The cichlids of Lake Malawi badly need a decoration of rocks with cavities to hide and reproduce there. You can either put stacked stones in staggered rows so that there are passages between the stones, or stones to holes also very interesting for their natural hiding places for the safety of the little ones. Limestone is recommended because it increases the pH of the water naturally.
Regarding the stone pile, take into account that they dig in the sand and that your heap can collapse on your fish or damage your aquarium.
You can put plants like Anubias. Their leaves are more robust than the others and will resist longer, because let’s not forget that cichlids are alguivorous fish but this is optional in this type of aquarium.
The filtration system is essential because it purifies the water and traps waste and particles in suspension in the water and thus transforms them biologically and chemically to enrich the water with oxygen.
Here, we will recommend a power of the flow pump in l / h depending on a volume of water. Ideally, a minimum flow of 4 times the gross volume of the tank will be required.
For example for an aquarium of 300 liters, it will be necessary to have a pump flow of 1200l / h minimum.
An additional mixing pump will have the usefulness and advantages of lifting a maximum of waste which can be sucked in and dispersing rocky sediments which will increase your pH.
On the lighting side, this type of tray, not or only slightly planted, does not require an extraordinary light intensity. Fluorescent tubes in t5 or t8 daylight type or special Cichlid Fish are perfectly suitable and the choice will be based on the rendering of the light spectrum of your tubes according to the color of your fish you want to highlight.
Daily lighting duration:
- It takes about 12 hours maximum lighting per day, as in nature.
- If the aquarium is too bright, green algae will develop on the windows and the decor.
- If the aquarium is inadequately lit, brown algae will develop.
The Different Foods
In the natural environment cichlids eat everything they find: insect larvae, small crustaceans, worms. In the aquarium they can be provided with live food which has the advantage of containing many vitamins. The best way being to cultivate is own artemias.
It is the most common food because dehydrated and it has the advantage of being stored for a long time and being as varied as it is nutritious. It comes in the form of flakes, granules, sticks. Pay attention to the expiration date beyond which the nutritional and vitamin qualities are no longer guaranteed.
It is sold as small cubes of special cichlid frozen food. Be careful not to throw frozen food directly into the aquarium. Soak it for a moment in a bowl of water at aquarium temperature and fragment it into small portions to avoid deposits on the bottom which will be very polluting. You can also add polyvitamin drops.