Cichlids and Aquariums

© 2023 CTC Productions Pty Limited. All rights reserved. The material presented on this website, may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of CTC Productions.

If you are too busy to walk a dog or care for a cat but would still like a pet, fish are an obvious low maintenance choice. In the past there were problems maintaining good water quality, which made large aquariums difficult to manage. The good news is that today there are more sophisticated aquariums, pumps and filters, so keeping fish is easier than ever before. As well, there are better varieties of fish that are more readily available and affordable.

Don visited St George Aquariums in Sydney, and looked at some of the different sized aquariums, accessories and fish that are available. The tanks themselves are not as expensive as you might think. A 1.2m or 4′ saltwater aquarium complete with a high tech pump and filtration unit was priced at around $600. However, once you add all the fish and accessories you can pay $3000 or more for your aquarium.

An aquarium full of fish can be seen as a hobby but it is also an ever-changing scene to watch, enjoy and add beauty to your environment.


Although saltwater tropical fish are the most spectacular, saltwater tanks are a lot of work. Much easier to manage are freshwater tanks. A very good alternative to a tropical tank is a freshwater tank containing colourful African cichlids.

Breed: cichlids
Temperament: moderate – aggressive
Cost: $14-$200
Lifespan: 5-10 years
Recommended for: anyone
Maintenance: low-medium

Cichlids are mostly freshwater fish. There are well over 1,000 species, and they are found in many parts of the world, including the Americas, Asia and Africa. African cichlids are often very brightly coloured, especially when they are in breeding condition. Their beautiful colours and their intriguing behaviour, which includes interesting breeding strategies, makes them fascinating pets.

Cichlids are territorial, so they need a spacious tank with plenty of areas to hide. Some species can be kept safely together in a community tank (particularly if they are mostly males), but others have incompatible water requirements and temperaments. It is important to seek advice from experts before setting up your aquarium and selecting your cichlids.

Further information

Contact any large aquarium specialist for information on fish, aquariums and accessories. The cichlids shown in our segment were river fish from East Africa and Malawi. Our segment was filmed at:

St George Aquariums
625 Princes Highway
Rockdale, NSW
Phone: (02) 9599 3766

In Victoria, a good range of cichlids can be found at:

All Aquarium and Pet Supplies
8 Dunoon Court
Mulgrave, 3170
Contact: Heinz Staude
Phone: (03) 9546 1025

Cichlid groups and information

There are specialist cichlid societies in several states and some regions:


Cichlid Society of NSW
PO Box 163
Moorebank, 2170
Contact: Sabine Williams
Phone: (02) 9743 5978

There is an excellent website on cichlids, The Sydney Cichlid Page, at:

Illawarra Branch (Wollongong Cichlid Group)
22 Mary Street
Macquarie Fields, 2564
Contact: Anita Reismann
Phone: (02) 9618 1720


Queensland Cichlid Group Inc
PO Box 510
Clayfield, 4011
Contact: Greg Ure
Phone: (07) 3341 4239


Victorian Cichlid Society Inc
C/- 23 Mangana Drive
Mulgrave, 3170
Phone: (03) 9560 7472
Contact: Graham Rowe


Perth Cichlid Society
PO Box 323
Gosnells, 6990
Contact: Terry Rowlands