Cichlids are inspirational. Cichlids are a large group of freshwater fish. There are 1,650 known species. There are new species discovered every year, so the actual number is estimated at least double that number by the scientific community. Cichlids range from under an inch long to almost a meter in length. They come in a variety of body shapes and colors. Variety and differences are present in every aspect of cichlids lives from species differences to human interaction.
There are herbivores, detritivores, and predators who eat only small amounts, if any, of plant materials. Some, even, have two sets of teeth. One set will hold the prey while the other teeth chew. Cichlids exist in freshwater locations throughout the world. Some are found in brackish and saltwater habitats.
They are monogamous and polygamous species. There are species that participate in communal care of fry. There is parental care for eggs, larvae, and free-swimming young up to months old depending on the species. There are four recognized types of parental care. Open brooders, secretive cave brooders, and two types of mouthbrooders exist.
Cichlids include many species of food and game fish. Tilapia is the most popular food cichlid. Over a million tons of tilapia and almost two billion dollars are raised by tilapia farming. Over 8 million dollars a year is made from sportfishing. Cichlids are also popular aquarium fish. Fish as pets are very beneficial. Fish can benefit from having a safe home aquarium and regular feeding and people can benefit from keeping fish as pets. Many studies have been done that illustrate benefits to human lives by being around fish aquariums. Aquariums have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and pain, as well as, calming children, increasing productivity, and helping with sleep and Alzheimer’s patients.
Cichlids are a vast group. Be inspired! Have a bright day!