Cichlid is one of the vibrant and attractive fish varieties that can brighten up your home. Its calming effect on the home environment keeps the stress at bay. Sure, it makes a lovely pet, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that your fish gets a happy, healthy, and comfortable environment.
For this, you must understand the needs that your beautiful pet has. Here are some tips from the experts to help you in taking care of your pet cichlid.
What to Feed a Cichlid?
Give nutritious food to your cichlid to keep it healthy. A protein-rich, balanced diet should include pellets, flakes, frozen food, and even live insects. You can buy pellets specially made for cichlids from any pet store. Avoid feeding it with any regular fish food. As cichlids are omnivorous, you can occasionally supplement your cichlid’s diet with fresh veggies and raw meats.
How Much to Feed a Cichlid?
Knowing the right amount of food your fish needs is very important. Overfeeding or underfeeding can have severe consequences on its health. If you are putting more food, then it will add up as waste in your tank and pollute the water.
Young cichlids may need about two to three feeds, but adult cichlids need food once a day. Make sure whatever you give is finished in 1 or 2 minutes.
Cichlids like to be in a sandy substrate with lots of rocks, crevasses, plants, and hiding places. A tank with 10 or more gallons capacity is sufficient for small cichlids. However, you must go for a big tank of more than 29 gallons capacity for the adult cichlids. A crowded tank will mimic a natural habitat for your fish.
Stable water quality and other parameters are equally important to create a healthy habitat. Keep your cichlid with similar-sized fishes and not small fishes. Introduce them in the tank gradually as the territorial nature of cichlids makes them a bit aggressive.
Make sure you have adequate filtration in your tank as cichlids eat a lot and excrete a lot too. You need to have a filter that will frequently clean up the tank and prevent any waste built-up. The choice of filter will depend upon the capacity of your tank.
Check your filter daily along with water temperature and other equipment. You must check the water quality once a week and change about 10 to 25 percent of the water every 2 weeks.
Cichlids prefer warm water with a pH level somewhere around 7-9. Cichlid is a species that can adjust to any environment. But if you put it in water with about 8 pH levels, its color will appear brighter. You may use crush corals, aquarium additives, or aragonite substrate to achieve the required pH and mineral level. Keep the water temperature constant between 75 to 80°F.
Your cichlid can stay healthy and live for many years if you take good care of it and by following the tips from home aquarium experts like http://helpusfish.com/. A healthy cichlid will have even, clear eyes and bright coloring with a good appetite.
Look for any sudden changes in your fish’s appetite or appearance. If you see cloudy eyes, bloating, spots, or fungus around the body or mouth, etc., consult your veterinarian immediately.