Freshwater angelfish are colorful, peaceful fish that are hardy and easy to keep. These fish are also excellent additions to a community tank and look beautiful in a group.
However, to avoid aggression, stress, or injuries in the tank, it’s crucial to figure out what fish can live with angelfish. Luckily, carefully considering a few compatibility factors before selecting the best tankmates for angelfish can help you avoid any fishy problems. Besides, because angelfish are generally calm and peaceful, many different angel fish companions choose from.
To select the ideal fish compatible with angelfish, it’s crucial to first examine fish that share similar water condition requirements. Angelfish are hardy fish; however, they don’t like any fluctuations in water chemistry or temperature, so it’s best to choose fish that share water compatibility traits.
Angelfish are tropical and prefer the water temperature to rest between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. They also prefer a pH level between 6.8 and 7.8. Fish that share these water compatibility requirements are the only fish considered good angelfish tank mates.
Adult angelfish should be kept in schools of about six and need an aquarium of 55 gallons or more. When choosing tank mates, it’s important to consider the aquarium requirements of the fish you’ll be adding. It’s also essential to think about how many fish will be in the aquarium in total.
Larger fish or fish that swim in schools may need a larger aquarium. Also, if there will be several types of fish in the aquarium, you may want to consider choosing a larger tank so that all the fish have enough room. Offering enough space to your angelfish and their tank mates will help to stop territorial stress and often keeps the water cleaner.
Habitat is also a key factor when considering compatibility. For example, angelfish prefer tall aquariums and like to swim near the top of the tank. Choosing angelfish tank mates that prefer to swim in the middle or near the bottom of the aquarium gives all of the fish more space. On the other hand, fish that prefer more horizontal space may not be the best choice for angelfish compatibility.
Angelfish also prefer a fine or medium-fine substrate and enjoy an aquarium that’s well-planted and offers plenty of hiding spaces, such as caves or rocks. Fish that share these needs have much higher compatibility with angelfish and tend to be the best additions to a community tank.
Fish of Similar Size
Angelfish aren’t usually aggressive, but they can be somewhat territorial. For this reason, it’s best to choose angelfish tank mates that are close in size to the angelfish. This ensures that the angelfish won’t be bullying their tank mates if they begin to feel territorial. Choosing fish of similar size also ensures that the angelfish itself won’t be bullied.
It is also best to choose fish of similar size because angelfish are omnivorous and will occasionally eat smaller fish.
Most angelfish are about six or seven inches long, and it’s a good idea to choose fish that are about that size. When considering angelfish compatibility with tank mates, most aquarists recommend selecting fish that are no smaller than two inches when fully grown.
Another key factor when searching for fish that get along with angelfish is to choose fish with similar temperaments. Angelfish can sometimes be a bit territorial, but, for the most part, these fish are peaceful and prefer a calm environment.
When selecting fish that are compatible with angelfish, it’s best to choose ones that are also peaceful. It’s best to avoid any fish that are overly territorial or any fish that habitually nip long fins. However, it’s also a good idea to pick fish that can stand up for themselves if the angelfish do begin to display territorial behaviors.
When to Introduce Angelfish Tank Mates
In general, it’s best to introduce all of the fish to the angelfish community tank when they’re young. This includes introducing the angelfish themselves when they’re small. This can help to encourage compatibility within the community tank. When the fish are all raised together, the angelfish grow to see the other fish as companions and not food or threats.
Even when you decide to introduce all the fish when they’re young, it’s best to introduce them one at a time or in small groups. Adding too many fish to the aquarium at once can cause the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels to fluctuate, which can cause health problems.
It’s also a good idea to quarantine new fish in a separate tank for a few days or a few weeks before introducing them to the community tank. This way, you can spot any potential illness and treat those issues without introducing bacteria or viruses to the entire aquarium.
Angelfish Tank Mates to Avoid
When searching for tankmates for angelfish, there are a few aquarium inhabitants to avoid. Any aggressive fish or fish such as neon tetras that are known to nip fins do not share angelfish compatibility and should not be introduced to the community tank. These fish can cause stress in the angelfish, which can lead to health problems.
Shrimp should also be avoided. Although shrimp are often a beautiful addition to freshwater aquariums, angelfish generally see them as food. Well-fed angelfish might leave shrimp alone, but most aquarium keepers feel that the risk is too high for the shrimp.
The Best Angelfish Tank Mates
Corydora catfish are probably the most popular fish for angelfish tank mates. These fish are compatible with angelfish thanks to similar water parameter needs. Also, these peaceful fish, which grow to about two and a half inches in length, prefer to stay at the bottom of the aquarium. This increases angelfish compatibility and means that territorial problems will rarely be an issue.
There are several varieties of Corydora catfish, including an albino version that looks quite striking in the aquarium. They make a top choice as they are hardy, straightforward to care for, and suitable for all levels of aquarium keepers.
Kuhli loaches are beautiful, long fish with black and orange or brown banding. These loaches prefer to be kept in small schools of about six fish. They share compatibility with angelfish in water chemistry needs, so they’re excellent angelfish tank mates.
Kuhlis are peaceful and prefer to have many hiding options available, similar to angelfish. What makes them even better angelfish tank mates is that they prefer to swim along the bottom of the tank, out of the angelfish’s way. Kuhlis like to burrow but have soft underbellies, so be sure to provide a sand substrate instead of gravel when keeping these fish.
Platies are small, peaceful fish that add a pop of color to the aquarium. They are also good angelfish tank mates because they’re large enough that the angelfish won’t eat them, enjoy the same temperature range as the angelfish, and prefer a well-planted aquarium.
Platies tend to prefer hard water but can adjust to a wide range of water conditions. Platies also breed readily in the home aquarium. Angelfish may eat the young platy babies, so if you want to raise these fish, be sure to move the eggs or fry to a separate aquarium.
Dwarf gouramis grow to a size that’s only slightly smaller than angelfish, making them good tank mates. Gouramis and angelfish also make good companions because gouramis are peaceful and prefer a calm aquarium. These fish have similar temperature needs, and they also enjoy a low flow in the aquarium, which is also what angelfish prefer.
Gouramis are colorful and are available in a wide variety of species. Dwarf gouramis can be kept in small groups, either composed of all females or one male and several females. Males can occasionally be territorial, so be sure to keep an eye on them when keeping them with angelfish.
This small cichlid fish is compatible with angelfish because they have just the right temperament. They are usually peaceful but will stand their ground if bullied, so they can stand up to the angelfish’s territorial behavior.
In addition, Bolivian rams prefer to swim near the bottom of the tank, so they’ll have their own space away from the angelfish. These fish also prefer a heavily planted tank and lots of hiding places.
Bristlenose plecos are one of the most common types of aquarium fish because they’re interesting to look at, get along well with most other fish species, and help to keep aquariums free of algae. These fish are great angelfish tank mates because they swim primarily at the bottom of the aquarium, away from the angelfish’s territory.
In addition to cleaning up algae, bristlenose plecos will eat any scraps of food that drift to the bottom of the aquarium. This helps to keep the water clean, which is good for angelfish health.
Angelfish and tetras can often get along, but it’s important to choose the right type of tetra. Some tetras, such as neon tetras and black skirt tetras, are aggressive and like to nip long, flowing fins, such as the fins of angelfish. These varieties may also be small enough for angelfish to eat.
Lemon tetras, head and tail light tetras, rosy tetras, and rummy nose tetras all make good angelfish tank mates. It’s advised to introduce these fish to the angelfish aquarium when all the fish are the same size, or the young tetras run the risk of being eaten. If you’re not raising the fish together, be sure to introduce only adult tetras to your community tank.
Keyhole cichlids are somewhat uncommon, so they may be slightly more difficult for aquarium keepers to find. However, once obtained, these cichlids are peaceful and are sometimes described as shy. They are also pretty intelligent and can be an entertaining addition to the aquarium.
Keyhole cichlids usually form pairs. These pairs can be somewhat territorial. However, when provided with plenty of hiding spaces to claim, they generally get along very well with other fish, making them excellent angelfish tank mates.
Kribensis cichlids are not only quite peaceful, but they also bring some vibrant red, pink, and yellow colors to the aquarium. These fish grow to about four inches long, so they are unlikely to be bullied by angelfish. They also require the same aquarium setup (including plants and plenty of hiding places) that angelfish do.
Kribensis cichlids also eat the same diet as angelfish, although they should be fed slightly less. This means that you won’t have to worry about providing separate food sources when keeping these two fish together.
Some aquarium keepers feel that cherry barbs are excellent angelfish tank mates while others recommend adding them to the aquarium with caution.
When kept in schools of six or more, these fish tend to be peaceful, but in lower numbers, they can sometimes be aggressive and may nip at fins – so caution is needed.
Cherry barbs are colorful, easy to care for, and can be very entertaining to watch, which makes them a desirable aquarium addition. When adding them to a community aquarium, the best practice is to watch them for several weeks to ensure that all the fish have enough space and no nipping behaviors develop.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
For those seeking angelfish tank mates other than fish, Malaysian trumpet snails are a good option. Unlike shrimp, trumpet snails don’t usually run the risk of being eaten by angelfish. In fact, most angelfish will leave these snails alone entirely.
Malaysian trumpet snails are excellent aquarium cleaners and will burrow through the substrate looking for organic material to eat, which helps to keep the aquarium water cleaner and cuts down on algae. These snails are also incredibly easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for almost any aquarium setup.
Mollies are a popular aquarium fish thanks to their bright colors and their easy care. Their medium size also makes them good angelfish tank mates. Mollies can adapt to a wide variety of water conditions and get along well with most fish types.
Mollies may sometimes nip at fins, so keep an eye on these fish if you choose to include them in your angelfish aquarium. Most mollies and angelfish get along quite well, though. Mollies can also stand up to a bit of bullying so territorial angelfish won’t stress them.
Swordtails are shaped like mollies and share their many different color varieties, which makes them a beautiful addition to the aquarium. As the name suggests, these fish also have long, thin, pointed tail fins.
These energetic fish are peaceful and enjoy swimming in a group. They generally don’t allow themselves to be bullied, which makes them great companions for angelfish. Swordtails are also very easy to care for and get along well with a wide range of other fish species.
Guppies are often kept by beginner and experienced aquarists alike because they are hardy and easy to care for but display beautiful colors and have long, flowing tail fins. Guppies work well in most community aquariums. They also breed readily in the home aquarium.
Guppies are on the smaller side, so take care when housing them with angelfish. If you’re considering guppies as angelfish tank mates, be sure to introduce both the guppies and angelfish when they are all young. This will help to ensure that the angelfish see the guppies as companions and not a snack.
Discus, named for their disk-shaped bodies, are some of the most attractive freshwater fish available. When given enough space, these fish are also excellent angelfish tank mates. Discus like to school, and they can grow to be relatively big, so when they’re kept with angelfish, an aquarium of at least 80 gallons is necessary.
Discus are very sensitive fish and require a bit more specialized care than most beginner fish. Discus can also be stressed easily, so it’s best to keep them with angelfish that aren’t too territorial. However, when the correct space and water requirements are provided, discus and angelfish can thrive together.
Yoyo loaches swim mostly at the bottom of the aquarium, away from angelfish territory, which makes them a perfect addition to an angelfish tank. In addition, these fish, which feature beautiful silver and black bands along their bodies and fins, are very hardy and easy to care for.
Yoyo loaches are generally kept in schools of about six fish. This helps to ensure that they stay with each other and away from other aquarium fish. They are also quite peaceful and will spend most of their time foraging for food. Although these fish will clean up uneaten food and algae, it’s best to supplement their diet with sinking pellets or vegetable tablets.
Final thoughts to a peaceful angelfish tank
Finding the perfect angelfish tank mates may at first seem to be a daunting task. However, planning a community aquarium from the many options of angelfish-friendly fish can actually be a fun and exciting adventure as long as care is taken to choose fish that have the same space and water compatibility and are peaceful in nature.
Add plenty of plants and hiding places to the aquarium, and you’ll be creating a safe, calm environment for all of your fish. Choosing fish that are a similar size to the angelfish and introducing all of the fish when they’re young can also make the community aquarium a peaceful place.
Have you had an angelfish community aquarium, or do you have a question about angelfish compatibility? Comment below and let us know.
- Choose fish that share water parameter compatibility
- Choose fish that are at least two and a half inches long when mature
- Select fish that swim at the bottom or middle of the aquarium
- Pick peaceful fish that can stand up to territorial angelfish
- Introduce all the fish when they’re young to ensure compatibility
- Avoid fish that habitually nip at fins
- Avoid shrimp