School of colored fish african cichlids in aquarium

Most Popular African Cichlids

African cichlids are a popular option to add to your home aquarium, and while often maligned as aggressive and territorial, with the right species can be a great way to add an interesting and colorful aesthetic to your aquarium. While many fish enthusiasts might lean towards cichlids from places like South America, African cichlids have their own unique qualities that make them a worthwhile addition to your collection.

Yellow labs are loved by fish owners for their bright yellow color and contrasting black dorsal fins which can add a colorful and interesting, constantly moving component to your aquarium. They’re also a great starter choice as they typically less territorial and aggressive than other species, and will likely fit in well with other types of fish you may already have.

Other great options include the OB Peacock or Strawberry Peacock, both known for their distinctive and varying colors and shades. There are at least 22 different species of peacock cichlids, and any are a great addition due to their unique and rainbow-like colorful features. Like the yellow labs they are also known to be calmer than many of their cousins and thus make a great starter cichlids.

With other species like Giraffe and Zebra cichlids there is a great deal of variety when it comes to African cichlids, and the complexity and variety of their patterns and colors are very attractive to aquarium enthusiasts. Many cichlid keepers think they are as colorful as marine fish and much more interactive. While there is some concern with certain species and their behavioral quirks, that shouldn’t dissuade potential hobbyists from considering adding one or a few different types of African cichlids to an aquarium.

Food Options for African Cichlids

Providing the right food is paramount to making sure your cichlids are happy and healthy for years to come. Different species of course have different preferences and needs, especially in the wild, but in captivity are very adaptable and often benefit from a variety of food sources, from worms to pellets to wafers. Care should be taken to ensure they are not overfed, but enthusiasts will find that most are omnivorous and allow for a greater breadth of food variety. At Hikari we are known for our species-specific diets, which makes caring for and selecting diets for your fish’s unique needs a breeze.

We’re happy to help with any questions you may have! Email us at with the details of your fish and aquarium setup and one of our expert team members with over 40 years of fish keeping expertise can assist in addressing your questions or concerns.