Keeping an aquarium at home or office adds to the beauty. It is also considered lucky. However, zeroing-in on fish to breed in an aquarium puzzles many. Being an experienced doctor, my answer would be cichlids. They are the best choice.
One can select from more than 300 species of aquarium cichlids. Read on to know more about cichlids and their breeding in an aquarium at home.

Why keep Pets?
In the 21st century, stress is an important part and parcel of every one’s life. There are many reasons for stress like job competition, peer pressure etc. This, in turn, culminates to sickness, phobias and loneliness. Most people join fitness training centres and buy fitness gadgets to cope up with such situations. It may go well for a week, but fitness training is not a long time solution to everyday stress.
That very much explains why the treadmills, cycles etc become drying stand for washed clothes after a few weeks. Now, the question arises, how can we overcome everyday stress and tension? The simple solution to this is by observing God. Confused? You all must have seen pictures of God. Have you ever observed the companions of God?
Lord Jesus is with a lamb; Lord Krishna is with cows; Muruga with peacock; Kali on the lion and so on and so forth. This clearly shows that our Gods also preferred the company of animals as compared to the companionship of humans.

Keeping Aquariums is the Best Choice
Many of you might have kept dogs and cats as pets. However, due to space constraint at home, and no one to take care, it becomes difficult to maintain them, thereby adding more stress and tension. An aquarium, therefore, comes across as the best option!
An aquarium is comparatively easier to maintain and fish can de-stress you more than any other pet, and it is cheaper as well.
A cichlid (pronounced as sick lid)is a fish from the cichlidae family. Some of the famous varieties include Oscars, flowerhorn, fresh water angelfish, rainbow, firemouth, aurora, blue aqua, eureka, jack Dempsey, and marble cichlids.

Know More about Cichlids

  • Cichlids have their habitat on the southern coasts of India. They are also found in almost every possible water body, within the geographical range, including rivers and lakes, swamps, ditches and puddles;
  • Cichlids are well-known for their parental care. All cichlids provide parental care in one form or another.This is not the norm for most of the other fish species. It is typically the male fish that provide parental care (in contrast to humans);
  • Few species among cichlids are substrate spawners; they lay their eggs on the ground or on the leaves or logs.Parental care consists of guarding the eggs, fanning them to provide oxygenated water, and then caring for the young ones (called Wrigglies), who eventually become free swimming fry. Length of parental care may extend up to weeks or even months. Most substrate spawners are bi-parental (both parents take care);
  • Some cichlids are Haremic, where each female fish lays her eggs in her own care, in the territory of a male fish. Female provides care for her young ones, whereas the male protects the entire territory from other males and predators;
  • Another unique feature of cichlids is that they are mouth brooders. The females lay their eggs, but rather than sticking them to the substrate, she picks them up in her mouth. Then, the male fertilises them, in her mouth and the eggs remain there for sometime, till hatching is done. Some species are female mouth brooders, while a few are male mouth brooders also.

Cichlids, Most Preferred by Aquarists

There are three main factors for the popularity of this specie. These are:

  • Easy to keep;
  • Their varieties;
  • Observing them is interesting and peaceful.

Breeding Cichlids at Home Follow these simple steps to make your aquarium, a comfortable home for cichlids:

  • First, try to identify the female fish from the male fish. The female adult will have more of orange colour in the belly, which is rounded and has long fins. Males will be robust, with no orange;
  • Put both the male and female fish in the arranged tank. Initially, they may stay down because of the fear of humans. Later, they will come up and start swimming freely. Feed them regularly and get acquainted with them. In a few days, they will start recognising you;
  • It can take up to two to three months to nest. You can observe that they will start poking each other and there will be an eagerness to eat more;
  • Position the temperature to 72°F. Observe the fish everyday and one day you may seethe female settling down over the broken mud pot’s upper surface;
  • Increase the temp to 80°F and watch for tiny bubble, like eggs;
  • You can observe the female swimming close to the eggs and waving her pectoral wings back and forth.She is fanning the eggs to hatch;
  • After sometime tiny black dots will appear inside the eggs and tadpole like young fry will come out of the eggs. Parent cichlids dig a pit in the gravel and place the fries in the drench;
  • Parents watch the pit alternately (one parent should be at the pit always) and after four days, the wrigglies will come out. The adults dig the gravel to bring up tiny food particles.You can add finely ground frozen brine shrimps or crushed flakes;
  • After a week,you can retrieve the fries and place them in another tank.

Now, you know how to breed cichlids. It’s time to create beautiful aquarium with hundreds of cichlids swimming.