African cichlids have gained fame among freshwater aquarium enthusiasts for their vibrant, exotic colors and easy-care hardiness. Unfortunately, like most cichlids they also have gained fame as being extremely aggressive towards other fish. We have selected the top five least aggressive cichlids that can with some care be kept with other fish of similar disposition:
- Bolivian rams
- German blue rams
- Yellow labs
- Blue acaras
Bolivian rams are one of the least aggressive African cichlids. They are a dwarf species and only reach around three and half inches when mature, and thus can be kept in a moderately sized tank with either their own species or others of the most compatible African cichlids. They have an attractive shape and are yellow and white in color.
German blue rams
These fish are brilliantly colored with a blue and yellow body, a red head, and yellow fins, all decorated with vibrant blue dots. As a peaceful dwarf species, one of the most compatible African cichlids, up to six German blue rams can be kept together in a 40 gallon aquarium.
Keyholes are possibly the least aggressive African cichlids. In fact, they can often be down right shy and prefer to run away and hide rather than fight and bully. They have an interesting "grumpy old man" appearance and are brownish on top and purple on the bottom. They can reach up to five inches long at maturity and can be kept in a community tank with other Keyholes and/or other freshwater species.
Yellow labs are a brilliant yellow with black shading on their fins. They are quite eye-catching. Although these African cichlids can be aggressive towards their own species and tend to also go after any yellow fish, they usually leave non-yellow fish alone. They can get up to four inches long and quite readily and prolifically breed in the aquarium, so it is perhaps best to keep only one Yellow lab
Blue acaras are stunning to behold with their blue and black pattern. They are quite peaceful with fish as large as they are, but can go after smaller fish. Since Blue acara
mature at seven inches, they will need at least a 50 gallon aquarium and some large tank mates.
In summary, there are some cichlids that can be kept in a community tank. Just remember to provide plenty of hiding places and sufficient space for each fish.