African Butterfly Fish Tank Mates: Expert Recommendations

The African butterfly fish is a unique freshwater species that can make for an interesting addition to your aquarium. However, finding suitable tank mates can be a challenge.

The African butterfly fish is known for its aggressive nature and predatory instincts, which can make it difficult to find compatible tank mates. We have listed the top 10 best African butterfly fish tank mates that will coexist peacefully.

From Otocinclus Catfish to Guppies, learn more about them all. We have also detailed how you can care for the African Butterfly Fish and maintain the ideal water conditions to ensure they stay healthy and happy in their new home.

African Butterfly Fish Tank Mates

10 Best African Butterfly Fish Tank Mates

Best African Butterfly Fish Tank Mates

Considering African Dwarf Frogs as compatible tank mates is a great option for your African Butterfly Fish tank. Corydoras Catfish is another peaceful companion that can coexist harmoniously with the butterfly fish. If you’re looking for small and peaceful tank mates, Otocinclus Catfish are an excellent choice. Gouramis, known for their vibrant colours, can also be suitable companions for your African Butterfly Fish.

Additionally, Neon Tetras can add colour and activity to your tank. These 10 best African Butterfly Fish tank mates will create a diverse and dynamic underwater community. When introducing new tank mates, remember to provide ample hiding spots and consider factors such as temperament, water parameters, and feeding habits.

1. African Dwarf Frogs

African Dwarf Frogs

African Dwarf Frogs make excellent tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. These small and peaceful frogs prefer similar water conditions to butterfly fish. To accommodate the frogs, provide hiding spots and vegetation in the aquarium. They thrive on a diet of small live food like bloodworms and daphnia. It’s important to ensure enough space and surface area for both species to coexist harmoniously.

Creating an environment that meets their needs can foster a peaceful community in the tank. African Dwarf Frogs bring a unique and captivating element to the aquarium with their distinct appearance and behaviour. With proper care and attention, these frogs can be delightful companions for your African Butterfly Fish.

2. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish, known for their bottom-dwelling nature and peaceful temperament, make excellent tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. Keeping them in groups of at least 4-6 individuals is advisable to ensure their well-being and social behaviour. These catfish thrive when provided with a sandy substrate, which allows them to sift through it in search of food and create a natural habitat.

Sinking pellets or flakes specifically designed for bottom-dwelling fish should be their primary source of nutrition. Additionally, providing enough hiding spots in the tank is crucial to cater to their shy nature. By incorporating Corydoras Catfish into your African Butterfly Fish tank, you can enhance the diversity and dynamics of your aquatic ecosystem.

3. Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish are a wonderful choice for small and peaceful tank mates. These catfish are renowned for their ability to devour algae, making them excellent cleaners for your aquarium. To ensure their happiness, provide them with a well-planted tank with hiding spots and vegetation. Feeding them algae wafers or blanched vegetables will fulfil their dietary needs.

It’s important to note that Otocinclus Catfish should not be kept with aggressive or fin-nipping fish, as they are easily stressed. By incorporating Otocinclus Catfish into your aquarium, you’ll benefit from their impressive algae-eating skills and add a touch of beauty to their unique appearance. They are popular among aquarists due to their small size, peaceful temperament, and compatibility with various freshwater fish species.

4. Gouramis

Gouramis are excellent tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. They can be kept in pairs or small groups, creating a harmonious and dynamic environment. To ensure their well-being, provide a well-planted tank with floating vegetation, mimicking their natural habitat in West Africa. Gouramis have a varied diet, so feed them flakes, pellets, and live food to meet their nutritional needs.

However, it’s important to note that they should not be kept with aggressive or territorial fish as they are relatively peaceful. Gouramis display beautiful patterns and colours, adding a vibrant touch to your aquarium. By following these guidelines, you can create a thriving community that will bring joy to aquarists and provide a fascinating display of freshwater fish.

5. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras make excellent tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. These peaceful and colourful fish should be kept in a shoal of at least six individuals to ensure their well-being. Creating a well-planted tank with subdued lighting will help replicate their natural habitat. Neon Tetras are omnivorous and require a balanced diet of flakes and small live food, such as insects or worms.

It’s important to avoid keeping them with fin-nipping fish, as this can cause stress and potential harm to the Neon Tetras. You can enjoy the vibrant colours and graceful movements of these beautiful fish in your African Butterfly Fish tank by providing a suitable environment and compatible tank mates.

6. Loaches


Certain species of loaches can coexist peacefully with African Butterfly Fish. When choosing loaches as tank mates, it is important to research and select small and peaceful varieties. Create a conducive environment for them by providing hiding spots and a sandy substrate. Loaches are omnivorous, so feeding them a varied diet consisting of sinking pellets and live food is essential.

Monitor their behaviour closely to ensure they do not outcompete other tank mates for food or territory. By incorporating loaches into your African Butterfly Fish tank, you can add diversity and interest to your aquarium while maintaining a harmonious environment.

7. Rasboras

Rasboras are an excellent choice of tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. These peaceful and active fish come in various colours and sizes, allowing you to select the perfect fit for your aquarium. Some recommended species include Harlequin Rasboras, Scissortail Rasboras, and Emerald Eye Rasboras.

It’s important to choose rasboras similar in size to your African Butterfly Fish to avoid aggressive behaviour. Creating a comfortable and stress-free environment for all your fish is essential, so be sure to provide plenty of hiding spots and plants in your tank. Doing so ensure a harmonious coexistence between your African Butterfly Fish and the vibrant and lively rasboras.

8. Guppies

Guppies are an excellent choice for African butterfly fish tank mates due to their peaceful nature. These colourful fish add a vibrant and aesthetic touch to the aquarium, enhancing its overall appeal. One of the advantages of keeping guppies is their hardiness and ease of care, making them a low-maintenance addition to the tank.

They are also highly adaptable to various water parameters, allowing for a healthier environment for all the fish in the tank. However, monitoring the tank conditions and preventing excessive breeding is crucial to avoid overpopulation. Guppies can coexist harmoniously with African butterfly fish by maintaining a balanced ecosystem, creating a beautiful and serene underwater world.

9. Bala Sharks

Bala Sharks are a peaceful and active fish species, making them excellent tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. They thrive in groups of three or more, so having a larger tank is important to accommodate their needs. When it comes to diet, Bala Sharks require a varied meal plan consisting of both plant-based and protein-based foods.

They can grow up to 14 inches long, so ensure your tank is spacious enough to accommodate their size as they mature. While they are generally non-aggressive towards other fish, it’s essential to note that smaller fish or invertebrates may become prey for Bala Sharks. Therefore, it’s recommended to consider the compatibility of tank inhabitants when introducing Bala Sharks.

10. Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos make great tank mates for African Butterfly Fish. They are peaceful and won’t bother the butterfly fish, ensuring a harmonious coexistence. These Plecos effectively clean the tank as they have a voracious appetite for algae and debris.

They adapt well to different water conditions and are relatively easy to care for. Remember that they can grow up to six inches, so a large tank is necessary. Bristlenose Plecos are valuable additions to any African Butterfly Fish tank, promoting cleanliness and well-being.

Caring For The African Butterfly Fish

To properly care for African Butterfly Fish, maintain optimal water conditions with a filtration system. Provide a tank with floating plants to mimic their natural habitat. Ensure suitable water movement and temperature for their health. Feed them live food like brine shrimp and insects for proper nutrition.

Create a tank setup resembling their West African habitat with driftwood and structures for hiding and exploring. Remember, they are territorial and may prey on smaller fish and invertebrates. Following these guidelines will help African Butterfly Fish thrive in captivity.

Ideal Tank Size For Your African Butterfly Fish

When choosing a tank size for your African Butterfly Fish, consider a minimum of 20 gallons. This allows them to swim freely and display their behaviours. For multiple fish, opt for a larger tank. Ensure enough surface area for resting near the water’s surface by including vegetation, driftwood, and live plants. African Butterfly Fish are small and non-aggressive but choose tank mates carefully. Create an ideal environment by providing the right tank size and features.

Maintaining Suitable Water Parameters

Maintaining Suitable Water Parameters

To ensure the well-being of African Butterfly Fish, it is important to maintain suitable water parameters. Keeping the water slightly acidic creates an ideal environment for these unique fish. The temperature should be maintained between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, replicating their native habitat in West Africa.

Monitoring ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels is crucial to prevent water quality issues. Providing a gentle water flow mimics their natural habitat and keeps the tank environment healthy. It is also important to keep the water clean and free from pollutants. Aquarists can create a thriving ecosystem for African Butterfly Fish by following these guidelines.


When choosing tank mates for your African butterfly fish tank mates, it is important to consider their compatibility and the specific needs of the fish. The 10 recommended tank mates listed above have been proven to coexist well with the African Butterfly Fish and create a harmonious aquatic environment.

However, it is always important to monitor the behaviour and health of all the fish in the tank and make adjustments as needed. Additionally, providing the ideal tank size and maintaining suitable water parameters is crucial for the well-being of your African Butterfly Fish and its tank mates. Following these recommendations, you can create a thriving and peaceful aquarium for your African Butterfly Fish and its companions.

Frequently Asked Questions

[rank_math_rich_snippet id=”s-eccf16ec-e4b3-4efc-b52b-400b3d5bef55″]

Leave a Comment