Temperature

Rift lake cichlid tanks should be heated to approximately 80 F. They will tolerate temperatures between 74F and 82F.

Because heaters can sometimes fail, I recommend placing two half-strength heaters in the tank. If a heater dies the tank will cool off much more slowly. If a heater gets stuck turned on, you will have more time to notice that the tank is overheating. If the tank is overheating, the fish will all hover around the top of the tank and often try to jump out.

Ebo Jager heaters are by far the cheapest but their plastic casing becomes brittle under UV light, and they don't have calibrated thermostats. My favorite heaters are Tronics. These heaters have real calibrated thermostats, and you can buy plastic cages for them to prevent fish from burning themselves on the heaters.

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Last modified at Saturday, April 28, 2012