Practical Information About Keeping, Breeding and Buying Dwarf Cichlids

Fish Profiles & Photos
South American  
    sp. "Abacaxis"
    sp. "Putumayo"
    sp. "Steel Blue"

West African 

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Equipment and Supplies

     Welcome to my "store" - well, not really. What you will find here are an assortment of items for keeping dwarf cichlids that I personally use and recommend. I get asked a lot about what specific products I use so here are a few.

      Over the years I have used many different suppliers for my mail order purchases. While I always encourage you to shop and buy at your locally owned pet store, I now use Amazon for most of my online purchases. If you want to help support this site please order any of these products (or any other product from Amazon) through this page and I will receive a small commission from Amazon.

     This is not a comprehensive list of every product I use. Rather these are specific products that I feel good about recommending. There are many other excellent products that might work better for you so, please don't think that I am implying that these are the only appropriate products for keeping dwarf cichlids.

     If you order any of these products or any other merchandise after getting to Amazon from one of these links I will get a commission on the sale and you will be helping to support this site. Thanks!

Dwarf Cichlid Foods

Note: There are many excellent fish foods that provide proper nutrition to your fish. These are some of my favorites. I usually feed pelleted foods to my fish once a day and live food once a day. For more about feeding dwarf cichlids see our Good Food page. 
     Aqueon Shrimp Pellets Fish Food are one of the staple foods in my fish room. These hard pellets are very nutritious and my dwarf cichlids pick at them for a long time before they completely eat them. I have found that Bolivian Rams really like these pellets but all of my fish eat the eagerly. I feed them as often as every other day alternating with a general purpose pellet or one of my supplemental foods.
    Hikari Algae Wafers are a staple food in my fishroom. I feed them to all of my dwarfs and they really eat them up. I break the wafers into smaller pieces and the fish pick on them until they are gone. These wafers were originally developed for algae eating catfish and they are lower in protein than some foods. I don;t feed them as a primary food but I offer them to my fish a couple of times a week.

     TetraColor Tropical Crisps  is one of my favorite supplemental foods. My fish love these small slowly sinking crumbles. They are made with color enhancing carotenes and other color enhancing ingredients and I believe they really bring out the red colors in my fish. I have noticed improvements in as little as a couple of weeks with some fish. I give a feeding every other day or so to my fish on a regular basis. I think this food is best used as a supplement to enhance colors and not as a staple diet. I have used this food for years.
      Aqueon Tropical Granules Fish Food This is a great staple food that can be fed on an every day basis. It is a slow sinking granule that is perfect for dwarf cichlids. The food has a good balance of nutritional ingredients and my fish take it readily. I use this food as my staple dry food. Since I usually don't feed flake food this sinking granule is perfect.

Aquarium Filters

      AquaClear 20 Power Filter Aquaclear has been the only brand of power filter I have used for the past 15 years. I like that they use a washable sponge, they easily take bagged media, almost any replacement part is available and they operate dependably. They are available in a variety of sizes and can be used on most tanks larger than about 15 gallons. I usually only use power filters in tanks larger than about 20 gallons as I find them to be too much in smaller tanks where I use sponge filters. 
     Sponge Filters are the primary filters that I use in my tanks. They are easy to use and clean, and they keep your tank water in good condition. Sponge filters are air powered and by adjusting the bubble rate you can control the water flow. Sponge filters are great in breeding tanks where they keep the water clean and also provide a great feeding surface for newly hatched fry who will graze on their surface. There are many different sizes and styles of sponge filters and I recommend you buy whichever brand or style that seems to fit your needs.

Water Conditioners

    Kordon Novaqua Plus I do not use many water conditioners in my tanks. However, the exception is the duo of novaqua and amquel. These products are developed by Kordon and are specifically formulated to work together in a complimentary fashion.Novaqua is a great additive that promotes the healthy slime coat that protects the fish. It neutralizes heavy metals and chlorine. Add it after water changes or any time that your fish might be stressed.
     Kordon Amquel Plus Amquel neutralizes ammonia and chlorine. Ammonia is naturally excreted by fish and can reach harmful concentrations, but a  few drops of amquel will eliminate any ammonia in your tanks. (Note: in an established aquarium natural biological processes will eliminate the ammonia from the water so amquel is not required on an ongoing basis.) I always add some amquel to fish that are being shipped to be sure there is no ammonia build up in the bag. I add a few drops to my newly hatched brine shrimp and achieve much better success. 
    Kent Marine Black Water Stimulater is the only other water conditioner that I ever use. I find it to be an excellent tonic for all of my fish and put a little in their water on occasion. For species that come from blackwater habitats I add it with every water change. It helps to soften the water and provides valuable trace minerals. Be aware that this will discolor your water. At higher concentrations it will give the water a distinct dark brown color.

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