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Cichlid vs. Oscar (The Best Choice for Your Tank)

Cichlid vs. Oscar (The Best Choice for Your Tank)

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

Buying cichlids for your fish tank might seem like a good idea. However, you should know that there are a lot of different cichlids to choose from.

Cichlids are a category of fish that contains many different popular aquarium fish. One of those fish is known as the Oscar.

Oscars are great fish that are a little bit aggressive. How do they stack up to other common types of cichlids as options for your fish tank?

Below, you’ll learn about Oscars as well as other types of cichlids. It’ll allow you to make a good decision for your aquarium.

Oscars Are Large and Aggressive

The first thing you should know is that Oscars are large and aggressive fish. You’ll find that Oscars will eat smaller tank mates in a community tank setting.

If you were to put fish that are a bit too small in a fish tank with Oscars, it’s not likely that they would survive for long. When picking tank mates for Oscars, it’s going to be imperative to pick compatible fish.

These fish have been known to bully smaller fish in aquariums. You’ll need to put them with fish that are large enough to be able to stand up to them.

Some even prefer to simply avoid putting Oscars in community aquariums. You don’t necessarily have to avoid community fish tanks, but you should expect to encounter some issues if you don’t plan things out well.

Oscars can grow to be up to 14 inches long at maturity. Adult Oscars will also wind up being around three and a half pounds.

They can be fun fish to own, but they might not be right for you. Oscars aren’t the easiest type of cichlid to care for and it’s recommended to only buy them if you have enough experience caring for fish.

One cool thing about these fish is that they can live for a long time. Oscars are known to live between 10 and 20 years.

African Cichlids

African cichlids are some of the most popular fish that you’ll find. Unlike Oscars, beginners are going to have a simple time caring for these fish.

They’ve become rather well-loved aquarium fish due to being perfect for beginners. The only tough aspect of caring for them involves getting the water right in the tank at first.

So long as you have a reliable filter and a heater, it should be easy to get good results. It’s also easier to find good tank mates for African cichlids.

These fish can be aggressive, but it isn’t nearly as bad as the aggression you’ll deal with when caring for Oscars. You should have a good experience with these fish.

African cichlids can grow to be up to 12 inches long at maturity. It depends on the type of African cichlid since some will be a lot smaller.

Most African cichlids will live to be eight years old in captivity. This is assuming that you’re caring for them properly.

Keyhole Cichlids

Keyhole cichlids are very peaceful fish. If you’re looking for excellent cichlids for a community tank, these might be the best to buy.

You should also know that these fish can be a bit shy. Despite their shyness, they should be fun to observe in the tank.

At maturity, keyhole cichlids will only grow to be four inches long. Males are a little bit larger than females.

It’s good to know that these cichlids are incredibly hardy. They can tolerate many different tank conditions and they don’t get sick easily.

Generally, these fish will live between 7 and 10 years in a fish tank setting. If you do a good job of caring for keyhole cichlids, you’ll be able to enjoy them for quite some time.


Angelfish are among the most ubiquitous fish in pet stores. They’re common because they’re so very popular.

These are beautiful fish that are hardy enough to be easy for beginners to care for. They’re semi-aggressive, but they can be kept in community tanks when you choose the tank mates carefully.

The main appeal of buying angelfish is how beautiful they are. You’ll love how these fish look so graceful when swimming around in the tank.

It’s also true that these fish have many different color variations. You shouldn’t have a hard time finding angelfish that appeal to you.

An average freshwater angelfish will grow to be around four inches long and six inches tall. They do best in tanks that are tall enough to house them comfortably.

If you do a good job caring for these fish, they should live for approximately 10 years. You can’t go wrong with angelfish if you’re looking for a pretty cichlid option.

They’re also inexpensive and very easy to find. You can go to just about any pet store that sells fish and find many angelfish options to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Now you’ve learned about many different types of cichlids. Oscars can be fun to own, but their large and aggressive nature might make them impractical for some situations.

Thankfully, there are other options that can work out well. African cichlids can grow to be close to the same size as Oscars, but they’re a lot easier to care for.

Keyhole cichlids are peaceful fish that are great for community tanks. They’re also a lot smaller and better for those who don’t have big aquariums.

Angelfish are popular options that are beautiful fish to own. They are semi-aggressive but it’s much easier to manage angelfish aggression than it is Oscar aggression.

Choose which fish you want based on your personal preferences. They’re all good choices for different reasons.

You just might not want to choose Oscars if you’re a beginner. These fish are a bit too tough for many beginners.

It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t typically keep male cichlids in the same tank. Males are known to fight each other and cause issues in fish tanks.

So long as you keep this information in mind, you’ll have a good experience. Enjoy your new fish.

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