How to identify and care for electric blue cichlid

The electric blue cichlid (Sciaenochromis fryeri) belongs to the family cichildae. They are native to the ranges of Lake Malawi, Africa, and are categorised as Malawian cichlids. These fish are carnivorous, and can live more than 10 years. Blue electric cichlids are among the most popular of all cichlids.

Identify the male electric blue cichlid by its colouring, which is primarily metallic blue. The female, however, has a soft blue sheen rather than the metallic sheen of the male.

Look out for a white edging on the pectoral and dorsal fins and a golden-yellow tinge along the bottom of its anal fin.

Note that it has a sleek, bullet-shaped body that grows to approximately 6 to 8 inches in length (about 12 to 16cm).

Purchase a spacious fish tank, 70-gallon or larger, for your electric blue cichlids. Clean the tank (See Resources below) and then fill it with room temperature water. Before putting in the electric blue cichlids fish, let the water sit 24 hours.

Install your filter and heater in the aquarium. Set the heater at 23.8 to 26.6 degrees C (-4.44 to -3.33 degrees C C).

Use a fresh water test kit to maintain water conditions at a pH range of 7.5 to 9.0 and dGH range of 10 to 12.

Spread your gravel in the tank. Add aquarium plants as desired. Keep in mind, however, that they will nibble on live plants and, after they grow larger than 3 inches, they will begin to uproot the live plants. For this reason, hardy plants such as Java Fern and Java Moss plants are an ideal choice for this aquarium.

Create a rocky habitat in the aquarium to mimic the electric blue cichlid's natural habitat. Aquarium decor that simulates caves and crevices in which they can hide and breed are a good choice.

Acclimate your electric blue cichlids to their new home in the aquarium using either the drip method or float method. (See Resources below.)

Provide your electric blue cichlid with some company. These fish are compatible with fellow electric blue cichlids and other Malawian cichlids, when housed in a spacious aquarium. Certain catfish species also do well in a community tank with the electric blue. They are aggressive, however, toward smaller fish.

Feed your Electric Blue Chiclids only once or twice a day. Each time, only provide an amount of food that the fish can eat in five minutes. (See Resources below for more information).

Feed your Electric Blue Cichlids primarily with live foods like feeder guppies.

Provide commercially prepared meaty foods such as freeze-dried or frozen blood worms and brine shrimp.

Supplement live foods with cichlid pellets, but these must not be their primary diet (see Resources for more information on how to feed your fish).

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