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8 Best Tank Mates for African Cichlid (Compatibility Guide 2021)


African Cichlids present selection and shade to an aquarium. They’re additionally straightforward to handle, permitting you to simply boost your aquarium with out further work. Nonetheless, they’re identified for being fairly aggressive, which makes it troublesome for them to be housed with tank mates.

Having the ability to home these fish with others depends on organising the right tank surroundings. It is very important present many rocks and different locations for these fish to cover. This may assist stop them from feeling threatened and aggressive. A protected fish is a peaceable fish.

In fact, you even have to choose the right tank mates. On this article, we assist you just do that.aquarium plant divider

8 Greatest Tank Mates for African Cichlids in 2021

1. Clown Loaches (Botia Loches)

clown loaches
Picture Credit score: Joan Carles Juarez, Shutterstock
  • Measurement: 4 ½ inches
  • Weight loss program: Backside feeders
  • Minimal tank measurement: 75 gallons
  • Care degree: Reasonable
  • Temperament: Considerably aggressive

The Clown Loach is a semi-aggressive fish, just like the African Cichlid. Due to their comparable natures, they’ll usually maintain their very own when put up towards African Cichlids. In addition they like rocks with loads of locations to cover, so that you’ll want to make sure that there are sufficient hiding spots for everybody. When supplied with the chance to cover, that’s sometimes what they’ll resolve to do. In any other case, they might get a bit aggressive.

As backside feeders, they normally keep towards the underside of the tank. They’re predatory towards shrimp and comparable fish, so that you gained’t be capable to have any of those in your tank alongside them.

2. Crimson Rainbow Fish

red rainbow fish
Picture Credit score: NERYXCOM, Shutterstock
  • Measurement: 4 inches
  • Weight loss program: Omnivores
  • Minimal tank measurement: 50 gallons
  • Care degree: Simple
  • Temperament: Docile

The Crimson Rainbow Fish is commonly an appropriate tank mate for a Cichlid so long as your tank is large enough to maintain them aside. They don’t seem to be in a position to go up towards a Cichlid with any kind of rigor. They may get eaten! Nonetheless, in case you present them with sufficient room, these fish usually go away one another alone to a point.

These omnivores sometimes do superb with common fish pellets. They aren’t that choosy, so in case you’re searching for a simple fish to handle when you focus in your African Cichlid, this can be an appropriate choice.

3. Crimson-Tail Shark

red tailed shark
Picture Credit score: Diego Grandi, Shutterstock
  • Measurement: 4 inches
  • Weight loss program: Omnivorous
  • Minimal tank measurement: 55 gallons
  • Care degree: Reasonable
  • Temperament: Semi-aggression

The Crimson-Tail Shark is a fantastically distinctive fish that stands out in most aquariums. They’re utterly black besides for his or her pink tail. They’re additionally a particularly frequent freshwater shark that doesn’t require in depth quantities of care.

Nonetheless, you shouldn’t let these fish idiot you. Such as you would possibly count on from a shark, they’re semi-aggressive and may maintain their very own in most conditions. They may assault docile fish and much more aggressive fish.

Because of this, they do finest in tanks with different fish that may maintain their very own. This consists of fish just like the African Cichlids. It isn’t that these fish gained’t combat. However once they do, they’ll be evenly matched. Your tank must be massive sufficient for each of those fish, although, because the Crimson-Tail Shark is territorial.

4. Large Danios

giant danios fish
Picture Credit score: Karel Zahradka, Shutterstock
  • Measurement: 4 inches
  • Weight loss program: Omnivorous
  • Minimal tank measurement: 30 gallons
  • Care degree: Simple
  • Temperament: Docile

Whereas these fish are docile and never almost as aggressive as different fish, they’re fairly massive. This enables them to face as much as African Cichlids and/or ignore them. It will be important that you simply select bigger Danios, as smaller ones will get eaten. These fish additionally favor the underside and center of the tank, which permits them to remain separated from the African Cichlids.

They like vegetated areas, as these present them with further cowl. Make sure that there are many vegetation on the backside of your tank for them to cover in. In any other case, they might grow to be careworn and vulnerable to assaults.

5. Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos inside aquarium
Picture Credit score: TTONN, Shutterstock
  • Measurement: 24 inches
  • Weight loss program: Backside feeders
  • Minimal tank measurement: 150 gallons
  • Care degree: Simple
  • Temperament: Docile

Plecos are backside feeders and like to cover equally to African Cichlids. Nonetheless, they’re extraordinarily massive, so you possibly can count on African Cichlids to depart them alone with out a lot problem. It is very important present them with loads of rocks and caves to cover in, as these hiding spots can get fairly crowded with each them and African Cichlids.

These bottom-feeders favor to remain on the backside of the tank and suck up meals from there. This doesn’t intrude with the African Cichlids, who are inclined to roam across the high and center of the tank. Because of this, there are much less more likely to be any aggressive behaviors.

6. African Crimson-Eyed Tetra

  • Measurement: 4 inches
  • Weight loss program: Omnivorous
  • Minimal tank measurement: 50 gallons
  • Care degree: Reasonable
  • Temperament: Territorial

This species can get together with the African Cichlid so long as they’re supplied with sufficient room to swim round. This can be a tougher fish to maintain with the African Cichlid, so be ready for a bit of labor. If the tank is massive sufficient, there normally shouldn’t be an excessive amount of to fret about, although. Each fish could be a bit uptight about others of their area, so each fish should have sufficient area of their very own.

Past their comparable territorial natures, these fish thrive in the identical water circumstances and on the identical meals because the African Cichlid. Subsequently, they’ll make straightforward tank mates. You gained’t must stability any water parameters or something of that kind.

7. Leopard Bushfish

leopard bushfish
Picture Credit score: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstok
  • Measurement: 7 inches
  • Weight loss program: Carnivores
  • Minimal tank measurement: 50 gallons
  • Care degree: Reasonable
  • Temperament: Aggressive

This fish is understood for his or her aggressive tendencies. Nonetheless, this makes them a superb match for the African Cichlid, as they gained’t put up with a lot of their territorial behaviors. Subsequently, they make good tankmates.

These fish are choosy eaters, which makes them tougher to handle. They require stay or frozen meals most often. Your African Cichlids are seemingly going to need this meals when it’s launched, so it will enhance the upkeep of your aquarium total.

These fish are carnivores, so easy fish flakes seemingly aren’t going to be sufficient.

8. Scavenger Catfish

  • Measurement: 10 inches
  • Weight loss program: Carnivores
  • Minimal tank measurement: 55 gallons
  • Care degree: Simple
  • Temperament: Docile

Scavenger catfish are precisely what they sound like. They dangle round in caves and on rocks scavenging what they’ll from the underside. As a result of they like the underside of the tank, they typically keep out of the best way of fish that favor to hang around greater. If this species and the African Cichlid occur to return throughout one another, this catfish is a bit too massive to be bothered. That is one cause that they’re strong fish to decide on as tank mates. They’re just too massive to be a lot bother.

These catfish do prefer to eat fish flakes, however in addition they take pleasure in sinking catfish pellets. You’ll seemingly must feed them the sinking pellets, because the Cichlids will eat many of the floating flakes. This feeding will assist them keep on the optimum physique situation, which makes them in a position to stand up to the aggression of the African Cichlids higher.

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What Makes a Good Tank Mate for African Cichlids?

African cichild
Picture credit score: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock

The African Cichlid is territorial and aggressive. Nonetheless, they’re additionally fairly engaging, with many alternative patterns and colours. It may be troublesome to seek out tank mates that match with them attributable to their excessive degree of aggression.

Your aim needs to be to decide on fish which might be equally as aggressive as these fish. It will be important that they’ll maintain their very own towards the African Cichlids, or they might find yourself as dinner.

In fact, you additionally wish to be sure that the tank mates you select favor the identical water temperature and breakdown that these fish do. In any other case, you’ll be balancing the water parameters consistently. It’s a lot simpler when all of the fish take pleasure in all the identical issues.

The place Do African Cichlids Desire to Dwell within the Aquarium?

These fish sometimes roam close to the highest and center of the tank. They love to cover and can spend a lot of their time in caves and comparable hiding spots. If there are different fish within the tank, make sure you present loads of hiding locations for them as properly.

Since this species tends to roam the entire tank, they do finest with backside feeders. They don’t spend a lot time on the backside, which signifies that they sometimes do superb with fish that dangle round down there.

Water Parameters

african cichild
Picture Credit score: planet5D LLC, Shutterstock

The African Cichlid prefers arduous water, as that is the water that they naturally favor. They don’t like fast-flowing water as a result of they’re naturally from lakes. They do want motion within the water, however no more than what the everyday bubbler will create.

They like water that’s round 78 to 82 levels Fahrenheit. It ought to have a pH degree of round 7.8 to eight.6.


African Cichlids can get so long as 6 inches, although many will probably be a lot smaller. It takes them a bit to develop to their full measurement. They want loads of area to swim round and a number of hiding spots. They want at the very least a 30-gallon tank and extra if you wish to pair them with different, greater fish.

Since most of the appropriate tank mates for African Cichlids are massive, you will have fairly an enormous tank to accommodate all of them.

Associated Learn: 6 Greatest Vegetation For African Cichlids – Critiques & High Picks

Aggressive Behaviors

The African Cichlid is understood for his or her aggressive nature. They’re territorial and can assault almost any fish that enters their area. Subsequently, the one tank mates that they are often housed with are these which might be both equally aggressive or too massive to care about an African Cichlid.

Advantages of Having Tank Mates for African Cichlids in Your Aquarium

yellow lab african cichild
Picture Credit score: Lmnopg007, Shutterstock
  • Improve the liveliness of your tank. Whereas African Cichlids are fairly and decently lively, they might spend fairly a little bit of time hiding. Including different species can enhance the quantity of motion that you’ve got inside your tank.
  • Preserve issues clear. Many backside feeders could be saved with this species. These may help you retain your tank clear by filtering out particles on the underside and maintaining the algae managed.
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The African Cichlid is an aggressive fish, so it’s typically thought that they’ll’t be saved with others. Nonetheless, there are a couple of species that they are often suitably housed with. These embrace backside feeders and fish which might be simply as aggressive as them. It is very important select greater fish that may maintain their very own, because the African Cichlid will seemingly try and hassle them at the very least a few times.

Selecting a fish to go together with the African Cichlid isn’t a lot a matter of selecting a docile species. You must concentrate on selecting a species that may combat with the African Cichlids as mandatory. Backside feeders are additionally appropriate as a result of they’ll steer clear of essentially the most aggressive Cichlids.

Featured Picture Credit score: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock


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