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Tropical Fish
Compatibility
How to Choose Fish for Your Aquarium.
 
This page contains comments about Tropical Fish Compatibility and a list of some Groups of Compatible Fish species with a few comments about each group and some guidelines to help you choose one of these groups. The appropriate type of home is given for each of these recommended groups of fish species.      
     
Pet Fish Talk, an MP3 PodCast, is a weekly internet talk show about keeping pet fish, such as Tropical Fish and goldfish, in aquariums, fish bowls, and ponds. The shows were hosted by the Bailey Brothers, DrTom and Nevin, Click on this image for more information.  
Click here to listen to Tom and Nevin Bailey talk about Tropical Fish Compatibility on Pet Fish Talk, the weekly internet talk show about keeping Pet Fish in Aquariums, Fish Bowls, and Ponds.
     
If you've already decided on a fish bowl, aquarium, or pond, then click on one the following topics to read about matching the appropriate fish to that home.
 
   ●
 Good Fish for Fish Bowls
   ●  Good Fish for Cool Water Aquariums
   ●  Good Fish for Warm Water Aquariums
   ●  Good Fish for Ponds
 
The page, that you are now reading, is intended to help you choose a Compatible Group of Fish species first, then recommend the appropriate home for that Group of Fish.
 
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Group 1
Neon Tetras, Glowlight Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, White Clouds, Fancy Guppies, Corydoras Catfish, Glass Fish, Honey Gouramis, and Ghost Shrimp. These fish and shrimp are compatible, and a few of them will do well in a 15-gallon aquarium with warm water. These fish are not compatible with most other species of fish. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.
     

Group 2
Danios, Swordtails, Mollies, and Platies, plus Bigger Tetras such as Black Skirt Tetras, Painted Tetras, Serpae Tetras, Red Eye Tetras, Black Neon Tetras, and Silver Tip Tetras. A few of these fish will do well in a 15-gallon aquarium with warm water. Each fish species in this group lives best in a group with several member of that species. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.

     

Group 3
Barbs, Gouramis, Sharks, Eels, and Loaches. Tiger Barbs and Tinfoil Barbs, plus Blue, Gold, and Opaline Gouramis, plus Bala Sharks, Red Tail Sharks, Rainbow Sharks, and White Tip Sharks. These fish are mildly aggressive and compatible with each other. They will grow fast and need at least a 29-gallon aquarium with warm water. Eventually they will need a much bigger aquarium. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.

     

Group 4
New World Cichlids. Firemouth, Convict, Pink Convict, Texas Cichlid, Jack Dempsey and other New World Cichlids are very aggressive fish. But many aquarists enjoy watching them dig, defend their territories, and care for baby fish. Large Plecostomus Catfish, Synodontis Catfish, and White Tip Sharks are usually compatible with New World Cichlids. 
Within a year or so a group of these fish will need an aquarium with at least 50-gallons of warm water. Eventually these fish will need an even bigger aquarium.
 
Before you get these fish, be sure that you are committed to giving them the size aquarium that they will need. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.

     

Group 5
Oscars and Large Fish. Red Oscars, Black Oscars, Tiger Oscars, and Pink Oscars will grow fast to very large sizes. Oscars are compatible with Bigger Pacus, White Tip Sharks and Medium and Large Plecostomus.
These fish will grow fast and soon need a 50-gallon aquarium with warm water. Eventually these fish will need an even bigger aquarium.
 
Before you get these fish, be sure that you are committed to giving them the size aquarium that they will need. Click here for information about warm water aquariums.

     
Group 6
Mbuna Cichlids. Auratus, Kenyi, Red Zebra, Pindani, Johanni, etc. Mbunas are from Lake Malawi in East Africa where they live among the piles of large rocks along the shore.
 
Mbunas are very aggressive and need to be kept in a group with at least 12 other Mbunas. If kept in a smaller group, the strongest fish will make life miserable for the weaker fish.
 
A group of 12 adult Mbunas will need a warm water aquarium with at least 50 gallons. Synodontis Catfish are compatible with Mbuna Cichlids.
 
Eventually a group of Mbunas will need an aquarium with at least 80 gallons of water. Click here to read a story about an 80-gallon aquarium with Mbunas. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.
     

Group 7
Peacocks and Haps. Malawi Peacocks, Electric Blue Haps, Yellow Peacocks, Jacobfreibergi and other fish that live away from the piles of rocks in Lake Malawi, where the more aggressive Mbuna Cichlids live. Keep a group of at least 12 of fish so the strongest fish not make the weakest fish miserable.
 
These fish will grow fast and need a warm water aquarium with at least 50 gallons. Eventually they will need an aquarium with at least 80 gallons of water.
 
Synodontis Catfish are usually compatible with Peacocks and Haps., but the Mbuna Cichlids, listed above, are not. Click here to read more about Peacocks and Haps. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.

     
Group 8
Angels. Freshwater Angels, plus Dwarf Gouramis and Neon Blue Gouramis, plus Neon Blue Rainbows make a nice compatible group of fish. These fish require a warm water aquarium.
 
Eventually they'll need an aquarium with at least 29-gallons of water, and an aquarium at least 18-inches tall is recommended for Angels.
 
Click here to see my 30-gallon aquarium that measures 24" high, and would be just right for this group of fish.
 
A Plecostomus Catfish is also compatible with these fish. Click here for more about warm water aquariums.
     

Group 9
Critters. Tadpoles, Fiddler Crabs, Mystery Snails, Crayfish and Ghost Shrimp. These animals do well in either a cool water aquarium or a warm water aquarium.
 
These critters are compatible with many smaller less aggressive fish, except the Crayfish, which are larger, more aggressive, and may bother small fish, but Crayfish are usually compatible with aggressive fish.
 
Puffer Fish love to eat Crabs, Shrimps, and Crayfish, so they are not compatible with these Critters. Click here for Information about Puffer Fish.

     

Group 10
Fantails, Telescopes, and Oranda Goldfish. Fantails, Black Moors, Red and Calico Telescopes, Red Orandas, Red and White Orandas, Calico Orandas, and Red Cap Orandas need a cool water aquarium or a pond.
 
You could keep a few of these goldfish an aquarium, but given good care and feeding, they'll grow fast and soon need a large aquarium with at least 10 gallons per goldfish.
 
The Koi and Pond Comets listed in the next group below are too aggressive for the Fancy Goldfish fish in this group.

     

Group 11
Pond Comets and Koi. Fancy Koi, Red Pond Comets, White Pond Comets, Red and White Pond Comets, and Shubunkins are pond fish. They are usually not compatible with the Fancy Goldfish listed in Group 10. Click here for more about ponds and pond fish.

     

The Groups of fish listed above are just some suggestions from the many good combinations of fish that you could keep.

     

What Won't Work.
For many years many aquarists have been advised to pick compatible Tropical Fish fish from certain groups. These groups had names like co
mmunity fish, aggressive fish, semi-aggressive fish, etc. There were some very elaborate systems, but these methods all repeatedly caused problems for aquarists trying to pick compatible fish.
 
What Usually Works.
Sometimes you've decided on a fish you'd like to keep, or you already have a couple of compatible fish, and you'd like to get another type of fish. The best method is to look at our Indexes, find the fish that you already have on those lists, click on the link to more information about that fish, then look at the paragraph labeled "Compatibility." Usually you'll find five or six types of fish listed that will be compatible with the fish that you already have.

     
Click here to continue on to another page in this web site with more Customer Comments and our Replies about Tropical Fish Compatibility.
 
Books about
Choosing Compatible Fish
The book shown below is listed on Amazon.com. You can click on the title or on the image of the book to go to the page at Amazon.com, where the book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in the book.
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   An Essential Guide to Choosing Your tropical Freshwater Fish
By Gina Sandford, et al
Hardcover
80 pages
     
Click here to continue on to another page in this web site with more Customer Comments and our Replies about Tropical Fish Compatibility.
 
Important Aquarium Products

For excellent health, pet fish need very good food and very good water conditions. These five products are very important.

 
Premium Fish Food Flakes
Premium Fish Food Pellets
DrTim's Water Conditioner
DrTim's WasteAway
Denitrifying Lava Rocks
 
Click here now to learn more and add one or more of these products to your fish order.
 
   
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Click on this ad to go to Graystone Creations for Pond Pumps, Pond Kits, and Pond Supplies.
 
 
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 Best Selling Books 
     
  Click here now to order The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums, a bestselling reference, offering an easy-to-understand look at setting up and maintaining a successful first freshwater aquarium.
     
  Click here now to order The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step setup and stocking Guide, the best selling book about starting a new marine aquarium.
     
  Click here now to order 500 Freshwater Aquarium Fish: A Visual Reference to the Most Popular Species, a beautiful book, lovingly written and illustrated, with information for the beginner or the longtime enthusiast.
     
  Click here now to order Fancy Goldfish: A Complete Guide ... by Eric L. Johnson, DMV, and Richard E. Hess. The most encompassing and thorough treatment of the fancy goldfish hobby to date. Hardcover with 176 pages.
 
Click here now for many more fishy books.
We hope these suggestions help!  ;^ }
 
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This page was updated on November 11, 2014.