What Kind of Freshwater Fish Can Live Together

What Kind of Freshwater Fish Can Live Together?

Setting up a freshwater aquarium can be an exciting and rewarding experience. One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing fish for your tank is their compatibility with each other. Certain fish species have specific requirements and temperaments that may clash with others, leading to stress, aggression, or even fatalities. To help you create a harmonious aquatic community, here are some guidelines on what kind of freshwater fish can live together.

1. Consider Similar Water Conditions: Different fish species have varying preferences for water temperature, pH levels, and hardness. It is crucial to select fish that thrive in similar conditions to maintain their health and well-being.

2. Size Matters: Avoid pairing fish with significant size differences. Smaller fish may become prey to larger, more aggressive species. Opt for fish of comparable sizes to promote a peaceful environment.

3. Temperament Compatibility: Some fish are naturally more aggressive than others. Research the temperament of each species and avoid combining aggressive and peaceful fish to prevent conflicts.

4. Schooling Fish: Many species of fish thrive in groups or schools. It is essential to provide these social creatures with companions of the same species to prevent stress and promote natural behavior.

5. Bottom Dwellers: Bottom-dwelling fish, such as catfish or loaches, are great additions to an aquarium. They help keep the tank clean by scavenging for leftover food and detritus. However, ensure compatibility with other bottom-dwelling species to avoid territorial conflicts.

6. Consider Compatibility Charts: Several online resources provide compatibility charts indicating which fish can live together. These charts consider various factors like temperament, size, and water conditions to guide your decision-making process.

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7. Community Tanks: Community tanks consist of various species that coexist peacefully. Tetras, guppies, mollies, and danios are popular choices for community tanks due to their peaceful nature and ability to adapt to various water conditions.

8. Avoid Mixing Carnivorous and Herbivorous Fish: Carnivorous fish tend to prey on smaller fish or even nibble at the fins of their tank mates. It is best to avoid combining them with herbivorous or smaller species to prevent such conflicts.

9. Aggressive Fish: Certain fish species are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, such as cichlids. These fish are best kept in species-specific tanks or with other fish capable of defending themselves.

10. Education is Key: Before purchasing any fish, thoroughly research their behavior, compatibility, and care requirements. Understanding their needs will help you create a well-balanced and thriving aquarium.

11. Monitor for Compatibility Issues: Even after careful selection, it is crucial to monitor the fish for any signs of aggression or stress. If conflicts arise, consider rehoming or separating the incompatible fish to maintain a peaceful tank environment.

12. Seek Expert Advice: If you are unsure about the compatibility of certain fish species, seek advice from experienced aquarium hobbyists or consult with professionals at your local fish store. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their knowledge and experience.


1. Can I mix goldfish with tropical fish?
It is generally not recommended to mix goldfish with tropical fish. Goldfish prefer cooler water temperatures, while tropical fish thrive in warmer waters.

2. Can I keep bettas with other fish?
Betta fish are known for their aggression towards other bettas and similarly colored fish with long fins. It is advisable to keep them alone or with non-aggressive, short-finned fish.

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3. Are guppies compatible with other fish?
Guppies are generally peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful species like tetras, mollies, or swordtails.

4. Can I keep angelfish with other fish?
Angelfish can be territorial and may become aggressive towards smaller fish. It is best to keep them with other larger, semi-aggressive fish in larger tanks.

5. Can I mix neon tetras with cichlids?
Cichlids are known for their aggression, and they may prey on smaller fish like neon tetras. It is best to avoid mixing these two species.

6. Can I keep snails with other fish?
Snails are generally compatible with most fish species and can contribute to the overall health of the aquarium by eating algae and leftover food.

7. Can I mix livebearers with egg-laying fish?
Livebearers like guppies, mollies, and swordtails can usually coexist with egg-laying fish, as long as both species have similar care requirements and temperaments.

8. Can I keep clownfish with other marine fish?
Clownfish are best kept in species-specific tanks or with other marine fish known to be compatible with them, such as certain damselfish or gobies.

9. Can I mix aggressive and non-aggressive fish?
It is generally not recommended to mix aggressive and non-aggressive fish to avoid conflicts or stress among tank mates.

10. Can I keep African and South American cichlids together?
African and South American cichlids have different care requirements and temperaments. It is best to keep them separate to avoid conflicts and ensure optimal conditions for each species.

11. Can I mix freshwater and saltwater fish?
Freshwater and saltwater fish have vastly different care requirements. It is not possible to mix them in the same tank due to the contrasting water conditions needed for their survival.

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12. Can I keep multiple species of schooling fish together?
It is generally safe to keep multiple species of schooling fish together, as long as their care requirements, temperament, and size are compatible.