The most popular types of cichlids for a home aquarium
Cichlids, or cichlids are well known even to a novice aquarist. It is not surprising, because this family includes both the majestic scalar, and royal discus, and gold melanochrome, and many other beautiful and popular fish. The species of cichlids are so numerous that their representatives can be found in Central and South America, in the rivers of the Amazon basin, in the lakes of Tanganyika, Malawi.
Cichlids have some similarities with other perciforms. Some beginners even identify these fish with perch. From this there was one of the names of cichlids - Malavi perch, or snapper perch. But all kinds of cichlids have their own characteristics, often indistinguishable to the naked eye. First of all, these are two connected pharyngeal bones, which are not found in perches, and also one pair of nasal apertures.
Contents in the aquarium
Many varieties of cichlids require special conditions that are as close as possible to their natural habitat. Even in the aquarium cichlids do not want to part with the habits that are characteristic of them in natural conditions. It should be borne in mind that most cichlids like to tear up the soil, digging up the roots of plants. Many species of cichlids sin in predatory moods: they can seriously injure and even kill neighbors in the aquarium. In order not to start a real feud, do not settle the bully in one house with calm fish.
Pedigree of cichlids: species, features
Cichlid family is divided into many genera. Their ancestors ate insects and plankton, and in modern fish a narrow food specialization. Representatives of this family are settled almost all over the southern hemisphere of the planet. In order not to get lost in this diversity, let's consider the main groups.
1. The waters of southern India, Madagascar and Ceylon
A typical representative is Etroplus maculatus (etroplyus vulgaris). This fish grows to 8 cm and lives in small groups. Characteristic of most cichlids, a strong parental instinct is also found in the etroplus. After the babies appear from the calf, both parents take care of them.
The most common color of etropluses is a grayish-brown body with a bluish reflection and longitudinal rows of red spots, and on the sides there are several dark dots.
2. The rivers and lakes of Central and South America
American species of cichlids have many features. Some species have a special form of jaws, others have hypertrophied lips, an incredible body shape, a specific color.
Tsihlazoma kanhito is extremely popular with professionals. A scalar and discus are well known even to the beginner.
Cichlids are very common in the lakes of Tanganyika, Malawi, Victoria. In Africa there are about 1,500 species of cichlases.All cichlids in the lake of Malawi bear eggs in the mouth. In the same place, the fry appeared for a long time to hide from the dangers. But in aquarium fish of the same species, the instinct is weakened, and they may inadvertently eat one of their own children.
The most widespread and popular among aquarists is the sight of American cichlids - mbuni.