The South American Cichlids are available in a wide variety, and many of the most popular species come from that vast area. While some will be easy to accommodate in a community of similarly sized fish, others may prove to be too aggressive to live with any other companion fish. So great care is required when selecting these species in order to maintain a compatible collection.
The Apistogrammas are the largest genus of dwarf cichlids, and their comparatively diminutive size and often brightly coloured bodies make them a firm favourite with many fishkeepers. Quite a few also have very elegant finnage, with extended rays adding a touch of class. Good water quality is an important requirement for most Apistos and a varied nutritious diet is essential for their well-being.
Colourful cichlids from the huge inland “sea” of Lake Malawi have become very popular with many specialist fishkeepers. The mouth brooding habits makes the breeding of malawis an interesting pursuit, and given the right surroundings and water chemistry these striking fish will breed in captivity quite freely. They are by nature rather quarrelsome fish, having to fight for their territory in their natural habitat, and a rocky décor with plenty of places for escape from harassment when required is the usual format.
The cichlids from Africa’s Lake Tanganyika are quite different in many ways from those found in Lake Malawi, although they are similarly mouth brooders. They are generally also far less aggressive or quarrelsome than their Malawi cousins, and being kept in quite crowded communities seems to be an effective way of maintaining them successfully.