There are three types to pick from: peacocks, haps, and mbuna

African cichlids are considered to be one of the most diverse, intelligent, active and colorful families of freshwater fish in the modern aquarium hobby.

I would reccomend Lake Malawi african cichlids as they are the most colorful

African Cichlids are the most colorful fresh water (ok, brackish) fish you can adopt. They will never disappoint, as their personalities are as colorful as their scales. Communal life for them is delicate, as when they get older, they can cannibalize if not in a large enough habitat, OR are from different regions. Africans need to live with Africans, South Americans with South Americans.

The Afra Cichlid is a brightly colored mbuna from Lake Malawi Africa

Three main lakes in Africa are home to the most colorful cichlids in the hobby The African Butterfly Peacock cichlids are quite variable in size depending on the location they originate from. They include some of the largest Peacocks. They can grow from lengths of 4 - 6 inches (10 - 15 cm) up to about 8 - 9 inches (20 - 23 cm). With proper care this fish may live up to may live 8 to 10 years.These are the most variable and colorful of all the Peacock cichlids. Natural strains can be very different between their own populations as well. Drastic color differences between males of this species have often led to their mistakenly being thought of as new species. All females however, are quite drab. The females have a white to grayish-brown body coloring topoped with vertical bands of gray/brown to beige. They have a rounded anal and dorsal fin which can be faintly colored.This species also has a distinct feature that separates them from other butterfly peacocks. This is a deeply forked tail fin, inspiring the name "Swallow Tail" peacocks. Some of the varieties are referred to by individual names as well, often relating to the local where a population originated. Then there are man made variations as well. These are selectively line bred fro a particular color, such as the "Eureka Red", which was developed for a more intense red coloration.A few of the variations of African Butterfly Peacock are described below. These are all males that were wild caught in Lake Malawi and categorized by location. Some have female descriptions as well:All cichlids share a common feature that some saltwater fish such as wrasses and parrotfish have and that is a well-developed pharyngeal set of teeth that are in the throat, along with their regular teeth. Cichlids have spiny rays in the back parts of the anal, dorsal, pectoral, and pelvic fins to help discourage predators. The front part of these fins are soft and perfect for precise positions and effortless movements in the water as opposed to fast swimming.Cichlids have one nostril on each side while other fish have 2 sets. To sense "smells" in the water, they suck water in and expel the water right back out after being "sampled" for a short or longer time, depending on how much the cichlid needs to "smell" the water. This feature is shared by saltwater damselfish and cichlids are thought to be closely related.

One of the most commonly kept cichlids

Peacocks are a very popular group of cichlids from Lake Malawi, Africa. They are members of the genus which has only about 23 species, but with many subspecies. It is the brilliant colorations of blues, reds and yellows that have given rise to the well deserved name of "Peacock cichlids". Most members can be recognized by the tiny wrinkles around the head. These are sonar sensory pits that allow them to locate small crustacean prey that hides in the sand.

most colorful cichlids ? - AC Tropical Fish