African cichlids are an obsession for many fish keepers, due to their amazing colours and social behavior. Some say that fishkeeping only starts when you keep cichlids. Whether I agree or not, they have entertained me for over 30 years.

Unlike most most fish, cichlids look after their young, by guarding and protecting them. Most even carry the eggs in their mouths, called mouthbrooders. In order to do this its important to have a secure area of an aquarium that is easy to guard, so the fish identify a territory and make it their home. They will defend this space making them aggressive to others who go near their territory. For this reason they are best kept with other cichlids or with fishes who are no threat to their territory.

Water conditions in the Rift Valley lakes are very hard and the fish require a high pH range from 7.8 - 9.2, but most are breed at pH 8.

Feeding is easy but do not give these fish bloodworms or high protein foods. They eat algae and shrimp in the lakes and their body is not set up for other foods. I know many who have lost ALL their aquarium stock due to Malawi Bloat brought on by bloodworm feeding. Give them normal flake with frozen shrimps and greens.

African cichlids generally come from three lakes of the Rift Valley; Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria. Most fish areimported from lakes Malawi and Tanganyika.


Malawi species are made up of genera Haplochromis and the rock dwelling Mbunas. Somewhere between the two genders are the Aulonocara and Trematocranus. These fish can be extremely brightly coloured, sometimes being confused for marine fishes.


Generally most available Tanganyikan fish are smaller than Malawis. They are rock dwellers and an fascinating to watch. They can be a challenge to some especially the Tropheus species who are extremely unforgiving to their own kind. These are not covered by our 5 day guarrantee. Mastering the behavior of the Tropheus has cost me over the years, but they are so rewarding when you get it right.

The main genus are Lamprologus, Julidochromis and Tropheus. These are all substrate spawners. Some have learned to lay eggs in shells.

These can be mixed with Malawis.

Non-Lake Cichlids

A few available non lake species are the Hemichromis, Nonachromis and Pelvicachromis, which are less colourful than some lake species but are still very popular.

View as:  List

Blue Dolphin Cichlid
In stock : 4
Haplochromis Moorii, Cyrtocara moorii The Blue Dolphin Cichlid, also called the Haplochromis moorii, or Moorii Cichlid is a fairly typical member of the... More

Blue Peacock Cichlid
In stock : 2
Aulonocara stuartgranti The Blue Peacock Cichlid, comes from the rocky, sandy shores of Lake Malawi, Africa. The males are a bright yellow to metallic blue,... More

Lombardoi Cichlid
In stock : 3
Pseudotropheus Lombardoi The Lombardoi Cichlid or Kenyii Cichlid is a beautiful fish with males showing bright yellow and the females electric blue. From the... More

Neolamprologus brichardi
In stock : 1
Size of fish - inches: 5.1 inches (13.00 cm) Minimum Tank Size: 15 gal (57 L) Temperament: Semi-aggressive Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately hardy... More

Red Peacock Cichlid
In stock : 2
Aulonocara spp The Red Peacock Cichlid does well in an aquarium that is at least 200 litre with plenty of rocks for territories and a sandy bottom. The males... More

Strawberry Red Peacock
In stock : 2
Ideal water conditions are moderatly hard with a temperature of 22-28°c. PH 7.5-8.6. As with other Malawi Cichlids it is important to provide plenty of rocks... More

Super VC10 Hap Cichlid
In stock : 2
Placidochromis milomo The Super vc-10 hap is found in deep waters of Lake Malawi in Africa, it has thick lips from where it sucks the algae off of rocks at... More

Venustus Cichlid
In stock : 3
Haplochromis Venustus,Nimbochromis venustus The Venustus Cichlid (meaning refined or elegant), or Giraffe Cichlid is a large cichlid with the male having a... More

Yellow Lab
In stock : 3
The Electric Yellow Cichlid is set apart from other African Cichlids by its striking electric yellow coloration. It injects an irresistible splash of bold... More

Yellow Peacock
In stock : 2
The Yellow Peacock Cichlid comes from years of breeding and is not a naturally occurring strain. It is yellow in coloration and has the same form as the... More


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