There is a huge range of popular cichlids from the lakes of Eastern Africa, notably from Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganika.  These fish should all be kept only with their own kind, most importantly because the water conditions they require are notably more alkaline than that of other popular aquarium fish.  While most community fish require a pH between 6 and 7.5 (roughly – check care guides for more specific recommendations), Malawi cichlids are best living between around 7.5 to 8.6, while some of the Tanganyikan breeds prefer it even higher.  These species are also known for their aggressive territoriality, especially, though not exclusively, when breeding, and also tend to be intolerant of anything but the most pristine of water conditions.  All that being said, however, they are beautiful and rewarding fish to keep, and Malawis in particular come in a stunning range of colours (so much so that they are known as ‘the poor-man’s marine fish’ in that no other freshwater fish can put on such a colourful and attractive display) and have really quite endearing ‘personalities’ – especially at feeding time, when they stare lovingly with ‘puppy-dog eyes’ waiting for their treats.  Unlike most aquarium set ups, it is recommended that African cichlids are slightly over rather than under-stocked, as larger communities tend to reduce aggressive behaviour.  Lots of rocks, caves and other hiding places are also essential (though plants don’t tend to last long as so many of these fish are voracious herbivores.)