Cichlids span a wide range of body sizes, from species as small as 2.5 centimeters (0.98 in) in lengthto much larger species approaching 1 meter (3.3 ft) in length.

As a group, cichlids exhibit a similar diversity of body shapes, ranging from strongly laterally compressed species to species that are cylindrical and highly elongated.  Generally, however, cichlids tend to be of medium size, oval in shape and slightly laterally compressed, and generally similar to the North American sunfishes in morphology, behavior, and ecology.

Since 1945, cichlids have become increasingly popular as aquarium fish.  Many cichlids are small to medium-sized, easy to feed with a range of prepared fish foods, breed readily, and practice brood care, making good aquarium fish.

The most common species in hobbyist aquaria originate from tropical South America, including "angelfish". Other popular or readily available species include the oscar, convict cichlid, and discus.  Cichlids can be kept in aquaria with other fish; however, many cichlids eat smaller fish.

Click on any of the images below to view our Cichlids gallery.