Simply pay attention

If you’ve kept cichlids for any length of time, then you can quickly differentiate them from other species of freshwater aquarium fish. It’s primarily their behavior that sets them apart. The more species that you keep, the more behavioral differences you’ll experience. However, you’ll only learn about their behavior, both as a species and as individuals, if you pay attention to them.

I’m not going to tell you how to enjoy your fish because that’s not my place. On the other hand, I can’t encourage you enough to spend time watching your fish and caring for them. If you don’t, you’re guaranteed not to understand why something happens to them when it does, whether it’s fin/body damage from aggression, illness, or some other issue. It’s an unrealistic expectation for novice cichlid keepers to recognize and understand the cause of a problem when they first encounter one – not so for the experienced. Not everyone is an expert, but you don’t have to be an expert to be cognizant of behavior that is typical of the species you keep or of your specific fish. Just simply pay attention to your fish, know what’s going on in your tanks, and change your water frequently.

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