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The Best (And Worst) Killifish Tank Mates to Consider

The Best (And Worst) Killifish Tank Mates to Consider

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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.

Getting killifish for your fish tank is going to be a good time. There are several great types of killifish that you can purchase.

You shouldn’t rush into putting killifish into a community tank, though. Whenever you’re adding fish to a community aquarium, it’s imperative to research things first.

Killifish can indeed work out fine in a community fish tank setting. However, you need to research which tank mates will be compatible with them.

Read on to learn about killifish tank mates. You’ll learn about fish that they’re compatible with as well as some fish that they aren’t compatible with.

Can You Put Killifish in a Community Tank?

It is possible to put killifish in a community fish tank. However, you can’t put them in a tank with just any fish.

Many types of killifish are considered to be semi-aggressive. Also, these are carnivorous fish that will eat fish that are too small.

If a fish is small enough to fit into its mouth, a killifish is going to take the opportunity to enjoy a meal. So you do have to choose carefully to make sure that everything will be okay.

Knowing this, you’ll likely want to learn about specific fish and whether they can be kept with killifish in community tanks. You’ll find that killifish have plenty of good options when it comes to tank mates.

Killifish and Betta

There are differing opinions about whether killifish can be kept with bettas or not. Some people say that it’s absolutely a bad idea to try to keep these fish together.

Bettas and killifish are likely to come into conflict with each other. If you put them in a large fish tank, it might be possible to keep the peace.

Even so, these two types of fish aren’t considered to be compatible. So you can’t rely on bettas as good tank mates for killifish.

You’d be better off keeping bettas and killifish in separate tanks to be safe. It’s not wise to put your fish in a bad situation, even if some enthusiasts say that they’ve had okay results when keeping killies with bettas in large tanks.

Can Female Bettas Live with Killifish?

The same sentiment rings true when it comes to female bettas. It’s too risky to bother trying to keep female bettas with killifish in a community tank.

As mentioned above, some say that keeping killifish with female bettas is fine. However, it’s not recommended since the two fish aren’t considered to be truly compatible.

Killifish and Discus

You won’t be able to keep discus fish and killifish together in the same tank either. Discus fish can be great fish to own and keep in community tanks, but you won’t get the chance to keep them with killies.

This is mostly because discus fish require different water parameters than killifish. They don’t have similar requirements and aren’t practical to house together in the same fish tank.

Killifish and Shrimp

It’s possible to keep killifish in a community tank with shrimp. This doesn’t mean that all shrimp are compatible with killifish.

You need to find shrimp that are large enough that they won’t be eaten by the killifish. Also, it’s best to stick to smaller killifish instead of going with the largest ones you can find.

It should be noted that killifish are still going to eat shrimp fry. The baby shrimp will be rather small and will get gobbled up by the killifish in the tank.

Killifish do love to eat shrimp. If you put them in a fish tank with shrimp that are small enough to fit in their mouths, they will eat them all.

Killifish and Guppies

Some types of killifish can live with guppies. You need to ensure that you’re putting smaller and less aggressive killifish in the community tank to get this to work.

If you can do that, you’ll find that the guppies and the killifish will get along just fine. Larger killifish might kill and eat the guppies, though.

So it comes down to the types of killifish that you want to buy. You’ll have to look up information about the maximum size of the killifish that you want to buy as well as how aggressive the species is.

Can Killifish Live with Angelfish?

Angelfish can live in community fish tanks with large killifish. You can’t put small killifish in with them, though.

This is going to be an excellent pairing for your large killies. If you are interested in large killifish, it’ll be easy to put them in community tanks with angels.

These fish will pretty much leave each other alone. You shouldn’t notice problems between the two fish because they’ll be close to the same size.

Angelfish can’t eat killifish and the same is true the other way around. It’s good to keep these two fish in the same tank since they’re both colorful and pretty.

Can Killifish Live with Goldfish?

Goldfish are a poor choice when you’re looking for killifish tank mates. It’s likely that goldfish would eat smaller killifish.

Also, the larger killifish simply won’t be compatible with goldfish. So you should avoid putting these two types of fish in the same tank.

Can Killifish Live with Gourami?

This is another situation where there isn’t a definitive answer. Some people have success keeping gouramis and killifish together, but others have not.

Sometimes gouramis will gang up and attack killifish. Also, it’s not out of the question that gouramis will nip killifish and cause them to experience stress.

Certain types of gouramis might be okay to pair with certain types of killifish. The lack of information on this topic means that there are only anecdotal pieces of evidence to go by.

It’s best to only put known compatible fish in your community fish tank. If you want to avoid fighting and causing the fish stress, it’s recommended to err on the side of caution.

Can Killifish Live with Tetras?

Tetras are fantastic options when you’re looking for tank mates for small killifish. Both types of fish get along just fine in a community tank environment.

Plus, they’ll look amazing in the fish tank together. These are both rather colorful and appealing types of fish.

Tetras are very peaceful fish that won’t bother the killifish. Small killifish will leave the tetras alone because they’re too big to eat.

You should be able to find tetras that will look perfect alongside killies. This is one of the best options that you have available to you.

Can Killifish Live with Dwarf Cichlids?

Yes, dwarf cichlids can live with small killifish in community tanks. However, you do need to make sure that the tank is big enough.

Ideally, you want to keep these fish in a community tank that is 20 gallons or larger. Ensure that all of the fish have plenty of room to spread out.

Dwarf cichlids and killifish can be a bit aggressive. So long as you don’t overcrowd the tank, the two types of fish shouldn’t come into conflict with one another.

Overall, you’ll have an easy time caring for both fish. It’s also nice that there are many interesting types of dwarf cichlids that are aesthetically pleasing.

Can Killifish Live with Cory Catfish?

Cory catfish are amazing tank mates for small killifish. They get along well with various types of killifish because they mind their own business.

Just like other catfish, cory cats like to hang out at the bottom of the tank. They have great personalities and can be a ton of fun to observe.

The only potential problem to watch out for involves feeding the fish. Sometimes it’s hard for the cory cats to compete with killifish at the top of the tank.

So you need to buy sinking nutritional pellets for the fish. This will ensure that they get everything that they need to thrive and stay healthy.

Can Killifish Live with Cichlids?

Just like with dwarf cichlids, standard cichlids can be good tank mates for killifish. You can keep cichlids with some of the larger killifish.

Larger cichlids can put up with the aggressive nature of many types of killifish. They can handle being chased a bit.

You do need to be careful to keep the killifish with cichlids that have mouths that aren’t too big, though. For example, Oscars have rather large mouths and can consume fish that are as large as golden wonder killifish.

Choose your cichlids carefully, and you’ll have a good experience. Peacock cichlids should work out nicely as tank mates for killifish.

Can Killifish Live with Barbs?

Barbs are interesting fish that many people would like to be able to keep in community fish tanks. The good news is that you can keep some barbs with large killifish.

Since barbs are hardy omnivores, they’ll do a good job of tolerating more aggressive killifish. Both of these types of fish have a tendency to nip at others.

The best barbs to keep with larger killifish will be tiger barbs. Black ruby barbs and rosy barbs can also work nicely.

You shouldn’t have a hard time caring for these barbs in the same tank as killifish. It’ll be a good experience, and you’ll like how the fish look together in the tank, too.

Can Killifish Live with Twig Catfish?

Twig catfish will be good options to pair with larger killifish. These are bottom-dwelling fish that have a very unique look.

You might remember from earlier that bottom-dwellers make pretty good tank mates for killifish. Like other catfish, the killifish are going to ignore the twig catfish.

Since these fish are too big to become meals for large killifish, you won’t have anything to worry about. Twig catfish are peaceful fish that are very interesting to look at and watch.

These fish love feeding on algae, but you’ll need to give them spirulina wafers to ensure they have enough nutrition. You should really enjoy having these fish in a community tank.

Can Killifish Live with Glass Catfish?

Glass catfish work fine as tank mates for killifish, too. These should work well for large types of killifish.

You might be drawn to these fish because of how unique they look. They have transparent bodies, and they move around in schools.

These fish cannot be kept in community tanks with small killies. They will eat small killifish, but large killifish won’t be harmed by them.

So long as the killifish are more than two inches long, they won’t have anything to fear from glass catfish. You might want to get some of these fish just because they look so neat.

Can Killifish Live with Black Ghost Knifefish?

A black ghost knifefish is an appropriate tank mate for large killifish. This is another bottom-dwelling tank mate that you can utilize.

These fish have a very shy nature, but they can become aggressive if tank mates try to force them out of their hiding spots. Large killifish shouldn’t have a problem with these fish, though.

Can Killifish Live with Zebra Danios?

Zebra danios will be perfect fish to put with killifish. Choose killifish that are around the same size as zebra danios to get the best results.

Since zebra danios grow to be between two and two-and-a-half inches long, some of the larger killifish will work out just fine as tank mates for them.

There are other types of danios fish that can be put in fish tanks with killifish, too. Celestial pearl danios fish are commonly used as tank mates for killifish.

Sometimes you’ll find these fish being sold as galaxy rasboras. They look stunning, and they aren’t aggressive at all.

Can Killifish Live with Rasboras?

There are a few different types of recommended rasboras that you can try as tank mates for killifish. Blackline rasboras are durable fish that you shouldn’t have a hard time caring for.

They’re generally peaceful fish despite being carnivorous. It’s also nice that they eat pretty much the same type of food as killifish.

Brilliant rasboras can also work out just fine. These are among the largest rasboras that you can buy.

So you do need to have a slightly larger tank if you want to go with them. However, it’s worth noting that these fish are incredibly pretty.

Can Killifish Live with Plecos?

Plecos are some of the most famous bottom-dwellers that you can find. There are many types of plecos out there, and some of them work well as tank mates for killifish.

The rubber lip pleco should be a stellar tank mate for many types of killifish. This is a fish that stays at the bottom of the tank and hides a lot.

Your killifish generally won’t pay much attention to the plecos. Bristlenose plecos can also work out just fine.

Bristlenose plecos are neat because they can adapt to a variety of different water conditions. They’re good fish that work in many types of community tank setups.

Can Killifish Live with White Mountain Cloud Minnows?

The white mountain cloud minnow is a very good community fish. This isn’t an aggressive fish by any means.

It should be a perfect option when looking for killifish tank mates. Ideally, you should pair them with killifish that can adapt to slightly cooler water temperatures.

Also, you must keep the white mountain cloud minnows in groups of their own species. These fish need to be among their own kind, or they might experience various problems.

Be sure that you have enough room in the tank for a group of these fish as well as the killifish that you wish to put in the tank. So long as you do this, you can expect great results.

Can Killifish Live with Dwarf Pencilfish?

You’ll be glad to hear that dwarf pencilfish are a good option to turn to. A dwarf pencilfish will make a good tank mate for many types of killifish.

These are very relaxed types of fish that are rather shy. They spend a good amount of time simply hiding in the tank.

So killifish will not bother them or come into conflict with them. It is important to give the dwarf pencilfish hiding spots in the community tank, though.

Can Killifish Live with Asian Stone Catfish?

Buying an Asian stone catfish as a tank mate for killifish will be a fine idea. These are some of the many small types of catfish that work well as tank mates for these fish.

These are passive bottom-dwellers that mind their own business in community tanks. Killifish generally won’t come into contact with these catfish very often.

Since they’re so peaceful, they will get along with many types of fish. You’ll also like how these fish look, and that makes them worth considering.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many options to choose from when looking for tank mates for killifish. Killifish can be pretty decent community fish, but this is only possible if you put them with compatible tank mates.

If you put killifish in tanks with fish that are smaller than them, they’ll try to eat them. Likewise, killifish can get devoured by larger and more aggressive fish.

Make good choices and you won’t have a hard time enjoying your new community tank. The fish tank will look nice, and you’ll be glad that you took the time to do some research before buying fish.

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