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10 Best Peaceful Cichlids for Community Tank

In this article, we are going to show you 10 popular and decorative cichlids that you can keep at home. We can recommend every one of them for beginner fish keepers who are looking to buy some colorful, yet undemanding freshwater fish.

The good news is that most of the cichlids on the list are compatible with lots of other species, therefore you can set up an exciting community tank for them. Although some of them are a little bit harder to take care of, you really won’t need to do a lot of research for them.

A couple of tips here and there and you are going to be able to keep your fish healthy and thriving. As you go through the list, you will realize that you don’t necessarily need to be an experienced fish enthusiast in order to keep a few amazing fish at home.

You can just pick a few cichlids from our list and end up with an aquarium that will be a delight to look at. Without further ado, let’s see what we have here!

1. Angelfish

The all-time favorite here is obviously the Angelfish. This one is still widely popular among fish keepers. People simply love the wing-like fins and the colors of this species. There are a huge variety of colors and patterns available when it comes to this fish, making it a unique addition to your home aquarium.

If you want to set up an eye-catchy aquarium, then consider buying a few Angelfish. Just don’t be one of those fish keepers who keep this beautiful pet alone in a small tank. This species is rather social therefore it needs to have some tank buddies around him.

Make sure to buy 5-6 of them right away if you truly want them to thrive. It is going to be better for them while you will be able to gaze at an even more decorative aquarium every day. You can keep them with other fish as well as long as you make sure they are not too small or hyperactive.

2. Discus Fish

Make your aquarium special by adding a Discus Fish to it, which is yet another stunning fish species. Although their orange and white colors and random patterns are breathtaking, it is quite a challenge to take care of them. It can be a challenge even for the experienced fish keeper.

But with a big challenge usually comes a big reward and with this fish, this is certainly the case. You can be one of the few that can take proper care of the beautiful Discus Fish and make it flourish. After all, we are not talking about rocket science here.

This species prefers soft and warm water with plenty of plants. You will need to do a bit of research before you start to set the aquarium up for this pet. Then, all you need to do is follow the guidelines. Keep the water conditions consistent and make sure to feed them the right foods.

If you want to add some tank mates, the Hatchetfish is the perfect choice.

3. Ram Cichlids

The reason why so many people want Ram Cichlids is because they flourish in a wide range of different colors. You can set up a vibrant aquarium quite easily by populating it with them. Not only that they look spectacular but you will be surprised how entertaining their personality can actually be.

They are also small, so you can just buy a 15-gallon tank and set it up for your new Rams. When it comes to this species, you can’t go wrong with the tank setup. What makes them challenging to keep is that they are sensitive to deviations in water conditions.

You need to maintain a top water quality at all times if you don’t want them to get weak and eventually sick. Be careful when choosing tank mates as well, as they are only compatible with peaceful and non-territorial species. We recommend you to keep it with tetras like the Neon Tetra.

The Ram Cichlid is not that demanding overall but still, it is important to keep the water conditions consistent.

4. Rainbow Kribs (Kribensis)

If you are looking for a small cichlid that flourishes in vivid colors, then you should check out the Rainbow Krib. It is not only very easy to take care of this species but it is also colorful like a butterfly. Such a great option for beginner fish keepers who are looking for a decorative fish.

A wonderful fish with peaceful temperament which makes it perfect for beginners. They enjoy swimming around caves and all the decoration you have in your tank. The only difficult thing about this fish is the breeding process. If you want to find cichlids for breeding, then you are not going to have much success with this one.

The main issue with it is that it’s hard to set the right water conditions. They require rather soft water for breeding and a secretive cave where they can hide during the whole process.

Unfortunately, it is not that easy to keep them together with other species. If you put them together with aggressive or semi-aggressive fish, they will hide all the time. If you keep them with peaceful ones, the Rainbow Krib will bother them during spawning.

5. Blue Acara

Everyone loves the Blue Acara, the little metallic blue fish that cheers up every aquarium. It looks like a magical fish for a children’s story which makes it an essential fish for family home aquariums. According to the fish family this species comes from, you might expect it to be rather aggressive.

Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Blue Acaras are as peaceful as it gets and they get along well with many other popular species. When it comes to tank requirements and care, there is no need to worry. There is no strict temperature range and their diet is not very specific either.

The Blue Acara is one of the best fishes to keep for beginner fish keepers. A 30-gallon aquarium is more than enough for an individual. Every additional acara requires 15 more gallons of space. They are mainly blue with some yellowish scales on both sides. Not to mention their orange eyes that make them stand out even more.

6. Humphead Cichlid

The Humphead Cichlid is an absolutely majestic fish with black and white stripes on both of its sides. Another popular name for this species is the Frontosa Cichlid. Besides the black and white coloration, there are even shades of blue on its face and elongated fins.

The reason why it’s called Humphead is self-explanatory, as it has a protrusive hump on its head. This is one of the features that makes it so popular among fish keepers. The Frontosa also has an interesting personality that will make you stop by your aquarium and enjoy the view every day.

What is so fascinating about it is that its fins and the hump on its head get even larger as the fish ages. It is also quite large, as males can reach 15 inches in size. If you want to keep a few of them, you will need to buy at least an 85-gallon aquarium. This amazing fish is going to consider you his best friend for as much as 20 years if you treat it right.

7. Blood Parrot Cichlid

This hybrid species called the Blood Parrot Cichlid became widely popular because of its bright orange color and unique characteristics. You are going to love the personality of this peaceful and curious fish. It is also compatible with numerous other fish, allowing you to set up a diverse and colorful aquarium.

By breeding a male Midas Cichlid and a female Red Head, they have created the Blood Parrot. This happened back in the 1980’s in Taiwan. Its eye-catching traits made this new hybrid one of the most-wanted fishes in the market. It has big round eyes and a mouth that is always open in the shape of an O.

It is best to keep them away from aggressive fish since they can’t defend themselves. All they can do is bump into other fish because they teeth are deep in their throat. This also makes it harder for the Blood Parrot to eat so you need to make sure they get their portion of food.

8. Cockatoo Cichlid

The Cockatoo Cichlid is rather unusual when it comes to its appearance. Shades of blue, yellow and red all appear on its fins with the red being mixed with patches of black. Other than that, it has an elongated silver body with a vertical black stripe on it.

It might not seem like a fish for beginners but that’s exactly what this one is. The Cockatoo is one of the smaller cichlids ant it’s very easy to take care of it. An aquarium of 20-30 gallons of size is enough for a pair of this species, which is also a great way for beginners to start.

Out in nature, they live in soft and slightly acidic waters so that’s what you should replicate at home as well. Caves, plants and other decoration should all be part of the tank setup. Cockatoos need places to hide, otherwise they get stressed.

When looking for tank mates, take into account that this species is not aggressive and you shouldn’t keep them with aggressive fish either.

9. Goldeneye Cichlid

Here is one of the most peaceful ones in the cichlid family: The Goldeneye Cichlid. A beautiful addition to any well-planted aquarium. The most noticeable on this fish are its blue metallic scales that look almost like small neon lights and its yellow eyes.

This iridescent blue color signifies the male individuals, while females are mostly yellow. The interesting thing about females is that they display a checkboard-like patter on their body during the breeding period. There is really nothing challenging about keeping this fish in a home aquarium, which is good news for beginners.

You can breed them easily and the water conditions won’t require particular attention either. Just make sure that your Goldeneye Cichlid has enough room to swim around if you keep more species in the tank. It is compatible with a wide range of other peaceful fish.

10. Keyhole Cichlid

Although the Keyhole Cichlid does not flourish in vivid colors, it is still plenty of things to love about it. They are a great species to add to your community aquarium if you are looking for peaceful cichlids. Adding a fish with shy personality to the tank will only spice things up when it comes to interactions between tank mates.

The typical Keyhole Cichlid has a cream color with shades of yellow and black patches on its sides. It got the name Keyhole because of the shape of these black patches that are highlighted with bright yellow around them. It has a quite simple round body with long dorsal and anal fins.

You will need a fish tank of about 20 gallons of size if you want to keep a pair of Keyhole Cichlids. Feel free to use as many plants as you want, as they are not going to dig the substrate or bump into them. This will make things easier for you as you will have lots of options for setting up the aquarium.

Wrapping Up

After reading our list, you are probably surprised how many amazing cichlids there are for beginners. Now all you need to do is to pick a few and take proper care of them. You need to keep them on a healthy and nutritious diet in order to make them truly shine in their colors.

Set up an aquarium with plenty of plants and decoration and show it to your friends. They jaw are going to drop after seeing the vivid colors and interesting personalities of your cichlids. If you do things right, you are going to be able to enjoy the company of your little pets for several years.

We tried our best to come up with a list of cichlids that don’t require anything extraordinary when it comes to the tank setup. After all, they are freshwater fishes that live a simple life out in nature. Therefore, they will require only a few minutes of your time every day.

avatar I’m Julia, and I used to work in a fish store for over 5 years. On this blog I help beginners care for their cichlids and share my experience and research on various fishkeeping related topics.

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