Is there a cichlid for my community tank?


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Jeremy advises which type of cichlid that could be added to a tank with a community of mainly medium-sized fish...

Q) Please can you recommend a cichlid that would be compatible in a community with mainly medium-sized fish. Its a 120cm-long tank with five Swordtails, two Pearl gourams, 10 Silvertip tetras, eight Ruby barbs, two Siamese algae eaters, six corys and a Rubberlip pleco.

I don't want Angelfish — I had a bad experience with them a few years back as they were aggressive to my other fish. What could you recommend that gets to a decent size and would be a nice centrepiece fish? The tank is planted and has wood and rock and a gravel substrate.


A) Jeremy says: For a planted tank of that sort of size, I’d recommend a pair of Cupid cichlids, Biotodoma cupido, Crenicara spp, or Keyhole cichlids, Cleithracara maroni. Unfortunately the gravel substrate precludes any medium-sized eartheaters like Geophagus, while the plants mean you’d need to avoid Severums, as they will eat them.

If you want colour, you could opt for an Electric blue acara, Andinoacara pulcher, in a bright blue form, but just stick to one individual as a pair will dig and become aggressive when they spawn.

In addition to the above there’s also array of dwarf cichlids that would do well in your tank, such as Apistogramma, Mikrogeophagus and Pelvicachromis, although they do stay small. For a centrepiece fish, I’d give the acara a go.