Ways & How

How to Breed Cichlids

How to Breed Cichlids

Don’t be misled into believing that cichlids are easy to breed. It might be true to some, but not all types of cichlids will readily reproduce. You have to be very selective on how to breed cichlids. Know that there are two kinds – the mouthbrooders and substrate-spawners. Each group has its own ways of mating, and breeders must provide the requirements of each when planning to breed them. Start by knowing the difference:

  1. Investigate cichlids that are substrate-spawners. Within the same group, there are also sub-varieties of substrate-spawners. The most common ones are surface-layers on logs, rocks or leaves. There is also another type that encompasses cave-layers, and the final type typically leaves their eggs inside shells that are vacated by their former occupants. Their methods of breeding differ. Inquiring on their specific behaviors before making a purchase will save you a lot of trouble.

  2. If you happen to have cichlids that belong to the substate-spawners kind, try to duplicate their natural habitat.



    hey must feel that the place they are in is exclusively for them – because they won’t lay their eggs in the territory of other species. They hide a lot during the process, so provide more plants to cover them or improvise shelter that is normally found in their original dwelling. The key to choosing the right material for the necessary props is to make sure that they are free from micro-organisms by boiling them.

  3. Research more on the other kinds of cichlids that are mouth-brooders. The majority of mouth-brooders have the habit of holding their eggs inside their mouths until they hatch. They rather not lay their eggs anywhere else. They normally originate from fresh water lakes like the ones in Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria. Make sure that the tap water used is de-chlorinated and conditioned to make it more natural for them.

  4. Watch out also for the minority types of mouth-brooders – the mouth-brooders that are the delayed and immediate ones.  Delayed mouth-brooders are gravel egg layers, and their eggs are fertilized prior to storing them inside their mouths. On the other hand, the immediate ones will immediately store the eggs inside their mouths after laying them. The eggs are fertilized by their male partners inside their mouth.

  5. Understand that since mother mouth-brooders are carrying their eggs inside their mouths until they hatch, they will be pretty hungry and weak due to not eating for quite some time. Protect them by organizing better hiding places for them. They can be additional plants, spawning mop or bigger rocks. Feed them gradually once the babies are finally released by their mothers. Overfeeding very hungry cichlids will be dangerous to their digestive systems.

On top of the above tips, be aware of the right pH level of your water and have an efficient filtration system. It is a bit tricky to learn how to breed cichlids, but nothing is impossible for the determined fish breeder. Cichlids are indeed a complicated species, that’s why it’s important not to miss any single detail when learning about them. Once you know them well, your breeding project will no longer be filled with surprises.

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