Fun Featherfin Cichlid Facts For Kids

Nidhi Sahai
Oct 20, 2022 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Mar 11, 2022
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Amazing featherfin cichlid facts about breeding in females, family, food, and tank size!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The Furcifer Featherfin Cichlid (Cyathopharynx furcifer) is only found in Lake Tanganyika's shallow intermediate environment, where it is endemic. Cyathopharynx furcifer featherfin cichlid belongs to phylum Chordata, order Cichliformes, and subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae. They have a length of 8 in (21 cm). The featherfin cichlid (Crenicichla lepidota) is a freshwater fish that can be found in the rivers and lakes of Africa. These gregarious fish congregate in vast shoals above the rock/sand interface to feast on plankton floating in the water column.

The aquarium in which this active species is housed should be a minimum of 6 ft (1.8 m) long, with enough filtration, and oxygenation. Coral sand or aragonite is the ideal substrate options because they help to maintain the water stiff and alkaline. Small outcrops and steeply slope walls should be created with rocks, ensuring that there are plenty of visual barriers while also leaving large sand plains. If desired, hardy plants can be included in the aquascape for feeding and also to provide a natural environment.

Featherfin Cichlid Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a featherfin cichlid?

The featherfin cichlid Cyathopharynx furcifer is a type of fish from the family Cichlidae. The White Nile, Volta, and Chad river basins, as well as nearby feeder rivers and tributaries, are home to the featherfin squeaker catfish (Synodontis eupterus). Featherfins eat mostly insects, worms, and small crustaceans in the wild. In captivity, they will readily accept the most prepared foods including flakes and pellets formulated for cichlids or omnivores such as goldfish or guppies. Featherfin cichlids are a popular choice for both beginning and experienced aquarists.

What class of animal does a featherfin cichlid belong to?

This aggressive fish belongs to the phylum Chordata, order Cichliformes, subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae, and tribe Ectodini. They reside in regions where there are a lot of woods and rocks at the river's bottom and there isn't much vegetation. The featherfin cichlid hunts for edible plants, algae, and meaty items inside every rocky cave and crevice, as well as around waterlogged roots and logs.

How many featherfin cichlid are there in the world?

The exact number of featherfin cichlid with Calvus cichlid is not known yet in the world, but as they are under the status of Least Concern in the IUCN list, they are quite in abundance.

Where does a featherfin cichlid live?

Cyathopharynx furcifer species of fish are endemic to Lake Tanganyika where they are distributed widely. The ideal temperature for the environment is a minimum of 75-79 F (24-26 C).

What is a featherfin cichlid's habitat?

The distribution of these regions is in regions where there are a lot of woods and rocks at the river's bottom and there isn't much vegetation.

Who do featherfin cichlids live with?

The distribution of featherfin cichlids is limited to lake Tanganyika with other species if you are keeping them in an aquarium. They are quite a gregarious species.

How long does a featherfin cichlid live?

In an aquarium, under favorable conditions, these fishes can live up to five to eight years. Featherfin cichlids require clean water with plenty of oxygenation to thrive.

How do they reproduce?

Cyathopharynx Furcifer, like many African Cichlid, is a maternal mouthbrooder. The male will attract a mate as same as in the case of the African Cichlid, and he will fertilize the female's eggs as she lays them. This procedure gets continued until all the eggs get fertilized, at which point the female retains them in her mouth for three to four weeks without eating. The female holds a clutch of 15 - 30 eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of featherfin cichlid fish is Least Concern (LC). They are a popular choice for an aquarium because of their interesting appearance, length, and peaceful temperament.

Featherfin Cichlid Fun Facts

What do featherfin cichlids look like?

The male fish has two rows of enlarged scales along the dorsal fin that mimic feathers, hence the name. The most frequent color variant is green with yellow fins and blue tones, although there are numerous other color variations, including red, yellow, brown, and orange. The males have longer ventral fins than females. It's one of the most valued cichlid fish in the hobby, thanks to its stunning color and lively behavior. The length of these fishes is 8 in (21 cm).

Featherfin cichlid has long, flowing fins, which contribute to the beauty of both males and females of this fish.

How cute are they?

They are slightly silver and blue and are among the most beautiful species for the aquarium trade. Featherfin cichlids are hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions.

How do they communicate?

The information on their communication skills is not much available for now, but they are quite a dominant species, hence is kind of a semi-aggressive species. They prefer temperatures between 75-80 F (23-26 C) but will survive in cooler waters if necessary. The aquarium in which this active species is housed should be at least 6 ft (1.8 m) long, with enough filtration, and oxygenation. Coral sand or aragonite is the ideal substrate options because they help to maintain the water stiff and alkaline. If desired, hardy plants can be included in the aquascape for feeding and also to provide a natural environment.

How big is a featherfin cichlid?

The Featherfin Cichlid has a length of 8 in (21 cm). If you want to keep them in an aquarium, then the aquarium should have a capacity of 79.2 gal (300 l) and water conditions of a pH of 8-9. This species will benefit from open sandy areas as well as spare rock structures, which will help produce a natural home for this fish.

How fast can a featherfin cichlid swim?

The exact speed of their swimming is not known yet. The ideal temperature for them to live in an aquarium or in natural water habitat at ease is somewhat around a minimum of 24-26 C (75-79 F).

How much does a featherfin cichlid weigh?

Cyathopharynx furcifer featherfin cichlid weighs around 4.23 oz (120 g). They are widely used for aquarium purposes. The feeding process for these fishes is quite simple as compared to other fishes.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of this species are simply called male featherfin cichlid and female featherfin cichlid.

What would you call a baby featherfin cichlid?

There is no specific name given to the baby of a featherfin cichlid.

What do they eat?

The diet of this aggressive fish should mostly consist of vegetarian foods. A high-quality Spirulina-based green flake could be blended with a portion of normal flake foods and served alongside adequately sized green grainy foods. A treat of Mysis shrimp or some cyclops can be provided on occasion, although this should be done sparingly. Blanched spinach, nori, and romaine lettuce are examples of foods that can be given on a regular basis.

Are they dangerous?

This fish is completely harmless to humans. Though they are a dominant species when it comes to comparing it with other species of Lake Tanganyika.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, the featherfin cichlid makes good pets.

Did You Know...

Unlike most of the species of fish and aquatic animals, the light requirement of these fishes is quite less. They do not need an active source of light all the time.

Is the featherfin cichlid endemic?

Yes, the silver featherfin cichlid is endemic to Lake Tanganyika.

The featherfin cichlid's temperament

This fish is a loud species that takes quite a bit of space because of its size. It must, however, be the dominant and aggressive species in the home aquarium, otherwise, the male fish would become reclusive and lose color. It should be surrounded by peaceful animals that can take care of themselves. Do not share it with Mbuna or anybody else. Cyprichromis sp. and Altolamprologus sp., which are larger, can make good tankmates.

*We've been unable to source an image of featherfin cichlid and have used an image of kenyi cichlid instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of featherfin cichlids, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

Featherfin Cichlid Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

15-20 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

approx 4.23 oz (120 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

oceans and seas

Where Do They Live?

Lake Tanganyika

How Long Were They?

8.3 in (21 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Cyathopharynx furcifer

What Do They Look Like?


Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat destruction

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

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Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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