Can You Mix Cichlids With Tropical Fish?

Can You Mix Cichlids With Tropical Fish?


Every natural being present has their specific niche. No two species share the same niche. It is how the mother nature works for the best survival and growth of all living creatures. Fishes are one of the most abundant creatures in the ocean,and there exists several thousands of varieties, freshwater and the saline water, and no two variety of fish share a common niche. When it comes to an artificial system, for rearing and breeding of fishes, we need to take care of specific important points. So, let’s try to answer if can you mix cichlids with tropical fish?

When it comes to the rearing of cichlids, which are salt-water fishes, that is present in a variety of colors, like pink, orange,etc. (the tropical fishes are dull in color) in the depth of oceans. Cichlids are peaceful, but during spawning time they become quite aggressive. They can be put in a community tank with other fishes of different varieties. Cichlids present in different waters of different regions have different behavior patterns, and accordingly, different types of other tropical fishes can be reared together.

The essential guidelines which are required to be followed to make cichlids with tropical fishes are:

  • Cichlids have territorial issues and are quite aggressive. A certain amount of diet is needed on a daily basis,and at times they become quite messy. You need to keep cleaning the tank very frequently.
  • Cichlids are very expensive,and you need to spend a right amount of dollar for the daily feed for just one cichlid, the tanks also need to be 55 + gallons, whereas in case of tropical fish 55 gallons is more than enough where you can have avariety of fishes.
  • Cichlids have a significant water requirement, habitat, feeding. You need to do a lot of research before mixing cichlids with tropical fishes, as a single cichlid might end up eating your tropical fishes in the aquarium. So, you need to buy a cichlid which is peaceful.
  • Oscar, a variety of cichlid, can chomp up a goldfish very quickly, even in its juvenile phase. And more than 60 gallons of water.
  • The South American and the African Lakes cichlids are easy to take care of and can be put together along with different varieties of tropical fishes. The tank needs to be compatible.
  • Some tropical fishes are very compatible with cichlids. Some tropical fishes can easily handle cichlids, while others die off, or get diseased.
  • The community of cichlids is pretty much mesmerizing. Any edition of most of the other types of tropical fishes leads to their death. So, one has to risk with the money and the aquarium that they are getting for breeding this fish together.
  • Compatible tank mates need to be researched to put this two variety of fishes together. Few other fishes that can get best along with cichlids are toothy, aggressive, and territorial as well. They should be good in naturally exploring those parts and corners of the aquarium area which are not used by cichlids. The tropical fishes to be read together should be very fast and aggressive.
  • Cichlids are open water swimmers,and they freely roam about on the shallow areas of the water, and on the free To choose a tropical fish, you need to go for a fish which prefers the side area or the bottom area of the fish tank and does not intervene the path of cichlids. If the territorial fish is peace-loving, it will quickly become the meal of cichlids. Catfishes are one such variety of fish that can typically coexist along with cichlids. There are some types of catfishes all over the world. You can make a combination of South American cichlid with South American catfish or an African catfish with an African kind of cichlid. Fast, aggressive and healthy catfishes go well with cichlids.

Your level of success in answering if can you mix cichlids with tropical fish depends upon how best you have completed the research. To make both the varieties drive in the same water body, you need to take care many aspects.For example, the pH of the water, the temperature of the water, how well it is oxygenated, the salinity of the water, what is the level of activity shown by the fishes in your aquarium, did it reduce from day 1? These are the necessary things you need to go through before combining the two varieties.

Types Of Tropical Fish That Can Live Together

Types Of Tropical Fish That Can Live Together


Tropical fish, especially the freshwater variety, are a popular choice for aquariums because of their bright colors. But when it comes to having different fish in the same tank, their compatibility needs to be taken into consideration. Choosing species of fish to be kept together is an important decision. You need to take into account the aesthetics that you have in mind and also the fact that you don’t want fish fighting or killing each other. Hence, it is important to consider various factors before deciding the types of fish for your aquarium.

Type of water

This one’s a no-brainer. Freshwater and seawater fish cannot live together.


Tropical fish can be broadly classified into three types according to their nature.

  1. Peaceful (eg. Guppies, tetras, and danios)
  2. Semi-aggressive (eg. Barbs, loaches, and eels)
  3. Aggressive (eg. cichlids, plecos, and Oscars)

Peaceful tropical fish of different types can easily live together. You just need to ensure that there is plenty of space in the tank for them. This is to avoid toxic built-up and make cleaning easy.

Peaceful tropical fish can be put together with semi-aggressive fish. But the fish tank needs to be big enough for the fish to comfortably co-exist. Also, there should be enough hiding places within the tank for the fish to have some alone time. This keeps the weaker fish’s stress in check. The size difference between the two types should also be less.

Semi-aggressive fish can also be put together with aggressive fish. But in this case, too, places to hide within the tank are required and do be mindful of the size difference.

Aggressive fish living with aggressive fish is again a difficult situation and requires caution and care. Many aggressive fish of the same type living together might attack, injure, or even eat one another. Hence, keep an eye out if you have aggressive fish.

Sometimes, two fish of the same type also do not get along with each other. Be prepared to move fish into a separate tank if they display aggressive behavior.

Large fish usually bully the smaller ones. In such cases, medium size fish or schooling fish stand a better chance.

Eating patterns

It is advisable to keep fish with similar eating patterns together. Some fish feed slowly, while others quickly gobble up whatever is available.

Some fish eat algae and switch to other food if algae are not available. Fish like the plecos are friendly as long as they feed on algae, but might turn aggressive when feeding on other food.

The above feeding factors need to be kept in mind before deciding which fish you want in the tank.

Water temperature

All types of tropical fish generally require aquarium water to be kept at 79 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it would make sense to go through the fish profiles you are considering, in order to know whether they would be able to stay together at a single optimum temperature.


Some fish do not get along with fish of the same sex, while some do. For example, the male Betta needs to be the only male in the tank, whereas the female Bettas get along well.

What Are The Five Most Popular Tropical Fish?

What Are The Five Most Popular Tropical Fish?


The tropical regions have the world’s largest rivers, simply because these areas have the greatest amount of rainfall. Tropical fish are the fish found in the freshwater as well as the seawater of the tropics. They are quite popular due to their bright colors. The types of tropical fish can be broadly classified into:

  • Freshwater tropical fish
  • Seawater tropical fish
  • Coral reef tropical fish

The freshwater fish are favored for aquariums because it is easy to care for them. Freshwater is more easily available than saltwater. All you need is an aquarium, tap water, and some water treatment solution. Cleaning and re-filling the tank is also easier.

Let us look at the top five most popular tropical fish:

1. Leopard Cory Catfish

Leopard Cory Catfish are found in the south American rivers. They get the name due to their leopard-like pattern and barbels which look like a cat’s whiskers. They like to stay near the bottom of the tank and help in keeping the tank clean by eating leftover food. They majorly feed on frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp, and sinking pellets. The good thing about them is that they do not grow very large. They can co-habit with other species quite easily, but it is best to avoid keeping them with aggressive fish. Also, it is important to ensure that the gravel in the aquarium is smooth so as to not damage their barbels.

2. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are found in the south American blackwater rivers. They are a popular choice for aquariums because of their vibrant colors and because they are always active. They are a great option for beginners. When kept in groups, they shoal giving an amazing home aquarium experience. They feed on a variety of food including flake foods, micro worms, and brine shrimp.

3. Black Molly

It is one of the most common mollies. Black mollies are found in the central American region. They eat brine shrimp, bloodworms, and algae. They breed very fast and give birth to up to 40 fry every 4-6 weeks. A separate breeding tank is a good idea for the fry to grow into healthy fish. The mollies are easy to care for, just remember not to overfeed them.

4. Red Swordtails

The red swordtail is found in the freshwaters of Malaysia and Singapore. They are a peaceful lot as long as there is only one male in a community tank. In case of more males, the tank should be reasonably big since male swordtails can get territorial. They feed on flaked food, algae, tubifex, etc. A female swordtail can give birth to up to 80 fry at a time. Unless you want to breed them, the male should be separated, else the aquarium would be quickly overpopulated.

5. Rainbow Sharks

These lovely species usually come in a dark grey color with bright orange-red fins. They are found in the Thailand freshwaters. They feed on a variety of food like shrimp and algae. They can also be fed vegetable matter. They are somewhat aggressive in nature. Breeding in aquariums is rare due to their aggression towards each other. The aquarium should be covered because they tend to jump out. Check out this video of an adult rainbow shark:

All these fish are ideal if you are new at fish keeping.