Your First Cichlid Aquarium

Written by William Berg

Your First Cichlid Aquarium

By William Berg of Sweden, for

So you're thinking about trying cichlids. A good choice. In this article I shall try to give a few examples of good cichlid aquariums that are suitable for beginners. I've tried to suggest set-ups that will be beautiful and easy to maintain, and species that are easily bred so that you might observe this fascinating side of cichlid behaviour.

This article targets those who haven't that much experience with aquariums in general and cichlids in particular. If you are a more experienced aquarist who is just new to cichlids these set-ups will still be good, and you have a lot of other options as well since you are probably capable of keeping more sensitive species than those suggested in this article.

Aquarium: It is possible to keep some cichlids, such as Lamprologus ocellatus, in very small aquariums. However, for your first cichlid aquarium I would recommend a larger aquarium of no less than 30 gallons/120 L. There are several reasons for this:

- A larger aquarium is easier to maintain and easier to keep in good condition. - Cichlids are aggressive. Some cichlids are much more aggressive than others, but almost all cichlids are aggressive and a larger aquarium makes it easier for weaker fish to avoid this hostility. - Cichlid behaviour is usually more interesting if you can keep more than one isolated pair in an aquarium. For example this may allow you to seerepparttar parents guarding their young.

Water conditions: Which water conditions you should have depends on which cichlids you want to keep since their preferences differ greatly. For your first aquarium I recommend keeping species that are less sensitive to water conditions, and if you choose to tryrepparttar 125839 species I recommend in this article you normally won't have to think about water conditions. I don't recommend keeping cichlids fromrepparttar 125840 great African lakes as your first cichlids if you are an inexperienced aquarist, since they have more specialised demands.

Feeding: The cichlids I recommend accept all kind of food, however I would recommend giving them a diverse diet consisting of pellets/flakes, frozen food and occasional live food.

Species: Now torepparttar 125841 fun part: choosing fish species to your new aquarium. I will give three examples of possible aquariums. The first one has its origin in African rivers and is more friendly, whilerepparttar 125842 second one features cichlids from Central America. I will also give a suggestion for a composition that has its origins inrepparttar 125843 Amazon. However this composition is a little bit harder to get to breed and requires a larger aquarium. I would recommend at least 50 gallon/ 200 L.

1. African cichlid aquarium (30 gallons) 1 pair of kribs (Pelvicachromis pulcher) 1 pair of African butterfly cichlids (Anomalochromis thomasi) 1 pair of Egyptian mouth-brooders (Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor) 4 Ancistrus (plecos)

2. Central American aquarium (30 gallons): 1 pair of Archocentrus sajica (T-Bar cichlid) 1 pair of convicts (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus) 2 Hypostomus (plecos)

3. Amazon aquarium (50 gallons): 4 angelfish ( Pterophyllum scalare) 1 pair of Aequidens curviceps 1 pair of Aequidens maronii (Keyhole cichlid) 6 Ancistrus (plecos)

Keeping Gars - A short review

Written by William Berg

Keeping Gars A short review

By William Berg of Sweden, for

If you take a quick look at this species they don't seem like aquarium fishes. They are large and highly predatory. But then again, these are qualities that attract some, like me! If you've been keeping aquariums for a while and haverepparttar room to keep large predatory fishes I recommend you try these fish, but not until you've done your homework and knowrepparttar 125838 gars' requirements and what you are getting yourself into.

Species of gar:

Florida spotted gar, Lepisosteus platyrhinchus A highly varied species of gar. Has more spots on its body and a shorter snout than many other gars. Easily mistaken for spotted gar.

Spotted gar, Lepisosteus oculatus Long snout and spots. Spots to a higher degree towardsrepparttar 125839 posterior of its body. Easily mistaken for Florida spotted gar.

Shortnosed gar, Lepisosteus platostomus The shortnosed gar can be identified by its short snout, and byrepparttar 125840 lack of teeth rows inrepparttar 125841 upper jaw likerepparttar 125842 alligator gar, andrepparttar 125843 lack of spots on its body.

Long-nosed gar, Lepisosteus osseus The long-nosed gar is, asrepparttar 125844 name suggests, identified by its long slender snout, and also by its slender body.

Alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula The alligator gar has a short broad snout and two big rows of teeth inrepparttar 125845 upper jaw. This species is spotted onrepparttar 125846 posterior part ofrepparttar 125847 body and to a lesser extent on other parts ofrepparttar 125848 body.

Tropical gar, Atractosteus tropicus A very rare species.

Manfari or Cuban gar, Atractosteus tristoechus Looks very similar torepparttar 125849 alligator gar and since it is very rare inrepparttar 125850 trade you can usually assume that your gar is an alligator gar and not a Cuban gar unless otherwise stated. The Cuban gar has a broader snout and lacks pattern on its body.

Beside these species there are a number of hybrids such asrepparttar 125851 crocodile gar.

Spotted, Florida and short-nosed gars are smaller thanrepparttar 125852 other species and may be more suitable for aquariums. They usually don't grow larger than 2 feet in aquariums. Long-nosed and alligator gars grow to a very large size and larger ponds are recommended if you'd like to keep fully grown specimens. So if you don't have (or plan on getting) a large pond, stay withrepparttar 125853 smaller species. Even withrepparttar 125854 smaller species you are still going to need a rather large aquarium. The tropical gar also is possible to keep in aquariums as it doesn't grow as large; however this species is very hard to find. The Cuban gar is a red-list endangered species and shouldn't be kept even if you somehow find one.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use