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Raising Angelfish Fry (Free Pdf Download)

Raising Angelfish Fry (Free Pdf Download)

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Visit http://cichlidscare.net to access a completely free minicourse on how to keep healthy cichlids in your tank
Visit http://cichlidscare.net to access a completely free minicourse on how to keep healthy cichlids in your tank

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Published by: OnlineBookSharing on Jan 24, 2012
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(By Kevin Jacobs: http://www.cichlidscare.net) 
General Information on Cichlids
 Chichlids are fishes belonging to the
family and to the order
. To date,approximately 1300 species have been described. However, because of both peculiaranatomical and behavioral traits, new species are identified every year, which has suggestedthat over 3000 distinct cichlid species exist.
Body description
 The cichilds exhibit a wide range of body size and color, with cichlid species as small as 1inch in length to species over 3ft long!The most diverse body shapes can also be found in cichlids. Highly compressed tocylindrical, disc-shaped and triangular shapes are some of the most common. Generallyspeaking however, cichlids come in a medium sized, oval shaped, slightly compressed body.
Anatomy and appearance of cichlids
 Typically, all cichlid species have their pharyngeal bones fused into a single structurebearing a single tooth. Strong muscles control the lower and upper pharyngeal bones, whichcan be used as an auxiliary set of jaws to process food.Other characteristic features of cichlids include:
One nostril opening on each side of the forehead
No bony plate at the bottom of the eye
Lateral line organ divided into two sections: one on the upper portion of the flank andthe other running along the midline of the flank, from about halfway along the body tothe base of the tail.
A uniquely shaped otolith
Differently to the other members of
, in cichlid fish, the small in
testine’s exit
from the stomach is located on the left side instead of the right side.
Habitat of Cichlids
 Cichlids are freshwater fish living in lakes and ponds, although many species toleratebrackish water for extended periods. The most famous species live in Africa (e.g., Malawicichlid and Tanganyika cichlid), Central America and South America.Although, most cichlids live in shallow depths, cichlid species such as
Alticorpus macrocleithrum 
Pallidochromis tokolosh 
have been found at 500 ft below the surface inLake Malawi, and the
Lamprologus lethops 
is thought to live at even 520 ft below the watersurface in the Congo.
Cichlid Diet
 Most cichlids are herbivores. Their diet includes primarily algae (e.g.
) andaquatic plants (e.g.
Etroplus suratensis 
). Other species (e.g.,
) eat scales andfins of other fishes, a behavior known as lepidophagy.
Other cichlid species are “detritivores” (=obtain nutrients by consuming organic matter) an
adaptive feeding trait that perhaps is one of the reasons why cichlids are so widelydistributed throughout the world.The Bumblebee cichlid (
Pseudotropheus Crabro 
) specialises in feeding on parasites fromthe catfish (Bagrus meridionalis). Other detritivore cyclhid types include the tilapiines of thegenera
.Cichlids are also predatory and eat smaller fish, invertebrates as well as insect larvae (e.g.
). Some cichlid types have also been described to eat other cichlids engagingin a range of extremely sophisticated predatory strategies.For example, the species
, mimick death laying motionless,attracting smaller fish to their side prior to attacking them!
Cichlid Mating Habits
 Cichlids are both monogamous and polygamous. Cichlid mating strategies and systems include complex rituals and are strongly regulated by both environmental (e.g., water pH andtemperature) as well as definite societal rules.For example, in African cichlid society, only the alpha males reproduce. Males with lowersocial rank normally keep their reproductive systems suppressed. However, should an alphaindividual abdicate from its privileged position, beta individuals start taking over and quickly
“turn on” their reproductive systems.
Cichlid Breeding Behavior
 Cichlid breeding habits include parental care for both eggs and larvae, looking after free-swimming young for weeks or even months.Breeding cichlids have also been described to engage in communal parental care, wheremonogamous pairs look after groups of young.Interestingly, in the species
Neolamprologus Brichardi 
, both by adult individuals and older juveniles from previous spawns have been found to engage in parental care of groups ofyoung.
Cichlid aquariums
Cichlids are some of the most sought after acquarium fish, one of the main reasons beingthat cichlids are easy to feed and have no problems breeding in acquariums.A very popular species among hobbyists is
Pterophyllum Scalare,
originally from the
Amazon River basin in tropical South America, commonly known as “Angelfish”. Other 
popular cichlid species that have shown to live well in aquariums are the
Astronotus Ocellatus 
, also known as “Oscar” and
Archocentrus Nigrofasciatus 
or convict cichlid.

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