Cichlids and goldfish are among the most popular aquarium fish. But can cichlids live with goldfish?
Cichlids can’t live with goldfish. Cichlids are aggressive fish that can easily bully and stress the docile and peaceful goldfish. Cichlids also need warmer water temperatures of 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C), while goldfish need colder water temperatures in the range of 68°F to 74°F (20°C to 23°C).
Let’s now understand why cichlids and goldfish can’t live together in more detail.
5 Reasons Why Cichlids And Goldfish Can’t Live Together
Cichlids are aggressive, territorial, and competitive. On the other hand, goldfish are peaceful and social in behavior.
So it can be challenging to keep them together.
Given below are the five main reasons why cichlids and goldfish can’t live together.
1. Large Tank Requirement
The tank size depends on the size and count of the fish species you want to keep in the aquarium.
You also need to factor in the plants and other decorations that you want to keep in your fish tank while calculating the tank size.
A medium-sized goldfish can grow up to a size between 6 to 20 inches.
However, captive goldfish have an average size of 6 inches.
Similarly, medium-sized cichlids can grow between 3 to 8 inches.
A single goldfish needs a 20 gallon aquarium, which is a huge requirement.
On the contrary, cichlids need between 30 to 50 gallon tanks, depending on the fish size.
So to keep cichlids and goldfish together, you will need a large tank between 50 to 100 gallons.
This will ensure there’s enough space for both the fish to swim and avoid violent occurrences.
2. Water Temperature
Cichlids are tropical fish and need warm water in the range of 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C).
In contrast, goldfish need cold water in the range of 68°F to 74°F (20°C to 23°C).
Some goldfish can survive in warm water temperatures, but this is typically going to stress them in the long run.
However, cichlids need warm water temperature to survive.
If you set the water temperature at 74°F to 75°F, it will be at the end of both warm and cold scales.
As a result, it’s not ideal for both fish and can create problems.
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Cichlids are aggressive and compete for food and territory with their tankmates.
On the contrary, goldfish are passive and find it challenging to deal with cichlid’s aggression.
Goldfish will get stressed by the frequent attacks of aggressive cichlids.
Goldfish will also starve and sustain injuries due to the frequent attacks of cichlids.
Although cichlids don’t perceive goldfish as their prey, their constant aggression and attacks can be fatal to goldfish.
So it’s not ideal to keep cichlids and goldfish together.
4. Tank Maintenance
Goldfish are one of the messiest aquarium fish. They produce a lot of waste, which causes ammonia spikes in the aquarium water.
So your aquarium will need regular water changes to keep the ammonia levels in control.
Goldfish will have little impact if there’s no regular water change, but cichlids can become very sick.
Goldfish are also cold-water fish, so keeping them in warm water will increase their metabolism further.
As a result, they will eat more and create more waste that can be bad for cichlids’ health.
You need a robust filtration system and regular tank maintenance to keep them together.
Otherwise, dirty water will affect the cichlids’ immune system, leading to illness and infections that can be fatal.
5. Infections and Diseases
Goldfish easily fall victim to parasite, bacterial, and fungal infections.
If you keep goldfish in an aquarium with cichlids, their infections will eventually spread throughout the entire aquarium.
Besides, goldfish have a slime coat that will affect cichlids. So it’s best to avoid keeping goldfish and cichlids together.
Cichlids and goldfish have distinct characteristics, so keeping them together is not ideal.
But what if you want to keep them together?
Let’s now see how you can keep cichlids and goldfish together.
Related Further Reading: Cichlid Care And Interesting Facts | Can Cichlids Sleep? | Cichlids Have Teeth To Bite? | Do Cichlids Eat Tropical Fish Food?
How To Keep Cichlids And Goldfish Together?
It’s challenging to keep the aggressive cichlids with passive goldfish.
However, there’re experienced fishkeepers who have successfully kept them together.
Given below are some suggestions to keep cichlids and goldfish together.
1. Fishkeeping Experience
The most important thing to consider is your fishkeeping experience before deciding to keep cichlids with goldfish together.
If you’re not an experienced aquarist, keeping these fish together can be disastrous.
It’s essential to understand that cichlids and goldfish are incredibly different in behavior.
The water parameters needed for both these species to thrive are also different.
Only if you can strike a perfect balance between the pH level and water temperature can you keep these fish together.
Also, be prepared for frequent tank maintenance and water changes.
2. Tank Size
A large community tank is an excellent choice for cichlids and goldfish to live together peacefully.
A large tank of 100 gallons can provide adequate space for both fish to swim comfortably and co-exist.
Besides the size, you must also consider a tank with more horizontal space.
It will provide more space to swim for the bottom feeders.
The additional space provided by a wider tank can keep the goldfish out of the cichlid’s line of sight.
So there will be less violent interactions between both the fish.
3. Non-Aggressive Cichlid Species
Although the vast majority of cichlids are aggressive, some cichlids species are peaceful and can co-exist in a community tank with other types of fish.
There are peaceful cichlids species like the blue acaras, electric yellow labs, German blue rams, and keyhole cichlids that you can keep with goldfish, provided you manage to maintain suitable water parameters for both the fish.
These cichlids will not bully your goldfish and can co-exist peacefully with the goldfish.
4. Adequate Food
Aggressive fish become even more dangerous without a proper food supply.
Cichlids are aggressive and can compete fiercely with goldfish if there is a food shortage.
Goldfish can survive with less food, but if the cichlids are served less food, they become more aggressive toward the passive tankmates, forcing them to starve.
So for cichlids and goldfish to cohabitate, you have to keep your cichlids calm by providing an adequate food supply.
With a proper food supply, you can reduce your cichlids’ aggression.
5. Hiding Places
To maintain peace in a fish tank that contains aggressive cichlids, you must provide plenty of hiding places for the docile and peaceful goldfish.
You must add aquatic plants, caves, rocks, and heavy decor to provide hiding places for the goldfish.
This way, the passive goldfish can stay out of the cichlids’ line of sight and avoid unwarranted aggression.
Can African Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Goldfish are peaceful, docile fish. So they can’t co-exist with the aggressive African cichlids.
Besides the difference in behavior, these fish need different water parameters to thrive.
Can Convict Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Convict cichlids and goldfish can’t live together. Convict cichlids are too aggressive and will stress the goldfish.
Both these fish also need different water temperatures and pH levels.
Can Parrot Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Parrot cichlids and goldfish can’t live together.
This is because parrot cichlids need warm water temperature, while the goldfish thrive in cold water temperatures.
Can Peacock Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Peacock cichlids and goldfish can’t live together.
Peacock cichlids are primarily peaceful but need different water parameters than goldfish.
So it’s best not to keep them in the same tank.
Can Jaguar Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Jaguar cichlids can’t live with goldfish. Jaguar cichlids are large, aggressive fish that you shouldn’t keep with small-sized goldfish.
They also need different water temperatures to thrive.
Can Oscar Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Oscar cichlids and goldfish can’t live together. These fish need entirely different water temperatures to thrive.
An oscar cichlid will also devour a goldfish if it fits in its mouth.
Can Ram Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Ram cichlids can’t live with goldfish.
Although ram cichlids and goldfish are peaceful and non-aggressive fish, they need different water temperatures and pH levels.
So they shouldn’t be kept together.
Interesting Further Reading: Will African Cichlids Need Salt? | Will Cichlids Live With Other Fish? | Will Cichlids Eat Bloodworms?
Can Jewel Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Jewel cichlids and goldfish can’t live together.
Jewel cichlids are very aggressive and challenging to manage in certain situations.
They also need different water parameters to survive.
Can Texas Cichlids Live With Goldfish?
Texas cichlids and goldfish can’t live together. Texas cichlids’ large size and aggression will stress the peaceful goldfish.
Both these fish also need different water parameters.