If you want your Cichlids to thrive, choosing the right aquarium decorations is absolutely essential. Cichlids come from all over the world in all shapes, colors and sizes, and the best way to keep them happy is to try your best to mimic their natural habitat.
Caves are amongst the most popular aquarium decorations for cichlids, and there’s a reason for that. A lot of cichlids are pretty territorial, so having plenty of caves, holes and semi-segregated zones in your aquarium will help keep the fish calm. Small cichlids will especially enjoy these hiding places as they can get quite stressed out swimming in the open.
You can buy these type of aquarium decorations online or you can make them yourself by combining and stacking several rocks together to create a few holes or semi-segregate part of the aquarium.
Logs and branches can create a stunning landscape while also providing something interesting for your fish to explore. They are extremely popular especially with a lot of American cichlids as they love this type of habitat.
Hollow logs can also be an alternative to caves if you do not wish to use too many rocks. Logs and branches can become even more beautiful over time when moss starts growing on them, alternatively you can clean them every few months to keep them looking like new.
Aquarium Backgrounds are very popular these days and there are many types you can choose from such as 3D, laminated or painted. You can read our guide to choosing aquarium backgrounds here.
3D backgrounds depicting rocks or logs (depending on the type of fish you own) are a great option for cichlids as they can provide additional holes and small crevices for your fish to explore while also making your tank look more like their natural habitat. Other backgrounds such as a laminated photo can also be a cheap alternative if you can’t afford a 3d background, however these provide nothing for your fish to explore and can look quite boring.
Plants are aquarium decorations that will make your fish tank look more alive. They provide a nice contrast of colors and give your cichlids something to swim around. You must be careful with large cichlids as they tend to uproot smaller plants and some omnivorous fish will even eat them if you use real plants.
Plastic plants are a great option as they require no maintenance other than being cleaned every few months like all other aquarium decorations, they’re also pretty cheap and easy to add to your tank.
Statues and Other Aquarium Decorations
When choosing aquarium decorations, it’s okay look for ornaments which are aesthetically pleasing, but also think about how it can benefit your fish.
Add ornaments which the fish will find interesting such as hollow stones, logs, stone arches and plants. A solid statue may be pleasing to look at, but a hollow statue is even better as it provides another place your fish can explore.