Top 5 Most Popular and Least Aggressive African Cichlids

White Lab Cichlid

Top 5 Most Popular and Least Aggressive African Cichlids

Beginner fish keepers are often wary of African Cichlids because of their reputation to be far more territorial and aggressive than their South American cousins. While aggression may be a general point of concern in the aquarium hobby, some of the most popular African Cichlids demonstrate the least aggression and can fit nicely in your community setup.

Covered below are some of the least aggressive species whom also hold the honor of being the most popular among aquarium hobbyists.

Electric Yellow Lab Cichlid Labidochromos caeruleus

Habitat: Lake Malawi
Size: 5″
Lifespan: 6 years

Electric Yellow Labs are indisputably the most popular African cichlid in the aquarium trade. Aside from their all yellow bodies, adults will gain distinct black markings on their dorsal fins. While not the least aggressive African cichlids, Yellow Labs will still do well in a community tank.

Yellow Tail Acei Cichlid Pseudotropheus acai

Habitat: Lake Malawi
Size: 7″
Lifespan: 8 years

The Yellow Tail Acei is mostly a steel blue. As the name implies, the fish’s dorsal fin and tail are both a bright yellow. They do well in groups of 6 to 12. As with most cichlids on this list, they require at least a 55-gallon tank.

Sulfur Head Peacock Cichlid Aulonocara maylandia

Habitat: Lake Malawi
Size: 5″
Lifespan: 8 years

Sulfur Head Peacocks are a semi-aggressive species from Lake Malawi. Males are either dark gray or black in color. Males have a bright yellow blaze stretching from tail to dorsal fin.

Sulfur Heads should be kept with other calm fish native to lake Malawi. Some compatible species to note are haps and other peacocks.

Blue Orchid Peacock Cichlid Aulonocara kandeense

Habitat: Lake Malawi
Size: 5″
Lifespan: 8 years

Blue Orchid Peacocks are relatively mild-mannered for African cichlids. Males are dark blue with a cobalt blaze from the dorsal fin to the tip of the tail fin. Blue Orchids also make suitable tank mates for Sulfur Heads.

Star Sapphire Hap Cichlid Phenochilus Tanzania

Habitat: Lake Malawi
Size: 9″
Lifespan: 8 years

These cichlids sport the most striking colors in the freshwater aquarium hobby. Both sexes start grayish-blue or silver. The males will morph into a dazzling blue with white speckles. Star Sapphire Haps will do well with most tank mates of similar size.

Although these are the most popular African Cichlids, we do in fact recommend exploring the remaining subspecies so long as you have enough education and experience in order to accommodate for their unique behavior.

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