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Cylinder Cichlid

(Neolamprologus cylindricus)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Aggressive   • Maximum Size: 5"
• Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons   • Water Conditions: 76-82° F, pH 8.5-9.5, KH 15-25
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Lake Tanganyika   • Family: Cichlidae
• Species: African Cichlid   • Aquarium Type: African Cichlid, Rift Lake

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Species Information

Cylinder Cichlid native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Cylinder Cichlid is a highly aggressive, solitary predator that is endemic to Lake Tanganyika; this species doesn't tolerate others of their kind unless it is their mate. There are several different color variations based on location; mainly it's a difference of their vertical bands (of which they all have ten) varying in shades of brown or being solid black; one color morph has electric-blue tips on all of its fins as well as an upturned, electric-blue arch-like marking under each eye; there is also another variant that has a gold hue head, but the color is lost once they mature.

The Cylinder Cichlid is a popular species and is usually available within the hobby. They can be special ordered from local stores and often found within clubs as well as being available through online vendors.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Cylinder Cichlid in the home aquarium.

The Cylinder Cichlid requires an aquarium of 55 gallons or more and should be provided with a sand/crushed coral substrate with plenty of rocks around the tank creating multiple caves and crevices for hiding, spawning, and hunting. Open swimming space is appreciated, but not required as they tend to stay close to their rock caves.

Decent water movement is recommended as it will benefit both the fish any live plants that are utilized. Live plants don't pose any problems as Cylinder Cichlids are not known to be diggers and will generally ignore the plants; African Water Ferns, Anubias, and Vallisneria are good choices and will do well in alkaline conditions; they will also provide extra cover for predator and prey alike.

They are very aggressive species and should be kept solitary or in pairs as the dominant male will usually terrorize and end up killing the sub-dominant "competition". It's possible to keep one individual with other aggressive tank mates (that will not eat them for lunch), but they should not resemble the Cylinder Cichlid in any way.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Cylinder Cichlid and provide a healthy diet.

The Cylinder Cichlid is a predatory carnivore and will feed on tiny invertebrates, plankton, and aquatic insects found among the rocks in their natural environment. In the aquarium their diet should consist of a variety of live, frozen, and freeze-dried bloodworms, daphnia, plankton, brine shrimp, and mysis shrimp, as well as vitamin-enriched and/or Spirulina-based flake foods and pellets. Feed what will be consumed in a few minutes, one to two times daily.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Cylinder Cichlid in the aquarium environment.

Cylinder Cichlids are considered to be "substrate spawners", but they continually prove otherwise by utilizing caves; the female will lay her eggs in a cave (generally 50-200) and the male with fertilize them soon afterwards; the female will defend and care for the eggs while the male defends the territory.

The eggs will hatch in about 10 days and free-swimming fry will start to venture out on their own a week later. The fry can be fed and raised on Artemia nauplii, baby brine shrimp, and crushed flake food.

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