20 Kenyi Cichlid Tank Mates

Discover the top 20 tank mates for your Kenyi Cichlid. You’ll gain insights on their character and how they can coexist harmoniously with your pet. Dive into the aquatic world of these fascinating fish now and bring more joy to your aquarium life.

kenyi cichlid tank mates

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Yellow Labs (Labidochromis caeruleus)

Yellow Labs, aptly named for their vibrant hues, are an excellent choice when it comes to Kenyi Cichlid companions. Both species, Cichlids are native to Lake Malawi, and share similar water conditions.

electric yellow cichlid tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5. They are relatively peaceful and coexist well with the hardy and assertive Kenyi Cichlid.
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons (113 liters) or larger. Both species enjoy passing the time among rocks.
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C).
  • Care Level: Moderate. It’s essential to maintain proper water quality.
  • Temperament: Peaceful, social species.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. Feed them a varied diet of pellets, flakes, and occasionally brine shrimp.
  • Adult Size: Around 4 inches (10 cm). These fish aren’t overly large but provide a burst of color to any tank.


Red Zebras (Maylandia estherae)

The Red Zebras are a popular choice for a Kenyi Cichlid tank mate. They hail from the same East African Lake Malawi, allowing for similar water conditions and diet.

Red Zebra Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 30 gallons (113 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 75-80°F (24-27°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore; they appreciate a mix of high-quality cichlid pellets, vegetables, and occasional small, live, or frozen invertebrates.
  • Adult Size: Up to 5 inches (13 cm)

Despite their semi-aggressiveness, they can live harmoniously with Kenyi Cichlids under proper supervision. Just keep the tank spacious, well decorated with hiding spots, and the diet diversified to ensure a peaceful community.


Blue Dolphins (Cyrtocara moorii)

This species is well-loved for its blue-silver form and the hump on its head. Blue Dolphins (Cyrtocara moorii) are relatively peaceful, which bodes well for their compatibility with Kenyi Cichlids.

blue dolphin cichlid

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 125 gal (473 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Primarily herbivorous; Enjoys vegetable-based foods, but benefits greatly from occasional meaty treats.
  • Adult Size: Can reach up to 10 inches (25 cm)

Remember to offer them ample free-swimming space and hiding spots. As long as they’re feeling secure and well-fed, they’re generally less likely to cause or engage in aggressive behavior.


Synodontis Catfish

The Synodontis Catfish makes it to the top list of perfect tank mates for Kenyi Cichlids. This is due to its peaceful temperament and ability to coexist effectively with other species.

featherfin squeaker synodontis catfish

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 55 gal (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous with a preference for insects, crustaceans, and plant matter.
  • Adult Size: 6-10 inches (15-25 cm)

These nocturnal fellows are bottom dwellers, keeping to themselves during the day and active when it’s dark. This habit helps create a balanced tank environment, ensuring all areas of the aquarium are used. This way, the Kenyi Cichlids have an active companion that wouldn’t compete for territory. The care level is easy, which makes them favorable companions.


Plecos (Plecostomus sp.)

Plecos, also known as suckerfish, are a great choice for a Kenyi Cichlid tank mate. They’re renowned for their hardy nature and algae-eating habits.

common pleco

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5, as they tend to keep to themselves, generally ignoring their tank mates.
  • Tank Size: Require at least a 30-gallon (around 114 liters) tank.
  • Temperature Range: Between 72-86°F (22-30°C).
  • Care Level: Moderate, since they grow quite large and need a well-maintained tank.
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful, although larger individuals can be more territorial.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, will consume algae, leftover food, and benefit from the occasional blanched vegetable.
  • Adult Size: They can grow up to 24 inches (about 61 cm), depending on the species.

Remember to provide ample hiding spots and a strong filter for these unique fish.


Congo Tetras (Phenacogrammus interruptus)

Congo Tetras are a perfect choice if you’re looking for an active, color-rich companion for your Kenyi Cichlids. With their shimmering blue and red hues, these fish are a treat for the eyes.

congo tetra

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5. They usually coexist peacefully with Kenyi Cichlids.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 30 gallons (113 liters) is recommended to give them ample swimming space.
  • Temperature Range: Keep the tank between 72°F – 82°F (22°C – 28°C) for optimal health.
  • Care Level: They require moderate care, suitable for intermediate level aquarists.
  • Temperament: Congo Tetras are often active and peaceful, rarely showing aggression.
  • Diet & Feeding: They are omnivores, readily feeding on flakes and small live foods.
  • Adult Size: They grow up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) long upon reaching adulthood. Precise conditions are required for them to thrive.


Tiger Barbs (Puntius tetrazona)

Tiger Barbs, vibrant fish with a semi-aggressive nature, make an energetic addition to your Kenyi Cichlid setup.

tiger barb

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 20 gal (75 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 74-79°F (23-26°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, relishes a mix of high-quality flake food, freeze-dried bloodworms, and brine shrimp.
  • Adult Size: 3 in (7.5 cm)

When in groups, they entertain with a lively display but can nip at Cichlid’s fins if numbers dwindle. Keep stability in numbers at five or more. A well-decorated tank housing robust plants will provide coverage against territorial disputes, enhancing compatibility.

Remember to feed them with a balanced diet for optimal health and coloration. Your vigilance will reward you with a harmonious tank.


Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

The Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) is a popular choice for Kenyi Cichlid tank mates due to its peaceful nature and beautiful coloration.

These active, playful species co-exist well with Kenyi Cichlids. However, they require extra care, and the tank size should be substantial to accommodate their needs.

clown loach tank mates

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: Min 55 gal (208 L)
  • Temperature Range: 75-85°F (24-29°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous
  • Adult Size: 12 in (30 cm)

Remember, Clown Loaches love hiding spots, so make sure your tank has plenty of caves and tunnels for them to shelter. They are social fish, so keep a group of 5 or more for their happiness.


Yoyo Loach (Botia almorhae)

The Yoyo Loach is a fantastic tank mate for Kenyi Cichlids due to their similar environmental needs and compatible temperaments. With distinctive patterns and sleek physique, the Yoyo Loach makes an attractive addition to any aquarium.

yoyo loach

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 40 gal (152 liter)
  • Temperature Range: 75-86°F (24-30°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – feed them high-quality flake food as well as live and frozen foods like brine shrimp or blood worms.
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Remember to provide them with plenty of hiding places, like caves or dense vegetation. The Yoyo Loach really adds a touch of liveliness to your aquarium with their playful and active nature.


Electric Blue Cichlid (Sciaenochromis fryeri)

The Electric Blue Cichlid is an attractive companion to a Kenyi Cichlid tank. Not only does it sport a beautiful, vibrant blue hue—it also exhibits a peaceful nature. However, they can be moderately aggressive, hence you’ll want a spacious tank to accommodate both.

Electric Blue Hap

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 55 gallons (208 liters) – preferably larger
  • Temperature Range: 72 – 82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Medium
  • Temperament: Peaceful with bursts of moderate aggression.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous: feed with a diet of flakes, pellets, fresh or frozen foods.
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Keep in mind, compatibility can vary based on the specific temperament of your fish and the overall environment of your tank.


Auratus Cichlid (Melanochromis auratus)

The Auratus Cichlid is a vibrant addition to any aquarium. Native to the rocky shores of Lake Malawi in East Africa, these cichlids are known for their dramatic color changes as they mature.

Auratus Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gal (208 l)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore; variety of live, frozen, and flake foods
  • Adult Size: About 5 in (13 cm)

These are known to be territory-defending fish. So, ensure they have enough space for their comfort. Do remember, that although they pack an aggressive temper, they provide a dynamic visual element that can notably spruce up your aquarium.


Rusty Cichlid (Iodotropheus sprengerae)

The Rusty Cichlid is a tranquil species that can live harmoniously with Kenyi Cichlids. Their subdued yet beautiful coloration sets them apart. They’re quite forgiving, ideal for those new to keeping Cichlids.

rusty cichlid

  • Compatibility: 5/5
  • Tank Size: 55 gal (208 l)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Beginner
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; give a mix of dry, frozen, or live food
  • Adult Size: 4.3” (11 cm)

Remember, the key to maintaining a healthy ecosystem is balance. While Rusty Cichlids are peaceable, they also need enough aquatic territory to keep any aggression at bay.


Acei Cichlid (Pseudotropheus acei)

The friendly Acei Cichlid makes a wonderful associate for your Kenyi Cichlids. This peaceful fish boasts a vibrant blue body, interesting the eye enthusiastically.

yellow tail acei cichlid

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gal (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive, can be social
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoys both meaty foods and vegetables
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches in length

Courageously, the Acei Cichlid can hold its own in a Cichlid tank, exhibiting dominant behavior when needed. However, they are social, loving to swim with their own kind. Acei Cichlids require exceptional water conditions and algae-based foods, crucial for their survival.


Bumblebee Cichlid (Pseudotropheus crabro)

The Bumblebee Cichlid, also known as Pseudotropheus crabro, is a fascinating compatible tank mate for your Kenyi Cichlid. They captivate with their unique patterning, resembling a bumblebee, hence their name. However, they require similarly attentive care as your Kenyi Cichlid.

bumblebee cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gal (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, a combination of plants and small crustaceans is desirable.
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Prepare to invest in a spacious tank and keep a keen eye on the water temperature to provide an ideal environment for your Bumblebee Cichlid.


OB Peacock Cichlid (Aulonocara sp.)

Recognized for their vibrant colors, the OB Peacock Cichlids are a popular choice for Kenyi Cichlid tank mates. Generally peaceful, they complement the more aggressive nature of the Kenyis.

OB (Peacock) Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gal (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 75-80°F (24-27°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Generally peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; feed them a diet rich in vegetable matter, supplemented with meaty foods
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches (15 cm)

Remember, always monitor interactions in your aquarium. Despite being peaceful, the OB Peacock can be territorial and may assert dominance over smaller fish.


Demasoni Cichlid (Pseudotropheus demasoni)

The Demasoni Cichlid is a charismatic species, renowned for its striking blue stripes. It adds color and dynamism to any tank. However, their aggressive nature makes them selective about tank mates, including the Kenyi Cichlid.

Demasoni Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 30 gallons (113 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – Supply them with a healthy mix of commercial cichlid flakes, live foods, and vegetables.
  • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches (7.6cm)

They demand spots to hide, considering their territorial disposition. Hence, construct the tank with ample rocks for them to claim as their own. Monitor their behavior regularly, as their aggression can sometimes escalate.


Johanni Cichlid (Melanochromis johannii)

The Johanni Cichlid, also known as the Bluegrey Mbuna, is a vibrant addition to any Kenyi Cichlid aquarium. They’re renowned for their striking coloration and energetic behavior, fostering a lively ambiance within your tank:

johanni cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5 (care should be taken due to their semi-aggressive nature)
  • Tank Size: Minimum 50 gallons (189 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 74-82°F (23-28°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate (due to their specific habitat and dietary needs)
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive (territorial, especially males)
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous (vegetable-based diet preferred with occasional proteins)
  • Adult Size: Up to 5 inches (13 cm)

These tropical fish aren’t the simplest to care for, but their incredible look and lively attitude make it worth the extra effort.


Venustus Cichlid (Nimbochromis venustus)

The Venustus Cichlid, a distinct species of the large Cichlid family, makes a vibrant and active companion for your Kenyi Cichlid.

venustus cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gallons (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Sem-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Primarily carnivorous, the Venustus Cichlid enjoys a balanced diet of live, frozen, and dry foods. They appreciate variety with the inclusion of fruits and vegetables.
  • Adult Size: They can easily reach up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length

Remember, the Venustus Cichlid needs ample swimming room and plenty of hiding spots. Their semi-aggressive nature calls for careful consideration when selecting tank mates.


Livingstoni Cichlid (Nimbochromis livingstonii)

Livingstoni Cichlids are quite appealing, boasting unique spots across their bodies. They’re large, peaceful fish. They get their name from their habit of playing dead when threatened, resembling the explorer Dr. David Livingstone.

livingstons cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 125 gal (473 liters) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 72-82F (22-28C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Carnivorous, prefers live or frozen food.
  • Adult Size: 10 inches (25 cm)

This species needs plenty of room to roam and thrive. While they can coexist with Kenyi Cichlids, keep eye on any signs of aggression. The ideal tank setting includes hiding spots and open swimming areas. Remember, a stress-free environment paves way for a healthier fish.


Maingano Cichlid (Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos)

The Maingano Cichlid, known scientifically as the Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos, is a smart choice for a mate with Kenyi Cichlid. They exhibit stunning hues of blue and black, adding a touch of elegance to your tank. With a moderate care level, they require attention, but nothing over the top.

maingano cichlid

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 50 gallons (189 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: They primarily feed on algae but will also accept high-quality flake and pellet foods.
  • Adult Size: Up to 4 inches (10 cm)

Take into consideration their semi-aggressive behavior when adding them, but if well cared for, they’ll bring beauty to your tank.


Kenyi Cichlids have a wide variety of potential tank mates. Choosing the right ones can greatly enhance your aquarium’s ecosystem and provide a fascinating display of aquatic life. Please leave a comment sharing your own experiences or questions about picking the right companions for your Kenyi Cichlid.

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