What do cichlids need in a tank?

Cichlids need the following in a tank:

  • Filtration system – Cichlids produce more waste than other freshwater fish, so they need a robust filtration system. You’ll need a filter that’s 10-15 times the tank volume per hour.
  • Heating system – Cichlids need their water temperature to be 78⁰F–82⁰F (23⁰C–28⁰C). You’ll need a least a heater, if not more if your tank is large.
  • Lighting – Cichlids need around 8 hours of light each day. You should have LED lights with timers for your cichlids.
  • Decorations – Cichlids need plenty of rocks, plants, and decorations to hide and feel safe.
  • Substrate – Cichlids need sand substrate to thrive, but larger cichlids, like oscar fish, can tolerate fine gravel as well.