The most popular African Cichlids are those which originate from three of East Africa’s Lakes: Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Victoria. Water conditions vary from lake to lake; therefore it is important to identify which type of cichlid fish you want to keep in your aquarium so you can avoid complications.
Lake Victoria- Lake Victoria Cichlids live in moderately hard water with a slightly alkaline PH (7.2-8.6). The water in which they live has very poor clarity and quality.
Lake Malawi- Lake Malawi Cichlids also live in moderately hard water with alkaline of 7.5-8.0.
Lake Tanganyika- Lake Tanganyika Cichlid fish live in much harder water and alkaline water (8.5-9.3).
Both Lake Malawi and Tanganyika live in high-quality water that is clear and pure from the turnover of waves, causing high oxygen levels.
All three of these lakes maintain average water temperate of around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. They have a variety of biotopes from sandy and rocky shorelines to open waters. It is important to try replicating their natural environment in your aquarium. There are many types of décor that you can use to help maintain hardness (KH and GH) and alkalinity: crushed coral, aragonite sand, and rocks or slate. However, it is very important to assure that the natural substances you are putting in your aquarium are safe for your fish type.
Setting up an African Cichlid fish aquarium can be very fun and exciting but at the same time, it could be disastrous if you don’t know what you’re doing. I recommend doing a little bit of research before you dive into setting up an aquarium.