12 Convict Cichlid Tank Mates

The Convict cichlid is one of those fish species that are a bit tricky to keep with other fish. When looking for tank mates, you need to respect the fact that Convicts can get rather aggressive when breeding. In that case, they can cause some chaos in the tank if you keep them in a community aquarium.

It is true that Convict cichlids are not among the most aggressive fish out there but still, you need to ensure that the fish you keep are compatible with each other. If their tank mates are too small, they might even eat them depending on the situation.

Below, we are going to show you the ideal tank mates for Convict cichlids. The 12 species below are either faster, larger, or as aggressive as convict cichlids:

  • T-Bar Cichlids
  • Salvini Cichlid
  • Honduran Red Point Cichlid
  • Green Terror Cichlid
  • Jewel Cichlid
  • Jack Dempsey Cichlid
  • Fire Mouth Cichlid
  • Blue Acara Cichlid
  • Oscar Fish
  • Giant Danio
  • Pictus Catfish
  • Clown Loach

Now, let’s learn more about each convict cichlid tank mate:

T-Bar Cichlids (Amantitlania Sajica)

Our first recommendation is the T-Bar cichlid which will be a perfect match for your Convicts. They not only look amazing with their unique patches but are also similar in size. This will minimize the aggression in your tank, as Convicts are not particularly interested in bullying fishes of similar size.

Another reason why T-Bar cichlids and Convicts get along well is that they have the same temperament. While they are peaceful most of the time, their aggression suddenly skyrockets when they are breeding. And here comes the best thing: T-Bar cichlids and Convicts can breed with each other.

Salvini Cichlid

The Salvini is one of the more colorful fish species that we are going to recommend you. It is very beginner-friendly and perfect for a cichlid community tank. However, when it comes to other families of species, they can be quite aggressive.

If you plan to only keep cichlids in your home aquarium, then the Salvini is an outstanding choice. You can also find this fish under the name of Yellow-Belly cichlid because of its belly color. Its coloration is mixed up with black lines, dots and beautiful reddish fins.

Honduran Red Point Cichlid

The Honduran Red Point looks pretty exotic and is also rather beginner-friendly. With a temperature range of 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH preference of 5.5-7.5, they are ideal tank mates for Convicts. The difference between their temperament is that the Honduran Red Point is significantly less aggressive.

They are going to defend themselves when they get bullied but other than that, they just mind their business. If you want to minimize the chance of your Red Points being bullied, then make sure to buy a tank that provides enough space for every one of your fish.

Green Terror Cichlid

The Green Terror is not a fish to be scared of, although their appearance is definitely something else. Their body is decorated with neon-green spots and stripes which makes them a unique addition to your tank. Green Terrors are aggressive for sure but this only depends on which species you keep them with.

Convict cichlids don’t have a problem living together with them. If you keep the two together, their temperaments will pretty much cancel each other out and there won’t be any unnecessary aggression. There is also not much to know when it comes to taking care of a Green Terror as it is rather undemanding.

Jewel Cichlid

The Jewel Cichlid is indeed an absolute jewel with its exciting colors and pattern. We are talking about an African cichlid here, which might be weird because they are all so aggressive. It turns out that the Jewel cichlid is a little bit of an exception and won’t cause much trouble when kept with Convicts.

Although they are territorial, you can solve this problem by keeping them in a bigger tank and dividing it into territories. Once your Jewel cichlid has its own territory, safety is guaranteed. Breaking line of sight with pants and decoration is also a good tactic that minimizes the chances of conflict.

Jack Dempsey Cichlid

If you were concerned about whether you can keep a beautiful Jack Dempsey cichlid with your Convict or not, we are here to assure you that the answer is yes. Although this species can be mean, they have a more peaceful temperament, keeping the tension low toward their tank mates.

The only thing you need to be careful about is that Jack Dempseys are overly territorial if they grow too large. At that point, you need to put them in a bigger tank or they are going to bully your Convicts.

Fire Mouth Cichlid

The Firemouth cichlid is one of the more obvious choices when it comes to Convict tank mates, as they come from the same area. They are thriving in the same water conditions, preferring a tropical temperature and a pH of 7.0-8.0.

Since Firemouths are strictly carnivores, their diet should be based on frozen or live meaty foods or protein-based commercial foods. It is like talking about the same species because their temperament and size are both very similar.

Although Firemouths are peaceful most of the time, they definitely like to dig in the substrate.

Blue Acara Cichlid

What makes the Blue Acara a great choice for Convicts is that they thrive in the same tank size and conditions. The size of the two makes them a good match, except that the Convict is a little more aggressive. Although Blue Acaras are more timid, they can certainly defend themselves.

What makes the Acara worth keeping is that it adds some bright blue color to your aquarium. They are amazing little fish that can live peacefully if kept with the right tank mates. In terms of aggression, keeping a Blue Acara and a Convict one-on-one is probably the best.

Aggression tends to rise when they have a partner on their side.

Oscar Fish

The Oscar Fish is another breathtaking specimen you can add in your tank to accompany your Convicts. Although this species is surely eager to bully other peaceful fish in the tank, they are good tank mates with semi-aggressive ones.

Convicts and Oscars are even better tank mates if you keep juveniles together. This way, they have more time to get used to each other. Since the Oscar prefers to get away from tense situations, it is better to use plenty of rocks, caves, plants or driftwood where they can hide.

Giant Danio

The Giant Danio, as its name indicates, is a bit larger than the Convict cichlid. This makes them an ideal choice for many aggressive pet fish species. Their size guarantees that they are not going to get eaten. Besides that, Giant Danios prefer to group, forming a school of at least 6 that is not so easy to threaten.

Now, it is also worth mentioning that keeping them with significally smaller fish is not a great idea because Danios would eventually eat them. Convict cichlid and Giant Danio tank preferences are similar with 75-80F and a pH of 6.5-7.5 considered as ideal.

This is all you need to know about tank conditions because this species is rather undemanding.

Pictus Catfish

The Pictus Catfish looks like a mini-shark with a prominent mustache, which is why so many fish keepers love to keep them. They are indeed little sharks, as they are predatory fish with their main dishes being shrimp, worms and tiny fish.

What makes them great Convict tank mates is the fact that they are too big to be swallowed by them. Although the temperament of the two species greatly differ, they don’t conflict with each other. After breeding, Convict fish fry have to be separated because the Pictus can eat them.

Clown Loach

Who wouldn’t want to keep a nice little orange Clown Loach with black stripes in a home aquarium? This fish is not only decorative but also an outstanding tank mate for your Convict cichlid. Since they come from Southeast Asia, Clown Loaches also prefer tropical temperatures.

When it comes to acidity, they are quite adaptive so getting used to the alkaline water that Convicts live in won’t be a problem. Clown Loaches are fast to get away from the occasional aggression that Convicts can act out on them.

This species will eventually grow to 10-12 inches so it is definitely better to keep them in a big aquarium.

Wrap Up

Although finding the ideal tank mate for a Convict cichlid can be problematic, we are here to help. We did the research and as you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to tank mates. The rule of thumb here was to match their size and temperament.

Of course, most of the species you can see on the list are also cichlids, as they usually get along well. There are a couple of tactics if you want to minimize aggression in a community tank. Breaking line of sight, buying a bigger tank so that your fish can establish territory and not keeping pairs are three of the most common ones.

Hopefully, this article has helped you find the best tank mates for your own Convict cichlid.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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