Can Goldfish Live with Angelfish? (Compatibility Guide)

goldfish and angelfish

Goldfish and angelfish both have been a fan favorite fish for beginners and expert keepers alike. Mostly for their ease of care as well as their pleasantly beautiful appearance. It no surprise that keepers would want to keep them together.

But can goldfish survive with angelfish? The short answer is no. Goldfish and angelfish come from fundamentally different regions with rather drastic differences in water parameters, therefore they are usually not kept together.

That said, there are some ways that you can keep them together, although not recommended,  provided certain conditions are met.

How Can I Keep Goldfish With Angelfish?

Temperature

Goldfish are by nature, coldwater fish and thrive in lower temperatures (68° F to 74° F). However, goldfish are also very hardy fish by nature and will survive in temperatures much higher if they are acclimated properly.

It is not unusual for non-fancy goldfish to be kept in the tropics at temperatures close to 80° F. Of course, if you wanted to keep fancy varieties, their tolerance for higher temperatures are much lower.

Angelfish, on the other hand, are warm-water fish and come from the amazon where the temperatures are generally much higher. Keepers usually try to keep their temperatures around 78° F – 80° F. If you can maintain a temperature of around 75° F, both species of fish should survive fine together.

Temperament

Angelfish are considered peaceful fish to keep in the aquarium and they generally don’t cause many problems. However, there are times when they can get territorial, especially in smaller spaces and around breeding season.

Therefore, as a rule of thumb, angelfish should always be kept in small groups of about 5-8 individuals to curb aggression, if any.

Goldfish on the other hand, usually do not pose as much of a threat. But they can be overzealous at times, especially when it comes to feeding time, which can also cause certain stress in angelfish.

Tank size

This should come as a no brainer considering both species of fishes do grow to quite a large size, the common goldfish 12 inches or more and the angelfish up to 10 inches in length.

Keeping them in tanks that are adequately sized will ensure that angelfish’s aggression is kept to a minimum as it will reduce stress. While we usually feel that most tank size recommendations on the web are rather excessive, keeping goldfish with angelfish in a tank that is too small could spell disaster.

Therefore if you do intend to keep them together, start with a tank size of no smaller than 30 gallons. Also, take note that angelfishes have a rather broad body and the height of the tank should accommodate at least 2-3 times its body width.

Also Read: How to Tell if a Goldfish is Male or Female?Opens in a new tab.

Will Angelfish Kill Goldfish?

Angelfish do get aggressive at times for a variety of reasons. But it’s extremely unlikely that an angelfish will kill a goldfish. While they do nip from time to time, they are mostly peace-loving and will do well in any community aquarium.

That said, angelfish will eat smaller fish that can fit into their mouths, for example, neon tetras. If the size of your goldfish is of a similar size, it would best to remove the goldfish.

It’s more likely that your goldfish causes stress to the angelfish. They are usually overzealous when it comes to feeding and produce a massive amount of waste. Angelfish, on the other hand, are relatively sensitive to fluctuations in water parameters.

Also Read: 20 Best Tank Mates for Your GoldfishOpens in a new tab.

What Kind of Fish Can Live With Goldfish?

We already know goldfish are coldwater fish. Therefore, it would only be logical to look for tankmates that are in that category or at least able to tolerate lower temperatures for a start.

However, before we dive right in, certain carnivorous fishes that should not be kept with goldfish under any circumstances, lest you want your goldfish to turn into fish food.

Here are some examples of fishes that should not be kept with goldfishes:

  • Pufferfish

Pufferfish are fin nippers and tend to nip at fins of all their tankmates. Therefore they should be kept in a species only tank.

  • Piranhas

Piranhas are ferocious and aggressive schooling fish that have a diet that consists mainly of other fishes. Unless you want your goldfish to turn into a snack, it would be wise not to keep them together.

  • Oscar

While Oscars and goldfish tend to grow to a similar size, Oscars will eat most things that can fit into their mouths, which includes small goldfish.

  • Arowanas

It is common practice for some Arowana keepers to feed their Arowanas, goldfish. Therefore they should not be kept together.

  • Larger carnivores

Carnivorous fish often will make a snack out of smaller goldfish. While larger sized goldfish do make it more difficult to chomp on, it’s still better safe than sorry.

Goldfishes are peaceful fishes and do well with most herbivorous/omnivorous fish, like plecos, neon tetras, corydoras, and of course, other goldfish.

If you are in doubt about what can and cannot be kept together with your goldfish, here are a few simple rules for you to follow.

  • Temperament: Aggressive fish should not be kept with goldfish.
  • Diet: Carnivorous fishes that prey on other fishes should not be kept with goldfish under any circumstance.
  • Size: Fishes that are much larger than goldfish should not be kept together as the difference in size could cause stress for your goldfish. 

What Kind of Fish Can Live With Angelfish?

Angelfish are warm-water fish that originate from the amazon. Generally, most fishes do well with angelfish provided there is enough space so that they don’t show aggression.

That said, however, angelfish have been known to chomp and eat smaller schooling fishes such as neon tetras. They are a cichlid and they are omnivorous after all. Thankfully, most common aquarium fishes are bigger and don’t pose as much of a risk than the smaller fishes (<1.5 inches).

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

  • Adult platies
  • Plecos
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Swordtails
  • Ram CichlidS
  • Bettas
  • Mollies
  • Bettas

You might have realized, unlike other articles online, we have omitted smaller fish like neon tetras and guppies.

This is because, from our experience, larger angelfish tend to eat these smaller fishes occasionally. Therefore, we do not recommend any fish that has the possibility of fitting into its mouth.

While this list is not definitive, you will notice that most fishes in this list are not very small. and generally have a non-aggressive disposition which makes them suitable options as tank mates for your angelfish.

Can Angelfish be Kept Alone?

Absolutely! Angelfish can be kept alone in a tank. However, it’s not recommended as they are social fishes that find safety in numbers. Therefore, most keepers opt to keep them in either community tanks or a species only tank.

Many keepers opt to keep an angelfish only tank as they are a mesmerizing species that will school together when kept in a group. That said, if you do intend on keeping a group of angelfish, you must have a tank of adequate size.

Otherwise, they can get aggressive toward each other when there is not enough space. Our recommendation for 5-8 adult angelfish is a 30 gallon planted tank. This will not only give them ample space to roam around like a school but also provides a naturalistic set up which will reduce stress.

Also Read: Are Angelfish Aggressive? (How to Reduce it?)Opens in a new tab.

Final Words

While it is possible to keep goldfish with angelfish, it’s not recommended due to the disparity in their respective water parameters. That said, there are still many other fishes that can be kept with either goldfish or angelfish for that matter.

Remember, goldfish are coldwater fish that thrive in slightly lower temperatures. Angelfish, on the other hand, come from the amazon where the temperatures are higher.

We hope we’ve provided you some useful insights with today’s article. Thank you for reading!

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. You will find some really useful tips and information on this blog about Freshwater Aquariums.

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