Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lake Malawi Cichlids Natural Habitat

My site deals with tropical freshwater fish called African cichlids. I only deal with them and so I won't be discussing Central and South American cichlids at this time (but I may start a new blog about them at a later date!) But I do want to say that African cichlids and Central and South American cichlids are similar as tropical fish species but they are different enough that they should not be kept together in the same tank. The benefit is they can both be cared for in the same way but just not kept together. The most common species for home aquariums are the African cichlids and I have included a little bit of information in regards to the Lake Malawi cichlids natural habitat. They are extremely colorful and most are bred in captivity and so the price is cheaper for them and your tank parameters don't have to exactly match the waters of Lake Malawi because they are used to more normal water specifications. I specially like the Mbuna species and that is the type that I will be giving some background information on.

Lake Malawi, where the Mbuna cichlids originate from, is in east Africa and it is a very large and deep lake. It is roughly 360 miles long and ranges from 20 to 45 miles wide. Its deepest point is 2,300 feet. One of the really cool features of the lake is its visibility of the water. Visibility can be as high as 60 feet in many places because of the rocky lake bottom near the shores there is very little sediment to cloud the water. The north shore is shallow whereas the southern area of the lake is very deep. A lot of areas are
very rocky and a lot of the fish live within these rocks. Certain areas of the lake bottom is very wide open and sandy. But there are also areas where tall grass grows and there are certain species that live there as well.

All the species of cichlids that inhabit Lake Malawi Africa can be safely mixed together, however you will have to at times perform some cichlid aggression prevention (which I deal with in another post). But each one has its own areas of the lake that they thrive in. African cichlids natural habitat involves some living among the rocks, some the sand and rocks together, and some among the plants or grass. When you set up your aquarium you will need to keep this in mind with your decorations. Adding a little sand, lots of rocks, and possibly plants can make the cichlids feel at home and secure. Read more about African cichlids...