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I have some african cichlid(about 3 inches) in 55 gallon-tank.How do they make b...

Nancy Nguyen

I have some african cichlid(about 3 inches) in 55 gallon-tank.How do they make babies and when?

Cichlids are easy to breed if they are bred in a separate aquarium from other fish. In a community aquarium, where there are other fish in the tank, it can be hard to raise the babies successfully. The other fish may try to eat the eggs and the babies. Both the male and female will guard the eggs and protect the babies. The parents will constantly be chasing the other fish away, and can even harm them. It is best to separate breeding fish into their own aquarium if they are starting to show signs of spawning.

The eggs are laid on a smooth surface, usually a rock, but even on a plant leaf or aquarium glass. Once the eggs hatch, the parents will dig a depression in the aquarium gravel and move the babies into it. Then the parents will hover over the depression to fan the babies with their fins to keep them clean and provide oxygen, and to protect them. After a few days, the babies will start swimming around the tank.

This is when they need to feed. They can be fed finely ground flake food, but best is newly hatched brine shrimp. Once the babies are swimming and eating on their own, remove the parents and let the babies grow. The parents can be placed into another aquarium, where they will commence spawning again.