The cichlid family may be the most successful
vertebrate family known, so scientists are naturally
curious to discover why.
ichlids, the fishes of the family Cichlidae, are extremely
popular in the aquarium hobby, and some people are understandably
mystified as to why that should be so. Many cichlids are a disaster
for a community tank, as they pull up plants and beat up—or
consume—their tankmates. To many people, they just seem like big,
brutish fish. Of course, that is not counting angelfish (Pterophyllum
spp.) or discus (Symphysodon spp.), as these stately South Americans
have often been called the king and queen of the aquarium world.
But I can see how newcomers to the family would cast a jaundiced
eye at the run-of-the-mill cichlids, so let me explain why these fish
really are special.
The firemouth cichlid (Thorichthys meeki ) is a
longstanding favorite in the aquarium hobby.
Richard F. Stratton