By Sameer Gudhate*

Oscar cichlids are hugely popular in the aquarium hobby. Oscar fish have a special appeal to them. Oscar fish are known for their quite aggressive behaviour towards other fish. They are perhaps one of the most beautiful fish and they swim so gracefully that it would be hard to imagine them being aggressive fish. They not only have killer personalities, but they also look cool and every Oscar I’ve ever encountered had its unique personality. 

They might not be the friendliest species in the world or the easiest to care for by any means, but they are certainly one of the most attractive fish species out there. The Oscar fish can be a handful to manage once you have them in your tank, but if you provide them with the right conditions and tank mates, then it can be much easier to handle them. 

Due to their temperament and potentially aggressive behaviour towards other fish, the Oscar fish should only be kept by the most avid and experienced fish tank keepers. They are not particularly complicated to care for or even fussy eaters, but their aggressiveness can become a problem over time. For this reason, you need to pick tank mates for the Oscar fish carefully.

With all this information in mind, let us take a look at some of the best fish species to keep with the Oscar fish.

Convict Cichlid

The convict cichlid would make a good choice for a tank mate for the Oscar fish. First, they are very beautiful; they are also called zebra cichlid due to the patterns of colours that extend over their bodies. It is a freshwater fish that is native to warm rivers of South America, especially to larger streams where they will find shelter in and between the rocks and branches. It can be said that the convict cichlids are quite similar to the Oscar fish in terms of behaviour. They can also become quite aggressive and territorial if their space is threatened. They are also quite large – they grow up to 6 inches, which is also similar to the Oscar fish. All these traits make the convict cichlid a good partner for the Oscar fish. 

Jack Dempsey

The Jack Dempsey fish is not an easy fish to keep in your tank. That is because they can get aggressive towards other fish and they might get territorial, too. But this doesn’t mean that they cannot coexist with other tank species like the Oscar fish, but it simply means that they should be kept by experienced tank keepers and people who know what they are doing. They can appear quite shy when they are around other fish. If you keep fish in groups, then the Jack Dempsey fish will not get aggressive. These fish are beautiful, but they can also be very aggressive towards other fish. This means that this fish is for intermediate to advanced fish tank owners.

Green Terror Cichlid

The green terror cichlid is another fish on this list. While it is not aggressive in community tanks, it can be aggressive towards stray fish in your tank. They can be green and blue and they can grow up to 12 inches in size. Female fish are often more aggressive than males. But they only turn aggressive if they are running low on space or if they are threatened; also, when there are smaller fish in the tank that they can prey on. With Oscar fish, however, they should get along just fine provided that you give them both enough space to live so that they will not clash and fight with each other. 

Silver Dollars

Silver Dollars are one of the most popular Oscar tank mates for several reasons. First of all, the Silver Dollars’ unique body shape makes it appear large and a less likely meal for aggressive Oscars. This is absolutely must when choosing tank mates for your Oscar. Secondly, a group of Silver Dollars often act as dither fish. Dither fish, or fish that swim out in the open, put your Oscar at ease by signalling that there are no predators around. A group of Silver Dollars not only hold their own against Oscars but help make them less aggressive. While Silver Dollars are great Oscar tank mates, they do best in groups of 4 or more.

Jaguar Cichlid

The jaguar cichlid is a very attractive fish. Its body patterns do look a bit like a jaguar. They can make a good companion for the Oscar fish. The jaguar cichlid is not an aggressive fish but is rather a semi-aggressive fish. When they are young, they have bars instead of jaguar patterns; these only come when they grow up. Oscar fish is good because that way they will not get into each other’s way. They also become more aggressive when they are breeding, so during that time, it might be a good idea to keep them separate.


The cichlasoma genus of fish is a genus of fish species that incorporates a large number of subspecies. The most widely-spread cichlasoma are the cichlasomaamazonarum, cichlasomabimaculatum, and the cichlasomatrimaculatum. All these fish are quite large and thus they make good companions for the Oscar fish. Most of them are predators towards smaller fish and other small creatures in the tank, and that is the only consideration you need to keep in mind with the cichlasoma. In general, they tend not to be very complicated to care for and should not cause too many problems if they get enough space and are treated well.


The Plecostomus, or the plecos, are one of the most popular catfish species out there. These fish are quite large, as they can grow up to 24 inches in size. Plecos have sharp spines on their fins, which pose a huge threat to hungry Oscars. They will often try to make a meal out of Plecos, only to have the spines lodged in their throat. This will result in the death of both fish. In short, they make a good tank mate for the Oscar fish as they are good-looking and also peaceful.

Firemouth Cichlid

The firemouth cichlid is another species that would make a good tank mate for the Oscar fish. They are brightly coloured fish that can be used in your tank to add some colour. Although they can be somewhat aggressive when they are spawning, they are generally not aggressive towards other fish. They are great fish even for beginners, though! They are not that demanding and are ideal for community tanks. They are very attractive fish and can grow up to 7 inches in size. They can live for 15 years or even more. Their size and temperament can make them great tank mates for the Oscar fish.

Jewel Cichlid

In essence, the jewel cichlid is not an aggressive fish. However, when they are mating, they start to be very aggressive towards other fish. This particular trait makes them not so great as tank companions, but you should keep them away when they are mating. However, above all, this is a very beautiful fish! You can see why it is so popular with tank keepers, but there are some considerations for you if you want to keep them with the Oscar fish – don’t keep them in the tank if they are mating or have just one fish of the species in the tank. 

The Oscar fish are stunning fish that are very popular because of their stunning appearance. Remember to keep the water clean for these fish, as they tend to produce quite a lot of mess. Also, make sure that you put appropriate tank mates for the Oscar fish into the tank, because they can be quite aggressive towards smaller fish in the tank. You should consider some of these fish species as tank mates for the Oscar fish in your tank.

Happy Fishkeeping!!! 

*The author of this article is an advanced aquarium hobbyist with an Aquarium at his place even before his birth. Today he promotes the pet keeping hobby apart from maintaining his own aquarium. He can be contacted on +919820270247 or

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