Oscar Tank Mates

Are you a beginner looking to add some company to your Oscar’s aquarium? Choosing the right tank mates is crucial to keep a happy and peaceful environment in your tank. So, it’s important to make informed choices.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through some of the best tank mates for Oscars and how to create a thriving community of fish in your aquarium.

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Oscars?

Let’s explore the best tank mates for Oscars and how to keep them successfully in your tank.


Plecos, or Plecostomus as they’re officially called, are like the eco-warriors of your aquarium. They’re incredibly peaceful and do an amazing job at keeping your tank clean. How do they do it, you ask? Well, they’re algae-eating machines, which means you won’t have to worry much about tank maintenance with these guys around.

Now, the best thing about Plecos is that they come in various sizes. This is great when you have Oscars in the mix because you can choose Plecos that fit your tank without overcrowding it.

To ensure that your Plecos live happily alongside your Oscars, create some hiding spots in the tank. It’s like giving them their own little homes. And even though they’re peaceful creatures, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on their interactions, just to be sure everyone’s getting along swimmingly.

Common Plecostomus Care Sheet

Convict Cichlids

Convict Cichlids are a smaller type of cichlid that share a lineage with Oscars, which makes them a great choice for your tank.  To make sure your Convicts and Oscars coexist harmoniously, it’s a good idea to create hiding spots and territories within the tank that mimic their natural habitat.

Taking care of Convicts is quite easy. They’re not too demanding when it comes to food, and will enjoy a varied diet that includes high-quality pellets, live or frozen food, and even the occasional treat of vegetables. But, one thing that is crucial for their health is maintaining good water quality, so always do regular water changes.

I have to say, these charming fish will not only get along with your Oscars, but also add a lively touch to your underwater world. They’re definitely worth considering if you want to add some more personality to your aquarium!

Convict Cichlid Caresheet

Silver Dollars

Silver Dollars have a special place in my heart because they’re like the social butterflies of my tank. These peaceful schooling fish bring a unique fee to my aquatic community. My Oscars usually don’t mind their presence; in fact, they don’t see them as threats.

To maintain this happy coexistence, always make sure to give everyone enough room to stretch their fins by keeping a spacious tank. And, of course, keep an eye on how they interact with each other. It’s always a good practice to ensure that everyone is happy and comfortable in their environment.

Jack Dempsey Cichlids

Jack Dempsey Cichlids have unique personalities that perfectly match the temperament of Oscars, making them great tank mates.

To ensure a peaceful coexistence between the two, it’s crucial to create hiding spots and territories within the tank. This gives them a sense of comfort and security, which helps minimize territorial disputes.

When it comes to taking care of Jack Dempsey Cichlids, make sure to provide them with a varied diet that includes pellets, live or frozen food, and even occasional treats like vegetables. And don’t forget to keep the water quality in check by performing regular water changes.

Jack Dempsey Care Sheet

Firemouth Cichlids

Now here’s another fish that I love: Firemouth Cichlids. They’re beautiful fish that are easy to care for. They’re also compatible with Oscars, which makes them a great choice for community tanks. With proper care, Firemouth Cichlids can live for up to 10 years. They’re a great addition to any aquarium, and I highly recommend them!

To keep your Firemouth Cichlids happy and healthy, make sure their tank has the right conditions. The water temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH level should be between 7.0 and 8.0. You should also provide them with plenty of hiding spots and aquatic plants.

Firemouth Cichlids are omnivores, so they’ll eat a variety of foods. I recommend feeding them a high-quality pellet food, as well as live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms. You can also give them occasional vegetable treats, like blanched peas or zucchini.

Firemouth Cichlid Caresheet

Tinfoil Barbs

Tinfoil Barbs are the adventurous explorers of your tank. They are fast swimmers, which helps them avoid fights with Oscars. To ensure their successful coexistence, have a spacious tank that mimics their natural habitat and provides room for them to move freely.

Caring for Tinfoil Barbs is easy. They’re adaptable and not demanding in terms of water parameters. Just offer them a varied diet, including high-quality flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. Regular water changes and good water quality will keep them healthy and vibrant.

Tinfoil Barb Care Sheet

Bichir Fish

If you’re looking for a unique and interesting fish to add to your tank, I highly recommend a Bichir Fish! They’re prehistoric fish that add a touch of charm to any tank. They’re also great companions for Oscars, as long as you provide them with a proper tank setup and monitor their interactions. 

Bichir Fish prefer tanks with plenty of hiding spots and a substrate that mimics their natural environment. They enjoy a diet of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods, and the occasional meaty treat. They’re relatively undemanding in terms of water parameters, but they appreciate clean and well-oxygenated water.

Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish are the unsung heroes of your tank, keeping it clean and healthy while living peacefully with Oscars. Oscars usually ignore them, so you don’t have to worry about territorial disputes. Just make sure they have access to the bottom of the tank where they can scavenge for food. And keep an eye on them to make sure they’re getting along with the Oscars.

Taking care of Corydoras Catfish is simple. They eat sinking pellets, live or frozen foods, and don’t require special water conditions. Just make sure the water is clean and well-maintained. They’re the unsung heroes of your tank, keeping it clean and healthy while living peacefully with Oscars.

Common Corydoras Care Sheet

Synodontis Catfish

Synodontis Catfish are the perfect tankmates for Oscars. They’re hardy and sturdy, and they have a compatible temperament. Synodontis Catfish prefer to stay near the bottom of the tank, which reduces the risk of territorial disputes with Oscars. 

To ensure that they get along nicely, make sure your tank has enough swimming space, hiding spots, and a substrate that accommodates their needs. Monitor their interactions regularly to maintain a tranquil and balanced aquarium.

To care for Synodontis Catfish, feed them a diet of high-quality pellets, live or frozen foods, and occasional vegetable treats. Also, they’re not picky about water conditions, but they do best in clean, well-oxygenated water. Synodontis Catfish add a touch of resilience and balance to your tank, and they’ll peacefully coexist with your Oscars.

Redtail Catfish

If you’re looking for a large, impressive fish for your aquarium,the  Redtail Catfish is a good choice. Their substantial size adds an impressive touch to the underwater landscape. To keep them comfortable with your Oscars, ensure that you have a spacious tank that accommodates their size. 

As you keep these fish with your Oscars, make sure to monitor of their interactions. And because Redtail Catfish are also known to be aggressive, they should not be kept with smaller fish.  Although they’re easy to care for, they require regular water changes and a high-quality varied diet of live food and frozen food.

What To Look For When Choosing Tank Mates For Oscars?

When choosing tank mates for Oscars, there are several key factors to consider:

Size Compatibility: Oscars are large fish, so it’s crucial to select tank mates that are of similar size or slightly smaller. Avoid pairing them with smaller fish that can easily become prey.

Temperament: Oscars can be territorial and slightly aggressive. Look for tank mates with a calm and non-confrontational demeanor. Some compatible options include Firemouth Cichlids, Silver Dollar Fish, and Convict Cichlids.

Water Conditions: Ensure that the tank mates you choose share similar water requirements, such as temperature and pH levels. This helps maintain a stable and healthy environment for all the fish.

Tank Size: Oscars need ample space, so a larger tank is essential. The tank’s size should accommodate not only the Oscars but also their tank mates comfortably.

Dietary Compatibility: Check that the dietary preferences of the selected tank mates align with those of Oscars. This will help avoid conflicts over food.

Behavioral Observation: Keep an eye on the interactions between your Oscars and their tank mates. If you notice excessive aggression or stress, consider rearranging the tank or separating the fish.

What Tank Mates Should You Avoid With Oscars?

While Oscars can be excellent companions, there are certain tank mates you should avoid to ensure a harmonious and peaceful aquarium. Here are some species that may not be the best match for Oscars:

Betta Fish (Siamese Fighters): Betta fish are known for their territorial nature, and introducing them to an Oscar’s territory can result in aggression and stress for both species.

Cory Catfish: While Corydoras Catfish can be suitable tank mates for Oscars, it’s essential to avoid overstocking the bottom of the tank with multiple catfish species. Oscars may become territorial and disrupt the peaceful existence of Corydoras.

Livebearers (Mollies, Guppies, Platies, Swordtails): Livebearers have colorful and attractive tails, which can attract the attention of Oscars. Oscars may view them as potential prey or engage in aggressive behavior towards them.

Angelfish: Angelfish have distinctive long fins and a different body shape compared to Oscars. This can make them vulnerable to fin-nipping or aggressive behavior from Oscars.

Rasboras: Similar to Tetras, Rasboras are smaller in size and can be perceived as prey by Oscars. Their presence may lead to potential conflicts.

Gourami: Gouramis are another species with territorial tendencies, and their slower swimming style can lead to aggression or harassment from Oscars.

Koi: Koi, like goldfish, have specific temperature requirements that differ from those of Oscars. Keeping them together may lead to health issues for both species.

Goldfish: Goldfish have different care requirements and are not well-suited to the same environment as Oscars. They prefer cooler water temperatures, while Oscars thrive in warmer waters. Additionally, goldfish may be outcompeted for food due to their slower feeding habits.

Tetras: Tetras are relatively small and may become targets for Oscars, especially when Oscars are larger. Their size difference can lead to Tetras being viewed as potential prey.

Oscars Male To Female Ratio

 If you’re planning to keep Oscars in a tank, it’s important to remember a few things. To maintain a peaceful environment, it’s recommended to keep a 1:1 male-to-female ratio. 

This helps reduce territorial disputes and promotes a stable environment. Oscars are naturally territorial, and having an equal number of males and females can help them coexist without aggression.

But remember, each Oscar has its personality, so it’s essential to monitor their interactions and adjust accordingly. You don’t want any fish to get injured due to territorial clashes.

However, if you want to keep things simple and avoid territorial clashes altogether, you can keep a single Oscar in your tank. This way, you can focus on providing it with ample tank space and excellent care, leading to a healthy and happy fish.

Overall, whether you keep Oscars in pairs or alone, just make sure you provide them with a balanced and peaceful environment.


Can 2 Oscars Live Together?

 It’s recommended to keep at least two Oscar fish in the same tank, and you can even have up to five if you have enough space. However, it’s essential to provide them with sufficient tank space to thrive.

Why Is My Oscar So Aggressive?

Oscar fish are naturally aggressive due to their territorial instincts. They exhibit aggression by chasing, head-butting, and nipping other fish. Food scarcity can trigger their aggression, so it’s essential to ensure proper feeding.


In summary, choosing the right tank mates is crucial for a happy and peaceful environment in your aquarium. By providing hiding spots, territories, and a spacious tank, your Oscars and their tank mates can coexist happily, and safely, and you can create a thriving community of fish.

About the author

Hey there! I'm Antonio, the passionate owner and chief editor of Betta Care Fish Guide. With over half a decade of hands-on experience, I've become your go-to expert for all things betta and tropical fish.

Over the past 5 years, I've not only kept bettas and other tropical fish but also connected with a diverse network of hobbyists, seasoned fishkeepers, and even veterinarians.

Now, I want to help other beginner fish keepers who had the same questions as me when they were just starting out! So they can save themselves a ton of time and keep their fish happy and healthy!