Lake Victoria

The fish from Lake Victoria that we keep in the aquarium are almost all cichlids. The cichlids are often characterized by their bright colors and their equally bright character. The name used for Victoria cichlids is Furu.

The character of these fish is also the reason that they are not very often offered in the trade. They are often a bit difficult to combine and need a spacious aquarium to prevent them from killing each other.

The Aquarium

The setup of the aquarium for Victoria cichlids does not differ much from that of Malawi or Tanganyika cichlids. Set up the aquarium with (filter) sand on the bottom. Use rocks to make lots of hiding places. There should be many cracks and crevices between the rocks for the fish to hide in.

A minimum length for the aquarium depends on the species you want to keep and which other species you add. As a general rule of thumb, I would stick to a minimum of 10 times the length of the largest fish species, with a minimum of 120 centimeters. In such an aquarium there would be room for one or two species. In that case, keep one male with two females per species.

Under too bright light, the colors of the Victoria cichlids fade a bit. So you don’t need that much light. When using somewhat whiter light, which tends to blue, the colors come out a bit nicer.

Water parameters

The water in Lake Victoria is hard and alkaline. The fish therefore like harder water and then show their most beautiful colors. Keep the pH between 7.5 and 8.5. The temperature in the lake fluctuates between 21 and 27 degrees, sitting in the middle in the aquarium is fine.


Lake Victoria cichlids have a wide variety of eating habits. Some are herbivorous, eat fish, only snails or hunt for insects and insect larvae. In the aquarium they are often not fussy eaters and they can almost all be fed as Omnivores. Feed them a mixture of vegetable and meaty food such as frozen and live food. Flakes and granulate for omnivores usually cause the least problems.

More information on Lake Victoria

More about Lake Victoria itself can be found in these articles:

Lake Victoria – Part 1
Lake Victoria – Part 2: the evolution
Lake Victoria – Part 3: The downfall begins
Lake Victoria part 4: The green danger

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