How Often Do African Cichlids Breed? | You Will Be Suprised

African cichlids are a species of cichlids that comprise the family, Cichlidae. Like every other cichlid, they are quite aggressive, easy to take care of, and are very hardy. They are freshwater fish that can grow up to 3 to 8 inches and come in various colors.

How Often Do African Cichlids Breed?

African cichlids can breed every six weeks in ideal conditions.  The eggs will then take around 20 – 40 days to hatch.

How Often Do African Cichlids Breed

How Often Do African Cichlid Reproduce?

African cichlids reproduce more often than some freshwater fish, making them gain preference from most aquarists.

They can produce eggs every six weeks provided you provide the necessary condition that aids their reproduction. The cichlids can also reproduce before six weeks, depending on the incubating process.

After the female cichlid lays the eggs, the male fertilizes them, and she carries the eggs in her mouth for incubation.

This process will take up to 2 to 3 weeks before the fry hatch. When they hatch, they will take refuge in their mother’s mouth till they become strong enough to fend for themselves.

They won’t reproduce when they have the little fry with them, so the faster the fry grows independently, the earlier the mother starts spawning again, and reproduces.

The average time it will take for a female African cichlid to reproduce is six weeks. It can be more or less than six weeks, depending on circumstances.

How Many Babies Do African Cichlids Have?

African cichlids can have tens of babies, depending on the fish’s maturity and other factors that affect reproduction.

Under adequate conditions, the African cichlid can have babies at its most and will have a low baby count in the poor conditions. A mature adult African cichlid will have more babies, while new mothers usually have fewer babies.

New mothers usually have small batches of eggs, which is about ten, while mature females generally have more eggs, which is about 30 eggs.

The parent size also plays an essential role in the number of eggs they can lay. Large African cichlids will have more babies, while small-sized cichlids will have lesser babies.

Do African Cichlids Breed Easily?

Cichlids include one of the largest freshwater fish families, containing over two thousand species of fish. Cichlids are quite entertaining and colorful; in addition to these features, they are relatively easy to breed.

They breed with ease in the wild and require the aquarist’s little effort to breed in captivity.

Their courting process is quite similar to other fish species with slight differences. They incubate the eggs with their mouth providing safety to the eggs and preventing them from being eaten by other fish in the tank.

Even after the fry hatch, they will still take refuge in their mother’s mouth in the days of troubles.

The only problem you can encounter will be after courting and lying, whereby the male cichlid starts to harass the female. Aside from this behavior, African cichlids breed quickly and without stress.

You can also incubate the eggs yourself through improvised means if you do not trust the mother’s security quality.

At What Age Do African Cichlids Breed?

African cichlids can breed as soon as they get matured and fully developed. They will get fully grown at about 3 to 5 months. Once they become fully developed, they will start to breed.

How Long Do African Cichlids Keep Their Babies in Their Mouth?

African cichlids will keep their babies in their mouths till the babies can fend for themselves. They can hold eggs in their mouth for 21 to 36 days till the eggs hatch. They can also keep the babies in their mouth for two weeks before letting them out.


African cichlids can breed every six weeks if you feed them well. There are also other factors that can affect how often they can breed. But with all things equal, they will breed every six weeks.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.