Naturally, all the fish that falls into this group display aggressive and highly territorial behavior. Some can even be predatory and it is not uncommon to see cichlids fish injuring smaller sized fish living in the same aquarium. What made them popular among fish hobbyist are their broad range of different colors such as blue, yellow and grey while their breeding habits also never fail to amaze anyone within fishkeeping community.
Central and South American Cichlids
There are quite a number of popular domesticated home aquarium cichlids originated from South America such as Discus, Jack Dempsey, Jaguar Cichlids, Bolivian Ram, Convict Cichlids, Severum, Firemouth, Midas, Oscars and Freshwater Angelfish. Most of the species in this group are exhibit territorial behavior especially during breeding. If you intend to mix them together with other fish, you will need a very large aquarium measuring at least 100 gallons and above. In order to bring out their bright colors, a mix of live foods together with nutritious dried fish feeds are required. Because of their huge appetite, they will require frequent water changes with good facility provided for filtration.
Lake Malawi Cichlids
The Malawi cichlids will always remain as one of the most popular groups of fish since their discovery in the late sixties. Main reasons why they are highly sought after among aquarists are because of their bright colors, ease of maintenance and their interesting behavior. Ever since their discovery, almost 800 new species has been identified which are caught and then bred in home aquariums. Their popularity has also created high demand and this has lead to more wild Malawi cichlids being domesticated and shipped all over the world. Due to their unique characteristics, they have also become the subject of attention and study among scientist who are interested in their evolution cycle that managed to produce so many variation. Cichlids that originated from Lake Malawi are also known as Mbuna Cichlids.
Lake Tanganyika Cichlids
Another group of aquarium cichlids fish belongs to Lake Tanganyika which stretched along different countries in Africa. So far there are about 150 species with many more yet to be discovered and classified. Fish that originates from here are also rock dwellers with a number of them requiring sandy bottom layer on the aquarium floor. Most common Lake Tanganyika species are the colorful Tropheus moorii and also Boulengerochromis microlepis. Also not to miss out is the Yellow Lemon Fish
Other African Cichlids (non lakes)
There are also other cichlids fish which do not belong to neither these two lakes for example, like the Kribensis from rivers in Western Africa and Egyptian Mouthbrooder from northeast Africa. Unlike the rest of cichlids groups, both Kribensis and Egyptian Mouthbrooder are considered less aggressive and will adapt themselves living with other community fish. Additional fish that falls into this group is Tilapia.