Can angelfish and goldfish live together? No, we advise you to avoid trying to keep goldfish with your angelfish pets. The biggest problem is temperature, as angelfish are tropical fish that live in water that a goldfish would find too hot.
We want to teach you to offer any fish under your care the best life possible. Our years of experience in the fishkeeping hobby lets us know what works and what does not, including tank mates. A few degrees difference in temperature may seem like nothing to you, but it can stress out both fish.
We want to give you a side-by-side look at crucial conditions factoring into why we suggest you keep these fish in separate tanks, including:
- Tank requirements
- Ideal angelfish tank mates
- Good goldfish tank mates
- Answers to common questions
Angelfish vs. Goldfish Tank Requirements
Both species require lots of space to grow happy and healthy, making it a commonality enthusiasts consider when trying to keep angelfish with goldfish in the same aquarium. There is far more variance among goldfish species due to size differences.
Common goldfish require at least 20 gallons of water, with an additional 10 gallons per fish. Some species, like the Shubunkin goldfish, grow to 12 inches and need pond-sized housing as adults.
While some of the larger freshwater angelfish species can get eight inches in height, they tend to reach only six inches in length. The carp genetics of goldfish makes them eventually outgrow most aquariums, including ones you would consider for your angelfish.
As an angelfish enthusiast, you know your pets do well with smooth gravel or fine sand as a substrate. Many goldfish keepers use similar materials because goldfish spend even more time sifting through the substrate than angelfish will. If you use gravel for either species, buy it large enough to avoid accidental choking.
We like fine sand as it is a safer bottom cover that your angelfish can sift through. That also appears to be a popular option for goldfish.
When keeping plants in the aquarium, both fish like to nibble and root around the substrate. They also enjoy moving around within them and hiding. You might find that goldfish eat plants and shift the substrate more.
Aquatic plants like the Amazon sword (Echinodorus amazonicus) have durable, large leaves. We have found keepers of both species using these types of plants in their aquariums. You might also consider artificial plants.
Both fish will appreciate hiding places, but your angelfish might need them more. Each can be territorial within their species, but angelfish might display this more often (they are cichlids, after all).
Water Current/Filtration/Water Changes
Goldfish (Cyprinidae family) originate from slow-moving bodies of water in Southern China. Freshwater angelfish (Cichlidae family) hail from slow-moving waters of the Amazonian River Basin in South America. Both of these beautiful fish species favor minimal current in an aquarium setting.
Filtration needs is a tale of two fish. Your angelfish may have an impressive side profile, but a front view shows the thin build of the species. Goldfish, however, are heavy-bodied fish that generates lots of waste like ammonia.
Because they produce more waste, you will need filtration devices for goldfish that cycle larger volumes of water than you might need for an angelfish tank. Popular products like the Fluval 107 are ideal for 30-gallon tanks because they are easy to use and have a 145-gallon-per-hour flow rate. It’s worth noting this type of external filter would also work great for an angelfish community tank without goldfish!
We suggest changing up to 25 percent of the angelfish community tank water at least once a week. Depending on the size of the goldfish, you might need to replace more gallons of water than that twice a week. That could cause stress for your angelfish as there is a potential that the scents used for tank hierarchy get eliminated, resulting in aggressive behavior to reestablish the previous order.
The first big obstacle we point out when considering can angelfish live with goldfish is the water temperature each fish prefers. As with most tropical fish, your angelfish thrives in warm waters. The ideal angelfish water temperature is between 75 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
Goldfish are a more coldwater fish, with aquarium temperature ranges between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Many goldfish enthusiasts keep their tanks at room temperature and do not provide additional heating. Some slim-bodied goldfish species can tolerate waters just above freezing, going into a state of inactivity (almost like hibernation).
There is no crossover in temperature ranges between these fish. Even if you kept the aquarium water near 74 or 75 degrees, it would be stressful for both fish. That is why we suggest that you not try to keep them together.
Another consideration when contemplating keeping angelfish with goldfish in a community tank is the pH of the water. As an angelfish keeper, you keep your water between 6.5 and 7.5 pH, providing water that hovers near neutral. There is some overlap with goldfish water parameters here.
Goldfish do best in waters with a pH between 7.0 and 8.4. That means you could provide a community aquarium setting with a pH between 7.0 and 7.5 and keep both species of fish content. There are easy-to-use test strips from manufacturers like API that you can use weekly to monitor pH in tanks with freshwater or marine fish.
Most species of freshwater angelfish prefer a softer water range that imitates the Amazon River Basins they come from. It puts it somewhere between 5 and 12 dKH (degrees of carbonate hardness). That also provides some crossover with most goldfish, who enjoy levels between 3.9 and 7.8.
Regarding general hardness, angelfish do well in ranges of 4.0 to 8.0 dGH (degrees of general hardness). Several goldfish varieties would find these ranges acceptable as well. No matter what type of fish a hobbyist keeps, the API GH & KH Test Kit is a popular way to check these levels weekly.
Can Angelfish Eat Goldfish Food?
Yes. As you know by now, your angelfish will eat just about anything you feed it. Both fish are omnivores that digest various animal and plant nutrients.
The foods designed for each fish are similar in content. Some keepers suggest that angelfish need more animal protein, while goldfish enjoy more plant food sources. We have not found, however, reliable data to base those opinions on beyond personal observations.
Fish That Can Live With Angelfish
Several species of fish can coexist with angelfish in a community tank.
Remember that your angelfish is a cichlid, so it can be an aggressive fish towards species it can eat. You want to avoid putting them with bullies that will nip at their fins, especially when they are small. Neon tetras are an example of fish to avoid, as they can be a fin nipper and prey item for your angelfish.
Look for peaceful fish dispositions in South American cichlids like the Bolivian ram, guppies, cherry barbs, plecos, corydoras, and platties. There are quality lists of angelfish tank mates here at Cichlid Guide.
Fish That Can Live With Goldfish
Like your angelfish, goldfish are peaceful fish who do well with tank mates with similar dispositions. They might even be more docile. Goldfish can get large and are omnivores, so you do need to avoid housing them with small fish they can eat.
Many plecos grow large enough to avoid becoming food items and tend to be mellow in disposition. The bristle nose and rubber nose comes to mind. Larger corydoras like the hog-nose would also work. Several types of catfish, loaches, platties, and longfin rosy barb can make good goldfish tank mates.
Putting It All Together
Can angelfish live with goldfish? We don’t think so. While some water parameters overlap between these fish, the temperature range is a sticking point sharing no common ground.
Freshwater angelfish are a cichlid, making them aggressive fish compared to the docile goldfish. These species are omnivores that will eat similar types of food, including small tank mates that fit into their mouths. Several other fish would do better in a community tank with angelfish or goldfish.
No matter what type of fish you keep, remember to provide the best living conditions by using things like the Fluval 107 external canister filter. Do frequent water changes and test parameters weekly.
If you have any questions, comment so we can get you the answer you need. Enjoy your freshwater angelfish!
Do angelfish attack goldfish?
Your angelfish might attack a goldfish that you put into its tank. It is a more aggressive fish that would eat common goldfish it could put into its mouth. Your pet angelfish might also stress out the goldfish, which is known to be docile.
Goldfish would not likely attack your angelfish unless it was a juvenile and the goldfish was fully grown. They are peaceful fish, but goldfish are omnivores that will eat fish they can swallow.
Will angelfish kill goldfish?
The only time your angelfish would kill a goldfish is if the latter was small enough for a fully grown angelfish to eat. Otherwise, angelfish are known to only be aggressive towards others in interspecies rivalries establishing aquarium hierarchies and during mating season. Angelfish are often less aggressive toward other species unless they compete directly for resources like food.
Your angelfish tank water temperature is more likely to stress and kill a goldfish than the angelfish.
Can angelfish live with other fish?
Yes, angelfish can live with other types of fish. You want to find tank mates with similar water parameter needs that are also large enough not to be eaten. Potential tank mates should be peaceful fish that will not stress your angelfish or bully it.
Corydoras, several cichlids from South America, and platties come to mind here.
Can you keep goldfish and tropical fish together?
You can keep some tropical fish together with goldfish. The key here is to find species that can withstand the colder water that goldfish thrive in. There are many larger species of catfish, corydoras, loaches, and plecos that you might consider.