Why Do Cichlids Move Rocks Around An Aquarium? (Two main reasons)

You may wonder why your recently acquired cichlids started moving around the rocks in your well-designed fish tank. This is not something for you to worry about cause your fish is just being themselves, territorial and aggressive.

They do this by pushing and moving rocks when they feel threatened, or if they want to use something to defend themselves. They can also move and tear plants and cover themselves in them.

Another reason your cichlid is acting differently is that they may be in courtship, and this may involve one or the other doing the chasing.

You can also find your cichlids hiding behind rocks, and that may be the female hiding from the male or vice versa. They have a funny way of courting with one or the other doing the hiding.

You can help your cichlids by adding rocks, but arrange them simply instead of placing stones on top of each other or where the stones can easily topple.

Fleeing The Enemy or Keeping the Young Safe

Fleeing the enemy is also another reason your cichlids move around rocks. Some fish in your tank may look bigger and meaner, and this is what your cichlids are trying to stay away from, or your cichlids may also chase away the other fish since they are staking out their territory.

Keeping their young safe. Cichlids may also show aggressiveness by moving rocks and changing the rock arrangement. This may be because they are trying to protect their young, both when it is just eggs and after it hatches them. They may build nests sites, so there won’t be other fish peeking in their nest. Cichlids want to protect their young and will keep them away from other fish as much as possible.

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Help your cichlids have their private space so there won’t be other aggressive fish that can get in their territory.

What Other Fish Can Be With Your Cichlids In The Tank?

Your cichlids will benefit from having a hiding place they can burrow into or some caves in the tank for their haven.

Their diet may comprise insects and small fish, as well as algae, so make sure that you have this available for your cichlids well being.

Since your cichlids are known to be aggressive, it is just right for you to know which fish species can be with them in the aquarium. Some samples of fish that you can mix with cichlids are the following.

  • Plecos: These fish feed on algae and will mostly stay at the bottom, seemingly cleaning the tank. They will have no interest in fighting other fish cause they are busy just staying off the radar. Your cichlids will also not feel threatened with this fish and will just be swimming around in the tank calmly.
  • Leopard Bushfish: Another aggressive fish species that can stand up to your cichlids. They will lie around and swim smoothly as long as there are no fish to threaten them. Make sure that you feed them as much and with just the right frequency.
  • Giant Danios: Larger Giant Danios should go with your cichlids in the tank so that they won’t be your cichlid’s meal. This fish also stays at the bottom of the tank or in the middle, so your cichlids will still have their own space. Another characteristic of this fish is their preference for plants around them, so you should ensure that you have these ready.
  • African Red-Eyed Tetra: This fish will grow larger as compared to cichlids, but they will not feed on your cichlids, and they can cohabitate fairly well. Your cichlids will have their territory, and this fish will also have its own corner.
  • Rainbowfish: Never mix this type of fish with your cichlids when they are not large in size. Your cichlids will just feed on smaller rainbow fish. Rainbowfish are known as omnivores, so they can feed on any diet, including color flakes, spirulina flakes, betta treats, and Aqueon Tropical Flakes. They can live compatibly with cichlids as long as they are of the right size. You must also keep rainbow fish in groups of six or more.
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Clown Loaches And Red Tail Sharks

This fish has a semi-aggressive characteristic and will not bow down to your cichlids. They will also hide behind stones, rocks, and caves, so better have these things ready.

They will also safeguard their territory, just like cichlids.

This fish will also stay at the bottom to find food and would also prefer flakes, pellets, brine shrimp as well as bloodworms.

Red Tail Shark. Another aggressive fish species. This fish can cohabit with your cichlid cause this fish can stand up to the cichlids and will not be intimidated. Also, this fish is territorial, as well, and will put up their boundaries in the aquarium, which will be best for your cichlids as well cause this fish will not encroach on your cichlid’s territory.

This fish also know how to set up markings so no other fish will go near their corner or area. They also prefer plants and rocks in their space, so make sure that you place these things in your tank.

When you choose cichlids for your aquarium, ensure that space is enough for the number of fish you will place in the tank. Even if different species of fish can cohabitate in one tank, they must also have their space inside and will not fight over supposed territories. Some fish also have the same characteristic as the cichlids, wanting their territory and also ready to fight and be aggressive.

You can prevent clashing from these fish species if you arrange the aquarium, depending on the needs of the fish you will place inside. Put plants or vegetation for fish species that prefer to hide behind plants. Decorate it with caves and rocks of different sizes so your cichlids will have plenty of space to go to and hide.When you have the right-sized fish tank, you are also giving your fish the ideal environment to live in, as compared to keeping your many fish in a tank where only two can fit inside.

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