You are about to find out that keeping African Cichlids in a planted tank is not all that easy. This is true for a variety of reasons. Anyway, finding a good plant to keep in your African Cichlid tank can be a real challenge. However, we are here to help by giving you a little list of the best plants for African Cichlids.
The list is not huge, but it sure has a lot of quality! Keep in mind that these fish have their own personalities and their own tastes, so each one may react differently to various plants. Note that the plants we list here have the best overall chance of surviving in an African Cichlid tank, but there are no guarantees (this plant one is our top pick).
Table of contents
- Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Plants For African Cichlids:
- Plants & African Cichlids – Some Considerations
- Commonly Asked Questions
Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Jungle Vallisneria Spiralis||
The 6 Best Plants For African Cichlids:
Let’s look at our picks for the best plant for any African Cichlid tank. These plants make for really good options for a wide variety of reasons so let’s talk about it right now.
1. Jungle Vallisneria Spiralis
Vallisneria Spiralis has a really good chance of surviving and making it to old age inside of an African Cichlid tank. This is true for various reasons. First off, this plant can easily survive in fairly basic (alkaline) conditions, which is important because African Cichlids need basic water.
Moreover, African Cichlids tend to not like to nibble on this plant, maybe because they don’t like the taste, or maybe because of something else. The point is that your Vallisneria Spiralis is not likely to be eaten by your African Cichlids.
Also, these plants develop a strong root system and can also be anchored down to rocks or driftwood. This is really useful because African Cichlids do like to root plants up, thus destroying them in the process. Vallisneria Spiralis is not easily uprooted, especially when anchored down, which makes it a prime choice.
Taking care of Vallisneria Spiralis is very easy. It does grow very fast, but can be easily trimmed down to size whenever you see fit. Vallisneria Spiralis does not require too much light or any special treatment either, making it an awesome choice for any African Cichlid tank. There is also the fact that this plant looks nice and helps to recreate a natural habitat for any fish present.
There are many species of Anubias and all will work fairly well for a Cichlid tank. They can be easily anchored down to something in the tank and they are not very tasty either.
They are hardy and can easily survive in the same conditions as an African Cichlid. There is also the fact that most varieties of Anubias do not require very much care.
3. Java Moss
Java Moss is another plant that can easily survive in the same water parameters as African Cichlids. Also, just like Anubias, java moss does not require much care or maintenance. It’s a hardy plant that is almost harder to kill than it is to make it thrive.
This type of moss develops a really strong root system, it can be easily anchored down, and Cichlids don’t seem to be too big on eating it.
4. Java Fern
The Java Fern is another plant with a strong root system, and therefore African Cichlids are not likely to dig it up.
Also, just like with java moss, Cichlids don’t seem to be too big on eating this stuff. Moreover, the java fern is a hardy and resilient plant that will do just fine in the same water conditions as the African Cichlid, plus it is fairly low maintenance too.
Therefore, there is nothing for the Cichlid to uproot. Furthermore, hornwort is pretty versatile and does not mind the water conditions which an African Cichlid needs to survive.
This final option we want to talk about is moneywort and it is also a good choice. This one does have roots, but they grow dense and they grow fast, thus minimizing the chances of being uprooted by an African Cichlid.
Some have been known to nibble on this plant, but not nearly as much when compared to other plants. Moneywort can easily survive in the same water conditions as the African Cichlid requires, and it is fairly easy to maintain as well.
Plants & African Cichlids – Some Considerations
Ok, so there is a reason we are talking about this topic today and it is because finding the right plants for an African Cichlid tank can be quite difficult.
When it comes to housing plants with these fish, there are some problems that can arise. Generally speaking, for one reason or another, African Cichlids tend to not be very friendly towards plants, plus there are some other issues too;
Commonly Asked Questions
Do Cichlids Eat Plants?
Yes, as we mentioned earlier these guys are big plant nibblers so you need to be very selective about what plants you just to add. Stick to some of the suggestions we have made and you ‘should’ be fine.
Do Cichlids Eat Moss?
When it comes to cichlid proof plants, various mosses are a pretty safe bet to go with. Although cichlids to eat and disturb many aquarium plants, they don’t seem to enjoy moss too much.
Yeah, they might nibble on it on occasion, but for the most part, no, they not enjoy eating it.
Do Cichlids Eat Java Fern?
In terms of plants compatible with African cichlids, the java fern is another fairly safe bet. For one, the java fern has a fairly strong root system, so cichlids usually won’t be able to dig them up.
Also, just like with java moss, cichlids do not seem to be attracted to java ferns, nor do they seem to enjoy eating this plant.
Do Cichlids Eat Algae?
This really depends on the type of cichlid involved. Most will try eating it on occasion, but for the most part cichlids don’t particularly enjoy eating algae.
Can You Really Have Cichlids In A Planted Tank?
Yes, you can absolutely have cichlids in a planted tank, just as long as you get cichlid safe plants. For one, cichlids do often eat various aquarium plants.
Moreover, the plants they do not eat, they still often love to dig up, thus killing their root systems, and therefore the plants as a whole.
Some plants that are ideal for cichlid tanks include anubias, java ferns, java moss, crinum, vallisneria, echinodorus, and cryptocoryne. As long as the cichlid does not like to eat the plant in question, and as long as the plant has a strong root system, it should be fine.
So, What Are The Best Plants For Cichlids?
In our opinion these 6 have the best chances of survival:
Related: 9 Safe Rocks For Cichlids
The bottom line is that even though keeping plants with African Cichlids can be a challenge, it is not impossible. There are more options to go with than we listed, but we did talk about the ones with the very best chance of survival (Vallisneria Spiralis is our top pick). The best plants for African Cichlids are ones that can survive in the same water, are not too tasty, and have a good root system (or no roots at all).
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay