African cichlids are freshwater fish of the most vibrant colors you can find in nature. There are the best African cichlids for beginners beautiful fish. So you can have all the advantages of keeping them without additional difficulties in maintaining the saltwater tank.
But what is generally known is that such beauty comes with a price. Specifically, beginners often shy away from African cichlids because of their reputation for being far more territorial and aggressive than their South American cousins. At the same time, it is true that in addition to everything, you have to take care not to create chaos in the aquarium. Some of the most popular African cichlids show less aggression and can fit nicely into your community.
In addition to their beauty and attractive temperament, we want to say that it is essential to know what you are getting into before picking African cichlids. That is why we have prepared a list of African cichlids with which you can start as a beginner and can have a beautiful aquarium.
ELECTRIC YELLOW CICHLID
Electric Yellow Cichlid is a peaceful representative of cichlids. Due to its small size and relatively calm nature, this cichlid is one of the best Malawi cichlids for beginners.
Since they remain relatively small, it would be ideal for decorating an aquarium in the style of Lake Malawi. Make sure to have a light sandy base and lots of rocks and caves. Also, pay attention to the size of the aquarium. The recommended dimensions are about 200 liters. The water should be hard alkaline with a pH between 7.5 and 8.5. In contrast, the temperature should be between 24 ° C – 26 ° C, although slightly lower or higher temperatures are well tolerated.
Although we consider this fish one of the most peaceful African cichlids, they can be territorial. They will show aggression towards fish of similar shape and color. But they can generally live in a mixed community with other cichlids.
Good partners in the aquarium are Kenyi Cichlid, Blue Dolphin Cichlid, Lionhead Cichlid, and Frontosa. As for the Electric Yellow Cichlids themselves, we recommend that you have more females for each male to avoid a stressful environment during mating.
As its very name suggests that they are one of the most colorful fish in the world. In addition to beauty, these are one of the friendliest and most peaceful members of the cichlid.
There are at least 22 different species of peacock cichlids, most of which have a fantastic color. Their color can vary from blue, red, to yellow, and in each aquarium, they will stand out with their colors. So your hardest part is not to decide on peacock cichlids but among dozens of beautiful varieties!
Like the previous ones, males can be territorial, but on the whole, they are peaceful and can be great in the community. Peacocks are the inhabitants of the bottom. For example, in the wild in Lake Malawi, they can be found at depths of 6 to 40 meters. So in the aquarium, you will also see these cichlids at the bottom looking for food in the substrate. This means that it would be good for the aquarium to have a sandy base with many stones on the bottom.
As they are great swimmers, they will need a lot of space, so opt for a large aquarium. The temperature has to be between 24 ° C – 26 ° C. Think about which other cichlids you will keep in the aquarium, but generally get along well with each other, but don’t forget that you have two females per male or choose to be all males. Since there are a lot of beautiful Peacock cichlids, maybe you should consider creating a biotope just from these beauties and you can rest assured that there won`t be any fuss in the aquarium.
This cichlid lives an average of eight years, longer than much freshwater fish but shorter than some other varieties of cichlids.
These cichlids are perfect if you want to observe the fascinating behavior of these fish, and at the same time, not worry about the size of the aquarium or whether the fish will attack each other.
Neolamprologus Multifasciatus are the smallest cichlids globally and are the easiest to maintain if you have limited space. These small fish live in colonies and are easy to maintain.
One of the main reasons why people choose these fish is their behavior in the aquarium. They are exceptional in terms of their environment and constantly shape it to suit their needs. You will see how they pull out bites of the substrate and then spitting it out. They can completely change the landscape of the aquarium overnight.
Unlike other shell dwellers, they do not bury their shells but move them. Their constant digging is the reason why it is so important to use a substrate with small grains.
When it comes to their reproduction, they reproduce in shells. Provide plenty of snail shells, as females will lay eggs in them. Escargot shells are a good choice.
The female will try to attract the male’s attention at the entrance to the shell she has chosen for her eggs. When the male is interested enough, the female swims in the shell where she lays eggs. After that, he begins to withdraw from the shell, and then the male releases his sperm. Alternatively, if the shell is large enough, the male can enter it before releasing the sperm.
Although these fish are relatively peaceful, they can be territorial. Which means it will vigorously defend its shell and the small territory around it. So we recommend that you combine these fish with other species that inhabit other areas in the tank. Small rock dwellers such as Neolamprologus brichardi or Julidochromis can be a good choice, and fish that swim outdoors like Ciprichromis.
Here we will mention that it would always be best to choose cichlids from the same lake when combining fish. Neolamprologus multifasciatus are from Lake Tanganyika, and as you can see, our recommendation is cichlids from the same lake but inhabiting other areas of it. This is also convenient because of the conditions in the aquarium. This way, it is easy for you to adjust the requirements to be close to their natural habitat.
Another outstanding representative of smaller cichlids is Cribensis. Stunning colors, without much demand, and relatively calm. These fish get along well in small groups and will spend most of their time swimming in the caves you have arranged for them.
Setting up a Cribensis tank is easy. Whether you want to insert them into the community or base the aquarium on biotopes, you only need to consider the water parameters for these fish to fit. If you are planning a biotope, then sand, branches, and stones are the leading choice of decor and are sure to make caves in which they could hide.
Interestingly, these fish come from the Ethiopian River, which has different PH values
As long as you stay within a specific range of temperature, pH, and hardness, your Kribensis Cichlid should not react negatively. Maintain the conditions and try to make things as stable as possible. Although they will not mind small fluctuations here and there, they will not fare well during significant changes. While these cichlids seem to be perfect for community living, you should think about it. When they are in an aquarium with more aggressive cichlids, they spend most of their time hiding in their cave. But they will harass non-aggressive fish during spawning.
So if you want to keep your Kribensis happy make sure to have a lot of caves and places for them to hide. Browse through our backgrounds and check out the best option for your aquarium.
The best partners for Kribensis are other peaceful fish species of similar size. You can choose fish that occupy different parts of the aquarium to ensure that no problems occur. Here are some tank friends you can try: Congo Tetra, most types of plecos…
These are our suggestions. It is up to you to be well informed before you go shopping. If you have decided on these beautiful fish, we can tell you that you will have a beautiful, colorful aquarium in which you will constantly have some events. As you decide on your first cichlids, take a look at our shop, where you can find the perfect background for your pets that will complete their aquarium and give the impression that they are at home.