5 Popular Haps That Can Coexist in an Aquarium

Protomelas taeniolatus Tangerine Tiger Cichlid (Likoma Is.)

5 Popular Haps That Can Coexist in an Aquarium

When considering adding Haps to an aquarium, do some research and choose carefully. Make sure that the cichlids are males (unless you are planning on keeping a breeding group) and select Hap cichlids that are compatible with one another. Larger fish will feed on smaller fish, so keep this in mind when populating a tank.

Five popular species of Lake Malawi Hap cichlids that can coexist in an aquarium are:

Electric Blue Ahli

Electric Blue Ahli prefer rockier habitats, as many like to hide and feed on smaller Mbuna fish. Nicknamed the Electric Blue Cichlid because of their vibrant coloring, these males of the species typically get along with and coexist well in a tank with other cichlids, particularly the ‘Red Fin’ and Mdoka White Lip, which also happens to be a rare and highly sought-out cichlid fish.

Electric Blue Ahli grow to be around 6”, and they do best in warmer water- high 70s F- with a pH around 7.0. This species is considered to be aggressive and sustainable on a pellet or flake diet.

Sciaenochromis electric blue ahli cichlid

Blue Dolphin Cichlid,

Blue Dolphin

Another Hap that can coexist with others is the Blue Dolphin, or Cyrtocara moorii, though aquarists should use caution: it is difficult to tell if these fish are males or females, even at maturity. The Blue Dolphin grows to be around 8” and prefers a habitat similar to its origins in Africa, that is, warm water with around 8.0 pH. You can feed these fish a flake or pellet diet, also.

Tangerine Tiger

The unique striping of this Protomela earned it the nickname ‘the Tangerine Tiger.’ This Hap grows to be around 6” and, is also at-home in water that is in the high 70s to 80-degrees F with a pH around 8.0. Since this fish is also an aggressive species, watch when adding smaller fish to the tank and stick to males. Feed the Tangerine Tiger a flake or pellet diet.

Protomelas taeniolatus Tangerine Tiger Cichlid (Likoma Is.)


Also called a Giraffe Cichlid, the Venustus is the most common fish of the Hap cichlid genus. They are usually bigger, usually around 10” and require plenty of space in a tank. These fish often feign that they are dead and unmoving at the bottom while waiting for smaller prey. Keep Giraffe cichlids in warmer water, around 80-degrees F with a pH around 8.0; provide a flake or pellet diet. Giraffe cichlids are aggressive by nature, and make excellent tank-mates with other cichlids, including Red Empress and Yellow Bengas, too.


Give your Insignus Cichlid ample room to swim and move, with vegetation along the bottom of the tank for it to hang-out. This particular African cichlid has white markings and often a yellow belly. These fish grow up to 10” at maturity, and prefer warmer water and a pellet or flake diet. Insignus are a good pairing for your Blue Dolphin Haps.

Hap cichlids can share a tank when aquarists species that are compatible. Remember to avoid putting smaller fish in with larger cichlids as this breed is inherently piscivorous.

Insignus Cichlid Protomelas sp. “Spilonotus Tanzania”

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