African Cichlid Species Profiles

 Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is the home of more species of fish than any other lake in the world, including over 1000 species of cichlids.
The average water temperature of Lake Malawi is 77 °F, with a pH = 8.5, a general hardness (GH) around 7, and a carbonate hardness (KH) of 10-12. For the non-chemists in the room, this means the water is hard and alkaline.
All Malawian cichlids are considered aggressive, and do not belong in a community tank. Normally, they should only be kept with other African cichlids of similar temperament, with a few notable exceptions that include some species of hardy catfish.

Lake Tanganyika

Tanganyikan cichlids are some of the most interesting African cichlids around, ranging from the shell-dwelling Lamprologus species to the hefty Cyphotilapia Frontosa which can reach 12” or more.
The average water temperature of Lake Tanganyika is 78 °F, with a pH that varies from 7.8 to 9.0 and a general hardness (GH) around 10-12. In summary, the water is very hard and very alkaline.
Tanganyikan cichlids range from mildly aggressive to downright belligerent, and generally will not do well in a peaceful community tank (with a few notable exceptions). Many species are considerably less aggressive than their Lake Malawian cousins, and are likely to be victims of more aggressive Malawi mbuna if kept together.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the largest lake by surface area in Africa and the chief source of the Nile River. It is situated between Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
The surface water temperature of Lake Victoria varies between 70-81 °F depending on the season, with a pH that varies from 7.8 to 8.6 and a general hardness (GH) around 2-8.
Victorian cichlids tend to be moderately aggressive and territorial. In aquariums, they are often combined with various mbuna from Lake Malawi, and can coexist with many of these in a decent sized tank with plenty of cover.

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