Cichlids comprise the largest family of freshwater fish and their representation at The Ocean Floor is no exception. Cichlids are close relatives of certain Saltwater or Marine Fish such as Damselfish, Wrasses and Groupers because they share certain distinguishing characteristics. Cichlid Species can also be found on every continent except Australia, Europe, and Antarctica as well as a few islands. Madagascar is an excellent examplecontaining multiple unique indigenous species including a few Cichlids that are exclusive to the island. North America is home to several Coldwater Cichlid Species including the Texas Cichlid, Bass, Sunfish, Perch, and Bluegill. Most North American Species are unsuitable to be kept in an Aquarium and/or are illegal to keep in the United States. The Cichlids you will find at The Ocean Floor are Tropical or warmer in temperature. In relation to Aquarium Suitable Species, Cichlids are primarily classified into the following groups:
- Central/South American
- South American hybrid
Though some Cichlids are able to be kept in a Semi-Aggressive Community Aquarium, most of the time Cichlids are very aggressive and a specific Cichlid Aquarium must be kept to avoid tankmates becoming lunch for the new fish. Since Cichlids originate from wide and varied climate areas, it is important to learn and follow the specific environmental needs of the Cichlid(s) you are considering and avoid mixing Cichlids of differing requirements. Cichlids are egg-layers, but there are quite different breeding habits between Cichlids. Most Cichlids breed pretty readily and are easy to care for their fry (baby fish). At The Ocean Floor, a little more than half of our selling tanks and most of our display aquariums are allocated to Cichlids.
Most people start keeping Cichlids because they want colorful fish and feel intimidated by saltwater. Unfortunately, this reason often leads to frustration on the part of the fish keeper because the fish “just keep fighting and won’t get along”. The Aquarium owner did not fully understand the nature of their fish because they viewed them as a substitute for what they truly wanted, but felt they could keep. It is important to decide ahead of time which type of Cichlid Aquarium you wish to keep and then learn what you can about its requirements before introducing any fish. The Ocean Floor is a great place to assist you in this because of our extensive selection and ordering capabilities and our team of Cichlid Enthusiasts. If Saltwater Fish are truly what you are after, let us uncomplicate things for you.
Others are happy to keep one or two Cichlids in an aquarium because of the interaction they experience with these pets. They are often treated as good as or better than their dog or cat! Many Cichlids are able to recognize certain people and will actively show excitement when their favorite individual enters the room (usually the one who feeds them). Some have been known to even let their owners “pet” them! Let The Ocean Floor walk with you as you navigate the world of Cichlids and help make your journey easy!