Can Sunfish Live with Cichlids?

Can Sunfish Live Together with Cichlids?

Sunfish is a colorful fish with many species in the family of Centrarchidae. They are known to change colors sometimes to imitiate their immediate environment, and also some species are known to be saltwater dwellers, while some are freshwater dwellers too. having sunfish in an aquarium could be so nice because of their colors, but you might have thought about mixing them with cichlids, especially if you’re a lover of cichlids. So the question is, can they be able to coexist with them peacefully?

Can Sunfish live with Cichlids? No, it is not recommended to keep any specie of sunfish with cichlids because cichlids are very aggressive and will harm sunfish.

Cichlids, just like sunfish also has some species.

Related: Can Sunfish live with Koi?

The difference is, almost all species of cichlids are aggressive and some are semi aggressive.

Sunfish Water parameters and Temperament

Normally, sunfish are mainly small in size, as they can only get to 4-5 inches, depending on the specie involved.
They can only live in a water temperature of 70°F and pH of 6.8-8.0.

Some are freshwater dwellers like the bluegill, while some are brackish water dwellers.

Related: Can Sunfish live with Goldfish?

They are non aggressive fish, but their male can sometimes get aggressive and territorial, especially to their fellow males.

Cichlids Water Please and Temperament

Cichlids are freshwater water fish and also are considered one of the most aggressive fish.

The most aggressive of the species are the African and American cichlids.

Although their female are far less aggressive than the male.

Their water parameters are pH 7.8-8.5. dH 10-15. Temperature 72°-82°F.

Can Sunfish Coexist with Cichlids? No, although the same water parameters could be suitable for both of them, but they can’t coexist because they will always fight each other.

Related: Do Sunfish change color?

I answered No, because keeping this two different fish together in a tank is not a healthy thing to do, as they won’t ever be comfortable.

So why not get them a different tank or divide the tank and keep them into different parts.

Although some people do keep them together in tanks above 55gallon and above, but I won’t encourage that anyway.

Can You Keep Sunfish In a Tank?

If you are new to fish keeping, your question might be, can you keep sunfish in an aquarium.

Can you keep Sunfish in a tank? Yes, just like every other fish, sunfish being colorful makes it a good aquarium fish.

Off course they are nice fish to keep, but for the fact that their natural habitats are replicated in their tanks.

Just know the kind of foods and environment they will be ok with, depending on the specie and provide exactly that, then your sunfish should be okay with you in your tank.

Related: 7 Smallest species of Sunfish

They will be needing about 100 gallons tanks for a group of big species and up to 55 gallon for a group of smaller ones, so try to keep them in groups.

Avoid keeping a single sunfish, as they will become lonely and kind of shy, especially the Female, and the male might get aggressive.

How Aggressive are Green Sunfish?

Green sunfish are one of the many species of sunfish. So are they Aggressive?

No, green sunfish are not aggressive, neither are they territorial, but they can sometimes get aggressive to other species of sunfish.

This specie of sunfish although is not aggressive, but keeping them in a small tank can make the males to become semi aggressive, especially to other species of sunfish.

This is more of the reasons why green sunfish are suitable tank mates to so many aquarium animals and they can get along with some less aggressive and territorial cichlids if they’re kept in a large tank.

What Fish can live with Sunfish?

If sunfish and cichlids cannot be able to live together peacefully in the same tank, then what other fish can live with them?

Related: Can Rainbow Sharks Change Color?

This article cannot be complete without educating you on the type of fish that could be able to live with Sunfish peacefully. They are:

Some different species of sunfish.



What Fish can Live with Cichlids?

If you’re interested to know some suitable fishes that could coexist peacefully with cichlids, then here they are:

Red tail Sharks.

Giant Danios.

Botia Loaches.

African Red-Eyed Tetra.

Leopard Bush Fish.


Upside-down Catfish.


Although some people do mix different species of sunfish and cichlids together in a big tank and it may seems to work.

But the question is, are they living in peace?

Why stress you pets by keeping them with unsuitable mates?

The fact they don’t kill themselves is because being almost the same size, they can hardly kill themselves, but what about their health?

Stressing themselves by fighting and food grabbing and being Territorial etc are just stress which is unhealthy and should be avoided for the best of your fish.

Take your own advice anyway!.