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Oscar Fish Tank Mates (The Best and Worst Options to Consider)

Oscar Fish Tank Mates (The Best and Worst Options 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.

Buying Oscars for your fish tank has the potential to be so much fun. It’s good for you to learn more about these fish before buying them, though.

Do you want to keep Oscars in a community fish tank? You can do this, but you need to make sure you pick appropriate tank mates.

What tank mates are the best options for Oscar fish? Will Oscar fish make good community tank members or are they better kept alone?

Read on to learn more about Oscar fish tank mates. It’ll give you the information that you need to make good choices for your community aquarium.

Can Oscar Fish Live with Other Fish?

Yes, Oscars can be kept in community fish tanks with other fish. However, you can’t put them in a tank with just any other fish.

If you put these fish in a community tank without researching compatibility, things aren’t going to go well. Simply put, some of the fish could get hurt and you could even be placing your Oscars in danger.

No matter what type of fish you own, it’s important to look into compatibility when setting up a community fish tank. Fish will only be compatible with certain other types of fish.

You want to ensure that every fish you put in the community aquarium is compatible. Each type of fish needs to be compatible with the Oscars as well as the other fish that you put in the tank.

That means that there will be a lot to learn before moving forward. If you rush things and don’t do the necessary research, you could easily wind up losing fish.

Thankfully, there are many great options when looking into Oscar fish tank mates. Later, you’ll learn about many of the best fish to put with Oscars in community aquariums.

Do Oscars Eat Other Fish?

Oscar Fish and Parrot Fish in a Planted Community Aquarium

Oscars will indeed eat other fish from time to time. This isn’t unusual, though.

You see, Oscars are omnivorous fish that are going to take the opportunity to eat when they can. They will eat smaller fish that will fit in their mouths.

This isn’t something that is unique about Oscars that makes them dangerous. Oscars just do the same things that other omnivorous fish do to eat.

If you put small fish in the tank with Oscars, the Oscars are going to eat them. You can’t put fish in a community tank with Oscars if they’re small enough to get eaten.

In captivity, Oscars commonly grow to be between ten and twelve inches long. They’re rather large fish, and that means that they can eat many popular types of aquarium fish that are a bit too small.

Oscar Fish Eating Goldfish

Goldfish will not be safe when kept in fish tanks with Oscars. Oscar fish are far larger than goldfish and will likely be able to fit the goldfish in their mouths.

Any small fish that can fit in an Oscar’s mouth will be devoured. Thus, it’d be a poor idea to put Oscars with goldfish in a community tank.

It’s also not a good idea to feed goldfish to Oscars on purpose. This shouldn’t become a normal part of the Oscar’s diet.

Goldfish can be enjoyable fish to care for, but they should be kept separate from the Oscars. Give them their own tank and keep Oscars in a larger community tank with appropriate tank mates.

Oscar Fish Eating Guppies

Guppies are far too small to be put in a fish tank with Oscar fish. These fish would become a snack for the Oscars rather quickly.

As mentioned above, fish that are too small will get eaten by Oscars. Guppies easily fit into the Oscar’s mouths.

You can’t blame the Oscar fish for being omnivores. This is why you need to research things ahead of time so you can avoid making mistakes.

Don’t put any guppies in the fish tank with Oscars. These smaller types of fish need to be kept in fish tanks with other small fish that they’re compatible with.

Can Oscar Fish Live with African Cichlids?

African Cichlid

No, African cichlids won’t be a good fit for your community tank if you’re caring for Oscars. Oscars and African cichlids have far different care requirements overall.

Also, many types of cichlids are known to have problems getting along. There’s a good chance that the two types of cichlids would fight each other in a community aquarium.

You don’t want to have to deal with problems such as this. It’s simply not a good idea to put African cichlids in the same tank as Oscar fish.

Oscars have many better options when you’re looking for community tank members. You can find tank mates that are truly compatible with them.

Can Oscars Live with Parrot Fish?

Blue Parrot Fish

Some people have been able to keep Oscars and parrot fish together. However, you could encounter problems with aggression if you aren’t careful.

These two fish might come into conflict if the fish tank isn’t big enough. If you wish to keep Oscars and parrot fish in the same tank, it’s imperative to buy a large aquarium.

You want to give the Oscars and the parrot fish more than enough space. It’ll keep them separated and make it more likely that they can coexist in the tank.

It’s often wise to put hiding spots in the tank, too. Decorations such as caves and rocks can help to give the fish hiding spots so they won’t have to fight.

Even knowing this, it might be best not to put parrot fish in the tank with Oscars. They aren’t the most compatible fish even if some enthusiasts have managed to make it work.

Can Oscars Live with Angelfish?

Lone Angelfish

It’s a terrible idea to keep angelfish in a community aquarium with Oscars. Many types of angelfish are a lot smaller than Oscars.

Even if they aren’t small enough to get eaten by the Oscars, they could wind up getting hurt. The Oscars might wind up bullying the angelfish.

Both angelfish and Oscars are territorial and they could easily come into conflict. It’s very likely that the angelfish will get killed by the Oscars in the tank.

There are some claims that certain aquarium experts have been able to keep angelfish and Oscars in the same tank. However, it’s not usually going to go well at all.

If you’re a beginner or someone with moderate experience, it’s a poor choice to keep these fish together. Generally, it’s not recommended to put angelfish in a community tank with Oscars.

Can Oscars Live with Silver Dollar Fish?

Silver Dollar Fish Swimming in a Densely Planted Aquarium

Silver dollar fish are some of the best tank mates for Oscars. These are very peaceful fish that are going to leave the Oscars alone.

They’re large enough that Oscars aren’t going to be able to eat them. These fish grow to be around six inches long on average.

Since the silver dollar fish will be large enough to avoid being seen as prey, the Oscars will leave them alone. They won’t bother them and you can enjoy having both of these fish in your tank.

It’s also nice that silver dollar fish are easy to maintain. They’re good fish for beginners who want to have an easy time while still being able to enjoy pretty fish.

Can Oscars Live with Black Ghost Knife Fish?

Black Ghost Knifefish

Black ghost knife fish make very good tank mates for Oscar fish. These fish are semi-aggressive, but that just means that they can stand up to Oscars.

These fish grow to be rather big, and that means that you’ll need a large fish tank for them. They can grow to be up to twenty inches long.

So long as the Oscars and the black ghost knife fish have enough space in the tank, this will be a good experience. It’s worth noting that black ghost knife fish are nocturnal fish.

You’ll love how interesting these fish are to look at. They’re pretty and they’re also quite shy most of the time.

Can Oscars Live with Reedfish?


Reedfish are peaceful fish that are known to get along well with Oscars in a community fish tank setting. They’re good choices because they largely stay out of the way of big fish in the tank.

It’s possible for these fish to become prey, but they’re fast and can get away from many types of predators. Oscars shouldn’t be able to get them and they’re considered to be good tank mates for them overall.

One reason to choose these fish for your community tank is that they’re unique. They have very long bodies and they look so different from the other fish being talked about here.

You’ll likely have a very good time observing these fish if you make them a part of your community aquarium. Just be sure that they’re compatible with any other tank mates that you choose before making final decisions.

Can Oscars Live with Plecos?

Albino Pleco

Plecos are types of catfish that are very popular among aquarium enthusiasts. You’ll be happy to know that they’re excellent tank mates for Oscars.

Some types of plecos can grow to be as long as twenty four inches. They’ll get along well with Oscars because they’re large and peaceful fish.

Plecos have a very interesting appearance that will stand out in your fish tank. The fish will look good and they’ll never cause any problems in the community tank.

When you’re looking for peaceful fish that are easy to care for, plecos will be near the top of the list. You’ll love these fish if you choose to buy them.

Can Oscars Live with Clown Loaches?

Clown Loach Highlighted Above Gray Rock

Clown loaches are another option when you’re looking for compatible tank mates for Oscars. These fish are very playful and they also look rather neat.

It’s also great that they’re peaceful fish that won’t bother the Oscars. Oscars and clown loaches will pretty much leave each other alone in the aquarium.

Clown loaches grow to be twelve inches or larger in captivity. They’re big enough to do very well in a fish tank with Oscars.

It’s easy to find compatible tank mates for clown loaches, too. They’ll be a superb addition to your community aquarium.

Can Oscars Live with Bala Sharks?

Bala Shark

Bala sharks should work out nicely as tank mates for Oscar fish. They’re large types of fish that grow to be around twelve inches long at maturity.

Since they’re peaceful fish, they’re usually excellent community tank members. One thing to know is that you’ll want a 150-gallon tank or larger if you’re going to keep these fish with Oscars.

The bala sharks will do well in a community tank setting because they mind their own business. You need to keep four or five bala sharks in the tank for them to be able to thrive, though.

If you’re willing to buy that many bala sharks, they’ll be good tank mates for the Oscars. You’ll enjoy how impressive these large fish look in your tank.

Can Oscars Live with Red-Tailed Sharks?

Red-Tailed Shark

Red-tailed sharks are a type of carp that will be a good tank mate for Oscars. They look quite impressive with their black bodies and red tails.

If you give them enough space in the tank, they’ll do great in a community tank setting. Simply ensure that you’re using a tank that is more than large enough to have a good experience.

Oscars are commonly kept with red-tailed sharks as tank mates. It’s recommended to place caves in the tank for these fish so they can hide when they feel the need to.

Red-tailed sharks also like aquatic plants if you can find options that the Oscars won’t ruin. You’ll likely see the red-tailed sharks living near the bottom of the fish tank.

Can Oscars Live with Convict Cichlids?

Convict Cichlid

Convict cichlids are interesting fish because they have an almost zebra-like appearance. Indeed, sometimes these fish will be sold as zebra cichlids.

They’re also called convict cichlids because their stripes resemble the stripes on old-fashioned prisoner outfits. It’s easy to see that they’re beautiful fish that will stand out in a fish tank.

Are they any good as tank mates for Oscars, though? They can work out well as tank mates for Oscars.

They’re large enough that the Oscars won’t eat them. Give them enough space and they should stay away from the Oscars in a community tank.

Sometimes they might come into conflict with the Oscars. However, they’ll only defend their own territory and the fights shouldn’t get too bad.

Thus, they aren’t perfect tank mates for the Oscar fish. They’re decent tank mates for Oscar fish that can work out okay if you give the fish enough space.

Can Oscars Live with Firemouth Cichlids?

Firemouth Cichlid

Firemouth cichlids are also known to be compatible with Oscar fish. This is partially because firemouth cichlids are closely related to the convict cichlids mentioned above.

You’ll find that firemouth cichlids aren’t too aggressive overall. Even so, they grow large enough that they won’t be bothered by Oscar fish in a community tank.

These fish are good at swimming around and staying away from fights, too. They’ll get away from the Oscars if the Oscars ever do become aggressive in the tank.

If you have hiding spots in the tank, the firemouth cichlids will be even safer. Firemouth cichlids will flee from conflict and hide until any threats have passed.

Ensuring that you have some rock caves in the tank will help these fish to do well. You’ll also like that these fish are very easy to care for overall.

Can Oscars Live with Bichir Fish?

Barred Bichir

Bichir fish are shaped like eels and they live at the bottom of the fish tank. These fish need to breathe air, though, and that means that they come up to the top of the fish tank every so often to get a breath.

These fish are rather long and you’ll need a big fish tank for them. They grow to be between twelve and twenty four inches long at maturity.

Oscars can pick on these fish a bit, but it usually isn’t a big deal. If the fish tank is more than big enough, it’s likely that the Oscars will leave them alone.

Bichir fish aren’t the easiest to care for overall. They’re not delicate fish, but some beginners might have a tough time with them.

Even so, they’re fun fish to consider when looking for unique tank mates for Oscar fish. They’ll look good in the tank simply because of the contrast with the Oscar fish.

Can Oscars Live with Jack Dempsey Cichlids?

Electric Blue Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey cichlids are large fish that will be very close to Oscars in size. It’s common for these fish to grow to be ten inches long.

Sometimes these fish can be a bit aggressive, but it depends on the fish. These fish can be either fairly peaceful or semi-aggressive.

Put some hiding spots in the tank and make sure that the tank is big enough. If you do this, Jack Dempsey cichlids can work out fine as tank mates for Oscars.

They aren’t the best options since there are more compatible fish to consider. Regardless, many people enjoy the way that these fish look and want to keep them as part of a community tank.

Will Oscars Eat Snails?

Nerite Snail

Perhaps you’re considering putting snails in the community fish tank. Sometimes people keep snails in tanks as cleaners.

This can be a fun thing to do, but you won’t always be able to do this safely. Many types of fish are known to eat snails.

Will Oscars eat snails? Yes, if the snails will fit in the Oscar’s mouth, it’s going to devour them.

Oscars are known to eat snails whether they’re in or out of their shells. Since they’re not picky eaters, they’ll eat pretty much anything that seems as though it would be a good meal.

Some people feed their Oscars snails as a snack. You can buy feeder snails for the Oscars and put them in the tank.

Typically, Oscars will wind up spitting out the shell. This means that you don’t have to remove the shell from the feeder snails if you decide to use snails as an occasional snack for the Oscars.

Will Oscars Eat Mystery Snails?

Mystery Snail

Yes, Oscars will eat mystery snails if they have the opportunity to do so. You might be able to keep mystery snails in a tank with Oscars before they reach full size.

A juvenile Oscar fish might not be large enough to eat the mystery snail. However, the Oscar is going to continue to grow as time passes.

Eventually, the Oscar fish will be twelve inches long and it’ll be more than large enough to devour the snail. At some point, the Oscar will get hungry and decide to eat the snail.

This is why it’s not a good idea to keep snails in a fish tank with Oscars. Oscars are omnivores that will eat snails if the snails will fit in their mouths.

Since Oscars grow to be quite large, it’s easy to see why snails won’t work out as long-term tank mates. Keep this in mind so that you can make appropriate decisions.

Final Thoughts

After learning more about Oscars and their compatible tank mates, you can make a decision. It’s easy to find good tank mates for these fish so long as you do the research.

You need to pick fish that are large enough so they won’t be eaten. Oscar fish are known to eat small types of fish such as guppies and goldfish.

They’ll also eat snails so long as they’re small enough to fit in their mouths. You must avoid putting fish in community tanks with Oscars if they’ll just be eaten.

Oscars need to be kept in tanks with plenty of space. It’ll be less likely that aggression will become a problem if the fish tanks that they’re kept in are large enough.

Pick good fish for the tanks such as plecos, silver dollar fish, and clown loaches. Some types of cichlids such as convict cichlids can work out okay as tank mates, too.

You want to avoid incompatible tank mates such as angelfish. The Oscars could wind up hurting the angelfish if you put them in the community tank together.

Be sure to put hiding spots in the fish tank just in case. This gives fish the ability to flee rather than fight.

Now that you know all of this, you can set up an ideal community aquarium. It’ll look great and you won’t have to worry about your Oscars bullying other fish or being bullied by more aggressive fish.

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