Q&A About Lake Malawi Cichlids

Moderator: Pam Chin

Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:32 pm


Post by HannahKearney »

Hi Pam, I am doing an informative speech on Mbuna Cichlids and I need to interview an expert. I hope you can please answer some of my questions!
Could you describe their most common social behaviors (such as their aggressiveness, and why they are so aggressive compared to other kinds of cichlids)? What other behaviors or personality traits really sets them apart from other groups of cichlids? The more information you can provide, the better, thanks for your time !!
Pam Chin
Site Admin
Posts: 1782
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 9:11 am
Location: California, USA

Re: Interview

Post by Pam Chin »

Hi Hannah,

What I find so exciting about cichlids is that there are so many different behaviors, it is hard to explain. This is a large family of fish with probably close to 3000 different species that range in size from 1" to 36" and they all live and breed in different ways. "The core behavior that draws most hobbyists to them is that they are relatively easy to breed in our aquariums. Everyone wants to observe this ritual which can involve many different behaviors. The ultimate reward is to be able to obtain viable fry, and eventually raise them up. Some species do all the work while others will need you step in and help in the rearing process to be successful.

Most all cichlids are aggressive when they are spawning, they are prewired, in order to continue the species they have to spawn. They live with predators, and if any fry are going to survive it is often up to the parents. They use a variety of methods; substrate spawners where they spawn on a rock or in cave, often spawns in some species can be in the 1000's, they have to expend a lot of energy to protect the site and the fry. While others are mouthbrooders, where the fry is incubated in the mouth generally by the female, in this case there is no care provided by the male. There are not as many fry, and they are much larger when released, and able to forage on their own and hide in the rocks. Females may spend a day or two, but many just release and the fry are on their own.

I would be glad to help with any specific questions, but general questions are not applicable to all species.

Cichlid Power!
Cichlid Power!

Cichlid Room Companion
Best Cichlid Site Ever
Post Reply