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Cichlid vs. Goldfish (Which Fish to Choose for Your Tank)

Cichlid vs. Goldfish (Which Fish to Choose for Your Tank)

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

So you want to get some new fish for your aquarium. You might be considering some of the most popular fish that people like to buy.

Often, people wind up choosing between goldfish and cichlids. Both of these fish can be good options for different reasons.

When you’re trying to choose which fish you’d like to buy, it can be hard to decide. If you don’t want to get both and keep them in separate tanks, what should you do?

Read on to learn about the pros and cons of owning cichlids and goldfish. It should help you to get the right fish that will thrive in your home aquarium.

Why Buying Cichlids Is a Good Choice

Cichlids have become so popular because of how pretty they are. There are a variety of different cichlids that you can purchase from the pet store.

Many of them are incredibly colorful. They’ll add so much color and life to your home aquarium.

It’s also great that cichlids are so hardy. Since these fish are durable, they’re good choices for beginners who might make a few mistakes here and there.

You’ll also enjoy that you can buy cichlids that grow to various sizes. Some cichlids are quite small, but there are also larger and more impressive fish to consider.

If you only have room for a small tank, you’ll still be able to enjoy cichlids. It’s also notable that cichlids have interesting personalities and are a lot of fun to observe.

You can’t go wrong with cichlids if you’re looking for hardy and pretty fish. That doesn’t mean that they’re perfect for everyone, though.

Why Buying Cichlids Might Be a Bad Choice

As good as cichlids can be in a home fish tank, it can also be frustrating to own them. You see, cichlids are considered to be semi-aggressive fish.

This is especially true when you’re trying to keep cichlids in a small tank. They might bother their tank mates in a community tank setting.

It’s not unheard of for cichlids to fight each other, too. Male cichlids shouldn’t be kept in fish tanks together because they fight so much.

You’ll also need to purchase a really good filter for the tank if you choose to buy cichlids. They do best with a high-quality filtration system, and that means you’ll have to spend a bit of cash.

Also, these fish do best when kept in quiet parts of your home. They will become stressed if you keep them in a room that gets rather noisy.

How Long Do Cichlids Live?

Cichlids have the potential to live for quite some time. The life span of cichlids will vary a lot depending on what type you buy.

If you choose to buy African cichlids, they’ll likely live between 6 and 10 years. They’re very nice fish that are among the most popular cichlids on the market.

The large and aggressive Oscars have the potential to live even longer. These fish are known to live between 10 and 20 years.

Angelfish are cichlids as well. They can live for up to 10 years in captivity.

No matter what type of cichlid you choose, you should be able to enjoy the fish for quite some time. Of course, you have to care for the fish properly to keep it alive no matter what.

Why Buying Goldfish Is a Good Choice

Goldfish are just as popular as cichlids. They’re some of the most common fish that you’ll find being sold in pet stores.

One of the reasons why they’re so popular is that they’re incredibly pretty. Goldfish are very easy on the eyes and you’ll love how they look in your tank.

Depending on how big your fish tank is, they can grow to be fairly large. So you can feel satisfied whether you have a large or small tank.

It’s also good to buy these fish if you’re looking to have an easy time. Goldfish are among the simplest fish to care for overall.

Interestingly, goldfish are even capable of remembering their owners. They have rather long memories when compared to many other fish.

Why Buying Goldfish Might Be a Bad Choice

Goldfish might not be the perfect choice for you. You need to understand that these fish poop a lot and will make the fish tank rather dirty.

This means that you need to clean the fish tank fairly often. You’ll need to be comfortable with this if you choose to buy goldfish.

You likely won’t be able to find many tank mates for these fish either. They aren’t compatible with many other tropical fish due to the water temperatures that they’re comfortable with.

It’s also possible that these fish might jump to their deaths. They can jump rather high and will jump out of tanks if they’re left uncovered.

You’ll need to buy a good filtration system to keep the fish healthy, too. If you don’t, the goldfish won’t live nearly as long.

How Long Do Goldfish Live?

Goldfish have the potential to live for quite some time. It’s said that the average life span of goldfish is between 10 and 15 years.

Sadly, many goldfish die much sooner than this in captivity. If you don’t put the fish in a good aquarium, they’ll live for a much shorter time.

Often, goldfish that are kept in fish bowls will die a lot faster. If you want the fish to live for as long as possible, it’s best to keep them in a true aquarium.

Keeping goldfish in a fish tank with an adequate filtration system will get better results. Keep this in mind when you’re buying everything that you need to keep these fish in your home.

Final Thoughts

After learning about the pros and cons of each type of fish, you should be able to make a decision. Is it better to buy cichlids or goldfish for your aquarium?

There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here. It simply comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for.

Both of these types of fish are easy to take care of. They should be good options for beginners since they don’t have incredibly strict care requirements.

You do still need to monitor the conditions in the tank to keep the fish healthy, though. Which fish you’ll want to buy will likely come down to what you want to do.

It’ll be easier to find tank mates for cichlids than it will with goldfish. Cichlids are semi-aggressive, but there are still good options when you want to put them in community tanks.