June 15

Sarah Robertson

Oscar Tank Mates: Get the Right Companions for Your Oscar

Oscar fish are beautiful, unique creatures that make great pets. While they are relatively easy to care for, it's important to choose the right tank mates for your Oscar fish. In this article, we will discuss some of the best oscar tank mates and how to properly look after them.

The Oscar fish is a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts. They are known for their vibrant colors and interesting personalities. When choosing Oscar Tank Mates, it is important to consider their size, temperament, and diet. The Oscar fish is well-known for its disposition. It has been known to attack and kill tank mates that are much smaller in size. For this reason, it is important to choose tank mates that are similar in size or larger than the Oscar fish. Oscar fish tank mates catfish, for example, is a good companion because they are typically larger in size and can hold their own against an aggressive Oscar fish.

Oscar fish are also known to be messy eaters. They will often uproot plants and decorations in the aquarium in their search for food. It is important to choose tank mates that are not easily disturbed by this behavior. When choosing tankmates for Oscars, make sure that the water parameters are suitable for both fish.

Things to Consider While Choosing Oscar Tank Mates: 

  • Water parameter
  • Dietary requirements and feeding habits

  • Size of Adult Fish - Select fish that are around the same size as your oscar.

  • Temperament – Consider fish that have a similar temperament to your oscar.

  • Level of the water column occupied – There is a high probability that many fish will be harmed, as they all occupy the same levels.

  • Is this a schooling fish? Will you need a larger aquarium?

Things to Avoid While Choosing Oscar Fish Tank Mates: 

  • Fish that are extra vulnerable to water condition changes: Oscars are dirty and produce a lot of waste, which can lead to high nitrates in the aquarium. It's critical to the health of all your aquarium's fish that the water in it is kept clean.
  • Small, sluggish-swimming fish : your oscar will see them as a perfect target.
  • Fish that need a calm tank : The activity levels of Oscars may be too much for them, stressing them to the point of sickness.
  • Small invertebrates, such as small shrimp, are temptin to oscars.

Oscar Tank Mates List 

While choosing suitable tank mates for oscar fish, you need to be very careful. Some of the fish that can be kept with oscar fish are;

Jewel Cichlid: 

The jewel cichlid, native to Africa's sluggish rivers in the middle of the continent, is one of the most popular aquarium fish. There are several subspecies of the jewel cichlids, including blue jewel, green jewel, jewelfish, and others. They vary in color and appearance. They like slightly acidic water, but they can adapt to a variety of different water conditions, although they are more inclined to warm waters.

The jewel cichlid is not a violent fish, in general. However, during mating season, they become very aggressive towards other fish. They're not the greatest tank mates due to this particular quality, but you should keep them isolated when they are breeding.If this is the case, you should either get a tank divider or a separate tank.

This fish is not only gorgeous, but it's also incredibly appealing. You can see why they are considered as good tank mates for oscar fish among aquarium owners.

Convict Cichlid:

The convict is an excellent tank mate for the Oscar fish. They are not only attractive, but also known as zebra cichlid because of the designs of hues that cover their bodies.

It is a freshwater fish that is native to warm rivers of South America, particularly those with larger streams where they will seek refuge among the rocks and branches.

In terms of behavior, the convict cichlids are said to be quite comparable to the Oscar fish. If their territory is jeopardized, they may become extremely aggressive and defensive.

They're huge, reaching up to 6 inches long, which is comparable to the Oscar fish. The convict cichlid's characteristics make it a desirable companion for the Oscar fish. They would be able to keep away from each other, just defending their own territories.

They will eat small insects and larvae, but they are not picky eaters at all. This implies that it is simple to maintain since this species consumes a wide range of foods. All of these details make the convict cichlids an excellent match for Oscar fish in a tank.

Jaguar Cichlid

The jaguar cichlid is a beautiful fish. Its body patterns do resemble those of a jaguar. They may be kept with the Oscar fish as housemates. But be aware that this fish is only suitable for experienced keepers, as it is aggressive.

Although the jaguar cichlid is not a particularly aggressive fish, it is considered to be semi-aggressive. They have bars instead of jaguar designs when they are young; these only appear as they mature.

Keep in mind that these fish are predator fish that will eat smaller invertebrates and tiny fish; as a result, keeping them with larger fish such as the Oscar fish is beneficial since they will not get in each other's way.

Being kept apart during the breeding season can also help to limit the amount of damage they do. They become more aggressive as they get closer to mating, so it may be a good idea to separate them at that time.

oscar tank mates

Green Terror Cichlid

Another aggressive fish on this list is the green terror cichlid, which is a fierce attacker. While it isn't aggressive in community tanks, it may be violent towards stray fish in your tank. They might be green and blue, and they can get as big as 12 inches.

This implies that single green terror cichlids may only be kept in tanks larger than 35 gallons. If you wish to maintain two of them, a 75-gallon tank would be preferable.

Female fish are frequently more aggressive than males. They will become hostile only when they are running out of space or if they feel threatened; additionally, when there are smaller fish in the tank that they may prey on.

Firemouth Cichlid

Another suitable tankmate for the Oscar fish is the firemouth cichlid, which is likewise a brightly colored species that can be used to add color to your aquarium.

While they can be aggressive when spawning, they are typically nonviolent with other fish. However, be cautious while they're spawning. That's when they can become aggressive, so it may be a good idea to keep them apart from other fish.

They're wonderful fish for novices. Firemouth Cichlids are low-maintenance aquarium inhabitants, making them ideal for group settings. They are beautiful fish that can reach a maximum size of 7 inches. They can live for 15 years or more and are highly prized by aquarium hobbyists.

The best tank size is 30 gallons or more. The size and temperament of the fish can make them a great tank mate for the Oscar.

Chocolate Cichlids

Jack Dempsey

The Jack Dempsey fish is not a smart fish to keep in your tank. They may become aggressive towards other fish and develop territorialism, too.

However, they may coexist with other tank species, such as the Oscars. They should be kept by experienced tank keepers and individuals who understand what they're doing.

The Dempsey swordfish can grow up to 15 inches long. They are rather big fish, making them ideal for tanks that hold at least 80 gallons. They are carnivores, so they enjoy both frozen and live meals.

Jack Dempsey fish may appear quiet around other fish. If you maintain an aquarium with multiple fish, the Jack Dempsey fish will not become violent. But you need to beware that they are still predators.

Clown Loaches

The clown loach, sometimes known as the tiger botia, is a popular fish among aquarium hobbyists. They're a popular choice in larger community choice because of their lively personalities and beautiful looks.

They are one of the most peaceful fish species of a larger size and are perfect for tanks with a capacity of 75 gallons or more. Clown Loaches grow to a length of 12 inches or more. Because they are non-aggressive, they make an excellent choice for community tanks.


The Plecostomus, also known as the plecos, is a member of the loricariidae family and is one of the most popular catfish available. Because of their great sizes, this species may reach up to 24 inches in length.

They can, however, be maintained as a single individual, which is why a 30-gallon aquarium would suffice for plecos. In conclusion, they make a wonderful tank mate for the Oscar fish since they are attractive and non-threatening.


The cichlasoma species of fish is a genus with several subspecies. The most popular cichlasoma species are the Amazon cichlasoma, bimaculatum, and trimaculatum. These fish are huge, and thus they make excellent friends for the Oscar fish.

Some species are more aggressive than others; they become aggressive when their territory is threatened or when breeding. The majority of these fish live in South America and its neighboring areas.

Most of them are predators on smaller fish and other tiny animals in the tank, so this is the only one aspect to consider while keeping cichlasoma in your tank.

In general, they are not difficult to look after and should not cause too many difficulties if they get enough room and are properly cared for.

Blood Parrot Fish

Blood parrot cichlids are popular because they are non-aggressive and simple to care for. Goldfish can reach a maximum length of 12 inches and should be kept in at least a 30-gallon aquarium. However, larger tanks are preferable.

The optimum temperature and pH levels for Blood parrots are similar to those of Oscars. They like temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH level of 6.5 to 7.5.

These cichlids are extremely energetic and like to explore their surroundings, seeking for food and digging up the substrate. Add rocks, plants, and caverns to their tank to make them more at ease in their surroundings.

Blood parrot cichlids can be paired with numerous other cichlids, including Oscars, as a result of their actions. Although blood parrots are non-violent, they will defend themselves if harassed, therefore they may reside with Oscars.

Bala Shark

The bala shark is a massive freshwater fish that might grow up to 12 inches in length. In general, they will be happier in a tank of 150 gallons or more. They can live up to ten years.

These fish are quite docile, and they usually keep to themselves in the aquarium. They are larger than the Oscar fish, which means that they will not be harmed by them. Because these fish are shoalers, you should maintain more of them in the same tank. Ideally, four or five bala sharks ought to be housed together. This is only feasible in larger tanks.

They are generally very energetic fish, but they can be extremely cautious and secretive, especially when they are initially introduced to the tank or when new fish are added.

Black Ghost Knife Fish

The black ghost knife fish are semi-aggressive fish that would be suitable tank neighbors for the Oscars.

They may reach up to 20 inches in length and can live for up to 15 years if properly cared for. These fish require a minimum of 100 gallons of aquarium space.

The black ghost knife fish are mostly nocturnal in nature and are almost entirely black; nevertheless, on the tail, they have white spots, making them unique.

They may be aggressive if kept with other knife fish, but they are quite timid.

Red-Tailed Shark

Those who aren't already familiar with the term "Red-Tailed Shark" are likely to be confused by it. In fact, they're a kind of carp. The name, however, is deceptive; these fish are not sharks. They are not aggressive at first. However, as they get older, they may become violent towards other fish and smaller species in the tank.

They are black with red tails and can get aggressive if they don't have enough room in the tank. However, if they have plenty of room with the Oscar fish, they should be fine.

They prefer to stay near the bottom of the tank. The red-tailed sharks may reach up to 6 inches in length. This species is well suited to aquariums up to 55 gallons in size. Make sure you have a lot of caves and plants for these fish.

Reedfish (Erpetoichthys calabaricus)

Reedfish are found on the Western African coast. They have long, thin bodies with an unusual appearance. They are known to be extremely slippery, and they can even escape from the tightest situations.

They are also very peaceful fish that do not get in the way of bigger fish. They can be prey for bigger fish, but they are resourceful in avoiding predators, which is why they are an excellent choice as tankmates for Oscar fish.

Silver Dollar Fish

The lovely appearance and peaceful disposition of the Silver Dollar Fish would make them excellent tankmates for the Oscar fish. They can reach up to 6 inches in length.

While the Oscar fish is aggressive towards other fish, it is mostly against smaller species; you don't have to be concerned about the silver dollar fish since it is quite large. The silver dollar fish are omnivores that are quite docile, which implies minimal upkeep is required.

Oscar Tank Mates


The bichir is the fish to choose if you want to add a little of “wow” to your oscar's tank.

It has a row of spiky dorsal fins, a huge fan-shaped tail, and enormous pectoral fins. To survive in peace, they need a minimum Tank Size of 90 gallons. The bichir family includes many different species, each of which has a unique size. Bichirs may reach anywhere from 1 to 2.5 feet in length depending on the type.

Because of their huge size and bottom-dwelling habits, they need a large aquarium. To allow these fish to breathe, choose a tank that is longer than it is tall.


Severum cichlids are a diverse group of fish from South America that come in a variety of hues and patterns, such as green, spotted, and banded.

They are smaller and less aggressive cichlids that reach up to 12 inches in length as adults. Even though they are passive in nature, they will defend themselves against any bullying from the more aggressive oscar.

They go well with other fish such as plecos and silver dollars. Choose fish that are the same size and put in a larger aquarium if you're combining severums with an oscar.

Blue Acaras (Aequidens pulcher)

The blue acara is not only gorgeous; it's one of the more peaceful cichlid breeds.

They are native to the tropical seas of Central and South America. Its total length reaches from six to seven inches, and it can survive in a tank with an oscar.

It's aggressive and can be territorial, pushing around smaller creatures. Always use a tank that is somewhat bigger than you think you'll need to account for the acara's territorial behavior when combining the blue acara with an oscar.

Jack Dempsey

The Jack Dempsey fish is a difficult species to maintain in your aquarium. They can be aggressive and territorial, which makes them challenging to keep. However, they can live alongside other tank species such as the Oscars, but they must be maintained by professionals with experience.

Dempsey's can reach a length of 15 inches when they mature. They are huge fish, hence they are ideal for larger aquariums. Tanks of at least 80 gallons are necessary when keeping Jack Dempseys with Oscars.

Jack Dempseys are meat-eaters, which implies that they enjoy both frozen and live meals. When they're in the presence of other fish, they can be quite shy. The Jack Dempsey fish will not become violent if you maintain them in groups.

These fish are lovely, but they can be extremely aggressive toward other fish. This implies that these fish are best suited to experienced aquarium owners who have a lot of experience.

Fire Eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia)

The freshwater fish with an eel-like appearance from southeast Asia is called Fire Eel. Their spines are extremely sharp, producing a mildly poisonous slime that should discourage your oscar from eating.

The fire eel, is a bottom-feeder that grows up to 20 inches long and requires a large aquarium.

In their tank you need to include a deep, sandy substrate in which your fish may dig, floating aquatic plants to dim the light, as well as big hiding areas.

The fire eel's overall size, along with its defensive spines and laid-back attitude, makes it a suitable tank companion for your oscar..

Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)

The huge gourami is a large, fast-growing species from Asia. It reaches an adult size of 17 to 27 inches in length and is one of the biggest fish you can put with your oscar.

This fish is a great choice for a large community tank, as it is peaceful and compatible. They live in the middle area of the tank, but they need to have access to the surface on occasion so that they can breathe through their labyrinth organ.

This species feeds on a plant-based diet, so it will not compete for food with your oscar. They create a lot of trash and require adequate filtering and mild water flow.

Pictus Catfish (Pimelodus pictus)

The pictus catfish is a calm Amazon river dweller that doesn't get too aggressive. They are more active during the day, and they emerge when food is offered.

The pictus, as the name implies, is a somewhat safer bet for your oscar since its adult size of four to five inches and sharp, serrated pectoral fins make it less appealing. In terms of water quality, the pictus is somewhat less compatible than the oscar. While the oscar Prefers calm water, the pictus requires moderate currents.

Introduce this species with caution. The compatibility with an oscar is dependent on the fish's unique personality.

Silver Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum)

The silver arowana is a notorious Amazon freshwater fish that is extremely violent.

They may reach three feet in length as adults, which is enormous for fish. As a result, you will need a tank of at least eight feet long to allow them to grow properly and minimize their aggressive behavior.

The arowana, like the oscar, is sensitive to nitrates and ammonia and requires regular water changes and effective filtration.

You need to keep the water softness at the lower end of the oscar's tolerance and the upper end of the silver arowana's.

Banded Leporinus 

This oscar tank mates list will help you to choose the best fish for your aquarium. If you are still unsure which fish to choose, please ask your local fish store for advice.

Fish to Avoid Keeping with Oscars

There are several more school fish to consider. However, many of them will not be suitable for an oscar. Because they are so tiny, most tetras, rasboras, danios, and other small barbs aren't able to live together with oscars. The Oscars are known to consume tiny creatures that may readily fit into their mouths.

However, certain species walk the line. For example, a big danio might reach four inches (10cm), which an oscar may eat. However, it may not eat them. The typical length of a red-line shark is about 6 inches (15cm). However, since they will be small enough for an oscar to consume while we wait for them to reach maturity.

Despite their appealing hues, some species are simply unsuitable to be Oscar tankmates. The following is a list of some of the most well-known fish to avoid keeping with your Oscar.

Small catfish: Catfish have spines on their fins that might harm Oscars if consumed, much like Plecs. Large Catfish may be excellent Oscar tankmates; nevertheless, tiny species might be deadly.

Anything small that can be consumed as a meal:The Oscars are inherently aggressive. If you offer them the chance to snack on little, sluggish-moving fish, they will most certainly take you up on it.Anything that appears to be large enough to fit in your fish's mouth should be avoided.

Species that require pristine water conditions: Oscars are messy eaters. Oscar fish usually have high nitrates and aren't the most clean tanks. So it is better to exclude any species that are sensitive to water quality.

Delicate species: Oscars are large, hardy fish that target tankmates. So, avoid any delicate species, such as Discus, which thrive in a calm environment.

Oscar Tank Mates


Keeping Angelfish With Oscars?

There are some aquarists who have had success keeping oscars and angelfish together. However, it isn't a good match for a number of reasons. To begin with, the difference in size.

Oscars are thicker and more strong than angelfish, yet they grow much larger. Another difference between an oscar and an angel is their behavior: Oscars are generally more aggressive and domineering than angels. Simply put, oscars are real fighters, whereas angelfish are far more delicate.

When it comes to oscars and angelfish, though, you may maintain them together peaceably while your oscar is little. However, bear in mind that the oscar will grow rapidly and soon put its angelfish tank mates at risk.

Can You Keep Oscars With Tanganyikan Shellies? 

For those unfamiliar with shell dwellers (or shellies), the name is a hint. They reside in shells! The majority of the shells they live in are tiny. So, they are also tiny. They're so tiny that they can't be kept with oscars, and they'll be nothing more than a delectable meal for your hungry oscar.

If you're thinking that the shell dwellers might safely hide inside their shells from your oscar's, think again. A layer of shells is typically positioned along the substrate for shell dweller cichlids in an aquarium setup. Your oscar, on the other hand, will most likely enjoy digging through this layer of shells and flinging them all over the aquarium.

Can I Keep an Oscar and Giant Gourami Together?

There are a few factors that unite cichlids and gourami. Both may be aggressive fish, for example. Each gourami has its own distinct personality, much like each cichlid. Keeping an oscar with a huge gourami, for example, would be comparable to keeping one with another big cichlid, like the personalities of the fish in question.

Gouramis and oscars can cohabit if they get along, which is great news for fish hobbyists looking to set up a tank. Both fish are highly domesticated, so they're used to a wide range of water conditions.

The giant gourami can grow to be 28 inches long (71cm), however your pet will most likely top out at 18 inches (45cm). It'll be a little bigger than your oscar, but not excessively so.

What Are the Best Oscar Tank Mates?

Some of the best Oscar tank mates are other cichlids, like the Jack Dempsey or the Firemouth. Other good choices include Plecos, Catfish, and Gouramis. Avoid keeping small fish with your Oscar, as they will likely be seen as food rather than tank mates. It is also important to avoid delicate fish, as Oscars can be quite rough. When choosing tank mates for your Oscar, make sure to do your research to ensure compatibility.

How Big of a Tank Does Oscar Need and What Kind of Tank Mates?

Your oscar will need at least a 50 gallon tank, but the bigger the better. As for tank mates, avoid small fish as they will be seen as food. Oscar fish are also quite messy so it is best to exclude any species that are sensitive to water quality. Delicate species should also be avoided because Oscars are large and hardy fish that target tankmates. So, avoid any delicate species, such as Discus, which thrive in a calm environment.

How to Feed Oscar Tank Mates? 

When it comes to feeding your Oscar tank mates, you'll want to choose a food that is high in protein. Oscars are carnivores, so they will need a diet that is mostly meat-based. A good quality pellet food or bloodworms should do the trick. You can also feed your Oscar live foods, such as crickets or mealworms.

Just make sure that the live food is properly sized for your fish - you don't want to overfeed them! While feeding the tank mates, keep a watchful eye on the Oscar. If it starts to get too aggressive, you may need to separate the fish during feeding time.

Which Is the Best Cleaner Fish for Oscar Tank?

Plecos are a great choice for a cleaner fish in an Oscar tank. They are hardy and can withstand the messy Oscars. They are also good at hiding from the aggressive Oscars. Another good choice for a cleaner fish is the catfish. Catfish are also hardy and can handle the messiness of an Oscar tank. They are also good at hiding from the Oscars.

Final Thoughts 

There are a lot of Oscars you may keep with your fish. However, no fish is a perfect match. Because each Oscar is different. Some are extremely aggressive, while others are quite docile. Additionally, the amount of space in your aquarium, as well as its decorations, may influence how harmoniously your fish get along.

Some of the best Oscar tank mates are other cichlids, like the Jack Dempsey or the Firemouth. Other good choices include Plecos, Catfish, and Gouramis. Avoid keeping small fish with your Oscar, as they will likely be seen as food rather than tank mates.

It is also important to avoid delicate fish, as Oscars can be quite rough. When choosing tank mates for your Oscar, make sure to do your research to ensure compatibility.

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter