25 Pictus Catfish Tank Mates

To select tank mates for your Pictus catfish, you must consider several crucial factors. Understand first that the Pictus catfish is a peaceful fish, but it’s also predatory. Its tank mates should be of considerable size – larger than the Pictus’ mouth – to reduce the chance of them being eaten. 

pictus catfish tank mates

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Moreover, its preferred tank mate should match its active and nocturnal lifestyle. Here is a list of 25 compatible specie to ensure harmony in your aquarium:



The Angelfish is commonly known for its graceful, elegant demeanor. Moreover, it thrives in peaceful and serene environments.

zebra angelfish

  • Tank Size: 55 gallons (208 liters)
  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Temperature Range: 74-82°F (23-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. Feed this species a mixture of plants and meaty foods.
  • Adult Size: 6 inches (15 cm)

Despite the semi-aggressive nature, Angelfish can coexist with Pictus Catfish under proper supervision. Due to their sizes, Angelfish ought to be kept in larger tanks. Not only will they be healthier and happier, but it will also help to alleviate their territorial tendencies.


Congo Tetras

Congo Tetras are beautiful and highly active shoaling fish that make great companions for your Pictus Catfish. They thrive in the same water conditions, and their vibrant colors can add a dramatic splash to your aquarium scene.

congo tetra

Here are some specific details about Congo Tetras:

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons (114 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, will happily feed on flakes, live, and frozen foods
  • Adult Size: 3.1 inches (7.9 cm)

Remember, Congo Tetras are schooling fish and prefer to be in groups of six or more. They’re peaceful by nature and will not pose a threat to your Pictus Catfish.


Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Plecos are a great addition to a Pictus Catfish tank. They prefer to keep to themselves, sticking to the bottom of the tank.

bristlenose pleco

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 30 gal (114 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 60-80°F (15-27°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, they enjoy algae as well as occasional meaty foods.
  • Adult Size: 4-5 inches (10-13 cm)

They’re peaceful by nature and tend to avoid conflict. Plus, they serve as your very own tank cleaners, keeping algae levels in check. By keeping the tank clean, they extend the life of your Pictus Catfish, keeping the water safe and comfortable. Their diet consists mostly of algae, but they also appreciate occasional meaty foods.


Silver Dollar Fish

The Silver Dollar Fish, a close relative of the piranha, thrives in a peaceful tropical community tank.

silver dollar tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: 50 gal (189 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 75-82°F (24-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; accepts most fish food.
  • Adult Size: 6 inches (15.24 cm)

Their shining silver bodies, reminiscent of a silver dollar coin, give the tank an exotic flair. Despite their piranha heritage, Silver Dollar Fish are timid and peaceful, preferring to shoal with others of their kind. Given their size, provide ample swimming space.

They have a varied diet, but crave vegetables routinely mixed into their meals. Co-habitating with Pictus Catfish is usually problem-free, provided you maintain a sizable, well-decorated tank.


Gold Gouramis

Gold Gouramis are excellent tank mates for Pictus Catfish due to their docile nature. These species prefer to inhabit the middle and top parts of the tank, rarely interfering with the bottom-dwelling Pictus. 

gold gourami tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (76 liters) minimum
  • Temperature Range: 72–82ºF (22–28ºC)
  • Care Level: Easy; perfect for beginners and seasoned hobbyists alike
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; can be fed a variety of flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen food.
  • Adult Size: Grows up to 4.7 inches (12 cm), therefore, providing enough space is crucial.

Remember, Gold Gouramis can bring a splash of beautiful gold color to your Pictus Catfish tank, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.


Rosy Barbs

The Rosy Barb is an especially compatible tank mate for your Pictus Catfish. This fish species, with its vivid red and gold coloring, brings a dash of color to any aquarium.

rosy barb

  • Compatibility: 5 out of 5
  • Tank Size: minimum of 30 Gal (115 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 64 to 72°F (18-22°C)
  • Care Level: Easy to moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful, but can be semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; enjoys a diet of flakes, live, and frozen foods
  • Adult Size: Grows up to 6 inches (15 centimeters)

Notably, the Rosy Barb thrives in planted tanks. However, they are prone to nip at the fins of slow-moving, long-finned fish. An enjoyable option for your Pictus Catfish tank, just ensure these lively barbs have ample space to swim.


Blue Acara

The Blue Acara makes for an eccentric companion to the Pictus Catfish. Known for their striking color and compatibility, there is no wonder they are favored as tank mates.

electric blue acara

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 30 gal (114 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 68-82 F (20-28 C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; feeds on a mix of flake or pellet foods, frozen, and live foods
  • Adult Size: 6 in. (15 cm)

They share similar care requirements and have a similar temperament. Being resilient and easy-going, they can cohabitate with the slightly rowdy Pictus Catfish. Just ensure they have enough space and food to prevent conflicts.


Severum Cichlid

Severum Cichlids, native to South American waters, show a great deal of compatibility with Pictus Catfish. Their similar habitat requirements and broad diet increase their chances of a positive coexistence.

Severum Cichlids

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 55 gal (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-84°F (22-29°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoy a mix of meaty foods and vegetables
  • Adult Size: Up to 8in (20cm)

In case of provocation, Severum Cichlids can become mildly aggressive which is why it’s fruitful to maintain a larger tank. Extra hiding spots reduce the chance of territorial disputes. They prefer a well-planted tank with slow-moving water, mirroring their natural habitat.


Tiger Barbs

Tiger Barbs make a lively addition to any Pictus Catfish tank. The sharp color contrast and collective behavior of Tiger Barbs can bring joy to any aquarium viewer.

tiger barb

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (approx 90 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 70-78°F (21-25°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, appreciates a mix of flakes, pellets, frozen and live foods
  • Adult Size: up to 3 inches (approx 7cm)

Remember, even though Tiger Barbs don’t typically bother larger fish, they may not play well with long-finned or slow-moving fishes.


Clown Loach

Clown Loaches are popular tank mates due to their distinctive stripes and peaceful nature. They can fit in well with your Pictus Catfish tank.

clown loach

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 55 gallons (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 77-86°F (25-30°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivores, they appreciate variety in their diet. Feed them high-quality flakes and pellets as well as live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods. Also include vegetables in their diet.
  • Adult Size: Up to 12 inches (30 cm)

Though they are peaceful, Clown Loaches can grow quite large. Ensure your tank can accommodate their size as adults.


Firemouth Cichlid

Firemouth Cichlid is noteworthy for its vivid red color, particularly in the gills and throat. This little creature works as a lively tank mate for the Pictus Catfish in a shared aquarium environment.

Firemouth Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 40 gal (150 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 75-86°F (24-30°C)
  • Care Level: Intermediate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous; primarily prefers live foods, but will also eat pellets and flakes
  • Adult Size: 6 inches (15 cm)

The Firemouth Cichlid demands a certain level of territorial privacy; hence, the sizable tank requirement. It’s semi-aggressive, meaning it may get a bit feisty at times, but generally won’t provoke unnecessary scuffles. Make sure to feed this omnivorous pal live foods whenever possible.


Blood Parrot Cichlid

Blood Parrot Cichlid makes a lovely companion for your Pictus Catfish. These vibrant fish, known for their rounded bodies and large mouths, add a lively touch to your community tank. Despite their slightly aggressive nature, with proper care, they can cohabit well.

Blood Parrot Cichlid

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 30-50 gallons (113-189 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 76-80°F (24-27°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore, variety of commercial, live, and frozen food
  • Adult Size: 8-10 inches (20-25 cm)

Remember, the semi-aggressive behavior makes it important to monitor Blood Parrot Cichlid’s interaction with Pictus Catfish. Suitable tank conditions and suitable diet ensure you keep a peaceful community.


Black Ghost Knifefish

Black Ghost Knifefish present a striking appearance with their elongated, flat, spectral bodies, becoming unique and intriguing additions to your Pictus Catfish aquarium.

black ghost knifefish

  • Compatibility: 3 out of 5 – These fish are generally peaceful but may act aggressively towards smaller species or during meal times.
  • Tank Size: Minimum 100 gallons (378 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 73-82°F (23-28°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate – They require specific conditions to thrive well.
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive – They tend to be peaceful but extend their territorial instincts when they feel threatened.
  • Diet & Feeding: Carnivorous – They primarily feed on smaller fish and inverts but also appreciate a balanced diet including high-quality pellet food.
  • Adult Size: 20 inches (50 cm) – They require ample space for comfortable movement and overall development.

Remember, always study the specific needs of each fish species before adding them to your tank.


Boesemani Rainbowfish

Boesemani Rainbowfish are colorful freshwater species. Here’s an outline to help you understand how compatible they are with your Pictus Catfish:

Boesemani Rainbowfish

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 50 gallons (190 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 79-84°F (26-29°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore; eats both plant-based food and meaty food
  • Adult Size: Can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm)

Boesemani Rainbowfish are easygoing and live well with Pictus Catfish given they share similar environmental needs. They prefer warm water with ample swimming space. With their peaceful nature, they are less likely to compete or feud for territory. Overall, they make good tank mates for Pictus Catfish.


Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami is an admirable companion for your Pictus Catfish. Sporting vibrant colors, these fish grab attention and lift the aesthetic appeal of your aquatic landscape.

dwarf gourami

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 10 gallons (38 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: Easy to moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivores, enjoy a mix of plant-based food and small, live prey
  • Adult Size: 3.5 inches (9 centimeters)

Gouramis, being placid and sociable, cohabit effectively with Pictus Catfish. Their diet aligns well with that of the Catfish too. They adore densely planted tanks which provide them with plenty of hiding spaces, matching flawlessly with the Pictus’s botanic preference.


Gold Barb

The Gold Barb is one of the most pleasant tank mates for your Pictus Catfish. This petite, vibrant fish sways along, adding a dash of glitter to your tank. Here’s a brief snapshot of what it would be like to have Gold Barbs mingle with your Pictus Catfish:

golden barb

  • Compatibility: 5/5
  • Tank Size: Min 20 gallons (80 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 64-75 F (18-24 C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore; consumes flake, fresh, and live foods
  • Adult Size: Up to 3 inches

Their peaceful temperament along with easy care level makes them a great choice. Just ensure your tank is large enough and that the water temperature is kept stable.


Giant Danio

Giant Danios are energetic, easy-to-care for pictus catfish companions. They love to roam around the aquarium and won’t compete for the bottom space. Remember, though, they’re fast swimmers and need ample swimming space to flourish.

Giant Danios

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 30 gal (113 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72 to 82°F (22 to 28°C)
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Active, peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoys a variety of fish foods
  • Adult Size: up to 4″ (10.2 cm)

Keep in mind, their active behavior could stress less vibrant tank mates. So, always consider behavioral traits when introducing new fish.


Red Tail Shark

The Red Tail Shark, a standout fish species, redefines elegance with its sharp contrast of vivid red tail and jet-black sleek body.

red tail shark

  • Compatibility: 3/5
  • Tank Size: 55gal (208liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72 – 79°F (22 – 26°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, accepts both flakes and live foods
  • Adult Size: Up to 6 inches

It’s worth noting that the Red Tail Shark can be territorial, so make sure the tank has enough room and hiding places. It prefers a carnivorous diet, but it is not fussy and will accept a wide range of foods. Despite its moderate care level, this beautiful fish will reward your effort with its dramatic presence.


Pearl Gourami

Pearl Gourami stands out with its pearlescent scales and long trailing feelers. They’re part of the labyrinth fish family that can breathe oxygen directly. It makes them a great addition to your Pictus Catfish tank.

pearl gourami tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4/5 – They cohabit well with Pictus Catfish.
  • Tank Size: 30 gal (113 liters) – Pearl Gourami needs ample space.
  • Temperature Range: 77-82°F (25-28°C) – A tropical environment suits them.
  • Care Level: Moderate – Some experience in fish keeping will help.
  • Temperament: Peaceful – However, they can be a bit territorial.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous – Feed them a diet of brine shrimp, freeze-died bloodworms, and vegetation.
  • Adult Size: 4-5 inches (10-12 cm) – They don’t take up too much space.



Swordtails are an excellent choice as tank mates for Pictus Catfish. They’re peaceful, hardy, and adaptable which makes them perfect companions. Being omnivores, they happily consume a variety of foods.

red swordtail fish

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 20 gallons (75 liters) or more
  • Temperature Range: 65-77°F (18-25°C)
  • Care Level: Easy, suitable for beginners
  • Temperament: Peaceful, loves to socialize
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoys plant-based food along with occasional protein sources
  • Adult Size: Up to 5.5 inches (14 cm)

Remember, maintain a balanced diet and an adequate environment for your Swordtails. Their bright colors and active behavior will ensure an engaging and lively atmosphere in your fish tank.


Tinfoil Barb

Tinfoil Barb is a large, active fish that loves to swim freely and reputed for its shimmering silver appearance. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect.

tinfoil barb

  • Compatibility: 4/5. They are generally peaceful and good socializers.
  • Tank Size: Minimum 75 gal (283 liters).
  • Temperature Range: 75-80°F (24-27°C).
  • Care Level: Moderate. Requires frequent monitoring due to their robust activity.
  • Temperament: Social and friendly. They are very active swimmers.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous. They eat both plants and smaller aquatic creatures.
  • Adult Size: Can reach up to 14 in (35 cm).

This species is well suited for larger community tanks and can form an excellent bond with the Pictus Catfish. Their peaceful temperament makes them get along well with other non-aggressive fishes.


Bolivian Ram

Bolivian Rams are lovely and peaceful bottom dwellers. Admirably, they don’t get into conflicts with Pictus Catfish.

Bolivian Ram

  • Compatibility: 5/5. They are exceptionally compatible with Pictus Catfish.
  • Tank Size: 20 gal (76 liters) minimum.
  • Temperature Range: 72-80°F (22-27°C).
  • Care Level: Moderate. They need clean water and a regular diet.
  • Temperament: Peaceful, yet territorial during breeding.
  • Diet & Feeding: Predominantly omnivorous, they benefit from a balanced diet of small invertebrates and plant matter.
  • Adult Size: Up to 3.5 inches (9 cm). Small, but beautiful.

In conclusion, Bolivian Rams are great tank mates. They add color and allure to your Pictus Catfish aquarium. Plus, their easygoing nature promises a peaceful coexistence.


Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese Algae Eater is an ideal tank mate for your Pictus Catfish due to their peaceful and adaptive nature. These fish work as living cleaners and are infamous for their algae-eating habits. Hence, they keep the tank clean and liberate the tank from excessive algae.

Siamese Algae Eaters

Here’s a quick overview of some details you need to know about Siamese Algae Eaters:

  • Compatibility: 4/5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 30 gal (113.5 liters), ideally a larger tank
  • Temperature Range: 75-79°F (24-26°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivore; Requires plant-based food along with regular fish food
  • Adult Size: Approximately 6 inches (15.2 centimeters)

Remember, maintaining balanced nutritious meals and a clean living environment is crucial for healthy Siamese Algae Eaters.


Zebra Loach

Zebra Loach is a distinctive and friendly fish species. It’s an excellent Pictus Catfish tank mate due to its peaceful nature. They are always on the move, searching for their next meal, but are kind to their companions.

zebra loach

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: Minimum 20 gallons (75 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 73 – 79°F (23 – 26°C)
  • Care Level: Moderate, they require well-decorated tanks with hiding spots.
  • Temperament: Peaceful, but can be slightly aggressive to same species.
  • Diet & Feeding: Omnivorous, enjoy a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live food.
  • Adult Size: Maximum 4 inches (10 cm)

Ensure you observe this loach’s behavior when first added. Inter-species aggression can sometimes occur. Supervise meals to maintain a harmonious environment.


Rope Fish

Also known as reedfish, Rope Fish are fascinating creatures to view. They are a species with prehistoric ancestry sharing similar characteristics with some extinct fish lineages.

rope fish tank mates

  • Compatibility: 4 out of 5
  • Tank Size: 55 gal minimum (208 liters)
  • Temperature Range: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
  • Care Level: High
  • Temperament: Peaceful, but can be opportunistic feeders
  • Diet & Feeding: Carnivorous, feeds on small crustaceans, invertebrates, and fishes
  • Adult Size: 12-15 inches (30-38cm)

Rope Fish are quite friendly with their tank mates as long as the latter isn’t small enough to fit into their large mouth! When pairing Pictus Catfish with Rope Fish, ensure your tank environment is well-suited with plenty of hiding spaces, and well-oxygenated water.



The Pictus Catfish is a versatile and peaceful aquarium pet that can cohabit with a broad range of tank mates. With this guide, selecting the ideal cohabitant for your Pictus Catfish should now be an easy task. Feel free to leave a comment and let’s hear about your experience!

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