Now we come to the Cichlids themselves. Most "rules" can be broken down to genus, although sometimes it must be broken down to species. In ANY case, we will examine the compatibility, aggression, dietary, reproduction methods, and minimum tank size required to keep these Cichlids.
Genus Summaries -
Popular or common genuses are marked by bold type and
underlined. This is by no means an all inclusive survey
of Cichlid genuses. Some which are either extremely rare or small
have not been included. Incidentally, as you may start to notice,
we almost exclusively use binomial nomenclature (scientific names)
when dealing with African Cichlids. Although this naming system
is constantly being argued over, most Cichlid species do not even
have a common name to begin with.
In instances where a Cichlid has a common name, it may not help
with the naming confusion. "Red Top Aristo's", for example, were
given that name before even being scientifically described. However,
"Red Top Aristochromis" do not even belong to the genus Aristochromis.
When first discovered, the species was refered to as an undescribed
Haplochromis sp. As part of an unpublished doctoral thesis,
the first name proposed was Cyrtocara lithobates; with
the revision of the genus Haplochromis, H. sp. "Red Top
Aristo" was finally described as Otopharynx lithobates.
However, still today you will see references to Haplochromis
lithobates due to the recent revision of Haplochromis on
the whole. Old timers have a hard time parting with the broad,
all-encompassing Haplochromis genus name and still refer
to any Haplochromine cichlid as a Haplochromis.
As you can see, it can be confusing. Just remember that "The
Cichlid Recipe" names fish using the most current "names"
(hence the need for current literature as pointed out earlier).
We can usually sort out misspelled or outdated names. Race names
are usually added to the end of binomial nomenclature in quotes
(i.e. Otopharynx lithobates "Redtop", Otopharynx lithobates
"Yellow Blaze", etc...). Well, now down to the "hard facts"!