Best South American Cichlids for Beginners. The following species are the easiest to keep, as they will not grow too large and have easy to achieve water parameters. They are also the least aggressive among all cichlids.
The Jack Dempsey Cichlids seen in the hobby for the most part (unless wild caught) are farm raised in the USA. They can grow to be 8"-12", aggressive, & territorial. They are carnivorous and can be ferocious eaters.
Gold Severum, also known as the Banded Cichlid (freshwater, South American rivers) -- I have a pair of adult gold sevs in my large aquarium along with other tank mates. The most peaceful of the cichlids. Big beauties.