Maintaining turtles as companions is rewarding, but as compared to fish, there are fewer people who keep turtles as pets. There isn’t nearly enough information available on them as a result.
Most people are confused with these question “can turtles live with fish?”, “can turtles live with African cichlids?”
Is it feasible to raise tropical fish and turtles in the same tank. Maybe, in the process of doing this, I’ll pick up a few useful tips and develop some fantastic turtle-keeping abilities of my own.
In fact, it turns out that it is doable, however, you will need some serious fish-keeping abilities as well as a whole lot of luck.
Knowing which species (of both) get along well with one another is essential to successfully keep a turtle and a fish in the same tank.
Can Turtles live with fish in tank?
Yes, turtles can live with fish. However, it is necessary to choose the right tank mates for your turtles. I have mentioned few of the fishes that can live with turtles.
Factors to consider while picking a fish to live with turtles
- They should be fast swimmers
- There aggression level should be moderate
- Omnivores are preferred
To keep fish, you’ll need a large tank (at least 100 gallons) and a filtration system that’s efficient (such as canister units) to handle the increased waste load that the fish will generate.
A requirement is, of course, to suit the specific demands of your turtles in terms of heat, UVB, and a basking place.
Most aquarist’s are confused with this question: can turtles live with african cichlids?
To learn more about keeping turtles and fish in the same tank, please continue reading.
What kind of Fish is suitable to live with a Turtle?
The most important thing for anyone considering keeping turtles and fish together is to understand that turtles will eat fish. The majority of the species I am familiar with will aggressively pursue your fish and will stop at nothing to get a quick meal.
As a result, make certain that the turtles you put in your turtle tank are not too small. You’re looking for something that your turtle won’t just swallow whole, and you want it fast.
Lazy Fish, such as betta, are also vulnerable to attack, so stick to species such as African cichlids, which are fast, alert, and/or too large for the turtle to take advantage of.
Aggressive tropical fish, on the other hand, can stress your turtle, especially if you opt to keep small terrapins. In addition, if any of the adults have a chance to attack, neither of the babies will be harmed.
As a result, I would avoid aggressive fish that are capable of harassing dwarf turtle species.
I also said in the introduction that you require a high-efficiency filtering system. Otherwise, stay away from fish with a high bioload, such as goldfish.
Including your turtle in a tank with fish that creates less waste is a great approach to ensure that your water quality remains safe for your aquatic life.
It also means that you won’t have to replace the water in your fish tank as often or clean your fish tank as often.
Neon tetras, danios, and cichlids are some of the fish that you might be able to maintain with turtles based on this information.
Tetras and zebras will flee as swiftly as possible, as would the cichlids, or at the least, will fight back and give your turtle pause before pursuing them.
Fish like as large armored catfish and plecos are also excellent choices for keeping alongside turtles.
In order to keep turtles at bay, the turtles like to swim in the mid-and upper-water levels. Plecos, loaches, and catfish are among species that prefer to spend most of their time at the bottom of the tank.
These are some of the fishes that are suitable with a turtle in your fish tank
- Neons Tetras
- Mbuna cichlid: Yellow lab
- Peacock cichlid
- Lake Tanganyika cichlid: Frontosa
- Lake Victoria cichlid
- Jewel cichlid
- Central America cichlids: Convict, Oscars
Can Turtles live with neon tetras?
It is possible to have a clever, thin, and quick fish such as neon tetra, which the turtles cannot catch despite the fact that they are excellent swimmers.
When your turtle attempts to catch the neons as they crisscross the length of the tank, it’s actually pretty entertaining to watch.
Even in the unlikely event that they are eaten, tetras produce a large number of offspring, making them an excellent choice for turtle feeding.
Just make sure they’re in a group of no more than eight (8) people at all times. Neon tetras are omnivores, which means that they will consume both plant and animal matter.
can turtles live with african cichlids and neon tetras? And the short answer to this question is yes provided that you have a good tank size for them.
The use of neon tetras in newly built-up tanks is not recommended since they will not tolerate the changes that occur during the initial setup cycle.
Don’t introduce neon tetras until your tank is completely matured and the water chemistry is steady in your tank.
Neon tetras require soft and acidic water, which means a pH of 7.0 or below, and hardness of fewer than 10 diagrams per gallon (dGH). It is common to employ blackwater extracts or driftwood to darken the water, maintain a neutral pH level, and soften the water.
Neon tetras are found in areas of dark water with thick vegetation and roots in their native environment, where they may survive. It is critical to provide a habitat with a large number of low-light hiding spots.
Provide them with a large number of plants, especially floating plants if at all practical. Driftwood will also serve as a concealment for the characters.
The dark substrate will be used in order to simulate the natural environment in which the neon tetras are most at ease. If you want to create a low-light environment in your aquarium, some fishkeepers may use a black background on three sides of the tank.
Feeding your turtles and neon tetras
- Fine flake meal
- Tiny granules
- Live or frozen brine shrimp or daphnia
- Frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms are also suitable options for feeding.
- Provide a variety of meals, especially living foods, to support healthy health.
Can turtles live with African cichlids?
Yes, turtles can live with African cichlids. However, It is recommended to keep a note on the behavior of the species of African cichlids you are willing to keep in.
Fast swimmers are always recommended with turtles since they can prevent themselves from the turtles if ever your turtle shows aggressive behavior.
In addition to territorial behaviors such as chasing and nipping, African cichlids display aggressive behaviors such as nipping and biting when kept in a crowded tank.
Hence, consider getting a bigger tank size that resembles the natural habitat.
In order to maintain their activity levels, African cichlids require plenty of swimming area, Hence, consider getting a bigger tank size that resembles the natural habitat. In addition to a large number of cavities and hiding places in which to establish territories.
African cichlids are diurnal fish, meaning they are more active during the day than they are at night. They swim fast around the bottom and middle areas of the tank.
An active species, African cichlids spend their waking hours foraging for food in the substrate beneath their watery home.
African cichlids are often found in the warm, tropical waters of African lakes, where they can be found in the wild. Large areas of open swimming space, tiny pebbles, and underwater flora may be found in these lakes, which have sandy bottoms.
Install a warm water aquarium for your African cichlid and turtle that closely resembles the fish’s natural environment in the wild. Include tough plants and hollow tank ornaments to further enhance the fish’s experience.
African cichlids require a tank with a minimum capacity of 30 gallons and an additional five gallons of water for each new fish in the tank.
Fish as little as two or three inches in length from Africa require a minimum tank capacity of 20 gallon to be kept in peace.
When purchasing young African cichlids, keep in mind that the fish will grow to be twice or three times the size of their initial container, and the tank should be large enough to hold a fully-grown cichlid.
You will need to take care of all the things that are mentioned above in order to make sure they are comfortable with a turtle.
Species of African cichlids that can live with turtles
- Red Zebra
- Red peacock
- Yellow lab
- Zebra Obliquidens
- Blue Acei
- Christmas Fulu
While it’s true that any fish can become food at some time, in my experience, African cichlids have shown to be some of the greatest companions for turtles, as long as the cichlids are not fully matured when the turtles are hatchlings.
African cichlids, for the most part, are rapid swimmers who are always alert to what is going on around them, even while they are sleeping.
Their cousins from Central and South America appear to be a little slower and lethargic, but they also appear to be suitable fish to maintain with turtles in the wild.
Bass and bluegill are also popular. I now have bluegill that has lived in one of my turtle tanks for five years and has yet to lose a fin. Wishing you the best of success with your tank, and do send pictures of the fish and turtle after you get it set up.
African cichlids consume a mostly carnivorous diet in the wild, however, the fish are opportunistic feeders when they are caught. Their diet consists of whatever plant stuff, insects, and tiny fish that they happen to come upon.
Some African cichlid species are insectivores, meaning that they eat mostly insects as part of their diet. A few African cichlid species, such as the mbuna cichlids, are herbivores, but the majority are carnivores, hence, you shouldn’t find any trouble feeding your turtle and African cichlid.
Read up on the exact African cichlid you want to purchase and adjust your feeding regimen to match the fish’s nutritional requirements.
Make sure to feed your turtle and African cichlids high-quality fish flakes, which will provide them with various critical nutrients that will help them stay healthy.
Depending on the African cichlid species, additional foods such as algae wafers, tiny feeder fish, insects, raw green vegetables, and bloodworms can be added to the diet.
Because African cichlids like sifting over the substrate in search of food, it is best to purchase food that settles at the bottom of the tank.
Feed African cichlids three or four times each day, be sure to give them enough food at each feeding so that they may finish it in less than two minutes.
African cichlids are a colorful, diverse, affordable group of cichlids. If you’re looking for beautiful fish with turtles, there are plenty of African cichlids to choose from.
You should consider getting an African cichlid for your tank if the tank has plenty of open swimming space and hiding spots for the fish to explore.
Don’t get African cichlids if your tank houses small, peaceful fish species that could be bullied or eaten by African cichlids.
For an experienced fishkeeper, the African cichlid is an enjoyable fish to look after. African cichlids are active, entertaining fish that brighten up any tank.
I hope you got an answer to this question “can turtles live with african cichlids?”
Malawi Cichlids With Turtles
When it comes to companionship, Lake Malawi cichlids are among the most difficult fish to keep, so it comes as a surprise that they make excellent tank mates for turtles.
Due to the fact that the cichlids bring with them violence and arrogance, the primarily feisty turtles can match them in this regard. Aside from that, if the turtle becomes an aggressor, the fish will not back down.
However, this does not always imply that all Malawi cichlids are suitable turtle partners for all situations. There are many differences in the behavior of various species, some of which are not favorable to terrapins.
Based on past experience, mbunas species like as yellow labs and various peacocks are the safest bets for beginners.
I haven’t had much experience with hap cichlids, but I believe they would be excellent tank mates unless fish are really aggressive.
If I were you, I would steer clear of haps that develop at a quicker pace than the turtle and become quite aggressive, even to the point of fending off native terrapins in the wild.
Included among them are Fossorochromis (F. rostratus), Tyrannochromis (big-mouth haps), Buccochromis (stripe-back hap), and Nimbochromis (stripe-back hap), among others (Kalingono)
It is necessary to adorn the aquarium with rocks and caves in order to maintain the natural environment of the fish, who reside and reproduce beneath the rocks and caves.
This species enjoys digging in the gravel and arranging it, thus gravel should be strategically placed around the rock (or clay pot) in the bottom of the tank to encourage digging and organization.
In order to prevent a cave from forming as a result of the digging of cichlids, aquarium silicone can be used to adhere rocks together. Fish can ruin plants by digging them up and consuming them all; so growing plants in the tank is not suggested.
The best tank size is thirty gallons, with a minimum tank size of 29 gallons. If the tank density is high enough, a 55-gallon tank may be needed.
Filtration can be accomplished through the use of an external filter or an under-gravel filter system. Fish can damage the under-gravel filter as a result of their digging activities, thus it is preferable to use an external filter.
A temperature range of 24-270 degrees Celsius (75-80 degrees Fahrenheit) is suggested for bathing water. In the tank, there is no requirement for bright illumination.
Those algae-covered shallow rocks are home to a variety of insects, germs, and crustaceans, which these fish like scraping and eating.
While alkaline water (pH=8.5) is preferred, they may thrive in neutral and acidic water, but they will be more susceptible to sickness as a result of this.
As ammonia should not be present in aquarium water, it is critical to change the water on a regular basis (25-40 percent).
Other species of African Cichlids.
In the same way that you might be able to get away with maintaining Lake Malawi cichlids with turtles, it is also conceivable to keep a couple of other cichlids from Africa with your terrapins, such as Lake Tanganyika and Victoria species.
A large proportion of Africa’s cichlids swim quickly and are aware of their surroundings, making them less likely to be attacked by turtles.
The Lake Tanganyika Frontosa and the Jewel cichlids from West Africa are two types of cichlids that I’ve seen successfully kept with turtles without much difficulty. Just make sure it’s not grown cichlids with hatchling turtles.
Are Cichlids from Central America suitable to live with a turtle?
Although Central and South American cichlids appear to be a little slower than their African counterparts, they are still excellent contenders for turtle aquariums.
As you may be aware, the majority of them are enormous and aggressive, and they are capable of holding their own against turtles, thus turtles do not consider them food.
Convicts and Academy Awards are two of my favorite choices. Jacks, red terrors, and green terrors will not enjoy having a turtle in the tank with them.
If the turtle is fearful and unable to protect itself, these aggressive cichlids will nibble at him until he is dead.
Also keep in mind that convicts, Oscars, and any other cichlids that are housed with your turtles will become quite aggressive during the breeding season, therefore I would consider removing them to a breeding tank during that time.
You also don’t want a little-ninja turtle in your tank that reciprocates every nip and bite since you’ll wind up with a tonne of dead fish or folks with unending wounds.
Can Algae Eaters live with Turtles?
Algae eaters and turtle pairs are successful the majority of the time, yet it is not unusual for the turtles to stress the bottom-feeders.
Most species within the pleco, loach and catfish groups will work (some more successfully than others), but the most effective and finest companions would be bigger species that are capable of withstanding any sort of violence.
Keep only smaller algae eaters with turtles who have a subdued personality and who are proportionally smaller or equivalent in size to your fish.
Also, huge species such as the Chinese algae eaters and the Common pleco may be rather aggressive, therefore keeping them alongside giant turtles.
Furthermore, please keep in mind that it is not just bottom-feeders that may coexist with turtles; species such as pink barbs and rainbow sharks, which are adept at devouring hair algae, are also excellent possibilities.
Check out the list below for the top algae eaters to keep with your turtles
- Chinese algae eaters
- Siamese algae eaters
- Clown pleco
- Bristlenose pleco
- Gold algae eater
- Rosy barbs
- Ottocinclus catfish
Can turtles live with Betta?
Making the error of putting your turtle in the same tank as a betta is perhaps one of the biggest blunders a fish keeper can do in their career.
For starters, any fish housed with a turtle must be quick and alert; else, it will become a very costly lunch for the terrapin if left alone.
Unfortunately, bettas are anything but swift or agile swimmers, as seen by their size and shape.
They are also highly noticeable, because of their bright coloring and flowing fins. This implies that even in a planted aquarium, the turtle will almost always be able to detect them.
In spite of the fact that betta is territorial and violent, their maximum size is just 2.5 inches, making them considerably smaller or comparable in size to the majority of turtles. Because of this, your fish will not be intimidating anybody into submission.
Furthermore, both species are attracted to the mid-and upper sections of the tank and will engage in fighting on a regular basis.
While it is disputed who will emerge victorious from the conflict, you can be certain that you will have a dead aquatic animal at the end of the day.
Turtles will also want their tanks to be roughly half-full in order for them to be able to climb out onto the basking location while being unable to climb out of the enclosure. I’m not sure how that would work in the case of Betta.
Having said that, there is no turtle and fish coupling that is completely incompatible; it all relies on the temperament and size of the species you are maintaining in your aquarium.
As a result, consider her response to be a preventive step rather than a definitive and final argument; if anything, she has managed to make it work so far, despite the fact that the turtles are still infants.
Is It Possible for a Turtle to live with a Goldfish?
Due to the above-mentioned reasons for avoiding maintaining betta with turtles, it wouldn’t be a good idea to raise goldfish with turtles as well.
While most fancy goldfish species have long, flowing fins that are comparable to those of bettas, they are not very good swimmers. Most of the time, they’ll be vulnerable prey who can be picked off with impunity.
Goldfish are not aggressive in the least, yet they are enormous fish with a significant bioload, which makes the situation even more dire.
You’ll have to clean up after turtles on a daily basis if you combine their dirty behavior with their need to eat.
In addition, goldfish are large fish that will not fit in a 10-gallon aquarium like betta, and frankly, even a baby turtle would not fit in that size tank.
In addition, when you consider the combined space requirements of both creatures, you will want at the very least a 75-gallon tank to keep them both alive.
It is said that goldfish may learn by association because of their socializing nature, and they are also known for their intelligence.
In most cases, even goldfish of differing sexes and ages will not engage in violent behaviour against each other unless they are in competition for food.
Goldfish are neither the fast swimmers nor aggressive enough to live with turtles and hence, I do not recommend turtles with goldfish.
People who feed goldfish and see them every day develop adapted to the presence of the fish, as do the goldfish.
They’ll quickly be able to tell when it’s feeding time, and if someone approaches, they’ll know they’ll be fed shortly!
In response to an approaching person or the movement of a hand on the other side of the glass, goldfish will frequently rise to the surface of the tank and stare at them.
Goldfish is indeed peaceful, however, a fish with moderate aggressive level and a fast swimmer is always preferred for turtle.
Can Turtles live with Angelfish?
Angelfish and turtles cannot coexist for the same reasons they cannot coexist with betta or goldfish.
If you have turtles in your tank and you have a slow, ignorant fish with long, visible fins, you should avoid them at all costs.
If you have to keep your terrapins with South American cichlids, I suggest keeping them with German blue rams or Bolivian rams cichlids, which are both endemic to South America.
To sum up
Although it is feasible to maintain turtles and fish together for an extended period of time, as you will see throughout this essay, there are no guarantees in life.
A hair might grow on the back of your turtle’s neck, prompting it to pursue your fish. Sometimes they will even get along for a short period of time until your turtle strikes your fish out of the blue.
In order to avoid this, keep your turtle with quick fish that are always alert to what is going on. To tame the turtles and ensure that they behave properly, aggressive fish are also advised as companion animals.
Your turtle’s disposition is another consideration. It is possible for even two individuals of the same species to behave differently; one may chase and kill your fish while the other completely ignores them.
As a result, start with less costly fish such as neon tetras and danios and work your way up to more expensive fish such as cichlids, which, although not exactly inexpensive, will defend themselves or escape when necessary.
The bristlenose pleco, siamese algae eaters, and even cory catfish are good choices if your turtle rejects the first group of fish. You can then move on to less desirable species like betta, goldfish, gourami, and angelfish if your turtle continues to reject the first group of fish.
I hope you were able to get an answer to these questions: “can turtles live with fish?”, “can turtles live with African cichlids?”, “can turtles live with goldfish?”
Happy turtle keeping!