Cichlids are one of the largest fish that are kept in freshwater aquariums. They do prefer water that has a higher pH (7.8-8.6)  than other tropical fish. Since these fish grow much larger than other tropical fish they require tanks of at least 55 gallons for most species. They will cause a mess in the tank by digging and ripping up plants in order to make nesting areas and attract a female. Some cichlids will guard their nest violently even before they have mated. Only a few species of cichlids are peaceful enough to live in tropical community tanks. These species include Rams and Kribensis.