Angelfish are some of the most popular freshwater fish you will find in most home aquariums. For a species that is quite stunning and fascinating, this comes as no a surprise. With their long triangular fins, wide variety of colors and unique patterns, angelfish will certainly make a great centerpiece aquarium. The fact that they are very easy to look after once you set up the proper environment is also an added bonus.
If you have your heart set on angelfish, an even better idea is to add other fish in your aquarium. A community aquarium will bring together species that normally don’t live together in nature. So, you end up with a pretty intriguing fish tank.
Keep in mind that not all tank mates will coexist peacefully with angelfish. You can only mix species that won’t be aggressive towards each other and those that live in the same conditions. With that in mind, here is a list of some of the best options for a community aquarium that has angelfish.
Most Compatible Angelfish Tank Mates
Angelfish are native to the Amazon River basin in South America. So, they thrive in tropical freshwater with pH of 6 – 6.5 and temperatures of around 80 degrees F. These fish are also aggressive eaters by nature. That’s why they mostly occupy the middle part of an aquarium. In fact, angelfish swim to the top for a snack when they see people approaching.
Using this information, it is easy to choose which type of fish to include in an angelfish aquarium. For starters, a compatible species should be able to live in the same conditions as angelfish. That means something like goldfish, which thrive in cold water, would not do well in the warm tropical environment that angelfish need to survive.
In addition, it is best to go for non-aggressive species that dwell near the bottom of the tank. This will minimize interaction and prevent aggression problems.
Here are some of the best angelfish tank mates that meet these two requirements.
1. Bristlenose Pleco
The advantage of having Bristlenose Pleco in your aquarium is that these fish will feed on algae. They have a very peaceful temperament and mostly feed on leftover food that falls to the bottom of the tank. Algae will not be enough to sustain these fish. Add a sinking herbivore pellet to their diet as well. Make sure also to provide these catfish with plenty of caves and hiding places.
2. Corydoras Catfish
Cory Cats are shy and timid. They also prefer the bottom part of an aquarium. These two traits make Corydoras Catfish excellent tank mates for angelfish. Best of all, there are hundreds of Cory Cat species. So, this means you can compare looks and find one that appeals to your liking. These fish like to live in groups as well. You will need 3 to 5 Cory Cats for a proper school to feel happy and secure.
3. German & Bolivian Rams
If you are looking to add a little bit of color in your angelfish aquarium, German and Bolivian Rams are the way to go. Both species are very peaceful bottom dwellers. However, the German Rams require extra care. They are very sensitive to nitrates and other toxins. So, this means you should test your water on a regular basis.
4. Kribensis Cichlids
Much like the Bristlenose Pleco, the Kribensis Cichlids are somewhat timid. So, be sure to provide plenty of driftwood overhangs, plants and rocks to make them feel secure. Kribs won’t get in the way of angelfish and tend to spend much of their time in hiding. However, this seems to be less of a problem if both species grow together from a young age. Less timid Kribensis Cichlids won’t be afraid to come out and are interesting to watch thanks to their colorful appearance.
5. Kuhli Loaches
Dabbed as the fish tank owl’, this eel-like fish loves to come out when the lights are off. Some aquarium hobbyists do not like its nocturnal nature because you might even forget you have a Kuhli Loach in your fish tank. That notwithstanding, angelfish coexist peacefully with Kuhli Loaches, which only search the tank bottom for leftover scraps.
Although uncommon, adult angelfish eat baby Kuhlis. So, if these fish are still too young, avoid introducing them in a tank full of mature angelfish. Kuhli Loaches also do well in groups and aquariums that have either sand or smooth rock bottoms.
6. Yoyo Loaches
While not a common choice, Yoyo Loaches can share a tank with angelfish. They will stick to the bottom, leaving the angelfish quite content in the middle of the tank. These fish; however, will require a sizable tank because they are large and do best in schools of five.
This list is by no means definitive, but it is a good starting point if you are looking for the best angelfish tank mates. Of course, there other fish you can consider but some options might not be ideal for your angelfish aquarium.
For instance, angelfish will live alongside mollies, swordtails, and platies just fine but fry from these livebearers won’t survive. Some people may not like the idea of angelfish feeding on baby fish. If breeding is not a priority, this is not a bad thing since it will keep populations from other tank mates under control.
Other freshwater cichlids like Discus make a great aquarium with angelfish, but require extra work to keep diseases at bay.
What Type of Fish Not to Keep with Angelfish
It is equally important to know what type of fish not to put in your angelfish aquarium. Ideally, you want to avoid angelfish tank mates that will be preyed upon or cause aggression issues. You might not believe it but, angelfish are not very angelic.
They will eat any smaller fish that can fit into their mouths. Angelfish will see small species like the Harlequin Rasboras or Cardinal and Neon Tetras as snacks. Blackskirt Tetras may come under attack too because something about them triggers the territorial nature of angelfish.
Avoid fin nippers like tiger barbs and serpae tetras. Such aggressive fish can damage or tear the long delicate fins of angelfish. Besides the specific types of fish mentioned above, keep your angelfish away from any predators.
In conclusion, it is always best to raise angelfish with other tank mates while they are still young to prevent territorial behaviors.
Your angelfish aquarium should also be large, especially because you will are inviting some friends over. Too many fish sharing a small tank might create waves that angelfish don’t like. Keep your community aquarium to a few species as well since overcrowding can cause the water quality to decline.