Monday, June 07, 2004
A cichlid [pronounced sick-lid] is a fish in the Family Cichlidae. This is an immense family of freshwater fishes of almost unbelievable diversity. Conservative estimates put the number of species of cichlids at 1300. Many people have seen a cichlid without even knowing it. Oscars and freshwater angelfish, both common aquarium fishes, are cichlids.
The popularity of cichlids among aquarists likely stems from three things: many are easy to keep, there are so many kinds and they do interesting things. With few exceptions cichlids can be kept and bred easily in aquaria.
Hundreds of species are currently available in the hobby and many can be kept with a minimum of equipment in aquaria ranging from 10 gallons on up. You might want to look at some of the key references about these fish that I have available using the button below.