What Types of Freshwater Tropical Fish Can Live Together?

One of the beautiful additions you can have in your home is a red sea aquarium. If you have an active ecosystem that has different fish swimming together, you will find that it doesn’t just improve the beauty of your home, but also serves as a source of entertainment.

One of the important considerations in setting up an aquarium is the size of the fish. If the smaller ones are not separated from the larger ones, they are likely to fight and kill each other. This situation also prevents the smaller ones from exploring the environment.

If you are looking to fill your aquarium with fish, you can check out “Splashy Fish Store – live freshwater fish for sale online“ for more information on where you can get species that thrive in diverse conditions. After buying the fish, the next important step is to create a conducive environment to enable them to live together. Species that eat similar foods are good to keep together as feeding them will be much easier.

In this article, we will discuss how to maintain a conducive community fish tank and also outline fish that can live together. Please read on as we explain more.

How to Maintain a Conducive Community Tank

The following are some tips to guide you:

Aquarium Size

Fish need adequate space as it aids them in getting along. When the aquarium is crowded, you will find that they will become agitated and quarrel regularly. The acceptable procedure in stocking the tank is 1’’ (inch) of adult fish per gallon of the aquarium’s capacity. However, territorial ones demand more space, such as redtail catfish, one of the fast-growing freshwater fish, and will need a 1000 gallon tank.

A good point to note is that they grow fast and this means that the space provided may not be enough after a short while especially when you consider gravel, internal dimensions, and decorations. Furthermore, what is considered to be a big aquarium is only a portion of what fish are familiar with naturally.

Aquarium Dimension

One of the important considerations in setting up an aquarium is the dimension. Fish have their preferences in swimming spaces and shapes and you have to consider this factor when buying an aquarium. Aquariums that have wider shapes give breeds like barbs and danios the needed space to spread out and this helps them in getting along well.

On the other hand, narrow, tall aquariums are attractive to look at and they can easily fit into small spaces. However, they do not offer adequate swimming space like a wide aquarium.

Plants and Decorations

Aquarium decorations aid with freshwater and saltwater compatibility. Most fish want a territory to call theirs and they also define this space with physical boundaries. Additionally, not being able to see one another makes them mind their business. Caves, rocks, driftwood as well as other decorations aid in defining boundaries for cichlids.

Bushy plants give species such as barbs, rasboras, tetras, danios territories to occupy. If you are introducing fresh cichlids to an existing population, include some new rocks to rearrange the existing decoration. This is done to destroy territories that are controlled by dominant species.


Fish have different ways of communication and most times the signals they give can be misunderstood since different breeds from across the globe have different communication patterns. You need to research the respective species before you buy. It is also recommended that you fill your tank with species from one region. And feed them accordingly. For example, only buy koi fish food for a koi pond.

Cichlids, loaches, mormyrids, and some shark species don’t share their space with related breeds. Large aquariums that have enough cover are a great option but most of these species thrive better when they are kept alone or they have tank mates that are not closely related.


Young species are naturally easygoing. Regardless of how aggressive they turn out as adults, they are usually free when they are young and this makes them mix freely with tank mates. There are reports of predatory fish mixed with feeder goldfish which they can easily feed on but they don’t because they were all purchased at the same size/age.

Fish Size

Most species eat others if they feel they can. The knowledge of this should make you go for species that are of the same size. When combining territorial species, new ones should be the same size as the most aggressive species in the aquarium.


Male species are more aggressive and territorial especially when mating. You should avoid having two males of the same species if there are females in the same tank. A good ratio will be two to three females for each male to prevent mating-related problems among the males.

Territory Hierarchy

It is natural to find pecking orders especially in communities where there are cichlid species. If the submissive ones are constantly harassed, you may have to remove them. Another option you can consider is to remove the aggressor but the next in line in terms of size may just dominate the community and thus continue the cycle.

Close monitoring of the aquarium will allow you to know the appropriate step to take at any given time. This will prevent any case of continued dominance by an aggressor.

Freshwater Tropical Fish that Can Live Together

The following are some species that can live together:

  • Bettas
  • Rainbowfish
  • Goldfish
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Swordtail fish
  • Platies

Another group of species that can live together includes:

  • Zebra Danios
  • Tetras
  • Barbs
  • Gouramis
  • Swordfish
  • Killifish
  • Corydoras
  • Angelfish

These species are quite easy to keep and maintain and are known to cohabit peacefully. However, do not be quick to add a new species and always carry out a background study to see how it can cope with the already existing ones. If you need tips on how to maintain fish in your aquarium, you can check here: https://www.petmd.com/fish/care/evr_fi_how-to-care-of-fish


Keeping an aquarium improves the aesthetic value of an apartment. It is also a good way to keep yourself entertained especially if you are a lover of nature. We have outlined some species that you can put together in your aquarium. Feel free to check them out.