If you are no longer interested in mundane, common fish, having a go at pike cichlid will surely be a fresh experience. While these animals may look like a handful, they are quite easy to care for, especially after getting to know all about their species.

So, in today’s article, let’s learn about the most important facets related to pike cichlids. What are pike cichlid tank mates? How can you keep them in a community tank? And what can you do to get the most out of these fish? Keep reading to find out!

3 Best Choices of Pike Cichlid Tank Mates​​

Tinfoil barb

Tinfoil barb

As the name already indicates, tinfoil barbs stand out with their glistening scales. In the dark, these scales will become almost luminous, creating a lovely visual effect for your tank.

As far as temperament is concerned, tinfoil barbs are relatively harmless and peaceful. They mingle easily with other fish, which means they will get on well with your pike cichlids.

South American cichlids

South American cichlids

There are a lot of cichlids native to South America. Some of the most popular include rainbow cichlid, severum, Bolivian cichlid, and blue acara. What all of them have in common is the fact that they are adaptable and hardy.

Furthermore, none of these fish are too aggressive. Even when put in the same tank with pike cichlids, the chances of them engaging in a fight are far and few between.

Silver dollar

Silver dollar fish

The silver dollar fish is a relatively circular fish with silvery scales and almost iridescent fins. Not only do silver dollar fish require little attention from aquarists to thrive, but they are also extremely peaceful. They make for a great company and will not cause you any trouble.

Pike Cichlid – What You Need To Know

Tank size

Pike cichlid tank size must contain at least 90 gallons of water. This is because pike cichlids are highly active and playful. They need plenty of room to move around comfortably.

That is not to mention how pike cichlids never live alone. They thrive best when there is a supporting community, hence the necessity to find suitable tank mates for your fish.


Like most other cichlids, pike cichlids can enjoy a lifespan of up to 10 years. However, this only happens if you can ensure optimal conditions for your fish.

If the water proves too toxic or the food is inadequate, pike cichlids can be extremely stressed and short-lived.


Pike cichlids have an elongated body with a pointy mouth at the front. While its shape remains the same, the color patterns will vary significantly.

Some have light gray bodies with dark brown stripes. Some are coated in black with orange stripes. Or, you can come across pike cichlids covered entirely in silver.


Pike cichlids are known to be curious and playful, especially when compared with less intuitive fish. After familiarizing themselves with the tank, they will spend hours exploring all corners.

They will also swim around enthusiastically and check out hiding spots before claiming their territory.

The only times you see pike cichlids getting slightly worked up is when someone imposes on their privacy. Pike cichlids can be a bit tad protective of their personal space.

But otherwise, pike cichlids are rather peaceful when not provoked.


Pike cichlids are not the easiest fish to reproduce. If you want to have baby pike cichlids, you will need a separate tank adjusted to the fish’s natural habitat.

This includes slightly acidic water with dense vegetation at the bottom. This way, pike cichlids can safely lay eggs knowing that they will not be broken.

As for the substrate, put in as many driftwood and rocks as you can. Keep the breeding ground slightly moist and sandy so that pike cichlids can dig up nests effortlessly.

After being laid by female pike cichlids and fertilized by male pike cichlids, the eggs will need roughly 5 days to hatch. Here, all you have to do is to feed them with brine shrimp and brine shrimp eggs.

There is no need to guard the newly hatched, as the male pike cichlids will take care of this job.


1. What do pike cichlid eat?

Pike cichlids are considered omnivores. This means that they can chew on both protein-rich food and plant matter. Hence, feeding them is a piece of cake. You can either give them live or frozen food, as well as flake and pellet food.

Pike cichlids are not picky when it comes to their diets. Provided the meals are nutritious and fill up their bellies, pike cichlids will be fine. But if you want to give them a treat from time to time, letting them eat live insects or worms is a good choice.

2. How big does a pike cichlid get?

Pike cichlids can get much bigger than anticipated. Within the first 6 months, they will grow to a full length of no fewer than 12 inches. In some extreme cases, it can grow to 20 inches in length, an impressive number that may terrify inexperienced aquarists.

Still, if you are not ready to have such a big fish at home, consider buying smaller-sized pike cichlids. Most of them may grow up to 7 inches in length, which is still acceptable for medium-sized aquariums.

3. How many gallons of water do pike cichlids need?

Pike cichlids will need anywhere from 90 to 150 gallons of water to live and swim comfortably.


Finding the right pike cichlid tank mates is no easy task, considering how aggressive these animals can be.

However, as long as you pay attention to the characteristics of each species, rest assured that you can build a community tank that satisfies all the fish inside!

Alex is a pet freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. He attended Colorado State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, which was where he first got some experience in animal nutrition. After graduating from University, Alex began sharing his knowledge as a freelance writer specializing in pets.

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