I have goldfish in a tank. I added cichlids 3 weeks after. They died over the weekend. I don't know if it was the heater I have in there or I could have overfed. My question is what do I do to next time keep my cichlids alive the next time and should i do something to the tank before I put new ones in? By the way goldfish are still living.

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    How will the goldfish create bacteria? What's the size of the tank? Did you cycle it before? Please add these details to your question.
    – Mozein
    Mar 3, 2015 at 15:14
  • Part of the answer is probably here: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/215/…, Although there isn't enough information in the question to really tell what the problem truly is.
    – Spidercat
    Mar 3, 2015 at 17:48
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    For the record, since the question has been re-opened, I still believe there isn't enough information in the question to be answered. See: What to include in questions about fish?
    – Spidercat
    Mar 19, 2015 at 19:10
  • What do you mean by "cichlids" ? Africans want hard alkaline water, south Americans generally want soft acidic water. What water do you have.? Dec 6, 2019 at 20:23
  • Good to know, thanks! We are trying to reduce the number of tanks and thought the goldfish might like it in the tank with the one cichlid that's left. It's already chasing around one one the goldfish. Guess we'll move them back.
    – Diane
    Jan 16, 2022 at 4:24

5 Answers 5


Goldfish are in the carp family and are coldwater fish, they thrive in temperatures from 15 - 25 °C.

Goldfish handle water temperatures above 25 °C poorly, so they are not a good fit for aquariums at all. For goldfish to really thrive, a pond is the best.

Goldfish are seen as dirty fish as they produce more waste than many other types of fish, so they need a larger amount of water than other fish.

Cichlids are tropical fish and they thrive at temperatures from 24 - 30 °C so they are ideal aquarium fish. The difference in optimal temperature for cichlids versus goldfish makes the two types of fish incompatible so you can not expect these two types of fish to live in the same tank.

Please do not mix tropical fish with cold water fish, it is not possible to fulfil the needs of these two species in the same tank.


I would have no way to know if your heater was the problem as you asked because you never told us the temperature of the tank. My tank is at 24 - 27 °C (75 - 80 °F) it fluctuates with the temperature swings in my house, but it also has a heater. I have 2 goldfish in there along with my new cichlid, 10 minnows (hopefully will become cichlid food when cichlid gets larger, I bought too many and can't catch them), 4 zebra danios, 1 gold danio, 2 giant danios, some ghost shrimp which I think the cichlid ate and 1 map turtle as well.

All these fish (besides the newest only cichlid) have survived with the turtle for a few months now. The cichlid seems to be doing fine. My plan is to make my turtle tank more of a cichlid and turtle tank without all these smaller fish. My turtle caught some of the minnows but now rarely chases them because he thinks he can't get them and would rather beg for food.

Besides all those minnows I don't have that many other fish, only the 5 danios and the 2 giant danios. I plan on relocating the goldfish as they get larger into a pond my neighbor has with other goldfish and koi in.

My advice is to keep your water very clean. I have to do so many water changes and also have 2 filters running in there, but still do biweekly water changes, and every other day or so I do waste vacuuming.


I have goldfish and African Cichlids living together in perfect harmony. It is amazing how some of them always swim together. That said, it is not something a beginner should do, unless you are fine with killing perfectly healthy animals. Of you introduce the two completely different species together in the right environment, then it is easy. If not, they will compete to survive and the similar comes cichlids will always win. You must have the right water, which means correct Ph, Kh, NO, temp and flow. If you don’t understand that, then do Not try to mix goldfish with Cichlids.


I have a large parrot cichlid fish *6" living with 3 huge goldfish and 2 koi fish. They are all healthy and have been living together for 3 years now with absolutely no problems and no aggression. So , I would suggest you look into what your water temperature was. The goldfish are hardy. They can deal with the warmer temperature. The cichlids need extra filtration to be used, double what your tank requires because the goldfish produce a lot of ammonia. Was your tank cycled?

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    Welcome to StackExchange Pets! Please take the tour and have a look at the help center. StackExchange is a Q&A site where every post must answer the question asked by the first poster, which is "what do I do to next time keep my cichlids alive?". Unfortunately your post doesn't answer this question at all. You have the chance to edit your post to actually answer the question, otherwise it will be deleted.
    – Elmy
    Sep 1, 2020 at 8:52

It is better not to put goldfish with cichlids, cichlids are much more aggressive than goldfish. Also, they live in different temperatures, goldfish need temperatures of less than 22 °C (72 °F) and cichlids of more than 24 °C (75 °F).

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    While this is good advice, it doesn't really answer the question that was asked.
    – Spidercat
    Mar 19, 2015 at 19:07

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