There are many Cichlids available that offer a variety of colors and shapes. Still, you may be wondering if there are rare Cichlids on the market that you can purchase? Are there particular species that are considered uncommon that can make your aquarium unique?
The good news is that there are several rare Cichlids for sale today, and a few will be found in the information that follows.
Stocking your tank with a scarce variety will provide you and others a chance to view something different. These Cichlids can add to your enjoyment of the hobby or increase the interest of rare Cichlids among enthusiasts in your area.
Rare Species Worth Considering
One of the main reasons that Cichlid enthusiasts build an aquarium focused on this type of fish is the wide range of appearance. A rare fish in the Cichlid world offers you the opportunity to expand your horizons from that found with the more common offerings at your dealer.
Cichlids, both common and uncommon, offer you a chance to select fish with a wide range of sizes and temperaments.
Rare Cichlids may also intice you into starting a Cichlid aquarium if more common species have yet to stimulate your interest. Let’s take a look at a few examples!
Otopharynx sp. “Silver Torpedo”
This elongated Cichlid hails from Lake Malawi. It has yet to be given a proper scientific name as biologists and collecters have yet to determine which family of Cichlid it hails from. These rare African Cichlids won’t be found in your local shop, so you will have to source them from online or local breeders.
They are often gray to silver in color, with the males turning blue if they are ready to mate. This Cichlid will also have three dark blotches on their sides that distinguish them from others.
Tropheus Moorii Ilangi
Considered a rare Tanganyikan Cichlids species, they hail from the eastern entrance of Lake Tanganyika’s Nkamba Bay.
As a colony fish, you will want to keep them in groups of 10 to 15 fish. This will require a larger tank with plenty of hiding spots as they reach around six-inches in adulthood.
They can be aggressive and should only be kept with other Tropheus ideally; however, there are other species they may get along with inside a community tank. It may be one of the rarest African Cichlids as they are challenging to breed, with many specimens having been caught in the wild.
Alcolapia alcalia “Soda Cichlid”
Another species considered to be rare Cichlids hailing from Africa are these fish. They hail from Soda Lake, which is filled with many hot alkaline springs. While the lake’s conditions are extreme, these very rare Cichlids have a less-aggressive personality.
Even with the mellow disposition, they should be housed separately due to the water conditions they require. It is recommended to keep the water at 8 to 10 PH, with a water hardness ranging between 179 and 625 ppm.
There is little information available about these mouthbreathers, so one day, you may be able to help to increase the data on this Cichlid species!
Nandopsis tetracanthus “Cuban Cichlid”
This species is considered rare Central American Cichlids as they hail from Cuba, making them difficult to obtain in North American markets. Adult males can reach about 10-inches in length, making them one of the larger species a beginner may want to consider.
One reason is that these rare Cichlids are relatively easy to keep, having similar needs of other Central and South American Cichlids. This includes a ph level of 7.5 and a water temperature of about 78-degrees.
Mesonauta festivus “Flag Cichlid”
These rare Cichlids have been kept for over a century, but are not commonly found in aquariums.
A stand out feature found on this fish is the black stripe that runs horizontally across its body. These rare Cichlids can grow up to eight inches in length when they are fully grown.
Their mild temperament might appeal to you, plus beginners will appreciate the hardiness of this fish. This species might be considered one of the rarest cichlids as it can be kept in a community tank with a wide range of fish, including species that are smaller in size.
Herichthys pearsei “Pantano Cichlid”
These are larger rare Cichlids that can reach up to 16-inches in length when fully grown. They have a large brown section that breaks up the yellow or brown-orange body. Their mouths are centrally positioned as these Cichlids are mid-level feeders.
Pantanos have a peaceful disposition among themselves and fish of similar size but will become aggressive towards smaller fish. They are considered a Central American Cichlid as they are found in Mexico in the wild. These rare Cichlids will require a large aquarium, and it is suggested that you keep them in a pair.
Aulonocara “Aulonocara, Lethrinops and Tramitichromis”
The three species included in the parentheses are part of the Aulonocara genus, and they are considered rare peacock cichlids. That is due to the high level of hybridization that can be achieved by hobbyists. While most breeders avoid this, specimens are available that are truly unique in color and body shape.
Many of the various species are non-territorial, and you can make a great show tank using all males. They aren’t difficult to breed. If you plan to breed, you may want to consider adding some plants to your tank in order to offer protection for fry.
Crenicichla lepidota “Pike Cichlid”
If you are shopping for rare South American Cichlids, you might consider a pair of Pike Cichlids.
They reach about seven inches in length and possess a uniquely long as well as narrow body. A line runs from mouth to tail, and above it are eight to nine splotches of almost green tint.
They are aggressive and can be a bit tricky to keep within the proper parameters. That makes them rare Cichlids that you may wish to consider after you have gained some experience as a Cichlid caretaker.
Finding The Rare Cichlid That Is Right For You
As you can see, there are plenty of uncommon specimens from Africa, as well as Central or South America to choose from.
Many of the less-common species have similar requirements found with their more common cousins, making it easy to find a fish you will like.
Are there questions you have about these Cichlids? If so, please comment so that your question can be answered. Have fun, and enjoy collecting Cichlids that are scarce in most aquariums!