Tank Conditions & Water Conditions

Here are some guidelines of ideal water parameters.

Keep the aquarium water clean. It should have no nitrite or ammonia, so make sure to do regular water changes to prevent buildup.

You can allow some nitrate, but no larger than 40mg in a liter. You can achieve this with the help of a strong, quality biofilter.

Be sure the water is free of harmful nitrogen compounds.

Keep your lighting subdued. They don’t like bright lights.

They’re sensitive to pH instability and pollutants in the water. Restock 15-20% of the water every two weeks.

When you do the water changes, make sure to use a gravel cleaner. This removes the decomposing organic matter.

Temperature

The recommended temperature range is 72–86 °F, (22–30 °C), with the best water temperature being 73-76 °F, (23-26 °C).

PH And Hardness

The pH: 6-7; the water hardness, 9-20 dGH.

Jack Dempsey cichlid Taken By @ourfishtank - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @ourfishtank on Instagram for this pic of their Jack Dempsey

Suitable Tank Mates

The smaller the tank, the more fish, the more the Jack Dempsey fish will feel cramped. In turn, it’s likely to be more aggressive. If you’re planning on tank mates, make sure you have a big tank.

Second, is how many Jack Dempsey Cichlids you are planning to keep? They work best with other fish in groups. If you have a pair for breeding, don’t have tank mates.

Third, is the fish that you choose for tank mates. They should be larger and have a peaceful/non-aggressive temperament, like community fish.

When they are juveniles, they get along well with other South American Cichlids. However, they become intolerant of these fish when they age. If any problems arise, move them into a separate tank.

Other Jack Dempseys Cichlids. This one’s a no-brainer. These fish are comfortable with their species.

Goldfish. The relationship works quite well.

Choose a big goldfish and a ‘common’ one, not a ‘fancy’ one. Common goldfish, for example, a koi, get to 14″, so they’re big fish.

Other Types Of Cichlids. Recommended species would be Firemouth Cichlids, Acaras Cichlids, Green Terrors, and Oscars.

Midas Cichlids. Similar in temperment and personality,

Kissing Fish. Avoid if you are a beginner, they are an excellent choice. These are peaceful fish, and they eat nearly the same food Jack Dempseys do.

Banded Corydora, also known as bearded catfish, reach around 4″ inches in length. This, along with its temperament and ease of feeding, makes it a good choice if you’re a beginner.

Catfish are a good idea. They’re large and mind their own business.

Iridescent Jack Dempsey taken by @prathambenke
Iridescent Jack Dempsey taken by @prathambenke

Feeding

Their diet is omnivorous. In the wild, they eat crustaceans, other fish, insects, worms, and plant matter.

These fish will thrive if fed a carefully chosen and varied diet. If you do this, it has even been known to increase their lifespan.

Pellets And Flake Foods. These are great. They don’t seem to mind this kind of food and will accept it happily. Make sure it’s designed for Cichlids and is of high quality.

Live Foods, such as bloodworm, tubifex, and brine shrimp, should often be offered. They should be a staple in the diet of your fish.

Don’t Forget Plant Material! Finely chopped, foods like blowball leaves, cabbage, and lettuce should be sufficient.

Other Options To Consider

Frozen Food. If you don’t have access to live foods, or are out of your budget range, they’re a good option. Frozen versions of the live feed mentioned above are good.

Milled Seafood. Another excellent choice. Prepare it by thawing.

Things To Avoid

Warm-Blooded Meat isn’t good for them. By ‘warm-blooded,’ I mean meat such as beef and chicken. This is because the amounts and types of proteins in these meats aren’t good for them.

They can’t digest it properly, so it can make them quite sick.

(FYI: Many people talk about offering beef heart to Jack Dempsey Cichlids, but this isn’t a good idea. Beef heart is high in proteins, so should only be provided for a treat.)

Overfeeding. Only feed them once a day.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid Taken By @monstertankfish - Everything you needed to know about Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Jack Dempsey Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @monsterfishtank on Instagram For this Photo of a Colorful Jack Dempsey

Popular Types Of Jack Dempsey Cichlids

Though the Jack Dempsey Cichlid is one species, some breeders and other aquarists have developed different Jack Dempsey Cichlids. Ones that don’t have the usual coloration that the regular fish does.

They have been bred to have vibrant and wildly colorful.

Some of the colorations that are available in the market are Gold, & Electric Blue.

The most common one is called the Electric Blue Jack Dempsey Cichlid. It’s like the original fish. But with vibrant blue for its skin color, smaller, and less aggressive.

It has such a reputation, after all, it was named after a boxer. However, this seemingly rough and ready fish has a secret.

Sure, it is aggressive. However, its beautiful colors, ease of breeding, and maintenance. That’s why its so popular in home aquariums.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Convict Cichlid – Complete Care & Tank Guide – [2020 Update]

Convict Cichlids! From Central America, now it’s spread all over the world. Popular with fish enthusiasts all across the globe.

They’re an easy fish to look after and don’t need much maintenance, and, they’re aesthetically pleasing.

Convict Cichlid black and white

Table Of Contents:

Convict cichlids breeding: Hatching and taking care of the new born fry

Basic Facts

Name: Convict Cichlid

Scientific Name: Amatitlania nigrofasciata

Group: Freshwater

Size Of The Fish: Small/Medium

Temperament: Aggressive and Territorial

Aquarium Size Required: Medium

Where It Swims: All Areas

Care Difficulty Rating: Easy

Good Paired With: Convict Cichlids, Other Aggressive/Semi-Aggressive Cichlid Species

Origins

They come from several countries in Central American region. Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras.

They’re a freshwater fish species, usually found in streams and creeks. They seem to prefer a habitat of water bodies with a steady stream of running water.

They prefer habitats with hiding spots and protection. Such as rocks and branches that have fallen into the water.

The origin of the common name is simple. They have black stripes vertically across the body, similar to the uniform prisoners in Britain wore. These people were called convicts.

They’re sometimes known as Zebra Cichlids.

Convict swimming taken by @catfishriver on Instagram - Here we share everything you need to know about Convict Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Convict Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @catfishriver on Instagram for this Photo of this Convict swimming.

Appearance

Their dark to light gray color skin make them recognizable. Though they’re not vibrant, they’re still an aesthetically pleasing fish.

How Do You Tell The Difference Between A Male And Female Convict Cichlid?

Here are a few pointers on how to tell the difference between a male and female.

Markings and Colours: Although the male and female have the same characteristic stripes, they’re colored differently. A male has grey color scales, and paler black lines.

What’s unusual about this cichlid fish is the female has more colors. When the female is breeding, she has an orange spot on her body.

She has dark stripes and orange to pink coloration on her dorsal fin and belly.

If the fish has spots on their dorsal fin or anal fin, they’re a male.

Small Convict Cichlid Fish swimming among plants taken by @funtimefishkeeping
A great photo of a small Convict Cichlid by @funtimefishkeeping

Size and Shape: The males are larger than females. Their fins are more longer and pointer, and often they end in tendrils. When a male matures; he develops a fatty lump on his head.

So, his cranium is bigger than females.

Behavior: Males have much more aggressive behavior and territorial in the breeding season.

(Even after you’ve followed the pointers listed above, and you still can’t tell, ask your local vet or expert.)

The usual coloration is blue-grey with around 8-9 black stripes. There are no differences between males and females until the fish reach maturity.

They aren’t as big as some others. In the wild, they’re much smaller than in the aquarium, the usual range being 1.5-3″ (4-7cm).

In the tank, males usually grow to about 6.5″ (17cm) long. Females are around 4.5″ long (11cm).

Their lifespan is 8-10 years. However, many sources say if they’re well cared for, they may live for much longer..

Breeding

These fish breed readily, but they’re difficult to manage. This is due to Convict Cichlids behavior becoming very aggressive during the breeding season.

A small one swimming taken by @gillock1980
Another great photo by @gillock1980 – A small one swimming.

It’s crucial to monitor the fish. If you plan on breeding them, it’s best you aren’t a complete beginner.

Before the breeding process, raise the water temperature to 84 °F. Make sure you have flat rocks through the tank. These will be used to lay the eggs.

Have a separate breeding tank or a divider to separate the breeding pair from other fish.

The animal behavior of the males change, and they begin to pair off. (The courtship takes a long time.) Once there’s a pair, take them away from the others.

(Convicts have a different partner each breeding season, but only 1 at a time.) When they have begun breeding, renew ¼ of tank water regularly.

The female will lay her eggs in a spot of her choosing in the aquarium, usually one with a flat surface. The male will fertilize them. The average clutch amount is around 100-200. Then, they split the responsibility.

She looks after the eggs, and he guards her and their unhatched offspring fiercely.

(This is why it’s important to separate them from other fish.)

Here we share everything you needed to know about Convict Cichlids. This Convict Cichlid is courtesy of fishy_wishes on Instagram.
Thanks to @fishy_wishes_ on Instagram for sharing this photo of a convict cichlid

Like other cichlid species, these fish are attentive parents. The eggs hatch in around three days. The hatchlings can’t swim for another 2-3 days until they are freed from the yolk.

When this happens, they become free-swimming.

During this period, they are guarded by their parents. After this time, (it’s quite rare,) the male might become skittish, and could eat the juveniles.

If this happens, separate him from the female and the eggs.

The parents will continue to look after the fry for another 10-14 days. After that, they look after themselves. Once this happens, move the mother back into the usual aquarium.

Introduce the juveniles into the tank over time.

Once the convict fry have established themselves, start feeding them. You should feed them with milled live food and dry flakes and pellets. Also renew the water twice a week.

Male with beautiful fins taken by @catfishriver on Instagram
Thanks to @catfishriver on Instagram for this pic of a male with beautiful fins

Looking After Your Convict Cichlids

They are remarkable when it comes to adaptability. In the wild, they live in a variety of habitats and conditions.

When you plan the tank for their care requirements, there are a few things to take into account. First, the layout of the decor. They prefer habitats with spaces they can hide. There should be plenty of hidey-holes.

(Arranging rocks or lying flower pots is a good idea.)

Other essential items in decor include plants and flat stones. (This is for the females to lay their eggs on if you choose to breed them.) Make sure the plants are tough and hardy.

These fish like to dig in the substrate, delicate plants can be ripped out.

Second, the minimum tank size is 52 gallons, (200 L) is an excellent place to start, for a pair. If you have a group or more fish in a community tank, go bigger.

It’s essential to have a powerful, external filter to mantain the water conditions. The constant flow of substrate into the water from the fish digging can make it clogged.

Water Parameters

Temperature – They’re a tropical freshwater fish, from a warm climate. The best temperature range is 79–84 °F (26–29 °C).

PH And Hardness – For the pH 6.6–7.8 is best, and for the hardness, 6-8 dGH.

Convict Cichlid Tank Mates

Convict Cichlids are some of the most aggressive fish. They attack most fish, sometimes for no reason at all. If provoked, they can and will do damage.

They have sharp teeth and could injure the fish they are bullying.

This isn’t the best fish to keep with others, issues can and will arise. However, you can keep them with some, but under specific conditions, and particular species.

The community tank must be large enough for all the fish. You should also introduce your fish to their tank mates as early in their life as possible.

Adults are more aggressive than juveniles. The aggressiveness decreases if you introduce them early.

Make sure the fish you choose are large, as large as you can afford/accommodate. This minimizes the risk of them being attacked.

Keep them in pairs, not groups. If you have an established couple, don’t bother with tank mates.

Here is a list of the best tank mates.

  • More Of Their Species.
  • Other Cichlids. Make sure they are large and have aggressive/semi-aggressive demeanors. Like Firemouth Cichlids, Jewel Cichlids, Blue Acara, the Red Terror, Green Terror, Jack Dempsey and Yellow Lab Cichlids.
  • Flowerhorn Cichlids
  • Other Large Fish. Like Tinfoils, Plecos, Irridescent Shark and Clarias.
Small Female Convict Cichlid taken by @a.e_aquatics On Instagram
Thanks to @a.e_aquatics on Instagram for this pic of a small female.

What To Feed Convict Cichlid?

A convict cichlid diet is classified as omnivorous. In the wild, they eat a variety of things. Invertebrates, such as small insects and worms and they eat many types of algae and plant matter.

They aren’t fussy. Some have compared this fish to the Labrador, as it eats nearly everything you give them.

However, put thought and planning into their food. You don’t want a sick fish. These fish need a plentiful and varied diet.

Feeding them twice a day is best. Don’t make the amount too big.

(Also remove any uneaten food within 24 hours from the tank.)

Flake and Pellets: Many aquarists recommend Flake and Pellet Foods. Make sure the foods that you choose are high-quality, and well-rated by users. Remember to make sure it’s designed for this type of fish.

Live Foods: These fulfill the meaty requirements in their diet. Like Tubifex worms, brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, bloodworms, and Daphnia. They enjoy these. However, remember everything in moderation.

Other Options To Consider

Frozen Foods: Feeding them the same foods (Tubifex worms, brine shrimp blood worms, Daphnia,) just frozen, is an easy and convenient alternative.

Insects & Invertebrates: As we mentioned earlier, an integral part of their diet. If you can, feed them a few live insects every so often. They like Mosquito Larvae.

Things To Avoid

Overfeeding: This could make your fish sick.

Meaty Foods: Don’t feed them any meats humans eat, (lamb, chicken, beef, pork.) It’s bad for their digestive systems.

They’re a single species. However, there a few variants. They look quite different from the original, the black convict, because they’ve been bred with other colors.

Sometimes, there is a mutation in these fish known as “Leucism.” It happens in many animals, not only fish.

When an individual has this, the pigments in their skin and scales are weak. So the animal seems pale. (It’s not to be confused with Albinism, which is a complete lack of pigments.)

The colorations breeders have developed are gold, white and pink

Pink ones are the only variant to have an official classification, it being Convict Cichlid archocentrus nigrofasciatus.

Called: Pink Convict

Also Known As: Zebra Cichlid

Scientific Classification: Archocentrus nigrofasciatus

Convict Cichlids are a staple in the aquarium trade.

Many fish-keepers find them an excellent fish. If you choose to keep them, you won’t be disappointed. They’re are easy to look after.

Do you have a Convict Cichlid, or are planning on getting one? Let me know.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Red Devil Cichlid (Amphilophus labiatus) Complete Species Guide

A beautiful but violent cichlid, this fish is a vibrant red color. It has a temperament and personality to match. There’s a reason its common name is the Red Devil Cichlid!

Red Devil Cichlid taken by @klickahsaahn on Instagram header
Red Devil Cichlid thansk to @klickahsaahn on Instagram

This cichlid gets quite large when it matures. Very aggressive and territorial. It’s not a good idea to give this cichlid tank companions

If you put another male Red Devil in the tank, they’ll probably try and kill each other, so don’t try that.

They hunt down smaller fish if in the tank and kill them. It can ‘play’ like a dog might, follow the owner around, or beg for food. Sometimes it’ll bite your finger, so be careful!

Table Of Contents:

Red Devil Cichlid Care – Predator Fish? Tank Mates?

Basic Facts

Name: Red Devil Cichlid

Scientific Name: Amphilophus labiatus (Previously Known As Cichlasoma labiatum)

Group: Freshwater

Size Of The Fish: 15.0 inches (38.10 cm)

Temperament: Extremely Aggressive and territorial

Aquarium Size Required: Extra-Large

Where It Swims: Around the bottom

Care Difficulty Rating: Medium

Good Paired With: Very aggressive. It’s best to keep a single pair together in a tank to themselves.

Origins

This freshwater fish comes from Central America in several lakes in Nicaragua, like Lake Managua or Lake Nicaragua. It has been introduced to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Singapore.

These freshwater fish were previously known as Cichlasoma labiatum. They like to inhabit open water and are rarely found in rivers.

They can be found swimming along rocks with crevices. The fish do this so if they need to retreat; so they can hide among the rocks.

Their habitat is very dangerous. It’s the only freshwater lake in Central America with a large bull shark population.

Female Red Devil Cichlid taken by @christhefisherman
Female Red Devil Cichlid taken by @christhefisherman

They have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years or more if looked after correctly and with care. This fish is called the Red Devil for a good reason.

It’s because it has aggressive behavior, large teeth and strong jaws.

Appearance

They are usually a vibrant, rich red. These fish brighten any tank.

Their fins are pointed. especially the anal and dorsal fins. The usual red devil cichlid size is 15″ (38cm).

In the wild, they’ve been known to have dark brown to gray coloration which helps them to match their surroundings.

However, in the aquarium, they’re usually bright red, amber yellow and sometimes white. They have red thick rubbery lips that are occasionally black. In the wild, their mouths are larger.

Red Devil Cichlid Male Or Female?

Here is how to sex a red devil cichlid.

Markings and Colors: Males have a nuchal hump on their heads

Size and Shape: Males are larger than females and have more pointed anal and pelvic fins.

Behavior: During breeding season, males become aggressive and territorial.

Even if after you’ve followed all the pointers listed above, and you still can’t tell, don’t worry. You can ask your local vet or expert.

Breeding

Breeding these fish isn’t the best idea for beginner breeders. They get temperamental when the breeding season rolls around, so you need to be careful.

Before you start the process, make sure the fish you are planning to breed are moved out of the tank. Else the other fish will be harassed endlessly.

Thanks to @f22bcichlids For this Photo of two Red Devil Cichlids - Everything you needed to know about Red Devil Cichlids. Find out how to keep your Red Devil Cichlids happy and healthy. | Contented Fish
Thanks to @f22bcichlids For this Photo of two Red Devil Cichlids

Red Devil Cichlids are monogamous. Once they’ve chosen, they stay with this fish for the rest of their life.

Breeding season can become a hair-raising time for all fish in the tank.

The male ‘courts’ the female, which isn’t how we think of courting. They chase and harass the female. Some aquarists recommend using tank separators to give the female a break.

You wouldn’t want her to be hurt.

They will mate, and the spawning begins. Like other cichlids, put a flat rock for them to put their eggs. The female lays the eggs on the rock, and the male fertilizes them.

On average, she will have a clutch size of 600-700.

Provide plenty of hiding spots in the breeding area. This gives the opportunity for the fish to have a break from each other if needed.

Both parents protect and raise the eggs. The female looks after them will they are in the eggs, and they hatch after three to four days.

Once they have hatched, the parents will transfer the young fry into a pit dug in the sand. They live off their egg sacs for the first week, and after that, they become free swimming.

Now you need to feed them. The recommended food is artificial feed designed for Cichlid fry. Or, finely crushed flake foods. Once they are grown, you can feed them food you feed other Red Devil Cichlids.

Looking After Red Devil Cichlids

Red Devil Cichlids are easy to look after regarding tank maintenance and care. However, their aggressive nature puts them at a definite ‘medium’ care difficulty rating.

On tank conditions, they’re quite easy, provided you keep the tank water clean. They’re not a stickler for specific water, they have high tolerance levels. But keep within the requirements I’ve listed here.

Don’t keep them in a group, either a pair or by themselves.

Try to buy a female and male, and keep them in the tank together. Introduce them to each other as early as possible in life. When they become sexually mature, they’ll be ready for breeding.

This makes the breeding process much more manageable.

The smallest tank size for an individual fish is a 55 gallon tank (208 L). If you’re keeping a pair, you need something much bigger. A 150 gallon tank (568 L) is the optimal size for a couple.

Though they need a large aquarium, it’s worth it for all the issues you’ll avoid.

These fish need need hiding places. Sometimes, the couple need a break from each other. They’re also territorial, so make sure the tank is big enough each fish to have their territory.

Flat rocks are essential, as that is where (like most Cichlids) females do their spawning on. Red Devils love to dig, make sure the plants you put in are artificial.

Mango The Red Devil Cichlid taken by @paco_147g on Instagram
Mango The Red Devil Cichlid taken by @paco_147g on Instagram

This fish can tolerate most water conditions, keep in mind it will attack heater and filters. They also may damage aquarium equipment as well.

Secure them with suction cups to the walls. You can also hide them behind a series of rocks.

Put some stones on the sides of the tank. Rockwork makes these fish feel safe, gives them hiding places and mostly reduces aggression.

Put barriers on the heaters, so the fish don’t injure themselves.

A quick note on these animals, they can be suseptible to lateral line disease, or hole in the head disease.

IMPORTANT. Have a cover on the tank when you aren’t performing maintenance. Red Devil Cichlids have a nasty habit of jumping out of the aquarium.

Conditions Of The Tank

You need do water changes weekly. These fish are susceptible to changes in water conditions including pollutants and pH instability. Change 15-20% of the water.

Having a canister filter helps avoid unwanted water conditions.

Like Convict Cichlids, these fish are very messy! They produce a lot of waste. Consider having a dual filter. They also move decorations around, make sure everything is fastened down.

When you replace the water, clean the sides of the tank with a gravel cleaner to remove the build-up of decomposing organic matter.

These fish species don’t have specific lighting requirements, keep it normal.

Bottom Lining: The bottom of the tank needs to be lined with sand.

Water Parameters

Water Current: The current in the water must be moderate.

Tank Temperature
Red Devil Cichlids need a warm tank. The best tank temperature for these fish is 73-79 °F (23-26 °C). However, when it’s breeding time, the water temperature for the Red Devils will need to be 77 °F (25 °C).

pH and Hardness
Their pH needs to be in the range of 6.0-8.0. The tank water needs to be very hard to keep the fish healthy. 6 – 25 dGH.

Suitable Tank Mates

Since this fish is aggressive, it isn’t such a good idea giving it tank mates. If other large males Red Devils are put in the tank with another male, they will try to kill each other.

They hunt down and kill any smaller fish species.

A male and a female pair will sometimes tolerate in the same tank.

Other large Central American fish would sometimes make suitable tank mates. Be sure they can protect themselves. (Examples, Firemouth Cichlids, Convict Cichlids, and Jaguar Cichlids.)

Give the fish plenty of hiding spaces such as rocks, wood, and artificial plants. Don’t bother with real plants.

You can keep Red Devils with other fish when it’s growing up. However, keep in mind. These fish won’t tolerate other fish in their tank when they’ve fully matured.

The only other fish they sometimes tolerate in the same tank is other Red Devils. However, it isn’t reliable, and the level of tolerance depends on the individual fish.

It isn’t guaranteed that putting more hiding spaces stop the fish from being aggressive. This is the same for the fish trying to get more territory and acting rudely to other fish.

In short, it’s best to keep the fish by itself, or in a couple.

What To Feed Red Devil Cichlid?

In the wild, they have a varied diet. Red Devil Cichlids eat worms, small fish, snails and other bottom-living creatures.

Since it’s an omnivore, it needs some vegetable food, but mostly meaty food. Have these fish on a varied diet, don’t overfeed them, and don’t give them the same food all the time.

On feeding frequency, they should have two to three feedings a day, of moderate amounts.

Crustaceans: Prawns or shrimp, whether frozen or fresh, make a good diet staple.

Artificial Food: Cichlid Pellets or flake foods, could do as well.

Insect Larvae is a good idea in moderation

The ideal diet you should give it would be prawns, shrimps, frozen worms or blood worms and vegetable foods.

Other Options To Consider

Vegetable Foods: Like finely chopped spinach and cucumber.

Things To Avoid

Red meat: It’s not part of their natural diet, it has got far too much protein and fat in it for this fish.

What Can I Feed My Baby Red Devil Cichlid?

You can feed your baby red devil cichlid artificial feed designed specifically for fry, or crushed cichlid flakes or pellets.

Despite the hot temper of the fish, and their unpredictability they’re an enjoyable fish to have in your aquarium. Their bright, bold pattern brings vibrant color to the tank.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Flowerhorn Cichlid – Your Complete Guide – [Updated for 2020]

The flowerhorn cichlid is known among aquarists for its beautiful range of colors and big nuchal hump on the head of the males.

These include shades such as orange-red, gold, grey, blackish-grey, and other colors with pearls (silvery gray spots on their skin). Slightly aggressive and territorial, flowerhorns are spectacular fish.

A hybrid species with lots of different subspecies and variations, these fish can truly add the wow factor to your tank.

Here is my complete care guide, with all the information you need.

Table Of Contents

Basic Facts

Name: Flowerhorn Cichlid

Scientific Name: Unknown (Hybrid)

Diet: Omnivore

Size Of The Fish: Max. 16″ (40.64cm) or less

Temperament: Territorial but semi-aggressive

Aquarium Size Required: 

  • For one fish: 70 gallons minimum, 75 is best.
  • For a breeding pair: 150 gallons minimum (size varies based on the size of fish).
  • With tank mates: 215 gallons minimum.

Care Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Good Paired With: In breeding pairs or by themselves, only good with other species when the flowerhorns juveniles.

Water: Freshwater

Origins

Flowerhorn Cichlids are human-made in origin. As a result, they don’t have a natural habitat. These fish are never found somewhere naturally in the wild, if they are, they’ve been introduced by humans.

Red Devil, Trimac Cichlids, and Blood Parrot Cichlids were imported from Central America to Malaysia. The Red devil and the Blood Parrot were bred together, creating the Flowerhorn. 

The fish were first produced in Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan. Asian fish hobbyists then took a liking to Flowerhorn Cichlids.

United States and European hobbyists keep flowerhorns, but importing Flowerhorn Cichlids is banned in Australia.

The first generation of Flowerhorn cichlids available on the market was the Hua Luo Han. These fish were bred in about 1998. Since then, their hybrids became quite popular.

The Seven Colors Blue Fiery Mouth (also known as the Greenish Gold tiger), was imported from Central America and crossbred with the Jin Gang Blood Parrot from Taiwan.

This breeding made the first breed of Hua Luo Han flowerhorn hybrids. Since the development of other varieties of strains, they’ve risen in popularity.

Their lifespan is about 10-12 years, 12 years being on the rarer end.

Note: The cichlid flowerhorn isn’t to be confused with the parrot cichlid or the blood parrot cichlid.

Though they’re all freshwater fish, the parrot cichlid comes South America, and the blood parrots are a hybrid.

Appearance

Flowerhorns are among the most vividly colored in the cichlid world. Males are more colorful than females, and these fish also have a ‘nuchal hump’ or ‘Kok’ on their foreheads. 

Both sexes of this freshwater fish have flat, long bodies, with long dorsal and anal fins extending to the tip of their tails. Their pectoral fins are translucent and much shorter than their others.

Both male and female fish can grow up to 30-40 cm in size.

One of the easiest ways to differentiating male flowerhorn cichlids from other fish is their hump on their forehead. Females don’t have any.

Flowerhorn fish come in an extensive range of assorted colors, from light to dark, purple to red and gold. Their eyes are usually always red with a dark pupil in the centre of their eye.

You’re sure to find your favorite color or type in the extensive range of flowerhorn cichlid strains.

How To Tell The Sex Of A Flowerhorn Cichlid?

Here are a few pointers to help you determine the sex of the fish.

Markings and Colours: Males have more pronounced and vivid colors than females, making them stick out more. Females have black spots on their dorsal fins, and the dorsal fin is quite short.

Another way to tell is the males of these south american cichlids tend to have longer dorsal fins and anal fins.

Size and Body Shape: Males have a different head shape, with a large nuchal hump on their forehead. Males are larger than females.

Behaviour: Another tell-tale trait is when it becomes breeding season, everything on the male’s body gets brighter, and their skin patterns become more vibrant.

Breeding

These cichlids should successfully breed if you follow these steps and ensure they will be as comfortable as possible.

Just a warning, the aggression of the males hightens drastically during this time. Beginner breeders should avoid attempting to breed them.

Before you breed flowerhorns, note this: Most flowerhorns become fully-grown and prepared to reproduce at 1.5-2 years. You usually don’t need to interfere or encourage the spawning procedure.

Important pointers

  • First, put both cichlids in a tank in which size suits the measurements of the breeding pair.
  • In the breeding tank, there should be 3-4 females per one male fish, all the same species to avoid hybridization. Don’t get two males. Otherwise, both will try to kill the other.

When the female fish lays her eggs (usually on a flat surface in the breeding tank), the male fish fertilizes them.

If the male fish becomes hostile, you can separate him from the fry using a tank setup with a divider.

Two days later the eggs of the flowerhorns hatch and the youngster freshwater fish will begin swimming about after two days more.

If you can, place these young offspring fish in a separate fry tank away from the parents.

Flowerhorn Cichlid Care

Make sure to monitor your fish, as, unfortunately, it’s common for flowerhorns to suffer from diseases such as a hole in the head and digestive blockages.

Tank Conditions

The flowerhorn is a slightly high maintenance fish and needs a huge tank with excellent water quality, and a lot of water flow. It’s best to have a canister filter with powerful filtration.

They need lots of space in their aquariums.

Flowerhorns make a mess when they eat, and these fish thrive best in clear water.

The aquarium light should be muted and not too bright.

These fish like digging into the gravel substrate, so having plants isn’t the best idea, rocks are a better choice to have on the bottom.

You should also clean the water weekly, with regular water changes to keep the water conditions under control.

Seventy-five gallons is the minimum tank size for an individual. For a breeding pair, flowerhorns require 150 gallons or more. But it depends on the size of the fish.

Water Parameters – PH And Hardness

Keeping the hardness and pH in good order with frequent water changes is very important to the health of the flowerhorn cichlid. If the parameters aren’t right, the fish will get sick.

pH: 7.4 – 8.0. 

Hardness: 9-20 dGH

Water Parameters – Water Temperature

The best water temperature for these flowerhorns is 78.8-86 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Suitable Tank Mates

It’s best to keep these in a maximum of one breeding pair of these fish per tank, or one individual. Not one tank mate, even another flowerhorn.

You can raise flowerhorns together as juveniles, but once they reach adulthood, separate the adults fish, so each has their territory to make their own ‘homes.’

Avoid having other tank mates, especially those of different species, because fights and the other fish tankmates being hurt will be a common occurrence.

Their compatibility is essentially zero, they’re not the best community aquarium fish.

What To Feed Flowerhorn Cichlid?

You can feed these large fish directly from your hand, as flowerhorns generally aren’t afraid of you, but careful, as bolder ones will bite!

If the fish refuse to eat, usually a clear sign they’re sick, as these cichlids have a very hearty appetite, and though they’ll eat just about anything, make sure you feed them the correct food.

Fish keepers say to feed the flowerhorns about two to three times a day, and adjust the amount as necessary. They need a variety of different things in their diet, and lots of protein.

Recommended Foods

  • Pellets – Make sure they’re high in protein and high quality with lots of necessary nutrients and supplements.
  • Live foods such as mussels or prawns
  • Dry or live food such as krill, bloodworms, worms, low-fat fish, smaller fish species, even crickets
  • Spirulina

Other Options To Consider

These are more treat foods, but you can still feed flowerhorns these occasionally.

  • Pieces of calamari
  • Grasshoppers
  • Earthworms

Things To Avoid

  • Red meat or meat used for people consumption, it’s very bad for the digestive system of a flower horn cichlid.

Recommended Foods For Fry

Here’s a list of recommended foods for fry. Keep in mind you can usually find commercially made fry food at most aquarium stores.

  • (Baby) brine shrimp
  • Egg yolk
  • Infusoria
  • Microworms
  • Vinegar eels
  • Green water
  • Specially made fry foods you can find at aquarium stores

Things To Avoid

For fry, avoid big foods like flakes, as they may end up being as big as the fry themselves!

Types Of Flowerhorn Cichlids

Here is a list of the different types of flowerhorn cichlids.

  • KamFa
  • Kamalau (KML, Golden Monkey, or Kamfas)
  • Chinese Zhen Zhu (ZZ)
  • Thai Silk (Titanium Flower Horn)
  • Red Dragon Flowerhorn
  • Gold Flowerhorn (Golden Base)
  • Faders
  • Red Texas
  • King Kong Parrots
  • Red Ingots

Their species also include Strains (fish bred from two different parent fish species). An example of a Strain would be a Golden Monkey female with a Zhen Zhu male, making an IndoMalau.

Some of the Flowerhorn Strains include –

  • Coronation Link
  • Tornado Effect
  • Perfect Harmony
  • Unique Track
  • Absolute Wonder
  • Ancient Warship
  • Legacy
  • Creative Measure
  • Exotic Marvel
  • Scarlet Passion
  • Rising Rainbow
  • Living Legend
  • Royal Deegre
  • Quantum Grace
  • Pacific Miracle

Your Cichlid Questions Answered

What Is The Puffy Part On A Flowerhorn Cichlid?

The puffy part is called a nuchal hump or Kok. It appears on the male flowerhorns and not the females.

Where To Buy Flowerhorn Cichlid?

In general, the best place to buy one would generally be online and get it delivered or buy the flowerhorn at your local aquarium store.

Why Won’t My Flowerhorn Cichlid Eat The Pellets?

One of the most common reasons why your flowerhorn won’t eat food is because it may be stressed.

Stress has a significant effect on these cichlids and will cause the fish to lose their appetite for a couple of days. 

Uneaten pellets and food will cause ammonia. You can utilize a small siphon or turkey baster to get rid of them.

Can I Keep My Flowerhorn Cichlid With An Oscar?

Indeed you can, but ensure the oscar is mature and defend itself from the flowerhorn’s attacks. If the flowerhorn is fully grown and powerful, it may kill or attempt to kill the oscar. 

Before you buy the fish, note:

  • You put the oscar in the tank before the flowerhorn; the flowerhorn will not accept the oscar in its tank if you put the oscar in after the flowerhorn.
  • Both fish are the same size as each other
  • The tank is a suitable large size

If you’re looking for a peaceful fish with peaceful tank mates, flowerhorns aren’t a good idea. Sometimes, the flowerhorn will be friendly with its tank mates.

But, it depends on the size of the tank, and the nature of the flowerhorn.

Can Flowerhorn Live With Cichlids?

Yes, but keeping a cichlid/s with flowerhorns is a challenge. Being an aggressive fish, flowerhorn cichlids won’t take kindly to multiple tank mates, even if it’s just one other.

How Big Do Flowerhorn Cichlids Get?

Being 16″ (40.64cm) at a maximum and 12″ (30.48cm) at a minimum in length, flowerhorns are one huge fish!

Are Flowerhorns Aggressive?

Yes. Flowerhorns generally are aggressive. Male flowerhorns are especially aggressive during breeding.

Flowerhorns are almost otherworldly, due to their unique range of coloration and nuchal humps, a truly spectacular fish.

Though these fish are a bit to handle and manage, it’s definitely worth it if you’re up for this challenge in the aquarium hobby.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Best Food For Cichlids Colors – All The Answers [2020 Update]

Who doesn’t love beautiful fish with bright, vivid coloration? They bring real interest to any tank, and cichlids are no exception when it comes to bright colors. Sometimes, your fish look a little dull.

Don’t worry. There is a solution. Choosing the right food, feed specially designed to enhance the color of the cichlid.

Here, I’ll review all the best cichlid food for colors.

Best Food For Cichlids Colors - Read On For All The Answers

Table Of Contents

What’s The Best Cichlid Food For Color?

Omega One Super Color Cichlid Pellets

Rich in omega 3, fatty acids, and omega 6, as well as beta carotenes. The omega one super color is designed to enhance colors.

But also help cichlids have a balanced diet with access to the nutrients they need.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 3 times daily, only as much as fish can consume in 2 minutes.
  • Flakes

Ingredients

  • Whole Salmon
  • Whole Herring
  • Black Cod
  • Halibut
  • Whole Shrimp
  • Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Fresh Kelp
  • Lecithin
  • Astaxanthin
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Phosphate
  • Natural and Artificial Colors
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Inositol
  • Tocopherol
  • Ethoxyquin

Pros

  • Natural ingredients
  • No artificially produced ingredients, all components are high-quality
  • Designed for cleaner tanks and less fish waste
  • Easy to digest
  • No fish meal, made of whole ingredients
  • Suitable for all cichlids, South American and African

Cons

  • Some found they crumbled too easily
  • Some found the flakes weren’t that big
  • Not suitable as a complete supplement for adults, best used in combination with something else
  • Some found they smelled funny

NorthFin Cichlid Food

NorthFin Cichlid Food

Made with premium ingredients such as organic kelp, Spirulina, herring meal, and whole antarctic krill meal, this cichlid food is rich in nutrients and natural ingredients.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, only what fish consume in 5 minutes or less
  • Slow sinking pellets
  • Made in Canada

Ingredients

  • Whole Antarctic Krill Meal
  • High Omega-3
  • Herring Meal
  • Whole Sardine Meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Kelp
  • Spirulina
  • Garlic
  • Astaxanthin
  • Calcium Montmorillonite Clay
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate
  • D-Activated Animal-Sterol
  • DL Alphatocopherol
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Folic Acid, Biotin
  • Choline Chloride
  • Cobalt Sulfate
  • Ferrous Sulfate
  • Manganese Sulfate
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Pros

  • The formula is free of any artificial ingredients, hormones, and products
  • Fast increases the quality of the cichlids’ colors
  • Very high quality
  • Designed, so it doesn’t cloud the water in the fish tank
  • Satisfies even picky eaters
  • Excellent size for a variety of cichlids

Cons

  • Some found it clouds the water
  • Some fish will stop eating it after a few weeks
  • A bit expensive
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes Food

TetraCichlid Balanced Diet Flakes Food

A scientifically researched and tested formula from a company that was founded in 1951, Tetra has years of tried and tested experience in creating a great cichlid food.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 2-3 times daily, as much as fish can eat in 3-4 mins
  • Floating Flakes

Ingredients

  • Fish Meal
  • Ground Brown Rice
  • Dried Yeast
  • Shrimp Meal
  • Potato Protein
  • Dehulled Soybean Meal
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Soybean Oil
  • Fish Oil
  • Sorbitol
  • Lecithin
  • L-Lysine Monochlorhydride
  • Algae Meal
  • Feeding Oat Meal
  • Yeast Extract
  • Vitamin C
  • Riboflavin-5-Phosphate
  • Inositol
  • Niacin
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate
  • D-Calcium Pantothenate
  • A-Tocopherol-Acetate
  • Thiamine Mononitrate
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex
  • Biotin
  • Vit. B12 Supplement
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Color Includes: Beta-Carotene, Annatto Extract, Blue 2 Lake, Red 3, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake
  • Ethoxyquin

Pros

  • Enhanced with Vitamin C
  • Available in a variety of different size containers
  • Lots of nutrition and necessary nutrients
  • The flakes don’t disintegrate, less waste and a cleaner fish tank
  • Great for all cichlids
  • Excellent value for the price

Cons

  • The flakes are quite big. You’ll need to cut them up for smaller cichlids.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Dainichi Cichlid Food – Color Sinking Small Pellet

Dainichi Cichlid Food - Color Sinking Small Pellet

Specially formulated for enhancing the color in your cichlids, it has enhanced natural ingredients and is enriched with a variety of other items.

This is the perfect food for cichlids to bring out some fantastic coloration.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 2-3 times daily, as much as fish can eat in 3-4 mins
  • Sinking pellets

Ingredients

  • Whitefish meal
  • Wheat flour
  • Krill
  • Wheat germ
  • Spirulina
  • Pea protein
  • Brewers yeast
  • Copepod meal
  • Montmorillonite clay
  • Gum acacia
  • Astaxanthin
  • Garlic
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Protease
  • Beta-glucan
  • Vit A Acetate
  • D-Activated Animal Sterol
  • DL-alpha-Tocopherol
  • L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate
  • B12 Supplement
  • Choline Chloride
  • Niacin
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Thiamine Mononitrate
  • Inositol
  • Folic Acid
  • Menadione Sodium
  • Bisulfite Complex
  • Biotin

Pros

  • Small pellets, great size for all cichlids
  • Good quality food
  • Full of necessary nutrients
  • Good price
  • Helps cichlids develop their colors while also keeping them healthy

Cons

  • If you prefer floating pellets, don’t buy these.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets

Aqueon Cichlid Food Pellets

Combining balanced nutrition with added ingredients to help promote happy and vibrant fish, this a great all-rounder food for all sorts of cichlids from big to small.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – Small amount once daily, adjust amount as necessary
  • Slow sinking pellets

Ingredients

  • Whole Fish Meal
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Whole Dried Krill
  • Wheat Gluten Meal
  • Soybean Meal
  • Squid Meal
  • Dried Yeast
  • Fish Oil
  • Kelp Meal
  • Garlic
  • Spirulina
  • Marigold Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Natural Astaxanthin
  • Choline Chloride
  • Calcium Propionate
  • L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Niacin
  • Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex
  • Folic acid
  • Thiamine
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Biotin
  • DL-Alphatocopherol
  • Manganese sulfate
  • Cobalt sulfate
  • Ferrous Sulfate
  • Copper Sulfate

Pros

  • Designed not to cloud the water
  • Available in a range of sizes for different sized cichlids
  • Designed to satisfy even the picky eaters
  • Great, affordable price

Cons

  • Some found they didn’t float. They were more like sinking pellets
  • Some found they had a strange smell
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula Freshwater Food

New Life Spectrum Cichlid Formula Freshwater Food

Designed for cichlids with an enhanced formula for better nutrients and colors, this contains no artificial ingredients. New life Spectrum makes a variety of different cichlid foods, perfect for any need.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily
  • Sinking pellets

Ingredients

  • Whole Antarctic Krill
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Whole Menhaden Fish* Ulva Seaweed
  • Chlorella Seaweed
  • Wakame Seaweed
  • Kelp
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Astaxanthin
  • Spirulina
  • Omega-3 Fish Oil Marigold
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Capsanthin
  • Eucheuma cottonii
  • Chondrus crispus
  • Spinosum Seaweed
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Sea Salt
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • Vitamin D Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Niacin
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Thiamine Hydrochloride
  • Riboflavin Supplement,
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C)
  • Choline Chloride
  • Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide
  • Cobalt Sulfate
  • Ferrous Sulfate
  • Manganese Sulfate

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Full of great ingredients designed for happy, healthy fish
  • All sorts of cichlids love them
  • Will even satisfy picky eaters
  • Brings out colors quite well

Cons

  • The pellets are tiny, so may not suit larger cichlids
  • They sink, and uneaten ones might get lost in the substrate, making the tank messy
  • Smells a bit strange
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Royal Pet Supplies Spirulina Flake Fish Food

Royal Pet Supplies Spirulina Flake Fish Food

Primarily composed of Spirulina, (biomass made of blue/green algae), these are protein-rich flakes suited for almost any type of fish, not just cichlids.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, only what fish can consume in 5 minutes or less
  • Flakes

Ingredients

  • Salmon Fish Meal
  • Spirulina Algae Meal
  • Soy Flour
  • Wheat Flour
  • Brewers Dried Yeast
  • Corn Starch
  • Dried Krill Meal
  • Shrimp Meal
  • Plankton Meal
  • Lecithin
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vitamin A Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate

Pros

  • Not too many ingredients, only the natural essentials are included
  • Spirulina is rich in protein and is a natural source of 7 different vitamins
  • Made in the USA
  • Natural color enhancers included
  • Good value for the price

Cons

  • Unfortunately, it creates lots of waste
  • Inconsistent size of the flakes, some are huge and some re small
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Repashy Superfoods Green

Repashy Superfoods Green

It is created with a veggie-based formula and plenty of natural, nutrient-full ingredients. These are high in protein and essential vitamins and omega-3, fatty acids, and omega 6.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily
  • Cube-Shaped Pellets

Ingredients

  • Spirulina Algae
  • Algae Meal
  • Krill Meal
  • Pea Protein Isolate
  • Squid Meal
  • Rice Protein Concentrate
  • Fish Meal
  • Alfalfa Leaf Meal
  • Dried Brewers Yeast
  • Coconut Meal
  • Stabilized Rice Bran
  • Flax Seed Meal
  • Schizochytrium Algae
  • Dried Seaweed Meal
  • Lecithin
  • Dried Kelp
  • Locust Bean Gum
  • Potassium Citrate
  • Taurine
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Garlic
  • Rose Hips
  • Hibiscus Flower
  • Calendula Flower
  • Marigold Flower
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Calcium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate
  • Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
  • Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate
  • Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate
  • Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate
  • Selenium Yeast.
  • Vitamins: (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D Supplement, Choline Chloride, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2-Monophosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta Carotene, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex).

Pros

  • Plenty of nutrient-rich ingredients
  • Suitable for a wide variety of fish, not just cichlid ingredients
  • A great substitute for green veggies like green peas and cucumber

Cons

  • More suited for goldfish as a complete food, for cichlids, it’s better as a supplement to other foods.
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Hikari Cichlid Gold Floating Pellets

Hikari Cichlid Gold Floating Pellets

It contains beta-carotene as a natural color enhancer and designed to promote long life and a healthy immune system.

Made with natural ingredients. Floating pellets to monitor how much your cichlids eat much easier.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily
  • Floating Pellets

Ingredients

  • White Fish Meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Germ Meal
  • Brewers Dried Yeast
  • Soybean Meal
  • Shrimp Meal
  • Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal
  • Carotene

Pros

  • Doesn’t cloud the water
  • Contain stabilized vitamin C
  • Great for a variety of different cichlids

Cons

  • Some found they disintegrate too quickly
  • Can clog up the water sometimes, but this is rare
  • Some found they were too big
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

What Is The Best African Cichlid Food For Color?

The best food for African cichlid color is NorthFin Cichlid Food,

Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Your Questions Answered

How Do I Make My African Cichlids Color Improve?

Here are some ways to help your African cichlids color improve.

  • feed them live/freeze-dried foods and others as well so they get the nutrients they need
  • Make sure there’s not too much or too little tank lighting.
  • Make sure to do regular water changes to keep the cichlids healthy.

There’s an excellent video by Cichlidscape on Youtube, explaining more solutions to this problem.

Why Are My African Cichlids Losing Color?

Here are a few possible reasons why your African cichlids are losing color.

  • They may not have a varied enough diet, commercial foods and pellets aren’t enough by themselves
  • The water quality might not be good enough
  • Perhaps there’s not enough tank lighting or too much tank lighting

Do Cichlids Change Color?

Yes, many cichlids do change color as they age, or to attract a mate during the breeding season.

Does Color Enhancing Fish Food Work?

Yes, color enhancing fish food does work if used correctly. To promote color enhancement, the foods contain high levels of carotenoids. A nutrient suited for creating brighter colors.

However, cichlids need a balanced diet, and commercial food with color enhancers alone doesn’t cut it.

Hopefully, this post helped you find the best food to help your cichlids showcase their beautiful, bright coloring. It’s sure to enhance the wow factor in their coloration and add real interest to your tank.

Do you have any product recommendations or general tips on how to enhance the color of your cichlids? I’m sure other readers would appreciate your knowledge, leave a comment below.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Peacock Cichlid – Complete Care & Tank Guide – [2020 Update]

Peacock Cichlids! One of the most colorful cichlids and freshwater fish. They have vibrant reds, blues, yellows, oranges, and purples.

cichlid from genus aulonocara

(FYI: Don’t confuse them with Peacock Bass. They are two different species; their habitats are in two different parts of the world.)

They weren’t always a well-known species. However, now, they’ve risen in popularity

There are many reasons why to keep them. One, they’re a good size. Two, they’re very colorful. Three, they’re easy to take care of.

Here’s a complete care guide for these fish.

Table Of Contents:

How To Guide: African Cichlid Peacock and Haplochromis Show Tank

Basic Facts

Name: Peacock Cichlid

Scientific Name: Aulonocara nyassae

Group: Freshwater Fish

Size Of The Fish: Medium

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Aquarium Size Required: Medium-Large

Where It Swims: On The Bottom

Care Difficulty Rating: Easy-Medium

Good Paired With: Other Small To Medium Community Fish, Other Peacocks

Origins

Amazing Multicolored Peacock Fish taken by @from860to215 on Instagram
Amazing Multicolored Peacock thanks to @from860to215 on Instagram

What is a peacock cichlid? The Peacock Cichlid, (Aulonocara nyassae) is one of the many African Cichlids. It comes from the family Cichlidae, which includes all known Cichlid species.

Many types of Peacock Cichlid come from Lake Malawi in Africa.

Appearance

Cichlids are some of the brightest and vibrant fish. These indeed live up to the expectations.

They’re a sexually dimorphic species. The males and females have many physical differences.

Here are a few pointers on how to sex peacock cichlid.

Markings and Colours: Males are more colorful and vibrant than their counterparts. Especially in the breeding seasons.

Males sometimes have what’s called “egg spots,” on their anal fins. They are unusual, and they are unique to the tribe haplochromine.

According to Plos One, they seem to be for showing the male is healthy and may make it easier for the fish to find a mate. Some fish will go to the point of targeting others who don’t have egg spots.

Size and Shape: Usually, the males are bigger than the females, sometimes up to an inch (2.5cm) longer. The anal, dorsal and caudal fins of the male fish are longer.

Behavior: Males become flamboyant and aggressive in the breeding season, to impress the females. They also may become occupied with building a nest or cave, a suitable place for reproduction.

Peacock Aulonocara nyassae

With the females, change in behavior is a bit more subtle. Two fish preparing to spawn will spend much time together. However, a group of females tend to ignore the other cichlids in the tank.

Breeding females often carry their eggs in their mouth to protect their young.

(If you still can’t tell, ask your local vet or expert.)

How big does a peacock cichlid get? Fully grown they reach lengths of 4-7 inches, (10-18cm).

Beatiful Peacock fish taken by @aqua_naturalist on Instagram
Beautiful Peacock thanks to @aqua_naturalist on Instagram

Breeding

Except in the breeding season, both sexes tend to lead solitary lifestyles. They’re territorial, but not overly aggressive.

If you want to breed them at home, here is a list of things to remember.

  • Set up a group of fish. A ratio of 1 male to 3-4 females is a good idea.
  • If you have different species in the same tank, make sure they look very different to avoid hybridization.
  • They lay and hatch eggs, and they’re mouth breeders. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized, the female keeps them in her mouth to protect them as they grow.
  • They are incubated and develop in her mouth for two-three weeks.
  • If the female is a first-time mother, she will lay around ten eggs. If she’s given birth before, she will lay around 30 eggs. Of course, it varies.
  • After the baby fish, (called fry), hatch, the mother looks after them for a week or so. Then they look after themselves.

How long does it take for peacock cichlid fry to hatch? Around 2 to 4 weeks.

How to tell if a peacock cichlid is holding? Here is an excellent video from Prime Time Aquatics explaining how to tell.

Yellow Flavescent Peacock taken by @central_texas_cichlids on Instagram
Yellow Flavescent Peacock thanks to @central_texas_cichlids on Instagram

Looking After Peacock Cichlids

Cichlids from Lake Malawi are naturally aggressive. Often, when they are placed in an aquarium or similar confined space, there is usually an increase in aggressive behavior.

It’s essential to have a tank large enough to accommodate them. They need places to seek refuge, like aquarium plants or rocks.

Plan your tank carefully to avoid common problems. These include bigger fish preying on smaller ones and clashes between fish. It may prevent two different species breeding with each other. (Hybridization.)

The minimum recommended tank size (water capacity) is a 50 gallon tank. A 100 gallon tank is an excellent tank size for a group of fish.

Pick the size of your tank by 1/2 an inch of fish per gallon. As they swim in open water, tall tanks offer more space.

Despite many males being solitary, they do form schools. They swim together, feeding on the bottom of the lake.

In the aquarium, the fish forming schools is essential to minimize conflict. There are usually one male to 3-4 females, they’re polygamous. Keep this ratio to help the formation of schools.

They need lots of space to move around in. Their care and maintenance are like that of the Mbuna group.

Here is a care guide on ideal conditions for the tank to have.

Tank Conditions

They’re endemic to Lake Malawi and not very adaptable. They require fixed water parameters.

PH Levels And Water Hardness

In the natural conditions of their habitat, the water absorbs bicarbonate and calcium from the bedrock on the bottom of the lake.

The minerals release into the water, making it hard, and it has a neutral pH.

The pH needs to be 7.5 to 8.5.

Make sure the pH is the exact amount. If you put the fish in an environment with water parameters such as lower pH levels, it will stress them out, and it could contract diseases.

Vibrant Blue Peacock fish taken by @billcamp11
Vibrant Blue Peacock taken by @billcamp11

Water Temperature

Lake Malawi is situated almost in the middle of the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator. It has a tropical climate. The water is quite warm.

The recommended tank temperature for Peacock Cichlids is 74-80° Fahrenheit, (23-27° Celsius). Remember to maintain the water temperature steadily.

Sudden changes – even in the recommended range – make the fish uncomfortable. A useful tool to maintain the temperature is an aquarium heater.

Useful Tools

The aquarium trade has created a few handy tools to make tank maintenance easier. Here are some of the best for these fish.

Rift Lake Salts

Rift Lake Salts create and maintain ideal water chemistry for your fish. They’re sometimes known as African Cichlid Salt. They contain bicarbonate and calcium, minerals prominent in Lake Malawi.

When you dissolve them in the tank water, the Rift Lake Salts maintain the pH and increase the hardness of the water. This imitates the water conditions of where these fish come from.

Dissolve it in a bucket of water before adding it to the tank.

The Cichlid Lake Salt by Seachem is an excellent choice, especially designed for African Cichlids, like the peacock cichlid.

Cichlid Lake Salt by Seachem Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Passive pH Control

The salt mix isn’t the only way you can maintain the water parameters

Rocks such as tufa and substrates such as coral sand contain minerals that are calcium-rich. These substances slowly release bicarbonate and calcium into the water.

Here’s an excellent choice for Tufa

Rock Garden Natural Green Plant with Tufa Rock Base, 8' Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

A good choice for coral sand –

Pure Water Pebbles African Cichlid Bio-Activ Natural White Aquarium Live Sand for African Cichlids 20 LB. Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

This is like the natural processes of the rocks in the lake.

Peacock fish swimming taken by @aqua_naturalist on Instagram
Peacock swimming thanks to @aqua_naturalist on Instagram

Suitable Tank Mates

Though protective of their territory, they can live alongside other species.

Here are some ideas for Peacock Cichlids tank mates.

Suggested companions include other cichlids, (preferably non-aggressive). Also other species with community temperament.

Other members of the tribe Peacocks come from, (haplochromine), share a similar temperament. Utaka Cichlids are an excellent choice.

Unsuitable tank mates are Zebra Cichlids and fish from the Mbuna genus.

Feeding

Peacock Cichlids are insectivores. Unlike some of the other Lake Malawi Cichlids, whose diet consists mostly of vegetation. These are bigger and hunt in the open water, and have a much more varied diet.

They are a benthic species. This means they feed and live in the lower or deeper areas of water bodies, sifting through the substrate for food.

Feed them small amounts 2-3 times a day, rather than one big feed.

Remove any uneaten food from the tank. This prevents ammonia spikes and blockages in the filter.

Many people recommend these types of fish foods: wafers, granules and a sinking cichlid pellet. But make sure to give them a varied diet. Feeding them specific types of fresh and frozen foods is a good idea.

You must be careful when it comes to feeding them foods that aren’t specific fish foods.

Here are a few pointers.

Feed them different types of vegetables, such as cucumber, broccoli, peas, and lettuce. Also Japanese seaweed or nori.

Cucumber: Chop into inch long chunks. Weigh them down with something heavy, so they sink to the bottom. It keeping them occupied, as they slowly demolish the chunk.

Peas: De-shell the peas unless you are using baby peas. If you want to make them softer, boil them.

Washed, and finely chopping, any of the above foods is a good way to prepare them, or blending them and freezing them into small cubes.

Garlic is also another great option. Chop finely and mix it with something else. Feeding them small amounts of garlic helps Peacock Cichlids with their health and immune system.

These must only be fed to your fish in moderation.

Other Options To Consider

Despite being insectivores, Peacock Cichlids will be content on a diet with meat in it. Good options include frozen and freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

You can also feed them live brine shrimp.

Things To Avoid

Other Types Of Meat: Beef, chicken, lamb and other meats are a definite no. Peacock and other Lake Malawi Cichlids have digestive systems not suited to meat.

Tubifex worms are a bad idea because they cause Malawi bloating.

Pretty Peacock Cichlids taken by @cerulean_aquatics
Pretty Peacock Cichlids taken by @cerulean_aquatics

Popular Types Of Peacock Cichlids

Peacock Cichlids is the name for the genus of fish called Aulonocara. It includes many species and sub-species.

According to the website Fishbase, there are 22 recognized species of the genus Aulonocara. Possibly, more are waiting to be discovered.

Here is a list of Peacock Cichlid types

  • Night Aulonocara – Aulonocara hueseri (Midnight Peacock)
  • Sulfurhead peacock – Aulonocara maylandi (Sulfurhead Aulonocara)
  • Aulonocara Chizumulu – Aulonocara korneliae (Aulonocara Blue Gold | Blue Orchard Aulanocara)
  • Eureka Red Peacock – Aulonocara jacobfreibergi (Freiberg’s Peacock | Fairy Cichlid)
  • Ruby Red Peacock Cichlid – Aulonocara Rubescens (Ruby Red Peacock Cichlid and Rubin Red Peacock)
  • Blue Orchid – Aulonocara kandeense (Blue Orchid Aulonocara)
  • Nkhomo-Benga Peacock – Aulonocara baenschi (The nkhomo-benga peacock is also known as the new yellow regal peacock,)
  • Emperor Cichlid – Aulonocara nyassae
  • Greenface Aulonocara – Aulonocara saulosi
  • Pale Usisya Aulonocara – Aulonocara steveni
  • Flavescent Peacock – Aulonocara stuartgranti
  • Sunshine Peacock – Aulonocara stuartgranti (Maleri Orange)
  • OB Peacock – (A hybrid, created with a male Aulonocara with an OB female mbuna.)

(The Emperor Cichlid mentioned above isn’t to be confused with the Giant Cichlid, (Boulengerochromis microlepis). It’s a species which comes from Lake Tanganyika in Africa.)

Peacock Cichlids make an excellent, low-maintenance pet. Some of the brightest and most colorful fish, sure to bring some vibrancy to your aquarium.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

Best Food For Cichlids Growth – All the Answers [2020 Update]

It’s a little odd and worrying when fish don’t grow as big as they’re supposed to. That probably means they’re a bit malnourished or aren’t receiving the right nutrients.

You can’t have that, so food specially made for promoting growth and healthiness in cichlids is the perfect solution.

There are many options on the market, and I list the best cichlid food for growth.

Best Food For Cichlids Growth - Read On For All the Answers

Table Of Contents

The Best Foods For Cichlid Growth

Tetra Cichlid Balanced Diet Flakes

Tetra Cichlid Balanced Diet Flakes

Promoting a balanced diet with a protein-based food includes natural color enhancers. It supports their immune system, helping them live a long life — great fish food for tetras.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – Feed 2-3 times daily only as much as your fish consume within a few minutes.
  • They float in the middle of the tank level.

Ingredients

  • Fish meal
  • Torula dried yeast
  • Shrimp meal
  • Ground brown rice
  • Dried potato products
  • Wheat gluten
  • Corn flour
  • Soybean oil
  • Fish oil
  • Gelatin
  • Sorbitol
  • Dehulled soybean meal
  • L-lysine monohydrochloride
  • Algae meal
  • Lecithin
  • Inositol
  • Vitamin C

Pros

  • Doesn’t cloud the water
  • Designed for top and middle feeding cichlids
  • Contains biotin for a healthy metabolism
  • Great for African cichlids
  • Affordable
  • Hold together in the water
  • Great value for the price
  • Promotes growth

Cons

  • You’ll need to cut the flakes up if you have smaller cichlids
  • A bit messy for larger cichlids
  • It’s not supposed to, but some found it clouds the water
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Hikari Bio-Gold Plus Pellets

Hikari Bio-Gold Plus Pellets

Features

  • Feeding Directions – A small amount twice daily, adjust the amount to fish’ needs, sprinkle on the top of the water as they’re floating pellets
  • Floating pellets

Ingredients

  • Fish Meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Flaked Corn
  • Wheat Germ Meal
  • Spirulina
  • Krill
  • Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal
  • Brewers Dried Yeast

Pros

  • Less waste due to the formula
  • Natural ingredients
  • Easy to monitor how much was eaten
  • Contains stabilized vitamin C and other parts to support a healthy immune system
  • Has color enhancing ingredients
  • High protein levels
  • Many found their fish grow fast with these pellets

Cons

  • Makes the water a bit cloudy
  • Pellets are quite large. If your cichlids are smaller, you’ll need to make them smaller
  • Some found they didn’t get the amount they paid for
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Northfin Food Veggie Formula

Northfin Food Veggie Formula

A vegetable-based formula, made with certified organic kelp and other ingredients to promote a healthy diet and immune system for herbivores.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, only as much as fish consume in 5 minutes or less
  • Slow sinking pellet food for fish

Ingredients

  • Kelp
  • Whole Antarctic Krill Meal
  • High Omega 3 (DHA)
  • Heming Meal
  • Whole Sardine Meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Spirulina
  • Garlic
  • Astaxanthin
  • Calcium
  • Montmorillonite Clay
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • L-Ascorbyl 2 Polyphosphate
  • Activated Animal Sterol
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Niacin Pantothenic Acid
  • Thiamine
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride 86 Folic Acid
  • Biotin Choline Chloride
  • Cobalt Sulfate
  • Ferrous Sulfate
  • Manganese Sulfate
  • Selenium

Pros

  • Veggie based
  • Lots of vitamins for a nutrient-rich diet
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Suitable for all sorts of cichlids
  • Great quality
  • Doesn’t cloud the water
  • Some of the best pellets food for fish like cichlids

Cons

  • Quite expensive, but worth it
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Cichlids

Fluval Bug Bites Pellets for Cichlids

Protein-rich cichlid pellets contain mostly insects and other nutritional ingredients. This is a formula perfect for smaller and medium cichlids.

Added to these are vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for healthy, happy fish.

These are made sustainably from ethically sourced ingredients in small batches.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 2-3 times daily, as much as the fish eat in 2 minutes and no more
  • Granules

Ingredients

  • Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae
  • Salmon
  • Fish Protein Concentrate
  • Green Peas
  • Potato
  • Wheat
  • Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Dl-methionine
  • Lecithin
  • Choline Chloride
  • L-lysine
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • Biotin
  • Niacin
  • Calcium L-ascorbyl-2 Monophosphate
  • Calendula
  • Zinc Oxide
  • Manganous Oxide
  • D-calcium Pantothenate
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Beta-carotene
  • Rosemary Extract
  • Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Thiamine Mononitrate
  • Inositol
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin A Supplement

Pros

  • Suitable for small-medium fish
  • Natural, sustainably sourced ingredients
  • No artificial colors, all-natural products make up this formula

Cons

  • More of a treat food for some species, check to see if it’s right for your cichlids
  • The size of the granules can vary somewhat
  • Sometimes won’t satisfy picky eaters
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Northfin Cichlid Formula Pellet

Northfin Cichlid Formula Pellet

This is the more meat and insect-based formula available from Northfin.

Designed to enhance their size, color, and wellbeing with the best natural ingredients, this food is easy to digest and full of nutrients — some of the best cichlid foods.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, only as much as fish consume in 5 minutes or less
  • Sinking pellets

Ingredients

  • Antarctic Krill
  • High Omega-3 (DHA)
  • Herring Meal
  • Whole Sardine Meal
  • Wheat Flour
  • Kelp, Spirulina, Garlic
  • Astaxanthin
  • Calcium Montmorillonite Clay
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate
  • D-Activated Animal-Sterol
  • DL Alphatocopherol
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement
  • Riboflavin Supplement
  • Niacin, Pantothenic Acid
  • Thiamine
  • Calcium Pantothenate
  • Pyridoxine Hydrochloride
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Choline Chloride
  • Cobalt Sulfate
  • Ferrous Sulfate
  • Manganese Sulfate
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Pros

  • No artificial ingredients, all things included are of the highest quality
  • Great for African cichlids
  • Doesn’t cloud up the water
  • Satisfies even picky eaters
  • Excellent size for a variety of different cichlids

Cons

  • Quite expensive, but worth the investment
  • Can get stuck in the rocks or substrate at the bottom of the tank
  • Sinks a little too fast
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Omega One Veggie Rounds

Omega One Veggie Rounds

Designed with quality ingredients to support happy, healthy fish, it includes protein-rich nutrients such as Alaskan kelp, fatty acids, Omega 3 & 6, and Spirulina.

A veggie-based formula made with responsibly sourced ingredients. Some of the best cichlid food for herbivores.

Note: Another recommended product in their range is the Omega One Super Color, similar to this but more meat-focused and includes color enhancers.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 times daily, or as much as can be consumed in 4 hours
  • Sinking pellets

Ingredients

  • Salmon
  • Whole Herring
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat Flour
  • Kelp
  • Rice Bran
  • Spirulina
  • Pea Protein
  • Whole Shrimp
  • Astaxanthin
  • Canthaxanthin
  • Potassium Sorbate
  • Tocopherol
  • Ascorbyl Monophosphate
  • Niacin
  • Inositol
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
  • Riboflavin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin A Acetate
  • Vitamin D3 Supplement
  • Vitamin E Supplement
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement

Pros

  • Insoluble, prevents waste and doesn’t clog up the water
  • Easy to digest for the fish
  • Suitable for even picky eaters
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Doesn’t sink very easily
  • The pellets can be a bit big for smaller cichlids
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

TetraCichlid Cichlid Crisps Advanced Clear Water Formula

TetraCichlid Cichlid Crisps Advanced Clear Water Formula

Created explicitly for clearer water, less waste, and more nutrition in a smaller, easily digestible flake. These float, and don’t clog up the tank, and keep fish happy and healthy.

Features

  • Feeding Directions – 1-2 daily in small batches, this food is concentrated
  • Floating flakes

Ingredients

  • Fishes Meal
  • Shrimp Meal

Pros

  • Designed to keep the water clear
  • Helps produce vibrant colors in fish, as well as promoting growing
  • Designed for top and mid feeding cichlids

Cons

  • A bit messy if you feed it to larger fish
  • Careful not to overfeed, otherwise the uneaten food could clog up the filtering system
  • A bit expensive
  • Some found it wasn’t very good value for the price
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Your Questions Answered

What Should I Feed My Cichlids?

Here is a list of what you should feed your cichlids, however, it’s best to look for specific guidelines depending on your cichlids.

  • Manufactured fish foods such as wafers, granules, and sinking or floating pellets.
  • Live foods
  • Frozen foods
  • Peas – (Slightly Blanched)
  • Zucchini – (Cut into small slices and lightly blanched)
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Seaweed
  • Frozen and freeze-dried bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia

Can Tropical Fish Eat Cichlid Food?

Tropical fish can eat cichlid food, and cichlids can eat tropical fish food. Still, generally, it’s preferable if you feed them food specifically made for them.

How Often Should I Feed My Cichlids?

Two to three times daily. Feel free to lower that amount as necessary, wouldn’t recommend increasing it.

Of course, it depends on how much you feed them, how big they are and how many of them there are, and what type of cichlid. Refer to the food directions as a helpful guideline, and make your judgment.

What Vegetables Are Good For Cichlids?

Here’s a list of what vegetables are suitable for cichlids. Remember, it varies for different species.

  • Peas – (Slightly Blanched)
  • Zucchini – (Cut into small slices and lightly blanched)
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Seaweed

What Do You Feed South American Cichlids?

Here is a list of recommended foods to feed south American cichlids.

  • Fish foods such as wafers, granules, and sinking pellets.
  • Peas – (Slightly Blanched)
  • Zucchini – (Cut into small slices and lightly blanched)
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Seaweed
  • Frozen and freeze-dried bloodworms
  • Brine shrimp
  • Daphnia

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cichlids?

Start with little amounts and work upwards as necessary; don’t do the opposite. Use the directions on the packaging of the food you use as a guide, but adjust it as needed to the fish themselves.

All the products listed in this review were specifically designed for encouraging your cichlids to grow and maintain a healthy size. Hopefully, you found the right one to suit your tank and its occupants.

Another benefit, and arguably the most important, your fish will have the nutrients and vitamins to provide sustenance for them to stay healthy and happy.

Is there something missing from this article, or do you have a question? Let me know in a comment below.

The Top 100 Aquarium Blogs, Websites And Best FishKeeping Bloggers To Follow in 2020

A new post I am working on…

Thought I would make my notes public and create a handy list of all the fishkeeping sites and aquarium blogs I’ve found so far.

Have I missed any good ones?

Please send me a note here or leave a comment below. Thanks.

Contented Fish - Top 100 Aquariam Blogs Feature Image

Reef Central

Reef Central Logo

About: Reef Central is an aquarium and coral information site, where marine hobbyists from beginners to advanced can exchange their knowledge.

Reef Central

What We Love: Reef Central has an excellent fishkeeping community forum! You’re sure to find fellow fishkeeping hobbyists with interests in common.

They also have some calculators that are accurate and easy to use. Very useful for when you are aquascaping or planning a tank.


Unique Corals

Unique Corals Logo

About: Joseph Caparatta is the owner of UniqueCorals. He worked in the marine aquarium industry for over two decades. During his studies, he traveled, lectured, and learned as much as possible about fishkeeping.

Unique Corals

What We Love: Unique Corals has excellent, clear photos and endless advice on aquarium equipment.

They have a web series called Water Box Battle, where people compete to make the best aquascaping in a small tank. Go check it out!

Find Unique Corals On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Bulk Reef Supply by Andrew Duneman and Ryan Batcheller

Andrew Duneman and Ryan Batcheller from Bulk Reef Supply

About: Bulk Reef Supply, founded in 2007 by two friends, Ryan Batcheller, and Andrew Duneman, spend their time and effort to give helpful aquarium equipment solutions and sales to fishkeepers.

Bulk Reef Supply

What We Love: Bulk Reef Supply has helpful tips and tricks for keeping your fish happy. They have an excellent youtube channel full of fishkeeping videos, plus much more!

Find Bulk Reef Supply On  Instagram | YouTube


JBJ Aquarium Products

JBJ Aquarium Products Logo

About: JBJ Aquariums is an online marine aquarium company. They sell almost everything you need to start a tank. Including user guides, a great support center, and lots more helpful features.

JBJ Aquarium Products

What We Love: The amount of photos and range of products JBJ Aquariums have is awe-inspiring! Their blog keeps you up to date with everything going on in the company, plus useful information.

Find JBJ Aquarium Products On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Reef Bum by Keith Berkelhamer

Keith Berkelhamer from Reef Bum

About: Keith Berkelhamer founded ReefBum, and his goal is to help the average marine hobbyist create the perfect tank. Keith shares his knowledge through photos and aquarium broadcasts videos.

He hopes to inspire the world of marine hobbyists.

Reef Bum

What We Love: Reefbum often shares helpful and interesting articles on aquarium help. Keith also has a page including the different aquarium equipment he uses for his tanks.

Find Reef Bum On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Reef Builders by Ryan Gripp

Reef Builders Logo

About: Reef Builders, founded by Ryan Gripp in 2006, focuses on the marine industry of keeping saltwater tanks.

Reef Builders

What We Love: They have fascinating articles full of facts on types of marine life in different places. There are also a ton of videos, from tank showcases to everything you need to know about a species of animal.

Find Reef Builders On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Reefs

Reefs Logo

About: Reefs.com is an online fish and coral forum including information on Reef Care for beginners and advanced aquarists, with reef equipment advice, DIY projects, and more!

Reefs

What We Love: Reefs.com have an excellent fish forum and exciting marine news. This is a place where you can always learn something new!

An excellent magazine and an app for your phone are some of the many great features.

Find Reefs On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube


Aqua Nerd

Aqua Nerd Logo

About: AquaNerd posts about ocean discoveries, equipment notices, a gallery full of all their favorite aquarium events, and more!

Aqua Nerd

What We Love: They have excellent posts on aquarium equipment info. Also quite a few hilarious aquarium memes! Well worth a look if you need a laugh. 🙂

Find Aqua Nerd On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Saltwater Aquarium Blog by Al Ulrich

Al Ulrich from Saltwater Aquarium Blog

About: Saltwater Aquarium Blog is an online guide to creating the perfect saltwater aquarium. They’ve got fact files on saltwater fish, tank guides/aquarium setup, and an aquarium book series.

Saltwater Aquarium Blog

What We Love: Plenty of helpful aquarium equipment reviews. Also lots of amusing articles about the author’s experiences as a fishkeeper.

Find Saltwater Aquarium Blog On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube


Melevs Reef by Marc Levenson

Marc Levenson from Melevs Reef

About: Marc “Melev” Levenson founded Melev’s Reef and has been an aquarium hobbyist since 1998. He talks about his experiences on his blog.

He also loves Scuba diving and exploring natural coral reefs.

Melevs Reef

What We Love: Melev’s Reef is full of great articles, including equipment reviews, and info and facts on Mark’s tanks.

Find Melevs Reef On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Mad Hatters Reef by Jeff Hesketh

Jeff Hesketh from Mad Hatters Reef

About: Mad Hatter’s Reef was created by Jeff Hesketh, who aims to provide useful information about installing and maintaining saltwater aquariums.

Mad Hatters Reef

What We Love: Jeff has great facts on fish species, articles of his experiences, and a helpful guide for aquarium set up.

Find Mad Hatters Reef On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Reef-fin by Scott Fletcher

Scott Fletcher from Reef-in

About: Scott Fletcher is the creator of Reef-Fin and has a great passion for Reef and fish keeping. He aims to help and encourage others into the hobby and support them on their journey.

Reef-fin

What We Love: This site has an excellent section for starting your first aquarium, including tank setup, tank maintenance, and a helpful beginner’s guide.

Find Reef-fin On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Saltwater Aquarium Advice by Andrej Brummer

Andrej Brummer from Saltwater Aquarium Advice

About: Andrej Brummer is a biological scientist who has a great interest in the world of marine animals and plants.

He grew up in New Zealand and Australia, and there learned a love for ocean conservation and aquarium keeping.

Saltwater Aquarium Advice

What We Love: Saltwater Aquarium Advice has vibrant, clear pictures, and lots of excellent aquarium advice, including maintaining your coral, disease solutions, and other helpful topics.

Find Saltwater Aquarium Advice On Facebook | Twitter


Saltwater Smarts by Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz

Chris Aldrich and Jeff Kurtz from Saltwater Smarts

About: Saltwater Smarts was created by Jeff Kurtz and Chris Aldrich to help fellow hobbyists create a successful saltwater aquarium.

Saltwater Smarts

What We Love: This blog has a unique page about an aquarium show called “Salt Speak.” In each episode Chris Aldrich (Co-founder of Saltwater Smarts) invites a fellow hobbyist to chat about topics related to the aquarium hobby.

Find Saltwater Smarts On Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Red Sea Fish

Red Sea Fish Logo

About: Red Sea is an online aquarium source full of reef solutions, including aquarium equipment info, reef care products, and setup guides.

Red Sea Fish

What We Love: This site has excellent “reef recipes”, guides to set up your aquarium. They’ve also got great information on aquarium products full of all the facts you need to know.

Find Red Sea Fish On Facebook | YouTube


CORAL Magazine

CORAL Magazine Logo

About: In 1999 German natural history publisher Matthias Schmidt suggested to marine aquarist and author Daniel Knop to join him on creating an aquarium magazine.

Their goal is to keep blogging on their online coral magazine and to give out useful aquarium advice.

CORAL Magazine

What We Love: Coral Magazine is an engaging digital publication full of issues on new aquarium equipment, aquarium news, and more exciting stories.

Find CORAL Magazine On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Reef Nation by Justin Hester

Reef Nation Logo

About: Justin Hester is the founder over at ReefNation. Justin grew up in the southern coasts of Long Island, in NY.

When he moved to the Midwest in the ’90s, that longing to smell salty air again was what guided to him to keep a saltwater coral tank and eventually start ReefNation.

Reef Nation

What We Love: ReefNation has excellent product reviews, a slick coral store, fish profiles, and loads more great articles.

Find Reef Nation On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Freshwater Aquarium Blog by Cory McElroy

Cory McElroy from Freshwater Aquarium Blog

About: Aquarium Co-op has an extensive list of information on Reef keeping, including water chemistry, plant supplies, DIY, tank decor, product reviews, and more.

Freshwater Aquarium Blog

What We Love: This site has a vast range of helpful videos, including aquarium plant info, how to treat disease, fish recommendations, and other useful tips.

Find Freshwater Aquarium Blog On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Fishkeeping World

Fishkeeping World Logo

About: Fish Keeping World is an aquarium blog that can give you everything you need to know about freshwater fish keeping and aquarium maintenance.

This site’s pieces are in-depth and well written.

Fishkeeping World

What We Love: This site has excellent fish profiles including saltwater and freshwater, and fishkeeping guides full of all the facts you need to know about your new slippery little friend.

Find Fishkeeping World On Facebook


Aquariadise by Mari

Aquariadise Logo

About: Mari, a young woman from the Netherlands, has always been a keen aquarist. She set up her site to show Aquariadise focuses on freshwater fishkeeping, including aquarium set-up info, plant/fish guides, and more.

Aquariadise

What We Love: Her site has a great design and an amusing logo. Aquariadise has excellent plant and fish care-sheets, including interesting facts and other helpful tips and tricks.

She also has great product reviews to help you choose the best equipment to buy.

Find Aquariadise On Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


That Fish Blog by Rick Amour

Rick Amour from That Fish Blog

About: That Fish Blog is full of aquarium advice, freshwater and saltwater tanks, aquarium FAQs and ponds and water gardens.

That Fish Blog

What We Love: This site has excellent guides to choosing aquarium equipment, freshwater/saltwater aquarium info, and great articles for pond-keeping.

Find That Fish Blog On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarium Fish Blog by John

Aquarium Fish Blog Logo

About: Aquarium Fish Blog is a site all about aquarium care, plants, decor, and fish reviews. Rashed Ahmed is the writer at Aquarium Fish Blog and loves to share his tips and tricks and ideas.

Aquarium Fish Blog

What We Love: Aquarium Fish Blog has helpful fish reviews, aquascaping tanks, plant info, fish profiles, and a lot more useful articles.


Pet Guide

Pet Guide Logo

About: PetGuide.com is a blog with information about cats, dogs, and fish, with tips and advice about all three.

With Pet Care information and pet forums, PetGuide.com will help you keep the perfect pet!

Pet Guide

What We Love: PetGuide covers a range of topics, including great aquatic plant, freshwater/saltwater aquariums, invertebrates, coral info, and loads of aquarium product reviews.

Find Pet Guide On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


My Aquarium Club by Michael Mokotov

My Aquarium Club Logo

About: My Aquarium Club has fish keeping FAQs, information about maintaining freshwater and saltwater fish, tropical fish, amphibians and reptiles, and more.

My Aquarium Club

What We Love: This site has super helpful articles featuring everything to do with keeping an aquarium; fish advice, fish/plant profiles including all the facts, and loads of other topics.

Find My Aquarium Club On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium Logo

About: Oregon Coast Aquarium is a non-profit organization established in Newport, on the Oregon Coast.

With their mission to create unique and exciting experiences that unite you to the Oregon coast, they are a passionate team focused on marine conservation.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

What We Love: This site has exciting experiences you can go to, such as animal exhibits, beach clean up days, and loads more inspiring events.

Find Oregon Coast Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Centreville Aquarium by David

Centreville Aquarium

About: Centreville Aquarium was established on January 1, 2000, provide information on freshwater and saltwater, fish species, plants, and sharks, and also have FAQs and reviews.

Centreville Aquarium

What We Love: A highlight is their clever homemade GIFS of the fish in their aquarium. They have a monthly post called “Fish of the Month.”

Representing a new arrival in their stock, with plenty of information on the species.

Find Centreville Aquarium On Facebook


Aquarium Adviser

About: Aquarium Adviser is the marine aquarium hobbyist’s guide to the best products for fish, tanks, and equipment.

Aquarium Adviser

What We Love: Aquarium Adviser has great aquarium equipment reviews, including helpful guides, and info.


Aquarium Info

Aquarium Info Logo

About: Aquarium Info is an online guide to aquarium aquascaping, marine aquariums, fish information, and planted aquariums.

Aquarium Info

What We Love: This site has a handy “Beginners’ Guide,” including choosing the right fish for your tank, aquascaping basics, and a couple of DIY article guides.


Betta Fish Care

Betta Fish Care Logo

About: Nippy Fish is a guide to all things about caring for Betta Fish. They have sections on fish behavior, equipment, and information to help you care for sick Bettas.

Betta Fish Care

What We Love: This site has heaps of useful information about Betta fish. They’ve got great tips about dealing with diseases, breeding, and behavior, and great info on what is the “betta” equipment for your fish. 🙂


Discus Tanks by Casper

About: Discus Tanks

Discus Tanks

What We Love:


Guppy Aquarium

About: Guppy Aquarium is a blog all about Guppy and Livebearer fish. They have topics covering Basic Fish Care, tank set-up, breeding, and also an Aquarium Fish Glossary Terms.

Guppy Aquarium

What We Love: This site has excellent info on designing your guppy aquarium, useful breeding info and, and some helpful care guides.


The Fish Bowl Guide by Ronnel Caluag

The Fish Bowl Guide Logo

About: The Fish Bowl Guide is all about caring for fish in a fishbowl. They have solutions to fish diseases and Fish Care on feeding your fish and cleaning your fishbowl.

The Fish Bowl Guide

What We Love: This site has excellent diy guides to setting up your fishbowl, caring for your fish, getting rid of diseases, and other useful essential tips.


Goldfisho by Tim

Goldfisho Logo

About: Goldfisho writes about everything to do with goldfish. They have information on the goldfish diet, diseases, tank set-up, and other essential info.

Goldfisho

What We Love: Goldfisho has an interesting article about the History of Goldfish, definitely worth a read!

Find Goldfisho On Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


Molly Fish

Molly Fish Logo

About: Molly Fish is an online Care Guide that has information on types of Molly fish, how to care for a pregnant Molly, fish diseases, and the best tank mates.

Molly Fish

What We Love: This site has lots of essential info of the different varieties of Molly fish, great when in need of researching the facts!


Tropical Fish Success by Kris

Tropical Fish Success Logo

About: Tropical Fish Success has sections for info on tropical fish, maintaining your aquarium water in check, tank types, various equipment, and a cichlid gallery.

Tropical Fish Success

What We Love: This site has a broad range of fish profiles, including lots of interesting facts.

Find Tropical Fish Success On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


The Cichlid Stage by Scott Wells

Scott Wells from The Cichlid Stage

About: Scott Wells is the founder of The Cichlid Stage and has been a marine aquarium hobbyist for nearly twenty years. With his preferred fish species being Cichlids, Scott is a freshwater aquarist.

The Cichlid Stage

What We Love: This site posts some fascinating articles featuring fellow fish lovers interviewed. Worth a read.

Find The Cichlid Stage On Twitter


Aquarium Kids by Evan Baldonado

Evan Baldonado from Aquarium Kids

About: Evan Baldonado is the founder of AquariumKids, is a Lincoln-Douglas debater, journalist, environmentalist, volunteer, science enthusiast, and coder.

Aquarium Kids

What We Love: AquariumKids gets kids involved with great activities about protecting the environment.

Find Aquarium Kids On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Big Als Pets

Big Als Pets Logo

About: Big Al’s Pets is a fish, dog, cat, reptile, and bird care site. They have tank equipment, aquarium decor, feeding equipment, food products, and also products for other animals.

Big Als Pets

What We Love: This site has an excellent section for saltwater/freshwater aquarium advice, also including pond maintenance articles.

Find Big Als Pets On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Tennessee Aquarium

Tennessee Aquarium Logo

About: Tennessee Aquarium is a marine aquarium blog that has Events and Programmes and 3D IMAX Virtual Reality Theatre.

Tennessee Aquarium

What We Love: They have taken on a fascinating project called Project Rivers to protect the aquatic animals and understand more about how the changing environment impacts them. Worth a read!

Find Tennessee Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Fish Tank Club

Fish Tank Club Logo

About: Fish Tank ClubFish Tank Club is a marine aquarium blog that has pond, fish and tank guides, aquarium supplies and several helpful reviews.

Fish Tank Club

What We Love: Fish Tank Club has some helpful guides, great when you’re looking for some tips on picking equipment/aquarium supplies.

Find Fish Tank Club On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarists Online

Aquarists Online Logo

About: Aquarists Online is a saltwater aquarium guide. This site has categories including marine conservation, DIY projects, articles about coral reefs, aquarium equipment, and more.

Aquarists Online

What We Love: This site has an excellent category full of DIY tips and tricks.

Find Aquarists Online On Twitter


Rate My Fish Tank

Rate My Fish Tank

About: Rate My Fish Tank has sections on maintaining your saltwater or freshwater tank, ideal tank set-up, a reef photo gallery, and more.

Rate My Fish Tank

What We Love: Rate My Fish Tank has sections on maintaining your saltwater or freshwater tank, ideal tank set-up, a reef photo gallery, and more.


Practical Fishkeeping Magazine

Practical Fishkeeping Magazine Logo

About: This site has excellent saltwater/freshwater guides, including aquarium set-up, equipment/supply info, choosing tank decor, and more.

Practical Fishkeeping Magazine

What We Love: Practical fishkeeping is an online marine aquarium magazine, including the latest fishkeeping news, helpful tips on fish types, fish FAQs, aquarium equipment, and more.

Find Practical Fishkeeping Magazine On Facebook | Twitter


Tropical Fish Care Guides

Tropical Fish Care Guides Logo

About: This site has an excellent section for a fishkeeping Q&A, with helpful answers and advice.

Tropical Fish Care Guides

What We Love: Tropical Fish Care Guides cover articles on LED lighting tips, Betta Fish Care, aquarium filter advice, and tank set-up.

Find Tropical Fish Care Guides On Pinterest


Tropica Aquarium Plants

Tropica Aquarium Plants Logo

About: Tropica is an online plant care guide including sections for choosing the right plants for your aquarium, plant profiles and facts, an inspirational photo gallery, and more.

Tropica Aquarium Plants

What We Love: Tropica is a great online source if you’re looking for aquatic plant tips for your aquarium.

Find Tropica Aquarium Plants On Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


Home Aquaria

Home Aquarium Logo

About: Home Aquaria is an online magazine that has articles on freshwater and saltwater fish info, aquascaping tips, aquarium gear, and helpful equipment reviews.

Home Aquaria

What We Love: This site has excellent reviews, helpful when you’re looking for tips on choosing tanks, aquarium supplies, etcetera.

Find Home Aquaria On Facebook | TwitterPinterest | YouTube


Seriously Fish

Seriously Fish Logo

About: This site has fish profiles, an aquarium term glossary and articles on aquarium news.

Seriously Fish

What We Love: Seriously Fish has a heap of fish profiles, helpful when you’re looking for facts.

Find Seriously Fish On Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


Advice Cart

Advice Cart Logo

About: AdviceCart is full of pet advice, including fishtank set-ups, choosing the right aquarium equipment, and product reviews.

Advice Cart

What We Love: This site has excellent reviews for aquarium equipment, great when you’re having trouble finding the right tank equipment.

Find Advice Cart On Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarium Base

Aquarium Base Logo

About: Aquarium Base has pieces on freshwater and saltwater aquarium advice, cures for fish diseases, aquarium plant set-up, and aquarium product reviews.

Aquarium Base

What We Love: This aquarium blog has a vast range of useful product reviews.

Find Aquarium Base On Facebook | Twitter


Fish Tank Setups by Jordan

Fish Tank Setups Logo

About: Fish Tank Set-ups has information on fish care, equipment reviews, and pond guides.

Fish Tank Setups

What We Love: This site has super helpful aquarium product reviews, including the pros and cons, and a load of info you need to know before you buy.

Find Fish Tank Setups On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Authority Aquarium by Chris

Authority Aquarium Logo

About: Authority Aquarium is a fishkeeping advice aquarium blog with articles covering freshwater and saltwater fish information, filter reviews, tank set-ups, fish diseases, and their cures.

Authority Aquarium

What We Love: Authority Aquarium has some excellent guides to setting up aquarium equipment, choosing the right tank, and other equipment reviews.

Find Authority Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Fish Tank Adviser

About: Fish Tank Adviser is an aquarium blog with help on LED lighting, equipment, filter reviews, and an aquarium FAQ page.

Fish Tank Adviser

What We Love: This site has some great info on Led aquarium lighting, and also some useful reviews for tank filters.


The Aquarium Guide

The Aquarium Guide Logo

About: The Aquarium Guide focus on posts about aquascaping your freshwater aquarium.

The Aquarium Guide

What We Love: With helpful tips planted tanks, The Aquarium Blog also has aquarium product reviews.

Find The Aquarium Guide On  Twitter | Pinterest


Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

About: Microcosm Aquarium Explorer is a global aquarium resource for people interested in fish species, aquatic plants, reef keeping, Eco-Travel, diving, and photography.

Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

What We Love: Great posts and a great resource on the great marine outdoors.


Aquarium Tidings by Matthew

Aquarium Tidings Logo

About: Aquarium Tidings is full of online information on everything aquariums.

Aquarium Tidings

What We Love: Excellent, well-written articles on tropical and freshwater fish, aquatic plant fact files, invertebrates, pond info, and aquarium news.

Find Aquarium Tidings On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


Modest Fish by Chris

Modest Fish Logo

About: ModestFish.com is full of care guides, tank advice, and aquarium equipment advice.

Modest Fish

What We Love: A great site to help you find the best ways to keep your fish happy and healthy.

Find Modest Fish On Facebook


Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium Logo

About: Monterey Aquarium, located in Monterey, US, has small online animal exhibits.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

What We Love: They have a lot of information, including fun facts, fish fact files and loads more to explore!

Find Monterey Bay Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Mystic Aquarium by Dr. Tracy Romano

Mystic Aquarium Logo

About: Over at Mystic Aquarium, you’ll find learning programs for all ages, animal experiences, marine conservation news, and lots more to find out!

Mystic Aquarium

What We Love: A great way to learn about the marine environment around you.

Find Mystic Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarium Of The Pacific by Robin Riggs

About: Aquarium of the Pacific, located in the US, is full of fun new things for families and adults to learn and discover!

Aquarium Of The Pacific

What We Love: Including info on marine conservation, the latest exciting news articles, animal exhibits, and more.

Find Aquarium Pacific On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium Logo

About: Shedd Aquarium was established in 1930, Chicago, the US They’ve got loads of fun experiences for all ages, including field trips, marine conservation lessons, and more!

Shedd Aquarium

What We Love: Interesting and interactive exhibits, they launch many conservation and research programs to protect and learn about sea life.

Find Shedd Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Belle Isle Conservancy by Sarah Earley

Belle Isle Conservancy Logo

About: Over at Belle Isle Conservancy, you’ll find a team of passionate people all focused on restoring, preserving, and protecting Belle Isle for all to enjoy.

Belle Isle Conservancy

What We Love: An excellent place to find information this beautiful island in Detroit, Michigan. If you’re living or visiting the area, there’s information on the fish there and how you can get involved.

Find Belle Isle Conservancy On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Toledo Zoo and Aquarium by Anne Baker

Toledo Zoo and Aquarium Logo

About: Toledo Zoo & Aquarium is found in Toledo, in the US.

Toledo Zoo and Aquarium

What We Love: They have animal exhibits, conservation info, and experiences, including special events, programs, and more!

Find Toledo Zoo and Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Clearwater Marine Aquarium by David Yates

Clearwater Marine Aquarium Logo

About: The team over at Clearwater Marine Aquarium are passionate about marine life rescue.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

What We Love: A centre for caring for and conserving wildlife, they make it their duty to discover and protect creatures of our amazing oceans.

Find Clearwater Marine Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


South Carolina Aquarium by Kevin Mills

South Carolina Aquarium Logo

About: South Carolina is where you can plan your visit to explore the aquarium, learn about marine conservation, and more!

South Carolina Aquarium

What We Love: Situated on the coast on the most diverse and busy oceans surrounding the US. There’s plenty to learn about the residents of the sea.

Find South Carolina Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


New England Aquarium by Vikki Spruill

New England Aquarium Logo

About: Over at New England Aquarium, you can learn about aquatic animals on their blog.

New England Aquarium

What We Love: You can also explore their exhibits, and even volunteer at the aquarium!

Find New England Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium by Dennis Pate

Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Logo

About: This zoo and aquarium blog is where you can plan a visit to their incredible space.

Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

What We Love: Learn about animals through exhibits and fun facts, and learn about conservation and the green side of things.

Find Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


The Maritime Aquarium by Dave Truedson

The Maritime Aquarium Logo

About: Maritime Aquarium has special events you can go to, exciting marine news, experiences everyone can have, and more!

The Maritime Aquarium

What We Love: They’re passionate and a site for many conservation programs. Many are open to the public, where you can discover and volunteer for many different projects.

Find Maritime Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarium Of The Bay

Aquarium Of The Bay Logo

About: Plan a visit, explore animal exhibits, learn about conservation, there’s so much to do at Aquarium of the Bay.

Aquarium Of The Bay

What We Love: An excellent place, good to visit, both in their physical location and their website.

Find Aquarium Of The Bay On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Georgia Aquarium by Bernard Marcus

Georgia Aquarium Logo

About: Georgia Aquarium is a marine research and conservation centre as well as an aquarium.

Georgia Aquarium

What We Love: Their site is full of animal fact files, programs for all ages, conservation and research info, and lots more.

Find Georgia Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Seattle Aquarium by Bob Davidson

Seattle Aquarium Logo

About: Seattle Aquarium focuses on educating people about Marine Conservation.

Seattle Aquarium

What We Love: An excellent site, with sustainability, conservation and education at its core.

Find Seattle Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Aquarium Of Niagara

Aquarium Of Niagara Logo

About: Aquarium of Niagara’s goal is to broaden the public’s awareness of the natural marine ecosystems.

Aquarium Of Niagara

What We Love: A non-profit organization, they support conservation and wildlife centers all around the world with donations regularly.

Find Aquarium Of Niagara On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Vancouver Aquarium by Carl Lietze

Vancouver Aquarium Logo

About: Vancouver Aquarium’s goal is to protect the ocean by conservation, preserving marine animals, and more.

Vancouver Aquarium

What We Love: They’re an excellent place to learn about our wonderful oceans and waterways.

Find Vancouver Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Newport Aquarium by Herschend Family Entertainment

Newport Aquarium Logo

About: Learn about animals, go touch a shark, there are so many fun things to do and learn at Newport Aquarium!

Newport Aquarium

What We Love: Aimed at kids, plenty of fun, engaging and interactive exhibits for them. A great educational day out for everyone.

Find Newport Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Oregon Coast Aquarium

Oregon Coast Aquarium Logo

About: New York Aquarium is focused on saving marine wildlife.

Oregon Coast Aquarium

What We Love: With animal exhibits, fact files and more, enjoy a visit to the New York Aquarium.

Find Oregon Coast Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


New York Aquarium by Mr. Dohlin

New York Aquarium Logo

About: Aquarium of the Bay is where you can check out animal fact files, learn about conservation, and even plan an event in a beautiful aquatic scene.

New York Aquarium

What We Love: Excellent and fascinating animal info and interactions.

Find New York Aquarium On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Aqueon

Aqueon Logo

About: Aqueon is full of helpful tips, aquarium equipment info, tank set-up advice, and lots more.

Aqueon

What We Love: They offer an excellent fishkeeping community and newsletter packed with tips, tricks and more, called Making Waves.

Find Aqueon On FacebookYouTube


Marine Depot

Marine Depot Logo

About: Marine Depot is an online aquarium store full of aquarium supplies, fish tanks, and much more marine equipment.

Marine Depot

What We Love: An excellent feature is their extensive collection of ‘reef calculators’. They are an excellent resource to help you create and plan your aquarium set-up.

Find Marine Depot On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


That Pet Place by Rick Amour

That Pet Place Logo

About: That Fish Place/That Pet Place is an online store for pets.

That Pet Place

What We Love: They include everything you fish, dog, cat, bird, or reptile needs to live a happy, healthy life.

Find That Pet Place On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Blue Fish Aquarium by Ben Van Dinther

Blue Fish Aquarium Logo

About: Blue Fish Aquarium is a locally owned and operated independent aquarium supplier.

Blue Fish Aquarium

What We Love: A perfect place to kickstart your aquascaping journey or buy a new addition to your already existing tank.

Find Blue Fish Aquarium On FacebookInstagram | Pinterest


Aquarium Zen by Steve Waldron

Steve Waldron from Aquarium Zen

About: Aquarium Zen is your online guide to the perfect aquascaping techniques.

Aquarium Zen

What We Love: Focusing on a unique type of aquarium, a living aquarium, it’s a tank, a living ecosystem and a priceless piece of art. Very unique and beautiful.

Find Aquarium Zen On FacebookInstagram


Aquarium Depot by Scott Smith

Aquarium Depot Logo

About: If you’re looking for somewhere to make your pet feel more at home, Aquarium Depot is the right place for you.

Aquarium Depot

What We Love: They’ve got everything from reptile supplies, to saltwater/freshwater aquarium supplies.

Find Aquarium Depot On Facebook | Instagram


Biota Aquariums by Kevin Gaines

Biota Aquariums Logo

About: Biota Aquariums is an online aquarium store, including equipment, and the perfect tank for your home.

Biota Aquariums

What We Love: Excellent products, years of experience and quality high standards.

Find Biota Aquariums On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Aquarium Adventure by Bill Wymard

Aquarium Adventure Logo

About: Aquarium Adventure is full of fish fact files, tank equipment on the store, and more.

Aquarium Adventure Home Page

What We Love: Easy to navigate and much information without being overwhelming.

Find Aquarium Adventure On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube


Congressional Aquarium

Congressional Aquarium Logo

About: Congressional Aquarium helps you on your journey of a fishkeeper.

Congressional Aquarium

What We Love: With info on saltwater/freshwater aquariums, they will help you create the perfect underwater world.

Find Congressional Aquarium On Facebook | Instagram


Marineland

Marineland Logo

About: Marineland is an online aquarium store, for all your marine pets’ needs.

Marineland

What We Love: Quality and high performing filtration systems is their speciality, worthy of the praise they’ve received.

Find Marineland On Facebook | YouTube


Aquarium City

The Aquarium City Logo

About: Aquarium City is an online fishkeeping resource.

Aquarium City

What We Love: All sorts of content, including freshwater/saltwater fish, reptile, and coral fact files, a customer gallery, and other aquarium equipment.

Find Aquarium City On Facebook


Winchester Aquarium and Pet Center

Winchester Aquarium and Pet Center Logo

About: Aquarium Pet Center is full of helpful info on how to help your pet live a happy, healthy life.

Winchester Aquarium and Pet Center

What We Love: They focus on all sorts of aquarium critters, not just fish. Great for if you’re looking to have more exciting or unusual dwellers in your tank.

Find Winchester Aquarium and Pet Center On Facebook


Tetra

Tetra Logo

About: Tetra is an online petkeeping store for all your pets’ needs.

Tetra

What We Love: Focusing primarily on fish and their wellbeing, excellent scholarly articles on everything you need to know on all types of fish.

Find Tetra On Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube


Pet Mountain by Gavin Mandelbaum

Pet Mountain Logo

About: Pet Mountain is chock-full of pet supplies, including products for fish, dogs, cats, birds, and more.

Pet Mountain

What We Love: A great place to buy food and aquascaping supplies for your aquarium set-up.

Find Pet Mountain On Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Best Aquarium Instagram Accounts

The Planted Aquarium | @the.planted.aquarium.official

@the.planted.aquarium.official

Aquarium Hobby | @aquariumhobby

@aquariumhobby

Nikolay Mazur | @aquaproject.ua

@aquaproject.ua

Adam Paszczela | @adam_paszczela

@adam_paszczela

Malawi Cichlids | @mdoka_white_lips_and_more

@mdoka_white_lips_and_more

Marcin Wnuk | @peha68.pl

@peha68pl

Freshwater Aquatics | @freshwateraquatics

@freshwateraquatics

wottafish | @wottafish

@wottafish

Luca Galarraga | @luca_galarraga

@luca_galarraga

NorthFin UK | @northfinuk

@northfinuk

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Oliver Knott | @ok_aqua

@ok_aqua

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Aquascaper | @theaquascaper

@theaquascaper

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Monster Fish Keeper | @xtrippyhippyx

@xtrippyhippyx

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Filipe Oliveira | @faaoaquascaping

@faaoaquascaping

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rivers.2.reefs | @rivers.2.reefs

@rivers2reefs

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Wet Arms | @wet_arms

@wet_arms

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Rui Alves | @aquaeden.shop

@aquaeden.shop

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Aquarium Design Group | @aquariumdesigngroup

@aquariumdesigngroup

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aquarium4u | @aquarium4u

@aquarium4u

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Aquascaping Inspiration by George Farmer

Aquascaping Inspiration by George Farmer

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Aquarium Co-Op by Cory McElroy

Aquarium Co-Op by Cory McElroy

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AQUAPROS by Mike

AQUAPROS by Mike

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Green Aqua by Viktor Lantos

Green Aqua by Viktor Lantos

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Tank Tested by Alex Wenchel

Tank Tested by Alex Wenchel

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Rachel O Leary by Rachel O Leary

Rachel O Leary by Rachel O Leary

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Corvus Oscen by Corvus Oscen

Corvus Oscen by Corvus Oscen

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pecktec by Sean Peck

pecktec by Sean Peck

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Flip Aquatics by Robert Lupton

Flip Aquatics by Robert Lupton

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Steenfott Aquatics by Bob Steenfott

Steenfott Aquatics by Bob Steenfott

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ADU Aquascaping by BucePlant

ADU Aquascaping by BucePlant

About:


Challenge The Wild by James Morelan

Challenge The Wild by James Morelan

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Aarons Aquarium by Aaron

Aarons Aquarium by Aaron

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The King of DIY by Joey Mullen

The King of DIY by Joey Mullen

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Reef Builders by Ryan Gripp

Reef Builders by Ryan Gripp

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BulkReefSupplyCom by Ryan Batcheller and Andrew Duneman

BulkReefSupplyCom by Ryan Batcheller and Andrew Duneman

About:


Mr. Saltwater Tank TV by Mark

Mr. Saltwater Tank TV by Mark

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Tidal Gardens by Than Thein

Tidal Garderns by Than Thein

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lafishguy by Jim Stime

lafishguy by Jim Stime

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Saltwater Aquarium Radio | Jeff Hesketh

Saltwater Aquarium Radio by Jeff Hesketh

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Aquarium Hobbyist Podcast | Aqua Alex

Aquarium Hobbyist Podcast by Aqua Alex

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Aquarium Podcast | Cory McElroy

Aquarium Podcast by Cory McElroy

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Aquarium of the Pacific | Lauren Harper

Aquarium of the Pacific by Lauren Harper

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Pet Life Radio | Mark Winter

Pet Life Radio by Mark Winter

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American Reef | Jennifer Hunt

American Reef by Jennifer Hunt

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Aquarist Podcast | Randy Reen

The Aquarist Podcast by Randy Reed

About: