Most aggressive cichlids

Cichlids are a favorite among aquarists due to their interesting behavior, relative ease of breeding for many species, and bright coloration. However, many species of cichlids may behave aggressively to defend resources such as food, shelter, mates, and offspring. In this article we will examine the most aggressive cichlids and how to do to reduce their aggressivity.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid

Temperament: Intolerant and aggressive.

Jack Dempsey cichlid fish predominantly live in slow-moving freshwater rivers in Central America. Its common name refers to the boxer, Jack Dempsey, because of its fighting demeanor. They are extremely aggressive and excitable. They are known to chase, bite, or bully small or vulnerable fish. Male Jack Dempsey fish are especially territorial and will claim territories in the tank and chase off fish that invade their space.

The basic color of the Jack Dempsey cichlid is gray-brown to red-brown. It is covered with bright gold and blue spots. Large black spots can be seen on the sides and caudal base. Two gray-black bars extend forward between the eyes.  They can reach 7 inches length.

You can keep Jack Dempsey in a community tank, just be extremely careful when you are choosing fish to go in with them. They do not have any qualms about attacking other fish in their territory. They should certainly not be kept with smaller or more passive fish, because it is possible that a Jack Dempsey fish would eat them. Species you might consider as good Jack Dempsey tank mates are those of a similar size with the ability and temperament to stand up for themselves. Some popular choices are: Firemouth Cichlids, Blue Acara, Angelfish, Plecos

Just remember Jack Dempsey males are territorial, so it’s important to provide enough caves and crevices for each fish to establish its own territory for hiding.


Green Terror

Temperament: Aggressive and destructive.

The green terror is a colorful freshwater fish in the cichlid family, originates from the Pacific side of South America. Turquoise body markings separate these cichlids from related species. They can grow up 8 inches of length. The male is more brightly colored than the female and usually larger. Most males acquire a nuchal hump on the forehead as they mature.

With a name that includes the word terror, you could expect that these fish might bully and harass other fish in your community. Actually, this species of Cichlid is very aggressive and territorial and they are high on the aggressive spectrum and are very territorial as well. We suggest similar size fish as tankmates, in fact smaller fish should be avoided because they are likely to be killed or eaten. Also, it would be better to keep this fish as a single specimen or as a mated pair. Interestingly, females are more aggressive than males and the older these fish get, more aggressive and territorial they become as well. The reproductive stage can often improve their temperament; however, during spawning seasons they become particularly violent and aggressive.

The Green Terror is a benthopelagic fish, which means that it will not stay within a certain depth range. You might find them dwelling near the surface at times and sinking to the bottom on other days. Usually, they spend their days swimming the length of the tank looking for food. This can make choosing tank mates difficult because usually, you have fish who enjoy inhabiting certain layers of the tank, and having a benthopelagic fish means that all choices are off when it comes to keeping some members of your community separate.

As a notable Cichlid, you can expect Green Terrors to root in their substrate and dig up your tank like champions. They will do their worst on rearranging plant life and decor as they decide how they would like their habitat to look.

You might arrange things as you like, but Green Terrors will likely let you know pretty quickly if it doesn’t suit them to their liking. Expect some design changes if you take on these pretty fish.



Jaguar Cichlid

Temperament: high aggressive.

The Jaguar Cichlid native to freshwater habitats in Central America, it is not only take its name from its coloration and patterns once it has fully developed, but also from its ferocious aggression and predatory nature towards other small fish, including its own kind.

These are large fish with a distinct profile made for hunting. Adults are usually found to be between 16 to 24 inches. They have an elongated body that takes on an oval-like shape. Spiny rays extend from their bodies to support the fins.

The Jaguar Cichlid is predatory fish and it is a highly aggressive fish. It will chase after, nip, bite, and eventually eat any tankmates, including smaller fish and invertebrate. You should take this into consideration when choosing tankmates for the jaguar cichlid.

Jaguar cichlids are territorial fish that will see any newcomers as a threat, they do not stand fish in their space. If you want to keep more than one jaguar cichlid in the same tank, you should get them at the same time, and make sure the fish are similar in size. This will allow the jaguar cichlids to get used to each other from a young age, making them less likely to attack each other.

When it comes to their general behavior, Jaguar Cichlid are very active, you’ll often see your Jaguar Cichlid swimming around the bottom half of the aquarium. They might pop down to the substrate to dig around for a bit before investigating another area of the tank. You should give your jaguar cichlid lots of space to swim around. They also enjoy hiding in caves and behind rocks, they will probably try to eat live plants.



Dovii Cichlid

Temperament: Territorial and aggressive.

Dovii Cichlid, also known as the Wolf Cichlid, is a species of cichlid that can be found in various lakes and rivers throughout Central America. Due to its unique colorful appearance, it is one of the most popular fish kept by a good number of people. They are true predators and are a fascinating species of cichlid.

The Dovii Cichlid most commonly has a beautifully deep body. They can reach 20 inches in length. The females have a base gold or yellow coloration and tend more prominent during breeding. The mature males tend to have a bluer tone, and the dominant ones will naturally be brighter than that.

It is characterized by very aggressive behavior and requires a minimum of 125 gallons of water. Their fierce, powerfully aggressive nature with large teeth and muscular body can quickly bring damages to you and other tank mates. They get even more aggressive when mating.

It’s definitely not suitable for community tanks since it’ll kill any fish that isn’t strong enough to stand its ground. In fact, it is considered one of the smartest fishes, it studies other fish, and if he notices that they are peaceful fish, he will attack them eventually.

You may be able to keep Dovii Cichlid with other similar-sized aggressive Cichlids when they’re still juveniles, but soon, they’ll get big and start targeting other fish one by one.

When talking about swimming, he is an active swimmer and likes to play around. It also tends to jump out of the water, it is important to secure your tank by covering it.

Despite their violent nature, they need some hiding places like caves and stones and a deep sandy substrate.




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