What the Heck are South American Cichlids

Cichlids have more beauty and patterns on their body than any other fish in my opinion. South American cichlids are like that. They have different patterns on their body that makes them catchy. Unlike African Cichlids, most of the South American cichlids aren’t as aggressive. They also grow bigger, averaging around 10 inches when adult. That’s why a 55 gallon or over aquarium is best for these fish since they grow so big. Bigger fish make more waste.  You can put up to 5 or more in a 55 gallon depending on the amount of filtration you have and size of fish. But fish like oscar, which grow up to 14 inches and make tons of waste, one or two can fit in a 55 gallon. Some of these cichlids are much more aggressive than others so make sure they can fit. South American cichlids like angelfish and discus are best kept with tropical community fish because they can get killed by the other species of cichlids. The water’s ph should be 7.5 or higher. 25% to 50% weekly water changes are best. Some species of South American cichlids are:

Jack Dempsey (NOT electric blue jack dempsey)

Green Terror
Red Spot Severum


Firemouth Cichlid


Tiger Oscar