Fish Compatibility Chart | Freshwater

by Fish Tank on August 6, 2006

freshwater-fish-compatibility-chart-for-you.JPGWhen you're deciding what type of freshwater fish to begin, or add to your fish tank, a Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart can be useful.

In the larger Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart here, you can see you have many options when combining freshwater fish in your tank. Be sure to zoom in on the chart to see a clear view.

By making sure the fish you add to your fish tank are compatible first, you'll avoid future problems. Looking at the full-grown size of the fish helps too. You wouldn't want to add Oscars with Guppies, Danios or Minnows. Usually you'll keep varieties of the same family together as in a Cichlid aquarium. I've always chosen to stock my fish tank with semi-aggressive fish, but if livebearers are your thing... Great!

Using a Compatibility chart for Freshwater Fish to get educated, and understanding which fish you can mix and match in your fish tank, will save you questions at the pet store.

via: Habitattitude and Petco Freshwater Fish Compatibility Chart

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

William May 14, 2007 at 12:23 am

I have 2 Black Angelfish in my 20 gallon with about 10 Guppies, 2 sword-tails, 1 Clown Loach and a Pleco. The Guppies are afraid of the Angles. If a Guppy comes close to the Angel, the Angel will take off after it, so no trouble with tail nipping. They are great fish for a tank.

Fish Tank May 25, 2007 at 10:56 am

Sounds like you have a nice community fish tank William.

Alutz May 15, 2008 at 11:20 am

Currently I have a 20gal tank with an African Cichlid, 2 Tiger Barbs, 2 Bala Sharks and a beautiful Blue fish with bright orange markings that I don’t know what is…. They live in pretty good harmony. The Tigers chase each other, the sharks hang out together the cichild hids under a rock formation , but roams the tank at will like the blue fish… My question is can or should I add my african clawed frog into this mix? I have him in a seperate container, but like to have them all together.

Fish Tank June 8, 2008 at 12:50 pm


I think you’d be ok with that. I have an African Dwarf frog in with my Tiger barbs, and they’re very compatible. As long as you’ve got the room, and hiding places for the frog, it should fine. Mine will sit on a few of the floating plants. You could always add a few of those too.


Krystal August 4, 2008 at 12:53 pm

To Alutz:
It looks like your 20 gallon tank is WAY over stocked. Unless you plan on getting a much much bigger tank you should think about selling some of your fish. For instance, Bala sharks have been known to reach sizes of 18 inches, but are usually around 12 when full grown. They need AT LEAST a 70-100 gallon tank, especially since you’re housing more than one.

To William:
You too have an overstocked tank. It’s recommended to give a gallon of water per inch of fish you have. Of course, sometimes fish need more room than that. You used up 15 gallons with your guppies alone. Seriously think about selling some of your fish.

trey August 14, 2008 at 12:28 am

i bought 3 african cichlids recently from petsmart, and i just recently found out that my peacock eel that i thought died 6 months ago is still alive and living in the tank, is my eel gonna be safe with the cichlids?? and if so what other type of fish should i get, its a 55 gallon and the eel is bout 6 inches, and my cichlids vary from 2-4inches, each bein a different size. i know i have more room just don’t know what types could be compatible.

lynds October 1, 2008 at 7:23 am

Hi, I have a few questions on gouramis if you could help please,

1. Are they generally a shy hiding fish ? I have just bought 2 for my newly cycled tank ( 1 blue fem 1 gold fem )& they seem to like hiding behind the filter next to the heater. ( temp is 26c ) I’ve plenty of hidey places for them inc rocks,bogwood & plants but they haven’t ventured far enough yet to realise.

2. How many gouramis can/should live together? Should i of got 2 blue 2 gold, I did ask the staff and they 1 of each is ok. ( tank is 30x12x18)

3. How big do they grow?

4. What else could i do to settle them in or have them swimming around?

Thank you for any help/advice.


Fish Tank October 3, 2008 at 1:36 pm


My gold gourami is a shy fish too, but comes out when she thinks I’m not looking. You can stock your tank with 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water, or 2.5cm of fish per 3.8 liters of water.

Blue and Gold Gouramis grow to about 5 inches. So you could have 4 in a 20 gallon tank, but I’d recommend getting some tetras or something smaller to go along with the 2 bigger fish.

troy October 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm

ok i have recently purchased a One gallon tank on the box itsays the preffered fish are platies, & guppies are these fish okin this tank and if so how many

noeyedeer November 15, 2008 at 7:33 pm


I have a 12 gallonb tank. I plenty of live plants and 5 tiger barbs. I was thinking of adding 1-2 cory cats. What do you think/

Fish Tank November 16, 2008 at 7:55 pm


You’re probably ok adding 1.


random fish noob July 23, 2009 at 8:17 am

i have a question : my tiger barbs stay in one spot the water is good and everytinhg they only come out when there is food.Also my rainbow sharks stay apart one just stays behind some plants and the other i think stays to clean a castle.and my kissing gourami chase each other around all day (i dont know if they are playing or fighting)

Fish Tank July 23, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Hi. You didn’t mention your tank size, or number of fish. If you have 1 inch of fish per gallon of water, you should be ok. So if you had a 20 gallon tank, you could have 5 tiger barbs = 10 inches + 5 neon tetras = 5 inches, + 1 pleco = 3-5 inches.

Kissing gouramis get 8-12 inches. Rainbow sharks reach 6 inches. That’s 32 inches. If you’ve got a tank smaller than 50 gallons… and definitely if its under 30 gal., you have it overstocked, and that’s your problem.

Kevin November 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Does anyone know if I can putelem ever since a Bve a MAJOR snail prob a Clown Loach in a 12gal with Guppies. I have a MAJOR small snail ifestation. Can I put the Clown Loach 5inches in the tank for a few hours. Without doing any harm to the Guppies or theyre fry.

Kevin November 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Help with is a 5inch clown loach is he compatible in a 12gal with Fancy Guppies. Only temporary to help with a snail probelem??

Mike December 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Hi, I have a 29 gal. tank with 3 tiger barbs, 2 tri-color sharks and two red tail sharks and three corys. One of the red tail shark is about 3″ as is the tri-color sharks, the other red tail is about 2″ and the tiger barbs are about the same.The larger red tail shark chases the rest of the fish around the tank all but the corys that stay on the bottom most of the time. He’s like a bully in a school yard. Is this normal for this type of fish or is there something that should be done

Fish Tank December 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Yes it’s normal. They can be quite territorial.


Becky January 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I just lost one tiger barb (out of 3) and I have another that looks REALLY bloated and stays in one spot near the back at the top of my 46 gallon tank. Still in an upright position, but not really moving. Didn’t seem to put out any effort to come to feeding time. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance!

charlie April 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm

um its my birthday and all i want is some fish i went on the internet to find some fish and i found this site and i like the yellowy tiger barb and what will happen if i put a diffrent fish in there if i put them in as babbys will they not fight each other or will i only have one fish the next day after my birthday
thx charlie

Bill August 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm


There is no such measure as inches per gallon. Think about a 1 inch Goldfish or a 1 inch tetra. Which combination gives you the largest wste mass, 6 inches of guppies or 1 6 inch loach?

Proper filtration with appropriate tank care will allow higher bioloads in the tank. Use filtration that has biological filtration media in it and do routin water changes. Add benefical bacteria routinely and do not overfeed.

Fish Tank August 8, 2010 at 6:39 am

Exactly Bill.

luis January 12, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Just bought 6 tiger barbs, 4 months old and released in a 5 gal aquarium, complete with filter, heater, light and plantation.. With a ratio of 1 inch to a gallon, up to when can i keep them in my aquarium before i buy a bigger aquarium? Thanks.

splash January 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

threadfin raibows are the best i have 5 and they are soooooo incredibly cute.

Fish Tank January 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

They’ll grow to 2-3 inches. I’d consider getting a bigger aquarium soon.

uriel March 9, 2011 at 1:26 am

I have a 6inch arowana an a 6 inch clown knife fish is it ok to add a bottle nosed gar to a 55 gal tank with them?

chris herbert July 3, 2011 at 2:54 am

hi i have a 90ltr tank just starting out i want to eventually get a betta male i have 6 phantom tetras 6 five stripe barbs i want to put some shrimp cardinals and would welcome suggestions for colour thanks chris

Lexi July 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

As a birthday present I would like to get my boyfriend some fish to fully stock the empty tank he has sitting in his closet. I believe it is about 16 gallons. What sort of fish do you recommend? I was kind of thinking maybe a crab or shrimp too, but it’s not necessary. I’d like a wide variety of fish as well, just for fun. Thanks in advance!

Fish Tank August 4, 2011 at 8:35 am

A mix of tetras is always nice, and they’re hardy fish.


Joyce August 6, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have three african ciclids that have grown to about two inches each. They are very shy and I would like to add something else to see in the tank. The tank is 19″ high, 24″ across and 12″ deep. What would you suggest? Thanks!

Fish Tank August 8, 2011 at 6:34 am

It’s even more important to select compatible fish in a cichlid tank. I’m not sure what kind you have, or how big they’ll get. I’d suggest searching for “cichlid compatibility chart”, and go from there. Find out what kind of cichlids you have. There’s around 600 species. I’ve not raised cichlids. Maybe someone else can help here.


Heather April 10, 2012 at 9:31 am

I had four angels, a blue loach, peppered cory, and a headlight tetra. There is only two angle’s left, and one has severly torn fins tail and upper, I’m not sure if the one angle that has minimal damage is the culpret or who is to blame, there also has been two molly’s, two goldfish that have been eaten(allgone). But there seems to be an issue, I have a 30 gal tank, some rocks, and some artifical plants. Any suggestions, as to what next?

Fish Tank April 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

How are your water parameters? Ammonia and nitrite levels? Those fish should get along. I’m wondering if they are getting sick. Do you see any of the fish ever nip at each other…. like that angelfish with minimal damage? I’d check water quality first. Especially since you lost the cory, tetra, and loach too.


Bilal Shabazz July 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I have a 55 gallon tank with six African Cichlids. Two of them are about three inches long. The other four are about two inches long. They are healthy and eating. The problem is every time I add other fish they end up dead. Plecos, and other cichlids all die. Are my african cichlids killing these other fish?

Fish Tank July 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

African Cichlids can be very territorial and aggressive. They will try to kill non-compatible fish. Have you seen behavior showing this? If not, then the new fish may have just been stressed or sick already. The death rate of new fish can be high unfortunately, even with all the right parameters.

Chris August 5, 2012 at 7:51 am

I have a 135 gallon tank with about 50 cichlids and I added 4 tiger barbs and 4 green tiger barbs and I don’t knw why the tiger barbs just stay in there school and in one place in my tank.

Fish Tank August 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Hi Chris,

Sounds like you’ve got a great tank going.

Maybe the barbs have staked out their initial territory, and they’re sticking to it. That is surprising to me too, since barbs are generally aggressive. Maybe the high number of cichlids overwhelms them.


will August 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

i have 110 gallon with 5 black clawed frogs a polypterus eel a clown knifefish 4 blackasian upside down catfish 3 mystery snails and a pleco

Dolly September 28, 2012 at 2:06 am

hai… i have two kissing gouramies in my 8″ bowl..whenever am feeding those one of my gourami is very agressive and dominant to other one which even couldnot able to eat.. whatt can i do? please help me to become my both kissing gouramies to be friendly to each other…

Kitt November 6, 2012 at 11:16 am

I have a 10 gallon tank with about a 3 inch blue gourami that is very happy and thriving. I know when he gets bigger I will need to get a bigger tank but in the meantime I would love to add some other fish or dwarf african frogs. I was wondering which would be better, what types of fish, and if my gourami would just be happier alone.

Donna December 2, 2012 at 6:14 am

I just got a orange blood think that’s the name,what fish are compatible with this fish?

Fish Tank December 31, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Sorry — I’m not familiar with that fish.

Fish Tank December 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

If your fish is happy and thriving alone, I would keep it that way.

john February 1, 2014 at 7:57 am

I have a 35 gallon tanks with 2 x 6 inch goldfish, 2 x 4″ lake Winnipeg baby catfish and one small stripped tetra. I add 6 or 7 small schooling fish, and each night one “disappears” it is like thunderdome in there when we turn the lights off. any suggestions on some small schooling fish?

Fish Tank May 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm

I like gold barbs.

Leticia Woods December 15, 2014 at 7:13 am

My son says he wants fishes for Christmas I’m thinking about getting him like maybe 3 so what kinda fishes can I put in the same tank?

Fish Tank December 15, 2014 at 11:41 am

A school of tetras would be a good starter fish to keep.

Eric January 3, 2015 at 10:30 pm

I have a Motoro Stingray and 1 Red Arowana and I want to add a new fish into the tank, do you think Clown Loach would be compatible with Arowana and Stingray, I heard Stingray get along and arowana get along also but I want to be sure because I dont want my Loach to be ended up snacks.

I have a 150 gallon tank
Arowana x1 it’s 6″
Stingray x1 it’s 4″
Clown loach x2 it’s 2″

Pls help.

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