Most Aggressive cichlids Top 15

RockyMountainCichlids

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 3, 2015
34
1
0
Colorado
I'm aware every cichlid is different and they have their very own personality, but I'm making this from personal experience. Feel free to share your views! I know there are a lot of topics on it, but none of a list that came from me :p, this is an interesting but subjective topic that get's discussed a lot! We love fish with attitudes

Let me know what you think, I've been keeping cichlids for 12 years now. You gotta love em' :)

Here's the list! I know I mentioned some african cichlids in there, but majority are CA/SA so I'll post it under here!

Top 15 Most Aggressive Cichlids (CA/SA/WA)


1: Parachromis dovii- The famous wolf cichlid. Absolutely no other cichlid can come close to this brute. Built like a tank and thirsty for blood, this beast will eliminate all other tankmates like it was some walk in a park.

2: Hemichromis fasciatus- Banded jewelfish. I can only describe this fish in two words, ‘’HOLY SH**’’. They might lack in size, but I’ve seen little 4 inch specimens run a tank with Dovii, Red Devil, and Buttikoferi that were TWICE it’s size. It was ludicrous, I couldn’t believe my eyes until I purchased one, I’d put this fish as #1 if the dovii wasn’t built like a machine.

3: Nandopsis haitiensis- The Black Nasty cichlid. Although both sex of this species are nasty, it’s the females that deserve the reputation and it’s the females that can go completely “Black”-Nasty with color. The name itself is enough to warn you before bringing black hell into your home.

4: Nandopsis grammodes- Mini Dovii cichlid. This contender would get #3, but it lacks growth. They might grow extremely slow, yet that doesn’t slow them down from battering the living hell out of their tankmates. Grammodes are the most impressive cichlids when it comes to pure persistence when fighting!

5: Parachromis motaguense- Motaguense cichlid. The Dovii’s younger cousin, I’m serious. From my experience, they’re probably the most fierce medium sized cichlid. Fangs, intelligence, and courage is what I call a born monster.

6: Amphilophus labiatus- The famous Red Devil cichlid. I’ve seen some red devils make even the cichlids above their slave. Red Devil’s have a heart of a tiger’s. Still to this day, my all time favorite cichlid. Full of personality, a true wet pet.

7: Tilapia buttikoferi- Hornet cichlid. Buttikoferi are very different, coming from Africa and being primarily a herbivore, unlike the cichlids from CA/SA. They’re not known for lip-locking, but instead at full force, they shove or slam their enemies into anything around. Buttikoferi use the surrounding to their advantage. They are known to take on and beat Doviis and Red Devils!

8: Nandopsis beani- Green Guapote cichlid. Beani cichlids are somewhat overrated with aggression, BUT are certainly not soft. They despise other beani with a passion, true hatred for their very own race lol. Downside is they’re susceptible to bloat, any moderate levels of stress and they’re gone.


9: Caqeutaia umbriferus- The famous Umbee cichlid. A MASSIVE blue freckled monster! The entire hobby are addicted to these gems. Similar to a dovii not nearly as tenacious though. Umbee’s are capable of dominating just about anything, they rarely kill, but can be rough at times.

10: Nandopsis istlanum- Istlanum cichlid. It’s all a draw with this species! Some Istlanum can be passive, while others are nuts. Still a powerful cichlid that resembles an umbee, many people call it a “mini umbee”.

11: Amphilophus festae- Red Terror cichlid or Festae. By far the most gorgeous cichlid species! Females are stunning roses, the males are electric gold/green. Festae might be beautiful, but don’t let them fool you. Their attitudes can be overwhelming.

12: Parachromis managuense- The famous Jaguar cichlid. Jaguar cichlids are well known for being highly territorial, they love their turf. Jaguar’s are actually pretty outgoing when properly housed, since they can achieve great size. Jag’s will hold their own nonetheless.

13: Amphilophus trimaculatus- Trimac cichlid. Trimacs are strong like an ox, can hold off anything even a dovii. I had a trimac that outlived a dovii that murdered everything but him! The dovii tried and tried, yet nothing was too much for the trimac. Hardiest cichlid EVER!

14: Nandopsis salvini- Salvini cichlid. Another beauty like the festae, some say it’s even prettier! Salvini are rather small, but can fend off cichlids twice their size. Easily the most aggressive small CA cichlid.

15: Nandopsis tetracanthus- Cuban cichlid. I like to call it mini haitiensis, similar in color and ferocity. It was hard to decide which was nastier, salvini or cuban. But I’ve seen more peaceful cubans than salvini.
 

Runninamok

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Dec 18, 2008
69
2
38
NY
Nicely done. Looks like you put some time into this. Ive had quite a few of the species you have mentioned. Also had a few species of Crenichicla that have absolutely dominated tanks that housed a lot of the aforementioned species.


Also think the Managuensis was a little low on that list. Of course it depends on the individual, however I have had some vicious ones over the years.
 

sunley213

Gambusia
MFK Member
Apr 30, 2013
273
1
18
UK, Cheshire
I find Managuensis are well mannered if they have enough space. But i agree with grammodes being so high up, mine have all been super mean.
 

RockyMountainCichlids

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 3, 2015
34
1
0
Colorado
I find Managuensis are well mannered if they have enough space. But i agree with grammodes being so high up, mine have all been super mean.
Absolutely! They don't call them Mini Dovii for no reason ;)

I bumped into Skip's website from RHC. He has his own "Most Aggressive Cichlids" list as well, I thought it was interesting. Especially since he's well known in the hobby, he's practically owned them all.!

His site: http://www.geocities.ws/realhardcichlids/realhardcichlids.html
 

RockyMountainCichlids

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 3, 2015
34
1
0
Colorado
imo umbee should be in the top 5. there size and aggression. Gluck
That is true! But from my experience Umbee cichlids are not really killers. You don't see many hobbyists house them with other species of cichlid. As most of you know, nearly every cichlid species have conspecific aggression :). That's where the Beani got overrated, everyone was too afraid to house them with anything but their own species due to bloat.

Umbee are pretty cool with other species, they're not sadistic bullies lol. They can be rough at times, but they have a cool-head and never go overboard FME like the Dovii. Umbee reach great sizes too, most people can't properly house one. Large fish + small tank + tankmates= You're looking for chaos.!
 

RockyMountainCichlids

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Feb 3, 2015
34
1
0
Colorado
And then you bump into little 4 inch grammodes giving an @** whooping to larger cichlids in a huge tank (for it's puny size).
[video=youtube;3R9WtJgnxoY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R9WtJgnxoY[/video]

owner thinks it's a dovii lol!
 

Black Tuna

Polypterus
MFK Member
Mar 4, 2014
337
323
87
California
And then you bump into little 4 inch grammodes giving an @** whooping to larger cichlids in a huge tank (for it's puny size).
[video=youtube;3R9WtJgnxoY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R9WtJgnxoY[/video]

owner thinks it's a dovii lol!
Crazy fish

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