The African Cichlid falls in the tropical semi-aggressive community and needs a proper tank size to thrive. You will need at least a 55 gallon fish tank to keep these fish alive. Though they spend most of their time in the middle level in the water, they often scoot from top to bottom. Moreover, they are territorial and eat smaller fish.
Therefore, it is better to have a bigger fish tank to provide your African Cichlid an opportunity to establish an area of its own. You can either choose a glass or Acrylic fish tank depending upon your specification. However, remember that the Acrylic tanks are light weighted and strong than the glass aquariums.
Shape of your tank is an important factor for African Cichlid, especially its width. Try to opt for one that has a broad substrate surface area; a rectangular or square tank will be more appropriate than a rounded, hexagon or oblong aquarium. Filtration of your African Cichlid tank is also important. For a 55 gallon tank you will need a filter that can clean 440 to 550 gallons of water per hour. In addition, avoid using under-gravel filters for your African Cichlid tanks. These fish can dig up the substrate and in case a portion of the grid of the under-gravel filter is exposed, they may even damage it.
It is better to use sand as substrate in your African Cichlid tank. In addition, you can use rocks, wood and any other aquarium safe decorations to make your tank look lively. However, these fish may undermine the rocks and make them unstable. To avoid this, you may use a bed of flat rocks and then backfill it with sand so as to distribute the weight evenly. Moreover, these fish are also hard on live plants, so it is better to use silk or plastic plants.
In addition, you will need to maintain the quality of your African Cichlid tank water. Generally, these fish enjoy alkaline water conditions with PH level between 7 and 8, GH 7 and higher and KH 10 to 12. The suitable water temperature is 25 to 27 degrees Celsius.