The 20+ Best Tank Makes For Cichlids

Cichlids are beautiful fish that are a great addition to many home aquariums. These fish have plenty of remarkable characteristics, from their colors and body shapes to their ritualistic behaviors. They are likely to become a favorite among your fish.

The cichlid family has a variety of species that have unique features, and it’s no surprise they are a desirable addition to any tank. Determining the best cichlid tank mates is essential before bringing one into your established aquarium. 

We’ll cover the best tank mates for the ram, jewel, jaguar, electric yellow, texas, firemouth, and peacock cichlids in this post. 

How To Setup A Tank For Cichlids With Tank Mates

Tank Size

As with most kinds of fish, you will need a big tank for your cichlids, especially with tank mates. It’s critical to have enough room for each fish to have space and their own territories. Most types of fish will become aggressive and territorial when they feel that their space is being infringed on. 

Filters

Cichlids are big eaters and have impressive appetites. Due to this, they excrete more than other fish types, so you will require a high-quality filter or even two filters to do an excellent job of cleaning the water in your tank. 

Hiding places

Cichlids prefer a large tank with plenty of natural elements, lush greenery, and rocks. They like it to be crowded, which mimics their natural habitats. Each fish should have their own space to hide, like a cave or hideout. 

Water conditions

Cichlids are quite adaptive when it comes to water conditions. They can survive in a variety of temperatures and pH levels, but their ideal conditions are warm water with a pH of around 7.0 to 8.0 and a temperature of 75°F to 85°F. You’ll notice a difference in the color of their scales when they are in their ideal water conditions. 

Will Cichlids Attack Their Tank Mates?

Even with the best tank mates suited to your cichlid, they can become aggressive and attack other fish in their space. If they have their own hiding spaces and plenty of room to swim around without their space being impeded on, there’s a better chance your fish will live in harmony most of the time. 

Some kinds of cichlids are less aggressive than others. Knowing which kind of temperament your fish has will help you ensure a safe environment for all your fish. Suppose there is more than one overly aggressive fish in your tank. In that case, it could result in bullying or a dead fish, unfortunately. 

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Ram Cichlids?

Ram cichlids have the charming and beautiful appearance of most cichlids, but they have a friendly personality compared to most kinds of cichlids.

They are great tank mates for plenty of other fish, and they are an ideal choice for those who are just beginning their aquarist journey. If you are looking to have ample variety in your tank, consider including a ram cichlid. 

Celestial Pearl Danio

The celestial pearl danio, or Danio margaritatus, is a peaceful and active fish, who is a great tank mate for ram cichlids. They have beautiful colors and are an excellent addition to any tank. They should be kept with at least six other danios as their school.

They are peaceful and friendly with other fish, but they can be shy, so you will want to ensure they have plenty of spaces to hide. Like the cichlid, they need their own spaces that replicate their natural environment. Having an open layout can become stressful for them. 

  • Care Level: These fish are relatively easy to care for and are great for any novice or brand new aquarium owner. 
  • pH: The celestial pearl has an ideal pH balance between 6.5 to 7.5 but prefers a neutral 7.0. 
  • Temperature: Celestial pearls are quite sturdy and can deal with various temperatures, but their ideal water conditions are cooler, around 72°F to 75°F. Due to their natural habitat, they can withstand cooler water temperatures. 
  • Size: They grow to be about one and a half to two inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: The minimum tank size for these fish is five gallons for a group of six fish. 

(Find out about 7 more great danios.)

Killifish

Killifish have a short lifespan, but they are an excellent addition to any tank with cichlids. It only takes them a few weeks to become fully mature adults. There is an endless list of killifish species, so you’ll need to do some research on your specific breed. Killifish do well in a mixed community and can be shy around bigger fish. 

  • Care Level: They are relatively easy to care for, and they get along with most types of fish, as long as they won’t get eaten. 
  • pH: Killifish prefer neutral to slightly acidic water conditions, but the ideal is around 7.0.
  • Temperature: Each breed is slightly different, but their preferred temperature is between 75°F and 80°F.
  • Size: The size of killifish vary among species, but they can range between one and five inches long. 
  • Tank Size: Killifish can survive in the smallest conditions, but they thrive in 10 gallons of space per fish when put in an aquarium setting. 

Betta Fish

Betta fish are some of the most popular fish in the world, and they are one of the ideal tank mates for the ram cichlid. Bettas typically only show aggression to other male bettas. If your rams are a bit on the aggressive side, opting for a wild or female betta is a better choice. 

  • Care Level: Bettas are low maintenance and easy to keep healthy. 
  • pH: The ideal pH is around 6.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: Bettas can live in temperatures from 75°F to 85°F. 
  • Size: They typically measure two to three inches. 
  • Tank Size: Bettas thrive in ten to thirty-gallon tanks, depending on the number of other fish in there as well. 

Gold Tetra

These beautiful bright gold-colored fish are stunning when added to any aquarium. They are peaceful fish who like to school, so they are a great addition to any tank. 

  • Care Level: They are easy to care for, but their water conditions need to be closely monitored as they are sensitive. 
  • pH: Gold tetras are a bit on the sensitive side, so it’s essential to keep the water to a pH of 5.5 to 7.0. 
  • Temperature: Mimicking the Amazon’s conditions, they prefer water on the warmer side, from 78°F to 82°F.
  • Size: They grow to be about 1.5 inches long. 
  • Tank Size: They require at least ten gallons of space and should be kept with a school of eight to ten other tetras. 

Dwarf Otocinclus

Dwarf otocinclus are shy and peaceful fish, and they add a lot of color to your tank. They require direct access to the air on the top of the tank, and they do best in pairs. They do best in tanks with bottom dwellers and other small schooling fish.

There are a wide range of colors that this fish comes in so that you can add a little variety to your tank. 

  • Care Level: They are considered to have an intermediate care level. 
  • pH: Dwarf otocinclus require a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. 
  • Temperature: Their ideal temperature is between 72°F to 82°F.
  • Size: They reach between two and three inches in size. 
  • Tank Size: They require a minimum of five gallons. 

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Jewel Cichlids?

Jewel Cichlids can be incredibly aggressive and don’t get along with most types of fish. They’re not recommended to be paired with numerous fish. Still, they tend to fare well with other cichlids, including other jewels.

Especially around breeding times, the jewel can become very aggressive, so we can’t recommend it for a community aquarium setup. Some sources suggest that they’ve had great luck with their jewel cichlids, but many more say that they have not. 

You’re essentially playing a game of luck when you pair your jewels with other fish. 

Other Jewel Cichlids

  • Care Level: As long as you can manage their aggressive nature, you are in good shape. 
  • pH: Their optimal pH balance is around 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Temperature: Between 75°F and 80°F.
  • Size: They tend to grow to be around six inches in captivity but can reach up to twelve inches in the wild. 
  • Tank Size: A 30 to 40-gallon tank minimum is ideal for this type of fish. They are territorial, so they require plenty of space when paired with others. 

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Jaguar Cichlids?

While most experienced aquarists know of jaguar cichlids, they tend to feel intimidated by this fish. The jaguar can live up to 15 years, so they are a long-term commitment when you choose to get one. They also require keen attention to ensure their environment is kept optimal to maintain their health. 

Much like the jewel cichlids, jaguar cichlids are not a community fish. They can be extremely aggressive, and they don’t get along with other fish beyond their own breed or catfish bigger than them. They are territorial, exceptionally predatory, and even their own females need designated areas to retreat to.

Other Jaguar Cichlids

  • Care Level: They are considered intermediate and are best for those who have some experience with aquariums and aggressive fish.
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.7, but 7.7 is ideal.
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F 
  • Size: They can reach twelve to fourteen inches when raised in captivity. 
  • Tank Size: They require anywhere from 100 to 125-gallon tanks. For just one jaguar cichlid, you’d need around 70 gallons. 

Oscar Fish

Oscar fish are also known as velvet cichlids, and they have a similar temperament to the jaguar cichlids. They are recommended for experienced aquarists, especially when pairing them with other aggressive fish. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate. 
  • pH: Oscars can handle between 6.0 and 8.0. 
  • Temperature: Between 75°F and 80°F.
  • Size: They can grow to be between ten and twelve inches in captivity. 
  • Tank Size: It’s suggested that they have a 55-gallon tank for one fish or 80 gallons for two. 

Green Terror Cichlid

The beautiful green terror has a variety of colors and patterns, making it a desirable addition to any aquarium. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate, but the more research you do, the better equipped you’ll be to care for this particular fish. You’ll need to learn how to manage their aggression. 
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: Between 68°F to 80°F, but ideally around 72°F to 77°F.
  • Size: They can grow up to eight to ten inches. 
  • Tank Size: They can survive well enough in a 35-gallon tank, but it’s recommended to give them at least 50-gallons. 

Convict Cichlid

As one of the most popular cichlid breeds, the convict is a fabulous option for pairing with the jaguar. They are less likely to be as aggressive as other breeds, but the potential is still there. 

  • Care Level: From easy to intermediate and a great option if you want to step up your aquarist skill level. 
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0.
  • Temperature: They prefer a warmer tank, between 79°F to 84°F.
  • Size: Four to five inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: 20 to 30 gallons.

Red Devil Cichlid

The red devil cichlid is true to its name. The feisty fish has an exciting and intimidating appearance, and they can get snippy with other tank mates. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate.
  • pH: 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Temperature: Between 75°F to 79°F.
  • Size: They can grow to be fifteen inches long. 
  • Tank Size: 55-gallons or more for a single red devil. 

Flowerhorn Cichlid

The flowerhorn cichlid is an outside-the-box addition to any aquarium. The colorful fish has a unique look and can be a great tankmate to the jaguar. 

  • Care Level: Easy to Intermediate. 
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.0.
  • Temperature: Between 80°F to 86°F.
  • Size: They range in size from twelve to sixteen inches and can grow even more prominent in the wild. 
  • Tank Size: One flowerhorn should have at least 70-gallons.

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Electric Yellow Cichlids?

The electric yellow cichlid is one of the most popular cichlids because of its striking yellow hue. They are pretty small yet hardy and semi-aggressive, but they do get along with a variety of fish. They can live peacefully in a beginner’s tank. 

Other Mbunas

Mbunas are a kind of African Cichlid that is a perfect pairing for an electric yellow. Electric yellow’s aren’t typically overly aggressive, but they are more likely to become that way with other fish varieties.

There are several different kinds of mbunas, including blue Daktari, Rubin red peacock, sunshine peacock, flavescent peacock, and more. 

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate depending on the breed
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.5
  • Temperature: 75°F to 85°F
  • Size: Due to the large number of breeds, some can be as small as three to four inches or as large as seven or eight inches. 
  • Tank Size: Larger varieties will need at least 30 gallons, but smaller fish can get by with 20 gallons. 

Peacock Cichlids

An excellent fish for inexperienced aquarists, peacock cichlids are not overly aggressive, have unbelievable colors, and get along well with other breeds of fish. They are one of the more peaceful and friendly fish of the cichlid family. There are 22 different kinds of peacock cichlids. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 7.8 to 8.6
  • Temperature: 76°F to 82°F
  • Size: They grow to be four to six inches in length.
  • Tank Size: They require a 55-gallon tank at a minimum. 

Featherfin Squeakers

A popular bottom-feeding catfish, the featherfin squeaker is a peaceful addition to any aquarium. They get along with the most aggressive breeds and tend to stick to other featherfin types. They are considered semi-aggressive fish to other bottom feeders. They are big eaters and can take away from others because they move quickly. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 5.6 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 81°F
  • Size: They are hardy fish that typically reaches six to eight inches in a tank but can reach almost twelve. 
  • Tank Size: Minimum 50-gallon tank

Lamprologus 

Depending on the temperament of your electric yellow cichlid, some varieties of lamporologus may not be appropriate. Due to their small size, overly aggressive fish may eat them.

While they are a species of African cichlids, there are 20 different species under this bracket. One of the most common lamprologus to keep in your home aquarium is the ocellatus.

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate
  • pH: 7.4 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 73°F to 80°F
  • Size: Some varieties are small and measure about two to two and a half inches long, while others can reach ten inches. 
  • Tank Size: Their tank size ranges based on their size from five gallons to 55 gallons. 

Blue Dolphin Cichlids

Distinctly known for their hump head appearance. While they are typically best kept on their own, experienced aquarists have been managed them with other peaceful cichlids.

If you have electric yellows who are not very aggressive, blue dolphins could be a good match. They should definitely be separated during breeding times, as that’s when they become the most territorial. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • pH: 7.2 to 8.8
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F
  • Size: They can reach eight inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: They require at least 125 gallons 

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Texas Cichlids?

Texas cichlids are stunning and vibrant fish that can be an excellent addition to your aquarium. Their brilliant colors are a real treat to admire. They are also known as pearl cichlids or Rio Grande perch. 

These fish require a lot of attention, and they are feisty, but they can be fantastic fish for those who can be attentive to their water conditions. They can be quite aggressive and shouldn’t be paired with smaller fish than them at risk of being eaten. They can be very territorial, so you will need plenty of space for them to roam. 

Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey fish are a type of cichlid that is named after the legendary boxer due to their resemblance to him in behavior and larger facial features. They come in beautiful colors, like electric blue, gold and pink. They are simple to care for, but managing their aggressive nature is best handled by someone who has plenty of experience. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • pH: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 72°F and 86°F
  • Size: They can grow to be ten to fifteen inches long. 
  • Tank Size: The minimum tank size is 55 gallons and can be up to 155 gallons. 

Silver Dollar

The silver dollar fish is a staple in many aquariums and quite common in community tanks. They are quite easy to care for and keep healthy. Silver Dollars are calm, peaceful, and not aggressive, making them the ideal tank mate for most fish. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 5.0 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 75°F to 82°F
  • Size: Typically, they reach about six inches long but can get to eight inches long. 
  • Tank Size: A silver dollar fish would fare well in a 75-gallon tank, and since they are schooling fish, they’re better off with five other silver dollars.

Plecos

There are plenty of plecos to choose from, but many popular pleco species are great tank mates for aggressive cichlids. The bristlenose pleco, the gold nugget pleco, the royal pleco, or the leopard frog pleco are just a few of some beautiful and pleasant fish to add to your tank. 

  • Care Level: Care ranges from easy to intermediate depending on the species. 
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 60°F to 80°F
  • Size: They range in size from three inches to seventeen inches long. 
  • Tank Size: 20 to 150 gallons depending on the species. 

Oscar Fish

Otherwise known as the velvet cichlid, the oscar fish is a unique-looking fish with a prominent personality. They are best suited for someone with plenty of experience. They can be aggressive, and they have a similar temperament to the texas cichlid, which may require some care. They do the best with other cichlids similar in size because smaller fish won’t last long around the Oscars. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate. 
  • pH: Oscars can handle between 6.0 and 8.0. 
  • Temperature: 75°F and 80°F.
  • Size: They can grow to be between ten and twelve inches in a tank. 
  • Tank Size: They require a 55-gallon tank for one fish or 80 gallons for two. 

Convict Cichlid

The convict cichlid is a fish that can help a beginner move into an intermediate stage. They are semi-aggressive, but they can be territorial and tenacious, so pairing them with other cichlids of similar size is vital. As long as you provide them with plenty of space and their ideal habitat, they should thrive as you gain experience in your aquarist journey. 

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate. 
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: They prefer a warmer tank, between 79°F to 84°F.
  • Size: Four to five inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: 20 to 30 gallons.

Black Ghost Knife Fish

Black ghost knife fish know how to leave a lasting impression as one of the most unique types around. With an appearance that is true to the name, it’s no wonder many aquarists want one or two in their tanks. If they aren’t given the proper space, they can become quite aggressive.

They can be quite sensitive to their water conditions, so owners need to pay close attention to that. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 73°F to 80°F
  • Size: They reach between eighteen and twenty inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: For one fish, they require at least 100 gallons. 

German Blue Ram

The German blue ram is a cichlid species that are also referred to as Ramirezi, Blue Ram, Butterfly Cichlid, or Asian Ram. They are incredibly peaceful, making them an ideal tank mate for most fish. 

They tend to spend time in plants or exploring the other hiding spots in the tank. They do not like to cause trouble and do best with other smaller fish. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 5.0 to 7.5, but somewhere in the middle of those is best. 
  • Temperature: 72°F to 79°F
  • Size: two to three inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Firemouth Cichlids?

Firemouth cichlids are another peaceful cichlid species that can get feisty in specific situations. If they feel overcrowded or they don’t have enough space to roam, it’s a recipe for disaster.

When provided with the proper environment, they can thrive and be an excellent tank mate to plenty of other fish. They are active and love to swim around the middle of the aquarium. 

Pictus Catfish

The pictus catfish is popular among aquarists of all skill levels because they keep to themselves and are pretty peaceful. They work well in community tanks because they are easy to please and don’t require a lot of care. You’ll typically find them hanging out near the bottom of the tank while minding their own business. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 7.0 to 7.5 but could potentially go lower. 
  • Temperature: 75°F to 80°F 
  • Size: They don’t typically exceed five inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: Each pitcus will require 50 to 55-gallons. 

Kuhli Loach

The slender kuhli loach is a cleaner fish that is perfect for many tank owners. Due to its docile nature and tendency to easily contract diseases, it can be challenging for a new aquarist to provide the best care to this species.

Since they don’t have scales, they lack the protection that other breeds of fish have, and it can be difficult to pinpoint if they are sick or not. 

They are often quite shy and tend to hide during the day. Kuhli will come out at night to find food and explore the tank. While they prefer to be around other loaches, they tend to keep to themselves, making them ideal tankmates. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate to expert
  • pH: 5.5 and 6.5 
  • Temperature: 73°F and 86°F
  • Size: In the wild, they can reach up to five inches but will typically only reach three to four in captivity. 
  • Tank Size: 15 gallons for a single kuhli and 5 gallons for each additional kuhli. 

Swordtail Fish

Swordtail fish are a joy to bring into any aquarium. They are easy to care for and overall low-maintenance, so it doesn’t take much work to keep them healthy and thriving. Swordtails are peaceful and don’t like to fight, so they don’t cause trouble among the community. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 7.0 to 8.4
  • Temperature: 65°F to 82°F 
  • Size: Five and a half inches long. 
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 15 gallons. 

Platy Fish

When you think of the perfect fish for a community tank, Platy fish should come to mind. They are the ideal fish for all aquarists of all skill levels, especially those just starting out. They are social, get along well with almost all other fish, and playful.

If you plan on keeping more than one platy with your cichlid, you may need to mitigate fights between males, but otherwise, it should be minimal. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 6.8 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 65°F to 80°F and up to 82°F for some
  • Size: Two and a half inches long.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 10 gallons. 

Clown Pleco

The clown pleco is a low-maintenance addition to any aquarium, making it perfect for everyone from beginners to seasoned pros. They are peaceful and calm, and they like to stay in their own space. Most of the time, they don’t pay attention to any other fish in their community. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.6
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F
  • Size: Between three and a half to four inches long. 
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons is enough to make them feel comfortable. 

Rummy Nose Tetra

The rummy nose tetra is a peaceful and gentle fish, which is a common trait among tetras. As long as other fish aren’t causing trouble, they will thrive in a community tank. These fish do best in groups of at least six. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 5.5 to 7.0
  • Temperature: 75°F to 84°F but somewhere in the middle is ideal. 
  • Size: They range between two and two and a half inches, but some don’t even reach two. 
  • Tank Size: A 20-gallon tank is big enough to home ten rummy nose tetras. 

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Peacock Cichlids?

Peacock cichlids are known for their bright appearance and are some of the most beautiful additions you can make to your home aquarium. There are many types of peacock cichlids, like blue, red, OB, dragon blood, and strawberry, to name a few. 

Compared to other cichlids, peacocks are very docile and don’t like to cause trouble. They are pretty easy to care for, and as long as you keep more females than males in the tank, you can ease the risk of aggressive behaviors. It’s important to find fish that thrive under similar water conditions when choosing suitable tank mates for your peacock cichlid. 

Haplochromis Cichlid

Considered the largest group of species in the cichlid family, the Haplochromis boasts over 210 different breeds. Cichlids tend to play well with each other, regardless of their behaviors and traits. Opting for breeds of haplochromis that have similar temperaments and water conditions to the peacock is ideal. 

Some species are better suited to beginners than others, but there are plenty of excellent options to choose from for your tank. 

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate depending on the breed
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.5
  • Temperature: 75°F to 85°F
  • Size: Due to the large number of breeds, some can be as small as three to four inches or as large as seven or eight inches. 
  • Tank Size: Larger varieties will need at least 30 gallons, but smaller fish can get by with 20 gallons. 

Botia Loach

Often referred to as Yoyo or the Pakistani Loach, the botia loach is similar to the kuhli loach. Botia is a semi-aggressive fish that tends to stick to scavenging and prefers to be around other loaches. They also don’t have scales to protect them from disease and infection, so they can be challenging to care for, particularly for new aquarists. 

The botia pairs well with the peacock because their temperaments work well together, and given enough space, they will thrive in a community tank together. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 72°F to 86° F
  • Size: They typically grow up to two and a half inches. 
  • Tank Size: They require a minimum of 30 gallons. 

Plecos

Much like texas cichlids, plecos are an ideal tank mate for many kinds of cichlids. Many plecos have similar environmental requirements to peacocks, and their temperaments complement each other. There are plenty of pleco species to choose from, so just ensure you’re opting for ones with similar needs. 

  • Care Level: Care ranges from easy to intermediate depending on the species. 
  • pH: 6.5 to 8.0
  • Temperature: 60°F to 80°F
  • Size: They range in size from three inches to seventeen inches long. 
  • Tank Size: 20 to 150 gallons depending on the species. 

Synodontis Catfish

The synodontis catfish is typically pretty peaceful but is considered a sem-aggressive fish. Their stunning appearance makes them a desirable option for many tanks, and they can be excellent tank mates for the peacock cichlid.

However, they are pretty sensitive to their water conditions, so they are a bit more high-maintenance than other fish types, making them more challenging for beginners, but if you’re willing to put in the work, they can make great companions. 

  • Care Level: Easy to intermediate
  • pH: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Temperature: 75°F to 82°F
  • Size: They can reach up to twelve inches under the right conditions and proper space. 
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 50 gallons. 

African Red Eye Tetra

The African red eye tetra is an excellent option for a beginner because they are easy to care for, peaceful, and get along with plenty of other fish. While it’s not recommended to pair this breed with other, more aggressive cichlids, they may be a good fit in your community tank due to the peacock’s more relaxed nature. 

African red eye tetras prefer to be kept in schools of six or more. Their natural habitat prepares them to deal with plenty of water condition fluctuations. They can withstand plenty of flexibility in their environment and still thrive. 

  • Care Level: Easy
  • pH: 5.5 to 8.5
  • Temperature: 73°F to 82°F
  • Size: Between two and a half to three inches long. 
  • Tank Size: Minimum of 20 gallons

Rainbow Shark

Rainbow sharks are best paired with semi-aggressive fish of similar sizes. While peacocks are typically peaceful, they’re still cichlids and have the propensity to be aggressive. The rainbow shark is not recommended for a beginner, as they can be highly territorial when given inadequate space. They also tend to pick on bottom feeders and smaller fish. 

Rainbow sharks tend to require a lot of care and maintenance as well, making them best suited for an experienced hobbyist. 

  • Care Level: Intermediate to expert.
  • pH: 6.5 and 7.5
  • Temperature: 72℉ to 82°F, but 77℉ is optimal.
  • Size: Around four inches in length. 
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 50 gallons to 125 gallons for three fish. 

(Check out the best tank mates for African Cichlids!)

Recap

Depending on your breed of cichlid, numerous fish are great tank mates for your newfound friend. Each breed of cichlid has a different level of aggression, from none to extreme. Choosing tank mates that can thrive in similar conditions while being peaceful is the best way to keep all your fish happy. 

Most ideal tank mates are shy, schooling fish that tend to be less aggressive, but as long you have plenty of room for all your fish, you should be in great shape building your cichlid a new home with excellent friends. 

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