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Got my first ever cichlids yesterday and I have a sand substrate in the tank, every once in a while i will see them rubbing against the sand. Is this normal?
 

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Once every couple of hours would be OK. More than that something is irritating them.
 

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If a male is doing it in front of a female he's trying to show off/mate
with her. It can also be a sign of aggression to establish dominance,
it can also mean the water quality has changed/is bad or parasites.

If you just put them in I'd say they're just trying to establish a
heirachy. Have you checked your water parameters?
 
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