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Tank set-ups: 1. African cichlid aquarium All of these species are relatively friendly and have different behaviours that will reduce stress between different pairs. These species prefer a well planted aquarium and leave your plants alone so that you can use all sorts of plants. They also require hiding and spawning places. Kribs spawn in caves which can be created using roots, rocks and flowerpots. A. Thomasi spawns on flat surfaces such as rocks. You will have to leave free areas without plants and rocks to create swimming space and allow you to see your fish more often. Use fine sand as this promotes spawning of Egyptian mouth-brooders. If you just keep aquarium clean and your fish well fed they will thrive and spawn in this aquarium. If you find your aquarium a little empty you can add some small schooling fish such as tetras to upper water levels.
2. Central American aquarium The species in this set-up are more aggressive, which explains why I only recommend keeping two species in this tank. Both species lay their eggs on rocks so caves aren't that necessary, but I would still recommended that you create a few as hiding places as these species can be quite aggressive. This is especially true when they are spawning and caring for their young. A sajica usually leaves your plants alone, but convicts often eat plants, so I recommend using more hardy plants such as sword plants, anubias and Java ferns if you want to use plants. Whether to keep plants or not is completely up to aquarist. The cichlids will thrive with or without plants as long as you provide a few hiding places. Both species are very easy to breed and it is almost impossible to keep convicts from spawning. It can be very hard to find new homes for fry, so I recommend letting parents keep their young and see if any survive. In this aquarium some usually will.
3. Amazon aquarium As I said earlier, it is preferable for this aquarium to be at least 50 gallons since these fish get a little bigger. Angelfish shouldn't be kept in aquariums that are less than 50 cm/ 20 inches high. These species are still easy to care for but require a little more from their keeper to spawn. The aquarium should be well planted with free areas for fish to swim in. Use large sword plants or cryptocoryne species to give angels what they need to spawn. The other species requires roots or rocks to spawn on. Caves are not necessary but preferable, especially for A. curviceps. If you find this aquarium a little empty you might add some free-swimming schooling fish to aquarium. Never use neon tetras with angelfish, as angelfish like to eat them. The same is true for a number of other small tetras. If you keep water clean and fish well fed they will thrive and with a little bit of luck, spawn.
Final words I have given just a few suggestions for possible cichlid aquariums (there are a lot more) and when you get a little more experience with cichlids possibilities are countless. Cichlids are very interesting and often beautiful fishes and many of them are quite simple to keep. These are only a few of reasons behind their popularity. Try them, you won't regret it!
Article is written for aquaticcommunity.com by William Berg. William Berg has 20 years of aquarium experience and is the admin at http://www.aquaticcommunity.com