Being more peaceful in nature than most cichlids of this size, they are more suitable for large community tanks as they will not bother smaller fish. However, this peacefulness makes them less suited to tanks containing other large, more aggressive fish. When in situations like this, they tend to spend a lot of time hiding and can become stressed very easily.
Their juvenile colouration is considerably less dramatic than their adult colours, but considering how beautiful they become as they grow, it is well worth the wait. They are somewhat shy by nature and it can take them a lot of time to be comfortable enough to come out and visit their owners, but this will happen eventually and they can become quite friendly.
Their preference, like many South American cichlids, is for softer water and it has been many people’s experience that hard water can diminish their coloration, but I have not found this to be the case with mine. They are hardy fish, tolerating a reasonable range of ph’s, but are most comfortable with a neutral ph.