If he likes Cichlids, and wants a smaller variety then what about some Kribensis.. Another choice would be some Rams..
Hmmm. This isn't an easy fish type to keep. In general African cichlids have completely different needs then other fish. While I would say yes for cichlids because they are such AWESOME fish I would also say bigger tank and also look to cichlid forums to get better info because thats what I had to do. My two cichlids are surely the coolest fish I own but also the hardest to keep fish I own! Ypu actually have to create a hierarchy between the males and establishing a tank boss and overstocking the tank plus better filtration to deal with the overstocking. It's not simple in any play of words.
Ooh. Just did some looking at PetCo's website over fish and apparently Sailfins can get up to 6.5"?? Is this true? D:
Yes, they can! And humans can get up to 7 feet tall ;)
It depends mostly on species but also on age. Most mollies - even in the wild - are actually a cross of sub-species. I'd have to look it up to be sure but I think that it is the pure Yucatan molly that regularly gets so big. Most sailfins will max out at about 4 inches.
But they do continue to grow slowly their entire lives. So if you had a 5 or 6 year old fish it may well get that big, but growth is very slow after the first year.
Five mollies can happily live their whole lives in a 40, even if they do get to the max in size. But again, unless you manage to get a pure strain, I wouldn't worry about it. The stocking rate given on my first post shouldn't outgrow a 40 gallon even if they all max out in size.