Top 10 Best Flowerhorn Tank Mates & Worst Tank Mates

Flowerhorns are the ideal fish species for fish owners who are fans of colorful and large fish. These creatures are best known for their unusual skin patterns, unique body composition, and bright colors that give Flowerhorns rare tropical looks. 

Aside from the Flowerhorns’ exotic visual characteristics, they are also best characterized as creatures with sturdy and aggressive behavior, especially the male Flowerhorns. Flowerhorns are also territorial, so you must properly plan the other species you intend to put together with them inside a tank. 

Generally, the best tank mates for Flowerhorns are those with semi-aggressive or aggressive temperaments like them. And to help you, we have listed the best and worst fish species to keep with Flowerhorns. 

flowerhorn tank mates

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10 Best Flowerhorn Tank Mates

Flowerhorns are usually kept alone in their tanks forever, however they don’t have to be solo fish. However if you dare to keep your Flowerhorn with other fish they must be large, or fast enough to avoid the Flowerhorns aggression. Here are our top ten best tank mate suggestions for these unique yet macho fish species. 

1. Midas Cichlid 

A Midas Cichlid is best known for its bright orange oval-shaped body with a combination of yellow and white. This breed is an attractive creature that piques several fish enthusiasts’ interests. The female species are easy to distinguish from their male counterparts because of the smaller hump located on their heads.  

Inside the natural habitat, the female’s lump on its head only appears during the breeding season. However, expect to see it all the time when you place a female Midas Cichlid in a fish tank. Midas Cichlids are generally omnivorous, and they love catching smaller fish species for their main food source. 

Because of their large body size, they are recommended to be accompanied by tank mates of the same size, like the Flowerhorn. Midas Cichlid also gets aggressive and territorial when several fish species start to invade where it lives. 

2. Jaguar Cichlid 

Jaguar Cichlids are also highly aggressive predator fish species. They can serve as good tank mates with Flowerhorns because of their large size and territorial temperaments. Their bodies are silver-gold colored combined with dark spots that can beautifully contrast the bright-colored bodies of the Flowerhorns.

When placed in their natural habitats, Jaguar Cichlids act similar to Largemouth Bass and other predator fish from North America. They patiently wait for a smaller fish to pass by before sucking it into their mouths. 

Jaguar Cichlids are easy to maintain and care for, and they prefer neutral to basic water with warmer temperatures. As long as you feed them well and provide a spacious tank, these fish creatures will grow and multiply fast. 

However, an important tip is to avoid placing plants inside the tank when you wish to place them together with Flowerhorns. They will simply tear and destroy them. Go for large and solid decorations instead.

3. Wolf Cichlids 

Wolf Cichlids are the most aggressive tank mates but blend well with Flowerhorns because of their attractive colors and pattern. They generally have big mouths, thick lips, and jutting foreheads. These creatures also have goldish or light silver dotted bodies. Their heads have varying shades of red and green. 

The best way to distinguish the female from male Wolf Cichlids is the color of their bodies, with the females always in full yellow. Additionally, the main trait of Wolf Cichlids is their ability to play with any decoration they please inside the tank. They are not picky with what they eat and will feed on freshwater carnivores.

However, if you are a beginner in petting fish breeds and placing them in aquariums, Wolf Cichlids are not recommended because of their aggressive behavior and large size. 

4. Green Terror

Like wolf Cichlids, Green Terrors are also highly aggressive and territorial, especially during spawning season. Both female and male breeds turn vicious during this period, especially towards their tank mates. However, Green Terrors also turn out to be one of the most beautiful giant cichlids. 

You can distinguish between males and females easily because the males have golden or silver trims and fins, electric green marbling patterns, and prominent nuchal humps like the humps you see in Flowerhorns. 

Green Terrors can serve as good tank mates for Flowerhorns because of their bodies’ blues and greens, contrasting they give to the Flowerhorns’ vibrant bodies with combinations of yellows, oranges, and reds. 

5. Pacu Fish

Pacu fish breeds are unique-looking species that can serve as good tank mates to the Flowerhorns. The most outstanding visual trait of these breeds is their sharp teeth that look like the teeth of humans. They can bite anything or anyone using their teeth when they feel threatened. 

Pacu fish breeds are omnivorous, and they are well-determined to find food if they badly need to. When they live in their natural habitat, Pacu fish species can weigh as heavy as 25 kilos. However, even with their large size, these breeds are peaceful and easy to care for. 

6. Oscar Fish 

With its unique body shape and rare color combinations, the Oscar fish serves as a good neighbor to Flowerhorns. Like Flowerhorns, these predator fish breeds can get very aggressive, especially during their breeding period. During this time, Oscar fish species can attack anything that distracts or gets in their way. 

In other seasons, the Oscar fish can gracefully swim and loiter in the water for an entire day, as long as it does not meet or run into smaller fish breeds that can lead this breed to devour. 

Because Oscar fish species are territorial, you need to provide them with more than enough space inside the aquarium to allow them to move and swim freely. Oscar fish breeds are omnivores, so they are easy to feed. They are also highly interactive, making them fun species to pet. 

7. Red Terror

The Red Terror is much more aggressive than its green counterpart. This breed can also grow tremendously, with an adult Red Terror nearly as big as an adult male Flowerhorn. Extra care should be taken when petting these fish breeds because they can draw your blood and bite your hand when feeding them or changing the tank’s water. 

One of the main reasons why Red Terror breeds serve as good Flowerhorn tank mates is their unique black and red patterns on their bodies, distinct from the Flowerhorn’s bright colors. If you decide to keep them together in one aquarium, at least 150 gallons of sufficient space should be allocated for each fish breed. 

8. Texas Cichlid 

Another fish enthusiast favorite is the Texas Cichlids because of their bright colors and patterns. Like Flowerhorns, these species are territorial and aggressive and will go out of their way to defend themselves and their eggs. 

Texas Cichlids have mainly flat and oval-shaped dark brown bodies with green spots and protrusive and big mouths. They can easily adapt to water temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about changing your tank’s water once the warmness or coldness shifts. These fish breeds are omnivores, eating any food they find. 

One important note you need to remember with Texas Cichlids is their higher organic waste generation than other fish species. With this, you can find it harder to clean the tank water when you breed them at home. 

9. Arowanas

Arowanas, or Dragon Fish in several countries, are large predators with prehistoric appearances. They have long and large reflective fins and scales resembling barbels. Putting together Arowanas and Flowerhorns in one tank resulted from several breeding programs in East Asia. 

Like Texas Cichlids, these fish species are not demanding their favored water conditions. They can grow quickly into massive creatures, regardless of the temperature. An important characteristic of Aronwanas is their skittish and leaping movements. Arowanas can jump as far as 6 feet to catch lizards and insects hanging on tree branches. 

10. Acara Cichlids 

Finally, Acara Cichlids are also semi-aggressive and territorial creatures that will prey on smaller fish every chance they get. With this, it’s better to put them together with species of the same size and temperament, like Flowerhorns. Acara Cichlids have various colors: gray, black, brown, green, and blue. 

An Acara Cichlid’s body consists of dots, patches, and lateral or horizontal stripes. These fish breeds are also undemanding on the water quality and temperatures, making it easy for you to create a tank environment where they can live together with the Flowerhorns. 

Should you decide to keep them together with Flowerhorns, you should give each creature enough space to swim around. Decorations such as rocks, roots, and plants should be placed on one side. 

5 Worst Fish to Keep with Flowerhorns

Flowerhorns are aggressive species, so they cannot live with fish breeds that are smaller than ten inches. To name a few, here are some of the fish breeds you should not keep with Flowerhorns. 

1. Goldfish 

Goldfish species are among the most common breeds that can serve as pets. However, you should never try to keep them together with Flowerhorns, mainly because of their size. Since Flowerhorns are aggressive, they can easily prey on these small Goldfish breeds. 

Contrary to their name, goldfish species are not technically gold but have dull colors. Additionally, these breeds are easy to care for and maintain. They are not affected by temperature fluctuations and sudden drops in the water’s oxygen level. 

2. Angelfish

Another fish breed that should not be kept together with Flowerhorns is the Angelfish breed. Flowerhorns are aggressive, and they would just happily devour Angelfish breeds when you put them together in one tank. Putting them together will cause more stress to the Angelfish because this breed will be constantly bullied and chased by Flowrhorns. 

When an Angelfish gets stressed, it will constantly hide or swim most of the time to stay away from the Flowerhorn. The large Flowerhorn will become a constant threat to the Angelfish face, resulting in this medium-sized breed being killed. 

3. Discus

Discus is another fish breed that should not be kept together with Flowerhorns because of its size. Additionally, Discus breeds are particular with the pH condition and temperature of the water, so you need to choose other fish breeds that can adapt to the tank characteristics favored by this fish species. 

These fish species are one of the most attractive Cichlids you can find, but their behavior and temperament are the opposite of the Cichlids’ aggressive nature. Discus breeds are calm, peaceful, and timid, making them not ideal tank mates for Flowerhorns. 

4. Chili Rasbora 

A Chili Rasbora is one of the smallest fish species in the world, only over an inch long. While this breed is a popular aquarium fish, you should not put it in one tank with the aggressive Flowerhorns. Chili Rasbora species are brightly colored and ideal for placing in nano aquariums because of their extremely small size. Their bodies are mainly covered in dazzling red mixed with black stripes, especially on their fins. 

5. Stout Infant fish

Stout Infant fish species look like tiny bananas with their pale yellow-colored bodies. This fish breed is also one of the lightest fish species in the world, and with its size, you should not consider keeping it together with a Flowerhorn. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can Flowerhorns be kept together?

Generally, Flowerhorns can live together in one tank, especially because they are practically the same and have similar behaviors and sizes. You can place a male and a female Flowerhorn together, especially when mating during the breeding season. 

2. Can parrotfish live with Flowerhorn?

Parrotfish breeds also serve as good tank mates for Flowerhorns. They are peaceful fish species that will not get aggressive and bite any tank mate because their teeth are developed inside their mouths. 

3. Can Flowerhorns live with Oscars?

As mentioned earlier, Oscars are one of the best tank mates for Flowerhorns. They are not as aggressive as Flowerhorns and can tolerate any fish, including territorial and large-sized fish breeds. 

Best Flowerhorn Tank Mates Summary

Hopefully you found value in this Flowerhorn tank mates guide! It’s recommended that Flowerhorns be kept by themselves but if you have to keep them with other fish we listed out 10 of the most popular flowerhorn tanks mates. We went on to talk about the worst fish to keep with Flowerhorns.

Lastly, we answered the frequently asked questions about keeping Flowerhorns with other fish. If you decide to pair your fish with other species always have a divider handy just incase you need to separate them. Thanks for reading!

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