There are several reasons why cichilds make a great addition to your in home aquarium. They are very energetic, active, and alert thus making them very entertaining to watch. Cichlids also tend to be more noticeable than other tropical fish because they like to roam all over an aquarium, exploring all areas of the tank, rather than schooling together like many other species of tropical fish.
Another noteworthy benefit of cichlids over a standard tropical fish is that you can disregard the rule that says you must have 1 inch of fish per gallon. It is actually recommended that you house more cichilds together than what is normally suggested for typical tropical fish (provided you have a good filtration) because cichilids can tend to get extremely territorial and aggressive. Housing more cichilids together will help to prevent your them from establishing boundaries and territories. If you choose to only have a few and you decide to add other fish later it is a good possibility that the cichlids will defend their established territories and can viciously attack the newly added fish. You can avoid this dilemma by redecorating your aquarium before adding new cichlids.
It is also recommended that you add many species, but do not add pairs (unless you are planning on breeding). Paired cichlids have a tendency of banding together and bullying the other tank mates. Adding different species will also add much variety in the way of patterns, shapes, sizes, and colors, and thus make your tank really stand out as unique. Because no two fish look alike your tank will be fascinating to view and to show off to your friends and family.