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Choosing Angelfish Tank Mates (The Best and Worst Options)

Choosing Angelfish Tank Mates (The Best and Worst Options)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Having angelfish in your fish tank will make you very happy overall. These fish are among the best fish to choose from because they look fantastic and they’re easy enough to take care of.

You might not want to just have angelfish in your tank, though. As pretty as angelfish are, it can be fun to mix things up and create a community tank.

It isn’t a good idea to just put any old fish in the tank with the angelfish, though. If you do that, then you could wind up encountering many issues.

Many types of fish won’t get along well with angelfish. The angelfish might be too aggressive for certain fish that you might want to put in the tank, and others might be too large and will try to bully your angels.

Read on to learn about choosing the best angelfish tank mates. This will help you to create the best community tank that you can so that you can have an enjoyable time viewing your aquarium with minimal problems to worry about.


Motley Guppy

Guppies should absolutely be considered when you’re looking for great tank mates for angelfish. These fish can add aesthetic appeal to your community tank while also getting along well enough with the angelfish.

One of the best reasons to choose guppies for the community tank will be how easy they are to care for. Overall, these fish are just as simple to take care of as the angelfish are.

These fish have a great reputation for being a peaceful species. They can get along well with many different fish that you might want to add to the community tank.

If you’re putting them in a tank with angelfish, then it’s recommended to put them in the tank while the angels are young. This should help the angelfish to avoid seeing them as a potential food source.

If you’re worried about anything, then you can keep an eye on how the angelfish act. It should be fine if you do as recommended, though.

Ram Cichlids

Ram Cichlid

Ram cichlids are also known to be good tank mates for angelfish. They aren’t as easy to care for as some of the other fish on this list, though.

If you’re a fairly confident aquarium enthusiast, then you won’t have problems with these fish. They’re considered to be moderately difficult to care for, and that makes them needier than the angelfish.

To keep ram cichlids in good health, it’s important to be very particular about water parameters. Stay on top of things and be sure to stick to a strict weekly water changing schedule.

It can be a bit much for beginners who aren’t used to having to pay so much attention to an aquarium. You’ll likely get used to it pretty fast, but some people might find these fish to be too needy.

Despite this, they’re great fish that will add a lot of color to your community tank. It works out very well because they thrive in the same water parameters as the angelfish.

They shouldn’t get into fights with the angelfish because they usually hang out near the middle or the bottom of the tank. Honestly, they likely won’t interact with the angels all that much, and that’s a good thing overall.

The only thing to worry about will be the size of the fish when you purchase them. They can be fairly small when they’re young.

If you buy a ram cichlid when it’s too small, then an adult angelfish might eat it. Thus, it’s going to be best to ensure that you buy fish that are large enough to be able to hold their own in the community tank.

Discus Fish

Discus Fish

Discus fish are usually considered to be some of the best tank mates for angelfish. They should match up pretty well with the angelfish, but you’ll have to keep the water temperature closer to the upper limit of what the angelfish likes.

It’s also notable that discus fish can be hard to care for if you’re a novice. These are somewhat delicate fish that will be sensitive to things going wrong in the community tank.

You’ll need to keep a close eye on the water parameters to keep the discus fish healthy. Specifically, you need to ensure that the water remains soft enough for the fish.

The water hardness should be between 0 and 3 dH and you’ll want the pH balance to be between 6 and 6.5. This should be okay for the angelfish.

Ensure that you stick to changing the water on a weekly schedule. You don’t want to let the tank get dirty or the discus fish could suffer.

It’s also necessary to invest money in a really good filtration system. Having a good filtration system is always recommended when putting together a large community tank, though.

Finally, ensure that you have a large fish tank. You don’t want to try to cram discus fish into a smaller tank with a couple of angelfish.

Dwarf Gouramis

Dwarf Gourami Against Blue Background

Dwarf gouramis are going to be some of the best possible tank mates for angelfish. These fish are generally peaceful and can get along pretty well with the mildly aggressive angelfish.

You do need to remember that only one male dwarf gouramis should be present in the tank, though. So long as you keep this in mind, you should have a very good experience keeping these fish in your community tank.

These fish are also comparatively easy to care for when looking at many of the other options on this list. Dwarf gouramis are pretty much just as hardy as angelfish, and you won’t need to be a true aquarium expert to take care of them.

It’s worth noting that these fish like to be able to hide. They can be a bit shy at times, and they’ll very much appreciate aquatic plants so they can hide and get away from the other fish in the tank.

Of course, you should have live plants in the tank anyway since the angelfish love them so much. Put some plants in the tank and ensure that you have a fairly large tank to fit all of the fish so that you can enjoy your new community tank.

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios

Perhaps a zebra danios would be the perfect addition to your community tank. They’re compatible with angelfish and they do well when being kept in tropical temperatures.

If you choose to buy zebra danios fish, then you’ll need to keep them in schools of five or six fish. Otherwise, they won’t feel comfortable in the fish tank.

They don’t need a lot of space, and this means that you can keep them in small tanks if necessary. Of course, if you’re planning out a community tank, it’s better to go with something larger.

These are incredibly fast fish, and you’ll likely have a good time watching them zoom through the water. They won’t attack the angels and the angelfish would never be able to catch them due to how quick they are.

One potential problem to watch out for involves feeding the fish. These fish are so speedy that they might eat the food before the angelfish get to eat.

You’ll need to pay attention and make sure that the angelfish are getting their portion of the food. Other than that, these fish should be easy and fun tank mates for the angelfish.


Koi Swordtail

Swordtails are considered to be fantastic community fish. They have a good temperament and there are plenty of different colors to choose from.

You could use the swordtails to add a bit of color to the tank. These fish are also livebearers that reproduce easily, and you don’t even have to make special preparations.

Taking care of swordtails will be simple since they’re not picky fish. They’re hardy, and they can even stand up to bullying attempts by the angelfish.

One problem to look out for involves these fish jumping out of the tank. You might want a taller tank to avoid issues with this.

You could also get a top for the tank so that it won’t be possible for the fish to jump out. Either way, you should know that swordtails make good companion fish for angelfish.

Corydoras Catfish

Mottled Corydora Eating in a Fish Tank

Corydoras catfish (also referred to as cory catfish) will be perfect tank mates for your angelfish. These fish are stellar in a community tank setting because they have the perfect temperament for it.

They like to live in groups, and this means that you would do well to buy four of them for your community tank. The cory catfish will generally stick together and they won’t bother the other fish in the tank.

It’s also nice to know that they’re a very low-maintenance type of fish. You won’t have a difficult time learning how to take care of these fish.

Your cory catfish should do a good job of cleaning the bottom of the tank, too. They scavenge the bottom of the substrate looking for leftover food.

Just don’t rely on them to clean the tank since you’ll still need to do so yourself. They’ll just help a little bit.

There are a good variety of different corydoras catfish to consider as well. You should be able to find visually appealing options that will be great for your community aquarium.

Platy Fish

Bumble Bee Platy Fish

Platy fish should work out pretty well as tank mates for angelfish. There are a number of different color variations that have been bred in captivity that you will find appealing, too.

These small fish are very active and they’re also known to breed fast. If you get some platy fish, then you can expect to see babies in your tank at some point.

They’re social and hardy fish that won’t bother your angelfish. It’s also great to know that these fish will get along well with many of the other fish that have already been mentioned here.

You can put platy fish in a tank with corydoras catfish, guppies, and even swordtails. You’ll have a very good experience caring for these fish since they’re easy to look after.

Since they’re omnivorous, feeding the fish will never feel like a problem. This will be one of the best choices that you can make when looking for fish to add to the aquarium.

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco Resting at the Bottom of a Tank

Bristlenose plecos can get along well with the angelfish. They’re native to the same areas as the angelfish, and this means that they like the same water parameters.

Much like the corydoras catfish mentioned earlier, these fish stick to the bottom of the tank. They will hang out at the bottom and scavenge for leftover food near the substrate.

They often feed on algae, but they won’t be able to live off of just the algae that they eat. You’ll need to feed them plant-based fish food that you purchase from the pet store.

These small fish will be really good companions for the angelfish in your tank. The angelfish won’t bother them and they’ll definitely add to the overall appeal of the community tank.


Black Molly Fish

Molly fish have long been considered to be good tank mates for angelfish. They’re among the most common fish that you’ll see in freshwater community aquariums.

These fish work so well with angelfish because they can protect themselves from aggression. They’re even capable of adapting to a variety of different water conditions.

Some people have even had success putting mollies in saltwater aquariums. Only some types will be able to survive in saltwater, though.

If you want to put guppies in the tank with the angelfish, then the mollies will really like that. They get along swimmingly with guppies, and they’re even known to breed with guppies.

Sometimes, mollies might nip at the fins of the angelfish, but this shouldn’t be a huge issue. Typically, mollies don’t bother their tank mates, so nipping will be an unusual occasion.

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach

Adding a kuhli loach to the tank might be a very interesting idea. These fish are also sometimes sold as coolie loaches.

These fish hang out in the bottom portions of the fish tank. They sometimes burrow into the sand to find hiding places.

You’re supposed to put sand at the bottom of the tank if you’re putting kuhli loaches in there. This is because gravel can hurt the soft bellies of these fish.

They’re kind of shaped like eels, and they definitely have an interesting look. If you want them to thrive in a community tank, then you should keep them in a group of six.

It’s also worth noting that kuhli loaches are nocturnal. They won’t bother your angelfish, but they’ll be active at night.

Fish That Cannot Be Kept with Angelfish

Of course, there are many fish out there that won’t be compatible with angelfish. You might think it’d be cool to add some different fish to the community tank, but not every appealing option will work out nicely.

Below, you’ll see some of the fish that you should never put in a tank with angelfish. You’ll also read a little bit about why they shouldn’t be put in the tank with your angels.



Goldfish are among the most common pet fish that people purchase from pet stores. They might seem like they’d be a neat addition to the community tank, but they don’t have compatible water parameters with the angelfish.

Simply put, goldfish and angelfish come from different parts of the world. The recommended water parameters for goldfish don’t come close to matching what angelfish need.

It might be technically possible to try to keep goldfish with angelfish in the same tank, but it wouldn’t be ideal for the goldfish. Also, it’s said that goldfish would cause stress to the angels anyway.

Some have said that angelfish will prey on goldfish, too. Overall, it’s not worth trying to experiment and see if you can get goldfish to live in the community tank with the angels since it’s very likely to go south.


Red Bee Dwarf Shrimp

Shrimp will be terrible tank mates for angelfish. If you want to keep shrimp in your aquarium, then you’ll need to do it in a tank that doesn’t have angelfish in it.

You see, angelfish eat shrimp as a primary food source. Shrimp are specifically hunted down by the angelfish as dinner.

If you put an angelfish in a tank that has shrimp in it, then the angel is going to chow down. There’s nothing that you can do to stop that.

Even if the shrimp are too big for the angelfish to eat them, the angelfish will likely attack them until they’re dead. If you don’t want to see this horrific scene play out, then you’ll want to avoid putting shrimp in an aquarium with angelfish.

Betta Fish

Betta Fish

You might have heard some people saying that betta fish can get along with angelfish. Please ignore that information because it isn’t true.

Betta fish are notoriously aggressive toward fish that resemble them. If you put angelfish in a tank with bettas, then they’re going to just keep fighting each other.

The fish will wind up injuring each other pretty often. It’s not going to make for a very peaceful community tank.

It’s even possible that these fish might kill each other under certain circumstances. You don’t want that to happen, and that’s why you shouldn’t add bettas to your community tank.


Copper Oscar Fish Swimming in Aquarium

Oscars might seem like a fun fish to add to the aquarium, but they won’t do well with the angelfish. They’re cichlids, and the water parameters should match up well enough, but these fish might kill the angels.

You see, oscars are fish that will grow to be a lot bigger than the angelfish. Also, these fish are beefy and thick compared to the angelfish.

Oscars can swim pretty fast and they can charge other fish if they feel like it. Angelfish swim a lot slower and they usually move gracefully through the water.

If an oscar wanted to kill an angelfish, then it’d easily be able to do so. Your angelfish would need to hide from the oscars, and this would make them feel stressed.

Overall, it’s just a bad idea to keep oscars and angelfish in the same fish tank. You should consider some of the compatible tank mates that were discussed earlier.

Parrot Fish

Blue Parrot Fish

If you’re looking for an interesting fish to consider pairing with the angelfish in the community tank, then parrot fish might come to mind. Sadly, they just aren’t going to get along well with angelfish.

These are very aggressive fish and they will likely hurt your angelfish. You won’t want to keep them in the same tank as the angels.

Some enthusiasts suggest that it’s possible to keep them in the same tank under certain circumstances. You’d need a very large aquarium to avoid territorial disputes.

Honestly, even with a large tank, you wouldn’t be able to guarantee the safety of the angelfish. Parrot fish simply won’t be good for your community tank.

Tiger Barbs

Male Tiger Barb Swimming Near Black Rocks at Bottom of Tank

Tiger barbs are not going to work out well as tank mates for the angelfish. This is because they like to nip at anything that has long fins.

These tiger barbs will wind up chewing up your angelfish’s fins. It’s not going to be a good experience for the angelfish.

They’ll do the same thing to fish such as bettas or goldfish. Generally, you won’t be able to put fish that have long fins in the same tank as tiger barbs.

Otherwise, you’ll be causing a lot of stress to the fish that have long fins in the tank. Look into other options and don’t buy tiger barbs for your community tank.

Glofish Tetras

Glofish Tetras

Finally, you should know that glofish tetras won’t work out either. These fish can sort of get along with angelfish, but they wind up nipping at the fins of the angelfish.

This causes stress to the angelfish and it’s generally a bad situation. The angelfish probably won’t be seriously hurt by this nipping, but stress can lead to issues such as compromised immune systems.

You’d be far better off going with other tank mates for the community aquarium. Glofish tetras are interesting fish, but you’d have a better time keeping them in a separate tank with a small group of other glofish tetras.

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