Can I keep Fiddler Crabs With Cichlids? 5 reasons why they are not compatible

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Can Fiddler Crabs live with Cichlids?

Fiddler crabs are very nice to keep because they are entertaining and funny. One thing I love about them is, that they do a territorial mating dance of some kind that looks a bit like a semaphore. Cichlids are active and fast fish, and also very fun to keep in a home aquarium. Just like Crabs, they are aggressive too, but their level of aggression hugely depends on the particular specie and some other factors. If you are reading this article, it means you want to know if you can keep Fiddler crabs and Cichlids together in a tank, this article will answer your questions, so read to the end.

Can I keep Fiddler crabs with Cichlids? Fiddler crabs and Cichlids don’t live in the same type of water. Cichlids live in freshwater while Fiddler crabs live in brackish water.

The major reason why these two water creatures can not be kept together is, that they don’t live in the same type of water nor environment, although fiddler crabs could tolerate freshwater to some extent.

Fiddler crabs are known to dwell more in saltwater than in freshwater.

So many people make this particular mistake of getting this crab in freshwater. I have seen some pet shops do this, which is bad.

The fact is, when they are kept in freshwater, maybe with Cichlids, what will happen is, that they will stay there for some time, maybe a week or a bit more, then break down and die.

So keeping a fiddler crab with any type of Cichlid, especially African cichlid is not a good thing to do because even if the Cichlids don’t kill them, the water will eventually kill them as time goes by.

There are no way fiddler crabs can live with Cichlids because, even if you decide to put the fish in a tank that contains these crabs, the fish will die immediately. After all, cichlids no matter the specie or type are freshwater fish and salt will kill them almost immediately they are placed in fiddler’s water that contains salt.

So, they can’t live together because of their differences in water type and environment.

Although some pet shops could do this, please don’t listen to them nor follow them because it is very detrimental to the overall health of your crabs, and you will definitely lose them as time goes by.

Also, don’t listen to anybody telling you to buy aquarium salt, if you do that, your Cichlids will die and your fiddler crabs will live, I know you don’t want that, so, the two creatures are not compatible, so, don’t try to make them be.

Another reason why they can’t be kept together in a tank is that they are both aggressive and territorial.

Even if they could live in the same water and tolerate the same temperature and pH, no experienced aquarist would advise you to keep two different aggressive and territorial animals together in a tank.

This is the mistake that most people make, which could cause them to lose some of their animals by turning their tanks into a war zone.

Fiddler crabs are aggressive and could nip and pinch any animal that gets to them with their claws, thereby hurting such animal, while cichlids on the other hand are very aggressive and territorial too, and would eat anything they could.

Even if these two animals could coexist in the same water, keeping them together will only end up making them to kill themselves through fighting.

Cichlids, especially the African Cichlids are big and aggressive, they will eat fiddler crabs or stress them to death because they are big and fast too, while Fiddler crabs are slow.

Again, Fiddler crabs are very likely to pinch them, Which will hurt them and might even cause diseases that might kill the fish.

So, they are not compatible and can’t live together.

Apart from the issue of aggression, even if both could somehow live together in the same tank and water, there is every possibility that the crabs will starve and die.

Cichlids, especially African Cichlids do eat a lot, in fact, they are pigs when it comes to food.

Being way faster than fiddler crabs will give them the advantage of taking all the foods they could get across, thereby starving the crabs by grabbing the foods meant for them.

Another reason why they can’t live together is, that even if they can live in the same water, Fiddler crabs are not fully aquatic and will require a smaller amount of water to be in their tank.

Normally, all type of crabs doesn’t require much water, for instance, filling up the whole tank with water, No, they need the water to cover them a little bit like 5 inches.

This is because they need to have enough oxygen at the bottom where they dwell. After all, with much water covering them, they won’t have enough oxygen, and again to surface very fast and breath.

All these are very necessary for any type of crab, including fiddler crabs that are not fully Aquatic.

So, such conditions of living will not be suitable for Cichlids because they are big fish and need to be in big water.

So, if you keep them in the same tank and fill the tank with water, the crabs will lack enough oxygen and drown, and if you want to favor the crabs by filling only a small quantity of water in their tank, the fish will die because such water quantity won’t be enough for them.

So, you see? you can’t force these two creatures to live in the same tank unless one of them will die for the other to live.


Fiddler crabs and Cichlids are not in any way compatible with each other and so can not be kept together.

Please do well to make private research before venturing into anything that has to do with aquarium animals in order not to make silly mistakes because nowadays, pet shop keepers could say and do a lot of things to make you buy things, etc.