Can Cichlids Live With Crayfish? (Are Cichlids And Crayfish Good Tank Mates?)

Can Cichlids Live With Crayfish

cichlids are very adaptive, persistent, smart, and stubborn fish, but a very fine pets to keep in the aquarium. Just like goldfish, it is a beautiful sight in any aquarium you can think of. I have read many threads where people are asking “if they could keep this fish together with crayfish”.

Can cichlids live with crayfish? Cichlids are very stubborn and can be as aggressive as crayfish, both of them will kill each other when they get the chance.

When I saw this question countless times on forums and threads, being a pet lover, I became curious and wanted to know the perfect answer myself.

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I started researching online, but couldn’t find a satisfactory answer, so I decided to call and inquire from pet sellers and specialists.

All the 3 pet specialists I contacted gave me the same answer.

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Although cichlids are fine fishes, they are adaptive, persistent, smart, and can be very stubborn and so is a very bad tank mate a crayfish can have.

And on the other hand, crayfish are troublesome and could try to eat anything that they could. With these characters from these two creatures, it is hard for them to coexist or live together without them fighting and trying to kill each other.

Related: Can Crayfish and Goldfish live together?

In other words, crayfish are a natural meal for cichlids, more especially African and south American cichlids.

Try keeping an African cichlid in the same aquarium as a crayfish and watch it eat the crayfish in a matter of hours.

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On the other hand, crayfish could wound cichlid in a fight, and also when the fish is asleep, although it depends on the size of the fish, as big cichlid will kill and eat the crayfish.

The truth is, once these two animals come together, one of them is in danger.

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The fish will be in danger if it is small and the crayfish will be in danger whether it is small or big, once a grown or big cichlid is added to its tank, especially African and south American cichlids.

You might be wondering if a big tank could do the trick by giving them a chance to coexist.

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Well, am sorry to disappoint you. Even big tanks can’t make them live together, because, in one way or the other, cichlid will get and eat your crayfish!.

Even if the fish is smaller and the crayfish is bigger, it can still kill the crayfish when the cray moult, so you see? it’s a bad idea to have them together, no matter what!.


From what I have learned about cichlids, I won’t advise you to put them in a crayfish tank if you love your crayfish or your small cichlids.

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Like I do say, ‘ take your own advice and consult your pet specialist.