The angelfish is popular for its wing-shaped fins and spectacular coloration. It is a type of cichlid indigenous to the Amazon River. Unlike other cichlids, however, the angelfish is not aggressive, and it should be reared together with other non-aggressive species.
Keep in mind that the angelfish can reach 6 inches in length and that it is a schooling fish. You will need a large setup, especially if you will keep the fish in a community tank. Angelfish thrive in temperatures and PH of 75-82 °F and 6.8-7.8, respectively.
Fish Compatible with Angelfish
Angelfish can be kept together with a wide a range of non-aggressive fish species. Some good tank mates for angelfish are:
1. Guppy Fish
Guppies are excellent beginner fish since they are easy to care for. Adult angelfish can easily target guppies as food, and it is ideal to introduce guppies when the angelfish are young. In this case, the angelfish will grow to view the guppies as companions and not meals.
The small size of guppies means that they produce little waste. While they don’t require a lot of space, care must be taken with the gender ratio in your tank. Males can harass the females, and aquarists recommend keeping two females for every single male. You can keep males since they are more colorful than female guppies.
They will thrive in temperatures between 75-82 °F, and they will live comfortably with angelfish. They get along with other peaceful species, which makes them ideal candidates for community tanks.
2. Molly Fish
Mollies are a livebearer fish species native to the Americas. Their popularity in the aquarium trade is due to the ease of care they require.
There are plenty of molly varieties in the market with different patterns, colors, and shapes. This variety will spice your aquarium, as they can be kept with other peaceful and colorful fish too.
Look for larger mollies like the sailfin molly, which can reach a length of 5 inches. You will need at least 30 gallons to keep several sailfin mollies.
Although mollies have adapted to a range of water conditions, they are quite prone to disease, and you need to keep pristine water conditions at all times.
Mollies require temperatures between 72 to 78 °F and a PH of 6.7-8.5. You can keep taller plants like Anubias Nana because the fish like to swim in the middle levels.
Mollies appreciate an omnivorous diet, and you should supplement their flake food with vegetables and live food.
3. Platy Fish
Platy fish is another livebearer that will live in harmony with angelfish. Platies are quite popular in the aquarium hobby, and they have been thoroughly bred to produce all colors imaginable. Little care is needed to keep them the platy fish.
Platies are quite small, with the females reaching 2.5 inches and the males 1.5 inches. They are quite active and will need a large tank. Keep at least five platies and ensure that the females are more than males to tame any aggression.
Platies will thrive in similar conditions with angelfish. They prefer a temperature and PH range of 70-77 °F and 6.8-8, respectively. You will need a powerful filter to keep the water free of waste at all times.
Keep in mind that platies will breed with little intervention on your part. If you keep males and female platies together, you can expect a lot of fry. Platies and angelfish are active feeders, and you need to feed them several times in the day. They are not fussy eaters as they are omnivores, and you can provide pellets, live foods, flakes, vegetables, and frozen food.
4. Swordtail Fish
Swordtails are also livebearers, and they come in various varieties. Although they are generally peaceful, they can defend themselves from any aggression, which makes them ideal tankmates for angelfish.
Swordtails are low maintenance and are popular among aquarists of all levels. Their name comes from the elongated lower lobe on the tails of the males that resembles a sword.
You need to give swordtails enough room to move around since they love space. Swordtails can even jump out of tanks if it is too small.
If you keep males and female swordtails together, you may need a large setup because they can produce 150 fry in one birthing. They appreciate oxygenated water and temperatures and PH ranges of 72-79 °F and 5.5-7.8.
You can include caves, bogwood, and rocks in the tank and plants like Java Fern and Anubias Nana. Swordtails require an omnivorous diet of live foods, flakes, and commercial food.
5. Cory Catfish
Cory catfish make excellent tankmates for angelfish because of their peaceful temperament. Both of the species are indigenous to South America, which also makes it easy to rear them together.
The cory catfish need easy care, and it is mostly a bottom-dwelling fish. When buying cory catfish, it is essential to ensure that their tails and fins are not damaged since they are sometimes kept in display tanks with fin nippers.
The fish grow to 1 to 2.5 inches in length, but they still need a lot of space to be comfortable. Cory catfish exhibit shoaling behavior and should be kept in groups of six or more. They thrive in warm waters of 72-78 °F and a PH range of 7.0 to 7.8. Cory catfish are sensitive to water parameters, and will especially develop diseases if they are large quantities of nitrates.
They are bottom dwellers and will rarely interact with the angelfish, which are mostly seen in the middle levels.
6. Bristlenose Pleco
The Bristlenose plecos are tireless cleaners in the aquarium, and they are mostly seen consuming algae in the tank’s glass and decorations. They are bottom dwellers and will not interact with the angelfish.
The plecos can reach up to 5 inches in length, and you will need a large setup for them. It is much fatter and shorter than the common pleco, and its flattened body is characterized by bony plates. They come in grey, olive, brown, or black colors with white or yellow spots over the entire body.
The Bristlenose is quite hardy, and it can tolerate a wide temperature range of 60-80 °F. A bigger tank will make it easier to maintain the best water quality. You can also invest in an under-water gravel system to keep the tank well-oxygenated.
7. Dwarf Gourami
The dwarf gourami is shy and reserved, and you should watch them keenly to ensure that your angelfish are not bullying them. They, however, make excellent tankmates for angelfish and their stunning coloration will be a great addition to a community aquarium.
Indigenous populations of the dwarf gourami have been recorded in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Aquarium-bred dwarf gouramis will typically grow to an average size of 3 inches. A pair of gouramis need at least 15 gallons, and you will need a larger tank since they are a schooling fish.
There are multiple dwarf gouramis that you can choose based on colors. The blue dwarf gourami, for example, exhibits a stunning blue color with reddish lines extending across their sides and fins. The flame dwarf gourami stuns in a bright red hue with an orange gradient.
You can utilize a dark substrate to create a beautiful contrast with the bright colors on the dwarf gouramis.
You can keep the angelfish with some kinds of tetras. The lemon tetra is an Amazonian species like the angelfish, and the two will, therefore, thrive in similar water temperatures. Keep at least six lemon tetras to tame any fin-aggression tendencies on the part of the angelfish.
You can also rear angelfish with rummy nose tetras. Juveniles may be eaten by the angelfish, so it is best to add adult rummy nose tetras, especially if the angelfish are mature.
Do not keep angelfish with neon tetras as they are very small and will be targeted as food. Angelfish have also been known to attack blackskirt and cardinal tetras.
9. Zebra Danio
The zebra danio is quite hardy, and it is a great beginner fish. The danios do not do well on their own and they will easily get stressed if not kept in a community tank. Keep them in large shoals since they are social and active.
The danios only reach a length of two inches, although it is better to keep them in a large tank. To boost the oxygen levels of your aquarium, add live plants like Amazon Swords and Java Fern. The zebra danio prefers water temperatures between 77 and 82 °F.
10. Discus Fish
The discus fish is another excellent tankmate for the angelfish. They grow to a maximum of 10 inches in the aquarium and will demand a large tank.
The discus fish is generally peaceful, but they can intimidate other tankmates to avoid aggression. They need higher temperatures than those of the angelfish, and a range of 82 to 88 °F is ideal. Keep the PH between 6 and 7 to mimic the slightly acidic Amazonian waters.
Discus fish can easily dominate all levels in the aquarium. The fish forages for food in the substrate, and you should keep a fine substrate to protect their bodies.
Fish You Should Not Keep with Angelfish
If you want to keep your angelfish happy and don’t want any aggression, you should avoid putting these fish species with angelfish:
- Betta Fish
- Barbs Fish
- African Cichlids
Betta fish are rarely good tank mates to any fish. Especially males are very aggressive and territorial. Betta fish can stress out angelfish or even hurt them. Angelfish can also become aggressive towards betta fish, so keeping them together is not a good idea.
Barbs such as tiger bars, cherry barbs or denison barbs are really cool schooling fish, but they are pretty aggressive. They are also fin nippers and can damage the fins of angelfish and other long-fin fish. Barbs are not good tank mates for angelfish.
Everyone loves goldfish, and many think that goldfish can be kept with pretty much any fish. The truth is, that goldfish are not very good tank mates either. They produce a lot of waste and also have different water temperature requirements than angelfish. So, you should avoid the angelfish-goldfish combo.
Although angelfish are part of the cichlids family, you should not keep them together with African cichlids. African cichlids are aggressive and very territorial. These fish should be kept in one-species only tank.
I love freshwater shrimp. They are fun to watch and they are a great cleaning crew of any aquarium. Shrimp are also a really good snack to angelfish. So if you want to keep your shrimp alive, you should not place them in the same aquarium with your angelfish.
Angelfish are quite peaceful, and they will thrive in the company or various friendly to semi-aggressive fish.
Do not keep angelfish with active fin-nippers like neon tetras or with small fish that can be viewed as food.