Fishy Facts

Care LevelIntermediate
BehaviourVery territorial and need lots of hiding places
Color FormVarious
LifespanUp to 15 Years
(dependent on species)
Size3-8 inches
Tank TypeFreshwater
Tank SetupRocks and Caves
Minimum Tank Capacity80 litres
Minimum Tank LengthAtleast 2 feet
Preferred 3 feet
CompatibilityDepends on species

Reference videos of Cichlid tank

Malawi Cichlid Aquarium
Tanganyika Cichlid Aquarium

Good to know

A cichlid aquarium capacity should be atleast 80 litres depending on the species. The aquarium should have 8 litres of water for every inch of fully grown fish. E.g. 120 litre tank should have maximum 15 cichlids.

The focus of the tank should be on its length rather than height.

Belonging to Africa, they obviously need warm water. Temperature should be between 23 – 28 degrees Celsius.

Since cichlids are territorial and aggressive, one should provide enough hiding areas that each fish can establish its own turf. Adding several cave/rock structures is a good idea.

Owning and maintaining a cichlid tank may seem exciting yet tough, but if you follow simple guidelines, it’s a piece of a cake. Few of the important ones are as follows –

  • A combination of biological and mechanical filtration is ideal and the filtration rate, should be 4-6 times the aquarium capacity. e.g. if aquarium capacity is 120 litres, then you should use a filter whose filtration capacity is atleast 4 times i.e. 480 litres per hour.
  • Having a wave maker is an excellent idea, as it helps to replicate water movements of their natural habitat. However, before installing it do research about it as high flow rate may cause the fishes to stress, and a slow one may not create ideal water movements.
  • The light should be on for 6-8 hours at a stretch. Lighting for long hours can invite algae bloom.
  • Change 10% of the water weekly, or 25% monthly, to keep the nitrate levels low and water quality high
  • Feeding behaviour depends on the type of cichlids. As a thumb rule, feed that much amount which can be consumed by the fishes in 2-3 minutes only. And remember to switch off the filter while feeding.

Aquatic Plant Compatibility

Cichlids species from the African Great Lakes are very popular aquarium fish. Most species from these lakes are algivores and exist mainly on a vegetable diet.

If you want to rig up your cichlid tank with aquatic plants, you will face a problem, because the cichlids might end up eating the plants. However, there are a couple of plant species that have proven themselves as being “cichlid-proof”, which are as follows – Anubias, Java fern, Crinum, Vallisneria, Echinodorus, Cryptocorynes.


Owning and maintaining a cichlid tank may seem exciting yet tough, but if you follow few simple guidelines, it’s a piece of a cake. Do share your experiences, images, tips, hacks of cichlid tanks.

If you are planning to get a cichlid tank for your home, it’s the right time to start. Get in touch with us for professional help.


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