Why do you keep cichlids?

I asked myself that question the other day and, surprisingly, I didn’t have an immediate answer. That’s because I actually had several answers, which prompted me to write them down and compose this post.

In no particular order, here are a few reasons why I keep them.

  • Diverse behaviors –  Parenting, predation, mating, eating, and territorial defense are just a few of the behaviors that vary greatly from species to species. Furthermore, aggression levels run the gamut from completely docile to out right hostile.
  • Diverse personalities – Yes, each species shares certain innate behavior, but each individual specimen has its own personality.  These can vary just like in other pet species – dogs, cats.
  • The challenge – Not all cichlid species are easy to keep or breed. There is always a species that presents a new challenge.
  • Lot of choices – With so many different species available in the hobby, there are plenty to choose from to fit my preferences. This includes choices in size, color, behavior, cost, water requirements, etc.
  • Opportunities to learn – I’ve been in the hobby for 20+ years and I’m still learning new things.
  • Fun to watch – Many species are simply fun to watch.

How about you? Perhaps you have some other reasons, which I hope you will share.

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