Jewel Cichlid tank mates- 3 Best and Compatible fishes

Here in this article, I will guide you on choosing jewel cichlid tank mates. Choosing up the right tank mates is never easy and this is a very common question that most aquarists ask.

There are various factors like suitable temperature, pH, similar living habitat, and other different aspects you should be caring about. Although we have got this covered in this article.

As per Wikipedia, Jewel cichlid comes from a Hemichronis genus from a cichlids family. They are usually found in creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes.

They can grow up to 2.5-10.4 inches in total length.

However, their size in the aquarium environment is quite small then their wild habitat. This is common in all types of fishes and this is usually due to change in their habitat.

While their breeding phase they are very colorful and show brighter coloration. Although when compared the male jewel cichlids are more colorful and brighter than the female Jewel cichlids.

After successful mating parents guard their eggs against predators. If you are fairly a beginner in fish keeping then I don’t recommend this fish for you.

They are quite aggressive in nature although for beginners it is quite hard to manage.

However, if you are planning to keep this in your aquarium then you should take care of few things. There are varieties of fishes in this genus.

Most of the beginners are not much aware of these factors and tend to make these mistakes.

Hence, this is the reason you should consider these factors before buying any type of fishes. If you notice most of the fishes are comfortable at a specific temperature level and the pH value.

Hence choosing fishes in a way that they have a similar range of pH and temperature gets the work done properly making them a perfect environment.

Jewel cichlid has aggressive behavior and this is also a concern you should be taking care of.

They are quite popular in most of the countries but still some countries prefer not to keep them due to their aggressive behavior towards other fishes.

Similar sized fishes are something you should try as it doesn’t cause much trouble with.

Caring cichlids is not that hard as you think most. Most of the cichlids are widely popular across the world and are very popular in fish keeping.

If you tank them with guppies and danio they will be very aggressive and territorial in nature.

They have an attractive color that makes people attracted to them. In this article, I will recommend the best and compatible tank mates for jewel cichlids.

Jewel cichlids lifespan is about 6 years depending upon their living environment and food. Usually, fishes that live in wild conditions live for a longer period of time as compared to aquariums.

We have considered all the factors that are suitable for Jewel cichlid before picking these fishes as tank mates. If you find Jewel cichlids getting stressed then you should find the root cause for it and then fix them as early as possible.

This happens with most of the fishes; they get stressed and hence their lifespan is reduced if not treated properly. Sometimes If the case goes worse you will find them dead.

In simple words, It is very necessary to maintain suitable and compatible tank mates for your jewel cichlid to make sure they are living a healthy life.

These are the suitable tank mates for jewel cichlids.

Jewel cichlid tank mates

African Cichlid

As the name suggests African cichlids belong to a Cichlidae family with a variety of cichlids.

African cichlid in aquarium

There are so many aquatic animals and fishes that are not yet discovered by researchers and scientists.

There are varieties of colorful and attractive cichlids inside the Cichlidae family. You will find these fishes mostly in the South America part and they are also found in most parts of Asia, the Indian subcontinent and so.

As per observation, African cichlids have an average lifespan of about 16 years depending on care and living environment.

African cichlids can grow up to 6 inches in Aquarium and reach up to 8 inches in their wild habitat.

They like fish tanks with Rocks, caves, and other decorations. Similar to African cichlids most of the other fishes like this type of setup that provides them a natural habitat.

When it comes to their behavior they are very similar to Jewel cichlids making them a perfect tank mate.

You will find them to be aggressive while they are breeding. African cichlids require a temperature of around 75 to 85 F and this is very similar to living to Jewel cichlids.

We recommend you to add a filter and a heater to maintain a compatible environment for both jewel cichlid and African cichlid.

If the hardness of water is around 4 to 6 dH it works great even for jewel cichlids and African cichlid.

Clean water, a compatible habitat, and a living environment is what they need to live a happy and peaceful life. If you are not sure of adjusting the pH for your Jewel cichlids then you can try these methods to safely lower the pH of water.

Note: Always pick similar sized fishes to prevent competition and conflict between each other.

It is also important to make sure you have a good size aquarium to ensure a safe and happy life. African cichlids can eat flakes and frozen foods.

They enjoy eating pellets that make them a very suitable tank mate for Jewel cichlid. You shouldn’t be worrying about their food habitats.

You can also try feeding them Blood worms once a week that provides a mixed diet.

Pictus Catfish

Pictus catfish tank mate for Jewel cichlid

This catfish is another freshwater fish that has a very similar living habitat as Jewel cichlids.

Factors like temperature, the pH, and hardness of water is very similar to Pictus catfish making them a perfect choice for Jewel cichlid. Pictus catfish is very popular in most countries. Hence, most of the Fish keepers and hobbyists consider this fish in the fish keeping world.

Pictus catfish can live up to 8 years depending on their habitat and level of care.

They eat both plants and insects and thus they are called omnivorous. Pictus catfish likes a tank set up that contains Driftwood and caves. Driftwood is also a natural and safest way to lower the pH of water normally.

They show a peaceful behavior that makes them perfect for beginners to make them a tank mate with Jewel cichlid. Pictus catfish has a very unique color with a lot of black spots on their body.

It is always recommended to match your aquarium to a natural living environment as this will make them more comfortable.

Note: Never try to adjust the pH, temperature and hardness at its accurate. It is okay if you find your fishes to be peaceful.

Pictus catfish requires a temperature of around 75 to 81 F which is very similar to Jewel cichlid. They are found to be very comfortable with a pH of around 7.0 to 7.5 and this is very similar to Jewel cichlids.

Hence, you shouldn’t find any issues with maintaining an adjusting temperature. They like eating similar foods. Although, you can feed them mixed food once or twice a week.

While buying Pictus catfish we always recommend you to pick similar-sized fishes. Also, they are non-aggressive and show no territorial behavior you should be worried about.

Lastly, Pictus catfish can be a very good tank mate for Jewel cichlid. Overall, Pictus Catfish could fit in perfectly as a Jewel cichlid tank mate.

Here is the next tank mate for jewel cichlid that is very suitable and comfortable.

Green terror

These fish looks very bright and colorful making them a perfect tank mate for Jewel cichlid.

Green terror in aquairum with jewel cichlid
úlfhams víkingur (Elma)., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They show very similar behavior to that of Jewel cichlid when it comes to behavior, diet, and living environment.

Green terrors can get a bit aggressive and territorial during their breeding phase. We recommend pairing Green terror with jewel cichlid if are at an intermediate level of fish keeping.

You will find green terrors mostly in blue and green color. Green terror has a lifespan of somewhere around 7 to 10 years depending on your level of care and maintenance.

In the wilder conditions, they are capable of growing more and have an even higher lifespan. When it comes to looks green terror is undoubtedly a very colorful fish.

Similar to Pictus catfish and Jewel cichlid they are omnivorous in nature which means you can feed similar food for both of these fishes.

Most Aquarists recommend at least 40 gallons of the tank for a single green terror.

Green terrors are comfortable eating both plants and animals hence they belong to Omnivorous.

They like tanks set up with hiding caves and moderate current flow. Consider adding a moderate filter that doesn’t have much power flow as they might get irritated with too much water flow.

Green terrors are often happy in the clear and clean aquarium.

With proper care and maintained they can grow up to 12 inches and even more in wild conditions.

Fishes living in the small-sized aquariums are very territorial and aggressive in nature. Overall, Green terror could fit in perfectly as a Jewel cichlid tank mate.

I always advise my visitors to make sure they are having a bigger tank size that provides plenty of space for fishes.

The next fish I recommend is

Tiger Barb

Tiger barb fish in aquarium
Editor General of Wiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tiger barbs belong to a Cyprinidae family and come from Bornea, Indonesia, and some parts of Sumatra. When you talk about its behavior they quite show territorial nature with other fishes.

If you are a beginner at fish keeping then tiger barbs would be a great tank mate for jewel cichlids.

They require a pH of around 6.5 to 7.0. If in any case, you are finding it difficult to adjust the pH level then we recommend you always use the safest and natural ways to lower the pH value.

Tiger barbs and jewel cichlids require a similar range of pH and you shouldn’t find any difficulty maintaining the pH value. The temperature of the water plays a major role and here when you pair Tiger barbs with Jewel cichlids they get along with ease.

Tiger barbs require a temperature range of 68 to 79° F. If you find your fishes to be adjusted and peaceful then you shouldn’t be worrying at all.

It is great if your aquarium water has plenty of oxygen as they are found to be very comfortable with oxygenated water.

For diet and feeding, you can try flake food, as well as live and frozen food. They even like vegetables in their meal. My recommendation is to provide them a mixed diet as this provides mixed nutrition.

If you find their size around 3 inches they are mostly in the adult phase and are ready to breed. Soft water is preferable in your fish tank. If you are unaware of this then I recommend you to check out this article.

You can add live plants and artificial decorations inside your aquarium as they like these types of setup.

Both the jewel cichlids and tiger barbs get along easily. Consider adding a good lighting setup in your fish tank for Tiger barbs. Even If you don’t have a heater even though they can live peacefully.

But my recommendation is to set up a heater as this will ensure they have a comfortable living environment.

They are available in various colors like green, black, red, and albino. These colors have been achieved with selective breeding processes.

Note: Change water once in 10 days and clean aquarium twice a month to prevent diseases.

A mixed diet is a healthy diet. You can feed them something special food once or twice a week.

At last, tiger barbs could fit in perfectly as a Jewel cichlid tank mate. Generally, females have round bellies and are quite larger in size as compared to Male tiger barbs.

Consider getting at least 20 gallons of tank size for each tiger barb.


These mentioned Jewel cichlid tank mates can be a great companion with each other.

The tank mates mentioned above show similar behavior with aspects like the pH value, the temperature, Hardness of water and so many other kinds of stuff.

In my opinion, plenty of tank size is something you should really care about. If you replicate the environment of the fish tanklike the natural one then your fishes are going to love it.

Now, you are aware of all these fishes and their similarity with each other.

I have compared all of their living habitat and environment and these are some of the fishes that can be good tank mates with tiger barbs easily.

Most beginners make the mistake of choosing the wrong tank mates and then realize it later. Jewel cichlids are aggressive types of fishes and due to this reason, there aren’t many fishes that get along with this fish.

Although, If you are fairly new to fish keeping then I don’t recommend Jewel cichlid as it’s quite aggressive in nature.

Always remember not to tank small-sized fishes with large sized fishes as this might cause fights between them. Jewel cichlids are hardy fish as they might be a little territorial in nature at the time of breeding.

If you try adjusting them with few varieties of tetras they get along with ease.

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