Can Angelfish Live with Goldfish? The Complex Truth

Can Angelfish Live with Goldfish?

Can Angelfish Live with Goldfish? This question often arises when aquarists envision creating a vibrant community aquarium. Classic community fish like angelfish and goldfish appear to be ideal tank mates at first glance. However, this assumption is misleading. Introducing angelfish to a goldfish habitat, or vice versa, introduces risks and can negatively impact the health of these two stunning fish species.

But what exactly makes them incompatible? Despite their seemingly peaceful temperaments and similar sizes, can\\\\\\\’t they coexist harmoniously in the same aquarium? To answer this, we need to delve into their specific biological needs, ecological requirements, and care essentials, which highlight the reasons behind their incompatibility

Different Biological & Environmental Needs

Angelfish and goldfish evolved for dramatically different ecosystems, resulting in mismatched biology:

Water Conditions

Temperature – Angelfish thrive in 78-84°F tropical environs. Goldfish require much cooler 60-72°F water. Finding an optimal compromise temp challenges both fish.

pH Balance – Angelfish prefer slightly acidic conditions down to pH 6.8. Goldfish favor more alkaline water around pH 7.5-8.0. Keeping both in ideal pH ranges is difficult.

Water Hardness – While angelfish tolerate a range of water hardness, goldfish truly thrive in harder mineral-rich water. Catering to goldfish leaves angelfish in suboptimal parameters.

As you can see, angelfish and goldfish hail from ecologically dissimilar waters making it tough to meet the needs of both simultaneously.

Tank Size Considerations

On top of water quality mismatches, tank dimensions also introduce issues: For my best tank recommendations click here.



Expert Opinions Against Combining Angelfish & Goldfish

The collective challenges meeting the needs of both angelfish and goldfish make them poor tank companions. Experts overwhelmingly recommend against housing them together long term:

\\\\\\\”Angelfish and goldfish should not be kept in the same aquarium. Their water parameters, temperature requirements, oxygenation needs and temperaments are too different…\\\\\\\” – Dr. Sarah Jackson, fish veterinarian [1]

“I advise against placing angelfish and goldfish together in the same tank. Neither fish will thrive…\\\\\\\” – Laura Muha, author of Angelfish: A Complete Pet Owner\\\\\\\’s Manual [3]

“Attempting to mix temperate goldfish with tropical angelfish results in compromise…\\\\\\\” – Jacob Lucas, aquarium author & biochemist [5]

In almost all cases, the health and wellness of one or both species suffers in shared captivity. It creates unnecessary stress jeopardizing long term welfare.


Goldfish and angelfish are two very popular types of freshwater aquarium fish. They are both beautiful and relatively easy to care for, which makes them a great choice for beginner aquarists. However, these two fish are not compatible with each other and should not be kept together in the same tank.

Why Angelfish Can\\\\\\\’t Live With Goldfish

These two types of fish have very different care requirements and are not compatible when it comes to living together in the same aquarium. In fact, goldfish and angelfish can’t even be kept in the same type of water. Goldfish are coldwater fish and require water that is cooler than what angelfish need. Angelfish, on the other hand, are tropical fish and require warm water to thrive.


Goldfish are cold-water fish and prefer water that is around 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Angelfish, on the other hand, are tropical fish and prefer water that is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, see my article and recommendations on tank heaters here. This difference in temperature preference can lead to stress and disease in both fish.

Tank Size

Goldfish can grow quite large, up to 12 inches or more in some cases. They also produce a lot of waste. Angelfish are much smaller, only growing to about 6 inches in length. A tank that is big enough for goldfish is not going to be appropriate for angelfish and vice versa.

Water Quality

Goldfish are much messier than angelfish. This means that the tank will need to be cleaned more often when goldfish are present, and this can be a problem for those who don’t want to do a lot of tank maintenance. Goldfish produce a lot of waste, which can quickly pollute the water in a small tank. This can lead to poor water quality and high ammonia levels, which can be deadly for both fish.


The typical angelfish is a semi-aggressive fish that can become aggressive towards other tank mates, especially those that are similar in appearance to the angelfish. This means that goldfish are often not compatible with angelfish because they share many of the same physical characteristics. Goldfish are also known to be nippy fish, meaning they will often nibble on the fins of other fish in the tank. This can irritate the angelfish and cause them to become aggressive.


Goldfish are omnivores and will accept most prepared foods, including pellets and flakes. In the wild, their diet consists of crustaceans, insects, and plant matter. Angelfish are carnivores and prefer live or frozen foods, although they will also eat pellets and flakes. The difference in diet can cause problems in the aquarium. Goldfish are messy eaters and their waste can pollute the water. Angelfish are fussy eaters and may not get enough to eat if there is competition from the goldfish.

PH Level

Both angelfish and goldfish require different pH levels. Goldfish require a pH level of 7.0-7.5, while angelfish need a pH level of 6.5-7.0. This means that the water conditions required for each type of fish are not ideal for the other, and this can lead to problems.

For these reasons, it is best to keep goldfish and angelfish in separate tanks. This will allow each fish to thrive in its preferred environment and avoid the stress and aggression that can occur when they are kept together.

What Kind Of Fish Can I Put With Angel Fish?

Some aquarists choose to keep angelfish with other peaceful cichlids, like discus fish. Others prefer to stick to a community tank setup, with fast-moving fish that can outswim the angels’ long fins. Angelfish can also be kept with invertebrates, like shrimp or snails. No matter what tankmates you choose, be sure to research compatibility carefully.

One of the best things about angelfish is their willingness to breed in captivity. If you want to see baby angels, it’s best to set up a separate breeding tank. This gives the parents a place to raise their fry without being harassed by other fish. A 20-gallon tank is a good size for a breeding pair of angelfish. Be sure to include plenty of hiding places, like caves and plants. The parents will need a place to retreat to when they’re not caring for their fry.

Here are some common tank mates that are commonly kept with angelfish:

  • Boesemani Rainbow Fish
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Praecox Rainbow Fish
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Kribensis
  • Adult platies
  • Plecos
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Swordtails
  • Ram CichlidS
  • Bettas
  • Mollies

These fish are all relatively peaceful and can coexist well with angelfish in a community tank. It is important to note that some of these fish can be nippy toward slower-moving fish like angels, so it is important to select them carefully and observe the fish closely to make sure everyone gets along.


Can Angelfish Kill Other Fish? Some angelfish can be aggressive towards other fish, especially those that are similar in size or shape. Angelfish may also become territorial and will defend their space against other fish. If two angelfish are kept together, they may fight for dominance. In some cases, one fish may kill the other. It’s important to research the specific type of angelfish you’re interested in keeping, as some are more aggressive than others. When choosing tank mates for angelfish, it’s best to avoid other fish that are similar in size or shape. Angelfish are also known to eat smaller fish, so it’s important to choose tank mates that are large enough to defend themselves. If you’re interested in keeping more than one angelfish, it’s best to purchase them at the same time and raise them together. This will help prevent fighting and aggression between the fish. Angelfish can be a great addition to any aquarium, but it’s important to do your research and choose tank mates carefully to ensure a peaceful and happy environment for all.

Are Angelfish Hard To Keep With Other Fish? No, angelfish are not particularly difficult to keep with other fish. In fact, they often do quite well in community tanks. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when keeping angelfish with other fish. First, angelfish can be aggressive towards other fish, so it is important to choose tank mates that are not easily intimidated. Second, angelfish need plenty of hiding places and open swimming space, so the tank should be adequately decorated. Finally, angelfish are sensitive to water quality and conditions, so the tank should be well-maintained. With a little planning and care, angelfish can make great additions to most community tanks.

Tips To Keep Angelfish With Other Fish

  • Research Tankmates Wisely
  • Choose The Right Size Tank
  • Choose Non-Agressive Tankmates

If you follow these tips, you should be able to keep your Angelfish happy and healthy in a community tank. Just remember to choose your tank mates carefully and give your fish plenty of space to swim. Regarding the Goldfish, although they can be kept in aquariums they would be a lot happier in a pond with a good filter.

In conclusion, it is best to keep goldfish and angelfish in separate tanks due to their different care requirements and behaviors. By understanding their unique traits and requirements, aquarists can make an informed decision based on their specific tank setup and avoid the stress and aggression that can occur when they are kept together.

author avatar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *