Looking for good beginner fish isn’t always easy. You might find some fish that you’re interested in only to discover that they’re hard to care for.
As a beginner, you want to buy fish that are hardy and overall simple to learn how to take care of. Cichlids might be appealing to you, but are these fish hardy?
Below, you’ll get information about caring for cichlids. You’ll learn about how hardy these fish are and whether they’re considered to be good for beginners.
This will make it simpler to make the right decision for your home aquarium. These are interesting fish that can be great to own, but it’s important to consider if they’re a good fit for you before buying them.
Cichlids Are Hardy
Cichlids are indeed hardy fish. Overall, these fish are easy to care for since they aren’t delicate.
There are many different types of cichlids, though. Some are good for beginners, but others won’t be so great for inexperienced fish owners.
Certain types of cichlids are less hardy than others. Some are considered to be tricky to care for overall.
Most of the average and popular types of cichlids are hardy fish, though. Many of them can live for up to twenty years if cared for properly, but this will vary greatly depending on the species of the fish.
There are also many reasons why even the cichlids that are easy to care for might not be a good fit for your tank. You’ll learn a bit about the negatives of caring for cichlids later.
For now, you should know that picking the right cichlids will be important. If you want hardy fish that will thrive in your tank, you should pick some of the most popular types.
Angelfish, oscars, kribensis, convicts, and African cichlids are considered to be the best options. If you buy one of those species of cichlids, you’ll have a pretty easy time.
Cichlids Are Very Aggressive Fish
You also need to know that cichlids are very aggressive fish. Some cichlids are a bit easier to manage, but all of them are at least mildly aggressive.
The aggression of these fish will make it hard for you to keep them in community fish tanks. They can be kept as community fish, but you need to be very careful with what fish you put in a tank with them.
You’ll find that the aggression level of cichlids is so high that they will often fight with each other. So even if you don’t want to set up a community aquarium, you’ll have to be careful with your main tank that just contains cichlids.
For instance, male cichlids are known to fight each other. Two male cichlids might even fight to the death, and that’s not something you want to have to deal with.
Because of the aggressive nature of these fish, many beginners wind up feeling overwhelmed. It can be a lot to have to deal with for those who aren’t used to caring for fish.
The territorial nature of cichlids will need to be factored into your decision-making process. It’s best to give cichlids plenty of room in the fish tank to avoid them fighting with other fish too much.
Keeping Cichlids Healthy
Keeping most cichlids healthy is going to be easy. However, you’re still going to need to take care of the basics.
Even the hardy types of cichlids will get sick if kept in a fish tank with dirty water. As such, maintaining high water quality should be one of your biggest concerns.
Ensure that you’re cleaning the fish tank regularly and doing weekly water changes. Changing 15% of the water each week is a good course of action.
Having a good filter in the tank will help to prevent things from getting too dirty. It also helps if you do your best not to overfeed the fish and make them poop too much.
When it comes to feeding cichlids, you want to feed them a well-balanced diet. Some cichlids are omnivores while others are carnivores.
You’ll have to give the fish appropriate food based on their needs. Usually, this consists of fish flakes, nutritional pellets, meaty freeze-dried foods, and live foods.
Feed the fish once or twice per day. If you feed the fish once per day, give them as much as they can eat in two minutes.
When feeding cichlids twice per day, give them as much as they can eat in one minute both times. Remember to thaw any frozen foods before feeding them to your fish as well.
Should You Buy Cichlids?
Now that you’ve learned more about cichlids and how hardy they are, it’s time for you to make a decision. Are these fish right for your home aquarium?
It really depends on your perspective. If you’re looking for good community tank fish, it’s likely that cichlids will be a poor fit.
There are cichlids that can go in community tanks, but you need to be careful to pick compatible fish. It’s also still possible that you might have to deal with aggression issues in the tank.
Many cichlids are beginner-friendly and easy to care for. However, some of them are trickier to care for and aren’t considered to be hardy.
You’ll want to stick with popular options such as angelfish, Oscars, and African cichlids when looking for good hardy options. That doesn’t mean that other cichlids can’t be fun to own, but they might not be ideal choices for beginners.
Make the decision that will be best for your home fish tank. If you really like the way that cichlids look, you might have a good experience caring for them.
So long as you put in the effort to take care of the fish tank, it’s likely that the cichlids will do well under your care. Keep the water quality high by cleaning the tank regularly and doing weekly water changes.
Feed your fish a well-balanced diet so they can stay healthy. If you do so, everything is going to go nicely in the fish tank.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.