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Firemouth Cichlid Tank Mates | 20 Companions For Them |

Many hobbyists think finding firemouth cichlid tank mates is impossible because of their aggressive behaviors. But do not misunderstand; all cichlids are not very aggressive. However, they are somewhat territorial, but It is not a big issue. It is manageable. Are you want to rear firemouth cichlid fish? Or do you already own them? So, what type of fish do you going to rear with them? Many fish species can rear with fire mouth fish. Moreover, there are some factors that you should consider when selecting suitable tank mates. To know this interesting information, dive deep! 

Firemouth Cichlid Size

Characters For Good Firemouth Cichlid Tank Mates

In general, Firemouth cichlids are pretty peaceful tropical fish species that belong to the cichlids family. However, we cannot categorize Firemouth cichlids as non-aggressive because they show aggressive behaviors under several circumstances. Especially Firemouth cichlids live as peaceful fish until you provide adequate swimming space and a healthy environment. So, as long as they satisfy with the tank condition, this fish species stay peacefully. So, you have the chance to rear other fish species in your tank with the Firemouth cichlids. But almost every fish species is unable to live with them as a community tank.

If you wish to add fish species into your Firemouth cichlid aquarium, you should make sure whether these fish have below mentioned characteristics or not. There are many fish species in the world, and basically, they can be categorized as freshwater and saltwater. So, Firemouth cichlid is freshwater fish, So the selected tankmate should be a freshwater fish and compatible with ranges of preferable water conditions of Firemouth cichlids. 

  • You should choose similar-sized fish species for Firemouth cichlids. It will reduce their aggressiveness. On the other hand, you should not go with small fish species.
  • Because these tiny fish species are more likely to be attacked by Firemouth cichlids, do not choose too big fish species as tankmates for your Firemouth cichlids.
  • It causes stress. Although large fish do not harm Firemouth cichlids, do not add them. 
  • Further, do not add aggressive fish species with Firemouth cichlids. Because it can turn your beautiful and peaceful aquarium into a battlefield, so, it can consequently increase the Firemouth cichlids’ stress level. 
  • Firemouth cichlids have crustacean-eating tendencies in the wild. Therefore, it is better to avoid adding freshwater aquarium snails and shrimp with firemouth.

It means you should cut off all famous verities such as nerite snails, assassin snail, cherry shrimps, and ghost shrimps from your Firemouth cichlid tankmates list. Also, you should avoid slow-moving fish. Similarly, it is better to keep away the fish species with long-flowing fins. 

20 Firemouth Cichlid Tank Mates

You can select any fish species that have the above characteristics. But you should highly research and examine the fish species before adding them into the Firemouth cichlid tank. However, I listed out below popular fish species among hobbyists. So, let us check which of these fish species can live with Firemouth cichlids and which fish species cannot. 

Rummy Nose Tetra

Rummy Nose Tetras

Rummy nose tetra is peaceful schooling fish. So, this fish species can tolerate Firemouth cichlids well. Even though rummy nose tetra is known as peaceful, they will fight back when they attack someone, and schooling fish stick together. But rummy nose tetra does not tend to disturb your Firemouth cichlids at any time. So, rummy nose tetra is an ideal tankmate. 

Also, this fish species is good hiders. So, you can set up enough hiding spots to help them protect themselves from Firemouth cichlids’ attacks. On the other hand, you do not worry about rummy nose tetra care. Because they can easily look after! Further, this beautiful fish with colors and patterns is an excellent addition to your tank. 

Glowlight Tetra

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Glowlight tetra is also a good tankmate for Firemouth cichlids. Because these schooling fish do not bore Firemouth cichlids, but if Firemouth cichlids attack them, they will fight back. So, this chemistry will help them to live together. However, if you wish to keep these two fish species together, it is better to set the pH at 7.0. Also, you have to buy at least 6 fish. Thus, this vibrant color fish love to live in a group. So, here you have to consider the space in the tank before you decide. 

Congo Tetra

Congo Tetra

Congo tetra is the most common tetra in South America. However, they are schooling fish. Because of this behavior, they are safe from Firemouth cichlids. However, if you wish to keep Congo tetras with Firemouth cichlids, you have to go large tank than 30 gallons. Because this schooling fish does not live alone, you must keep at least 6 pieces. But it is better to keep an eye on them in the first few days. If there is any bullying, remove one species to another tank. 

Rosy Barb

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Rosy barbs are also a good tankmate to share the same home with Firemouth cichlids. Why do I say so? Generally, the rosy barb is known to be a nuisance to fish with long flowing fins like betta. Hence they tend to nip fins. But Firemouth cichlids do not tolerate this behavior. When rosy barb will nip Firemouth cichlids fins, Firemouth cichlids attack against the rosy barbs. So, if these two fish fight like this, can they live in the same tank? 

Both Firemouth cichlids and rosy barbs’ defence mechanisms help them to coexist. Because through their defence mechanism, both of them gradually learn to leave each other alone. Also, both Firemouth cichlids and rosy barbs have the ability to protect themselves if attacked.  

Convict Cichlid

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Convict cichlids and Firemouth cichlids are native to the same area. So, in the wild, these both fish species live together peacefully. So, why cannot they live in captivity? Of course, you can keep them in the same tank. But the only thing that you should highly consider about the space. For instance, your tank should be larger than at least 30 gallons. Also, you should set the tank environment with lots of rocks and driftwoods because it can support to reduce the fighting.  

Rift Lake Cichlids

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Rift lake cichlids and Firemouth cichlids are cousins. So, you can keep them together without having to change anything in the aquarium. But there is a possibility that the cichlids become aggressive. So, you should keep an eye on them. If they are not compatible, you should remove one species from the tank. 

Salvini Cichlid

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Salvini Cichlids are relatively small and less aggressive than some cichlids. However, both fish belong to the cichlid family, and a well-known thing is cichlids are very territorial. That is because you should provide a large tank to them with more space. Fish can have their own territory, and as a result, the aggressive level reduces. 

Similar-Sized Mellow Cichlids 

You can keep similar-sized mellow cichlids with Firemouth cichlids. But the important factor that you should keep in mind is to provide enough space and hiding places because cichlids are aggressive and very territorial in nature. So, why do you take the risk? 

Bristlenose Pleco

Generally, Firemouth cichlids are highly territorial. Therefore, it is better to keep fish species that inhabit various areas in the tank than the Firemouth cichlids. So, bristlenose pleco is one of the best tankmates because they have the ability to manage with Firemouth cichlids. Bristlenose pleco more likely stays in the bottom of the tank, and they are active in other areas during the day. Also, bristlenose plecos do not disturb other fish in the tank, and they mind their own business. So, this behavior is highly supportive to live with Firemouth cichlids. 

Generally, Firemouth cichlids are peaceful, and it does not mean they do not do anything when some fish attack them. Here, the word “peaceful” is derived that bristlenose plecos do not provoke the Firemouth cichlids. If somehow, Firemouth cichlids try to attack them, pleco has hard armored scales that can be protected them from nips or suspected attacks. When it turns to their appearance, bristlenose plecos can give a unique look to your tank with their distinctive nose and spotted coloration. So, why don’t you add this fantastic creature to your collection? 

Clown Pleco

Clown pleco is also a good tankmate for your Firemouth cichlids. Because clown pleco can tolerate the preferable water conditions of Firemouth cichlids while living peacefully with other fish species in the tank. Actually, they do not care about other fish. So, they do not tend to disturb Firemouth cichlids. Anyhow it is not recommended to keep very young pleco with Firemouth cichlids. 

Pictus Catfish

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Generally, pictus catfish is bottom dwellers. So, there is little chance to raise the territorial issues. Because pictus catfish active on a different tank level than Firemouth cichlids. Also, pictus catfish is non-territorial and peaceful. But when you wish to house both these fish species in the same tank, make sure that the tank has enough space to swim around. Also, it is better to go for a separate breeding tank to breed Firemouth cichlids. Because there is a possibility to catfish eat the fry. 

Green Corydoras

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Generally, Corydoras work well with Firemouth cichlids. So, green Corydoras is one of the largest fish species that are commonly available. So, Green Corydoras is the best tankmate for semi-aggressive cichlids, including Firemouth cichlids. Even though they are large, Green Corydoras are schooling fish. So, you have to keep at least 6 fish. 

Clown Loach

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

The size of the Clown loach perfectly matches to be a tankmate of Firemouth cichlids. Because they are large enough to protect from Firemouth cichlids, their peaceful temperament perfectly matches to live without any provocation to Firemouth cichlids. Further, they are bottom dwellers and so no worries about territorial issues. On the other hand, clown loaches are excellent at camouflage. They can away from the view of Firemouth cichlids by blending with rocks and decorations. So, clown loaches are the best tankmate for the Firemouth cichlids.  


Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Corydoras is a popular tankmate for many fish species due to their ability to adjust to a huge range of water conditions.  Also, Corydoras are active schooling fish. Because that they can handle the angry of the Firemouth cichlids well. On the other hand, their large size also supports dealing better with Firemouth cichlids. 

Rainbow Fish

Rainbow fish

Rainbowfish can be recognized as shy fish. Also, they do not get much aggressive, and they always like to live in their own area. So, this kind of fish species is ideal for Firemouth cichlids. However, rainbow fish is good hiders. When they feel unsafe, they have the habit of hiding in their hiding spots until they feel comfortable with the environment. So, when Firemouth cichlids get angry with them, you do not worry about them because rainbow fish can escape the attacks of Firemouth cichlids. So, Rainbowfish works well with Firemouth cichlids while adding a rainbow view to your aquarium. 

Pearl Gourami

Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Pearl gourami is similar in size to Firemouth cichlids relatively, and their peaceful temperament helps to mix with Firemouth cichlids as their tankmate. These attractive fish with pastel colors and spots dwell near the top level of the tank, so it will support them to live without territorial issues with Firemouth cichlids. 



Swordtail fish and Firemouth cichlids are similar in care and size. Similarly, both of these fish species can thrive in the same water parameters. Not only that, swordtail fish’s peaceful behavior does not lead to bother or provoke the Firemouth cichlids. 


Severum fish also can live with Firemouth cichlids without any issue. Because generally, Severum fish can grow larger than the average size of the Firemouth cichlids. So, wisely Firemouth cichlids do not go to attack this fish. Also, there is no trouble between these two fish species until providing plenty of space and rocky decorations. However, you try to keep them in a small tank or do not provide a lot of hiding spots, and they will be more aggressive. 


You can keep Firemouth cichlids and platies in the same tank. But you should give enough space to your fish. If not, there is a great risk to attack Firemouth cichlids to platies. Here you should remember that always you should provide one male fish to two or three females. If not, male platies become aggressive, and it can disturb your Firemouth cichlids. Consequently, it can be a start of a battle. 


Firemouth cichlid tank mates

Most people like to rear Oscar due to their fun colors. So, can you rear Oscar in your Firemouth cichlid tank? Yes, why not. Generally, Firemouth cichlids and Oscars belong to the same family, namely cichlid. So, tank conditions can be easily maintained at the ideal level. On the other hand, Oscar is also large enough to protect themselves, so these species can live together without major issues. But if somehow Firemouth cichlids attack Oscar, they can attack back. 

Are Firemouth Cichlids Aggressive?

Combatively, Firemouth cichlids are peaceful. But it is better to recognize them as semi-aggressive fish species. Thus, they can get angry under any circumstances. Firemouth cichlids are very territorial. Better adequate space and a healthy environment are the best treatments to reduce their aggressiveness.  On the other hand, they will be very aggressive during their breeding seasons. It means there is a possibility to kill any fish invading their territory. So, if you have a separate breeding tank, it is better to remove the main tank. But do not take it as a headache.  

Firemouth Cichlid Tank Size

If you wish to rear pair of Firemouth cichlids, you should have at least 30 gallons of the tank. However, you can increase the number of fish, and the safe rule is an additional 5-10 gallons for each new fish. But always try more space for your Firemouth cichlids to live happily and healthy. 

How Long Do Firemouth Cichlid Live

Firemouth cichlids have the ability to live 10 years in approximately with proper care. 

How Big Do Firemouth Cichlid Get

Generally, male Firemouth cichlids can reach up to 6 inches in length, while well-grown female Firemouth cichlid is about 5 inches in length. 

Preferred Tank Conditions Of Firemouth Cichlids

Firemouth cichlids prefer to live in warm temperature that ranges from 75 to 86 Fahrenheit. Another vital water parameter is pH. So, you should keep the pH level between 6.5- 8.0 while setting the hardness level at 8-15 dGH. When it turns to water movement, moderate water flow is ideal for Firemouth cichlids. The special thing is, even though Firemouth cichlids are freshwater fish, they can survive in moderate blackish water conditions. The most important thing is the high-quality filter system because you should maintain the water clean with no ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. 


Firemouth cichlids are semi-aggressive. But you can keep them with several fish species. Here you have the responsibility to choose a suitable tankmate for your Firemouth cichlids and provide them with enough space to live happily without any stress on territorial issues. So, whatever your Firemouth cichlids become aggressive or not depends on your decisions and care level!

Credit to : Palmer Aquatics
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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.