Cichlids are a large, diverse family of fish with thousands of species (and new ones being discovered every year). Here are the some of the most common breeds found in pet stores.

Among the calmest of all cichlid breeds, Angelfish have diamond-shaped, leaf-like bodies. These delicate cichlids are popular with beginners and experienced fishkeepers.


Also called Zebra Cichlids or Black Convict Cichlids, Convict Cichlids get their name from the black stripes and gray background of their bodies.


The circular, orb-shaped Discus cichlid prefers very specific water conditions, making it best suited for more advanced aquarium owners.


Great for beginners, Firemouth cichlids are very adaptive to water conditions. Their name comes from the orange-red coloration under their jaws.

Green Terror

With its bright green and blue metallic sheen, the Green Terror is a sight to behold. However, as its name implies, this large cichlid can get aggressive.

Jack Dempsey

Named after the famous boxer, Jack Dempsey cichlids are energetic fish that develop beautiful coloring as they age. They like to hide in caves and dig in the substrate.


Sometimes called Jaguar Cichlids, Managuense Cichlids develop beautiful spots and patterns on their bodies that resemble a jaguar.


Known for their cleverness and personality, Oscar cichlids can quickly grow to a large size. Some even let their owners touch them and take food from their owner’s hands.

Red Devil

With the ability to form close bonds with owners and even learn tricks, Red Devil Cichlids are charming little characters. Just watch these aggressive fish carefully; they can bite!


The only species of cichlid native to the U.S., Texas Cichlids are notorious for their iridescent spots and markings, which can appear cream, turquoise, blue and green.

Various African Chiclids

Common groups are Malawi, Peacocks, Zebra, Mbuna, Tanganyka, Tropheus and Rams.


Cichlids are extremely territorial, so they might not get along with community fish. However, that doesn’t mean cichlids want to be alone. In fact, they often prefer cohabitation with other cichlids. Just make sure there are enough cichlids to prevent any from establishing territory, while at the same time providing enough hiding spaces, such as rock formations, to give them sanctuary. This will require a larger environment, because cichlids can grow to a large size. The more space you have, the happier cichlids get! For bigger aquariums and all the equipment you’ll need to keep it running, visit the website of our sister brand, Marineland.


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