Can Tiger Barbs and Cichlids Live Together?

Can tiger barbs live together without cichlids

Fish keeping is fun and nice, especially if you have different types of fish and colors in the same tank. Although it is very cool to mix different fish together, but it is still a very risky thing to do. It is risky because getting unsuitable fishes into the same tank will only lead to losses. In this article, you will learn if Tiger Barbs and Cichlids could be able to coexist peacefully in a tank.

Can tiger barbs and cichlids live together? Tiger barbs and Cichlids are not good tank mates. Cichlids are very aggressive and will take the tiger barbs out especially at night.

Tiger Barb also called Sumatra Barbs is a very fast and small fish.

Related: Can Pearl Gourami and Angel fish live together?

The cichlids, both American and the African cichlids are both bigger than the tiger barbs a little and some species are far bigger.

Tiger Barbs Temperament and Water Conditions

Tiger Barbs also know as Sumatra barbs are strong and active aquarium fish that are native to southeastern Asia.

They are in the family of Cyprinidae minnows and are full of vitality and, as a result, they need to live in large and wide aquarium environments that are conducive to swimming in ease.

Related: Can Betta fish live together with Tiger barbs?

Their bodies are gold or silver in coloring, with defined black streaks, that is why they’re called tiger barbs.

Their fins also has wide, bright orange borders.

They’re tropical fish, very fast, that gave them the advantage to nip at other fish’s fins and get away so quick.

They’re omnivores and could eat anything they can, that’s why it’s not very common for them to have leftover foods in their tank.

Related: Can Pearl Gourami live alone?

Tiger Barbs are considered semi aggressive and some are fully aggressive, especially the male ones.

The males normally fight and chase each other about.

Although it means nothing to them, but it could stress other fish in the tank, especially the sluggish and slow fish.

Tiger Barbs lives in a water temperature of 70-80°F and water pH of 6.0-8.0, with a water hardiness of 5–19 GH.

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They are freshwater fish and loves low current water, so low powered filter is not a bad idea to keep for them.

Tiger Barbs are small in size ( 3 inches) that’s why they are fast.

They love having both aquarium plants and soft substrates in their environment and do well in a wider tank.

So they need about 10 gallons for each fish in order to move freely.

Cichlids Temperament and Water Conditions

Cichlids are freshwater fish which are widely considered as aggressive fish because they simply are both aggressive and territorial when kept with some other types of fish.

Related: Can Pearl Gourami live together with Honey Gourami?

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

Both the African and the American species of cichlids are aggressive, but African cichlids are more aggressive and will fight any tank mate they can see.

Some species of cichlids can be up to 5 inches in size and some are way bigger and could grow up to a foot in size.

They are omnivores and would eat anything ranging from plants, Vegetables and even smaller animals and fish too.

Related: Can Rainbow shark coexist with African dwarf frog?

They also love slow moving or calm water with soft substrates and also aquarium plants and they need about 10 gallon each.

Can Cichlids and Tiger Barbs Share a Tank?

Judging from the behaviors of the two animals you have read above, do you think they are compatible to become tank mates?

Can Cichlids and Tiger Barbs Share a tank? No, although they could almost live and survive in the same type of water, but they are not suitable tank mates. Cichlids will kill the tiger barbs if they share a tank.

From their behaviors, if will be hard or nearly impossible for the two fish to coexist peacefully.

Related: Can Pearl Gourami and Betta fish live together?

Tiger Barbs although are fast and have the tendency of making troubles with slow moving fish.

They could be hard to get because of how fast they’re, but cichlids being aggressive and a hunter and a bit bigger will have the advantage of picking them up when they’re asleep.

So if you get both of them together in a tank, here is what will happen.

The tiger barbs will be disappearing every night because the cichlids will be picking on them in their sleep.

Related: Do Gouramis eat Shrimps?

So you can’t possibly keep them together with cichlids without having any loses.

Cichlids Suitable Tank Mates

It is very obvious that tiger barbs are not suitable tank mates for cichlids, so they can’t share a tank nor coexist peacefully in a tank.

So 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.

Tiger Barbs Suitable Tank Mates

Also you might be interested to know the types of fish that are suitable for tiger barbs as tank mates. They’re:

Neon Tetra.

Cory Catfish.

Cherry Barb.

Pictus Catfish.

Clown Loach.

Tinfoil Barb.


Some pet shop keepers say alot of things, but always try to make research before getting your pet a tank mate because getting the wrong one could be a very sad story.

So tiger barbs and cichlids are not compatible tank mates in anyway! So put them in one tank at your own risk.