African River Cichlids
In this article I’ll tell you about African River Cichlids.
Unique Species Found Outside of the Rift Lakes
Most of the cichlids sold in the North American fish stores are from the three largest Rift Lakes in Africa: Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika. Examples of Rift Lake cichlid species are the Peacock, Rusty, Tropheus Moorii, Labidochromis, Mbuna and Frontosa.
There are many more rivers, lakes, streams and ponds outside of the Rift Lakes. All of them have some very interesting species. The Rovurna, Rufiji, Dana, Juba, Okavango and Gambia are just a few of the African rivers containing cichlids unknown to the western world. Some of the African lakes other than the Rift Lakes are Lake Volta, Albert, Assal, Congo, Baringo, Tzana or Dembea.
Because these rivers and lakes are located all over the African continent, the water conditions and the needs of these fish are not going to be the same. If any of these fish are kept in an aquarium, research must be done on each species.
Nigerian Green Cichlid
The Pelvicachromis Taeniatus or the Nigerian Green is found in Nigeria and Cameroon. The male grows to four inches and the female to three inches. When the male is in the spawning mood, its colors change to shades of bright metallic green, red violet purple and gold.
The female will also change color, which is rare in cichlids. The middle part of her body develops red and silvery coloration and her throat becomes a bright brilliant yellow.
The ideal PH value of the water should be 6.5 to 7.0
Red or Jewel Cichlid
The Hemichromis Bimaculatus is easy to breed but should only be kept as a species tank or with other cichlids that won’t be bullied. Their average adult size is approximately five inches.
When in full color, the body of Jewel Cichlids become orange to red with many rows of blue iridescent spots. Their fins become yellow or pale green.
The ideal PH value of the water should be 7.0 to 7.5.
The Steatocranus Casuarius is a peaceful bottom dweller. They are good in a community tank and are compatible with cichlids from the Rift Lakes. It has a stout and elongated body with an oversized head. As the male matures, it develops a hump over its eyes.
Their color ranges from olive green to dark grey with some hints of brown and black. The male grows to approximately four inches and the female grows to three inches.
The ideal PH value of the water should be 6.0 to 8.0, with 7.0 being ideal.
Other species of cichlids found in African rivers are the Egyptian Mouthbreeder, Hemichromis Bimaculatus, Nanochromis Transvestitus, Chromidotilapia and Benitochromis Nigrodoralis.