For the most part, it’s easy to get cichlids to breed in captivity. This doesn’t mean that you want them to breed, though.
You might be comfortable with the number of fish that you have. If you don’t want the hassle of having baby fish in the tank, you might wish to keep the cichlids from breeding.
Is there a good way to go about doing this? How can you keep cichlids from breeding in the fish tank?
Read on to learn how to stop cichlids from breeding. If you use the advice below, you can easily get the results that you’re hoping for.
1 – Don’t Keep Any Male Fish in the Tank
Perhaps the easiest way to keep cichlids from breeding is to not have any male fish. Cichlids won’t be able to breed if there aren’t any males present in the tank.
A female cichlid can lay eggs still, but they won’t be viable. The male cichlid must fertilize the eggs or you won’t see any of the eggs hatch.
The eggs will simply wind up getting eaten by the fish over the course of time. You’ll likely see the cichlids in the tank eating the eggs, but other tank mates might eat the eggs as well.
It should be perfectly fine to keep female cichlids together in the tank without a male. Just don’t mix and match different types of cichlids.
You won’t have to worry about the cichlids breeding any longer. It simply won’t be possible for them to do so.
For most, this is going to be the most practical course of action. Just do your best to buy only female fish from the store.
It might take some effort to do this since many people have trouble telling male and female fish apart. You might need to look up specific information about the species that you’re buying so you can be sure.
There’s a chance that the employees at the store will be knowledgeable. However, many people who work at large chain stores don’t have such knowledge.
2 – Keep Fish in the Tank That Will Eat the Eggs
When you want the fish to stop breeding, what you really want is to control the population of the tank. You don’t want to have way too many cichlids in the tank.
You could keep certain fish in the tank that will keep the population under control. There are many types of fish that will eat eggs in the tank.
The cichlids themselves are likely going to eat some of the eggs. Other fish in the tank might be able to sneak past the parent fish and eat some eggs sometimes as well.
When the eggs hatch, the cichlid fry will be quite vulnerable. Unless you take steps to protect them, it’s likely that the fish in the tank will eat the baby fish.
Since you don’t want the baby fish, it’s fine to allow them to be eaten. Many people put various types of catfish in the tank with cichlids for this purpose.
They can work to control the fry population. It’s unlikely that any of the fry will reach maturity if you’re keeping the cichlids in a community tank.
3 – Adjust Tank Conditions
Some types of cichlids will be more or less likely to breed under certain conditions. For instance, they might be more likely to breed if the temperature of the water is in a certain range.
Do some research based on the type of cichlids that you’re caring for. Determine what the ideal breeding conditions are.
Now that you have this information, you’ll be able to alter the settings in the tank. Make sure that things are fine for the health of the fish without being ideal for breeding.
The conditions in the tank might discourage the cichlids from breeding. At the very least, it might keep them from breeding as often.
You Could Sell Unwanted Cichlids
What if you wind up with more cichlids than you want despite your best efforts? It might be possible to sell unwanted cichlids to other fish enthusiasts.
Cichlids are very popular fish overall. There might be someone else in your area who will take the fish off of your hands.
Look into local fish groups to see if anyone is interested in buying cichlids. If you’re not worried about making money, you could give the fish away.
The goal is simply to get rid of the fish. This ensures that you don’t have to worry too much about the fish breeding.
Of course, it might get a bit annoying to have to constantly give fish away if your cichlids keep breeding. This is why it’s often easier to simply keep fish in the tank that will devour the cichlid fry.
Get More Fish Tanks
Another idea is to get more fish tanks. If you have room in your home, you could simply accept the new cichlids that have been born.
Set up a new tank and put the cichlid fry in there. This will give them a space where they can grow and potentially thrive.
It all comes down to whether you want to take care of more fish. If you don’t have enough room in your home for another tank, this idea might not be appealing at all.
Some people love cichlids so much that they can’t get enough of them. If you really enjoy caring for cichlids, consider getting another tank and keeping the babies that survive.
You have a few options available to you when you want to keep cichlids from breeding. The most practical thing to do is to only keep female fish in the tank.
If you only have female cichlids in the aquarium, the eggs won’t ever get fertilized. Baby cichlids won’t wind up being born and you won’t have to worry about the eggs.
You could also try to buy fish for the community tank that will eat cichlid eggs and cichlid fry. This will keep the population down to a minimum so you won’t wind up with too many fish.
Some might find it more appealing to simply sell extra cichlids off. You could either sell cichlids or give them away if you wind up with too many due to breeding.
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.