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Although not particularly hardy, the discus, has been popular among aquarium enthusiasts.
African and other Cichlids are one of the largest vertebrate families, with estimates varying between 1,300 to 3,000 species. Cichlids body sizes ranges between 1 inch to 3 feet in length. Cichlids also have a wide diversity of body shapes from flat to long.
Cichlids are mainly freshwater fish living in African and South, Central American and ranging as far north as Texas. You can find them in other places too such as Iran, Australia and India.
Cichlids have been increasing in popularly as aquarium fish. They are well suited for the fish tank and can be easy fed with store bought fish foods. They breed readily in captivity.
Among the most popular aquarium cichlid are the angelfish, oscar, dicus and the convict cichlid. Use caution when putting them with other fish as they may eat the smaller ones.
Ciclids can interbreed with closely related species. One example is the blood parrot cichlid. It has a beak shaped mouth, abnormal spine and sometimes is missing the caudal fin.
Some call this the Frankenstein monster of the fish world, while others like and want them in their aquariums. Of course inbreeding can cause the cichlid to be unhealthy, lose fertility and can cause physical abnormalities.
African Cichlids (all types)
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African and American Cichlids