8 Angelfish Tank Mates

Angelfish Tank Mates
Angelfish Tank Mates, photo by Jeff Kubina

Angelfish tank mates are certainly a possibility, without a doubt. Although Angelfish belong to the cichlid family with most cichlids being known for their aggression, Angelfish are actually not aggressive fish. Angelfish are very peaceful fish, so it is best to pick other fish that have the same temperament. The only time an Angelfish would ever become aggressive would be during breeding (like most fishes). So be cautious if you are breeding your Angelfish.


Below are a few Angelfish fish tank mates that can possibly be housed together with your Angelfish. Of course, always use caution when mixing fish. If you see any aggression being done, simply separate the fish.

African Dwarf Frogs

African Dwarf frogs are great tank mates for Angelfish because they do not look like a fish or any type of threat. African dwarf frogs also stay fairly small which is good because there won’t be any chances of the frog trying to eat the Angelfish, like other large frogs might try to do. Being relatively small, these types of frogs produce very little waste, so you don’t have to worry about nitrates/nitrites/ammonia.

Apple Snail

The most common snail being sold in pet stores today is the apple snail. Apple snails can be put into an Angelfish’s tank with no problem due to its large hard shell. The Angelfish can’t possibly harm the snail. If housing an apple snail is in mind, just know that they can get up to the size of a softball.

Ghost Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp stay very small and are usually sold as food for other fish, but can be a great addition to your Angelfish’s tank. They won’t harm your Angelfish in any way.


Red cherry shrimp are another awesome type of shrimp tank mate for Angelfish because they can help do two things. Serve as food when the Angelfish is hungry (sometimes) and serve as algae eaters. They help clean the algae that may be forming in your Angelfish’s tank daily by eating it. But be careful on how many red cherry shrimp you buy. They breed quite well so make sure they don’t overcrowd the tank.

Corydoras Catfish (Cory Catfish)

Cory catfish are very calm and peaceful fish. It’s almost unheard of that they’d be aggressive. They are very friendly fish, especially with themselves. Be sure to get a good sized group of cories, they need a minimum of five for a proper school to feel secure and happy.  Adding fake or real plant will also help make them feel secure and safe. Also, make sure to have sand substrate so they don’t hurt themselves or lose their barbs.


Loaches are great tank mates because they are mostly bottom feeders that will stay away from most of the fish in your tank (including your Angelfish). They are very calm and peaceful fish that will cause no harm towards your Angelfish. Be careful when choosing a loach though, as some can reach the length of 16 inches. I personally recommend khuli loaches, dwarf loaches, , and zebra loaches. These loaches stay smaller than 5 inches.


There are many tetra species out there that do well with Angelfish, while others that will be eaten by Angelfish. You have to make sure that you get tetras that are not small enough to fit in a full grown Angelfish’s mouth. Recommended tetras by many fish-keepers are Head-and-Taillight tetras, lemon tetras, glowlight tetras, pristella tetras, emperor tetras, and occasionally neon tetras. The tetras to stay away from are the cardinal tetras (will be eaten), serpae tetras (fin-nippers), and black skirt tetras (will be attacked).


Plecos make good tank mates for Angelfish because of their size and calmness. Most plecos spend their days eating algae on rocks and glass, not bothering anybody. I personally have 2 plecos with my 1 Angelfish with no problem. Just have in mind, I have a 55 gallon tank which allows the room for 2 plecos. If you are wanting to get a pleco, get one based on the size of your fish tank. Some plecos get big, while other stay small (5 inches) like the clown plecos, bristlenose plecos, and rubber lipped plecos.

Feeder Fish

Feeder fish can make good tank mates for Angelfish as they are very calm fish. Although they are not the prettiest fish and are mostly sold for food, they will still make a good addition to the fish tank.

A Guide in Choosing Angelfish Tank Mates

  • No nibblers – do not get any fish that will nibble at your Angelfish. This will cause stress and sometimes fights.
  • No small fish – It is known that some Angelfish will eat smaller fish (less than 2 inches).
  • Tank size – If you are getting tank mates for your Angelfish, make sure you have the room for all the fish to have their space.
  • Bottom Feeders – Many bottom feeders are fish that can live well with Angelfish. (Plecos, catfish, loaches)
  • Diet & Water Requirements – Make sure to choose only fish that require the same diet and water conditions as your Angelfish.


  1. I have 7 angelfishes in my aquarium together with 4 sterbai corydoras. And i used to have a common plecostomus in the same tank. From my observation plecos is a terrible tankmate, it sucks the body of the angelfish whenever i turn off the aquarium lights and the room lights, leaving only the night light on. The pleco is only useful when young. As they grow they are getting lazy to clean the glass and prefer the slime coating of other fish. I got the same experience with my discus filled aquarium.

    • Owen,
      Thanks for the share from your experience. I will make sure to add this to the list so that others can know the risk.

    • My Plecos is large and he pushes my Angels out of the way…as long as the angels are more peaceful and just move, tanking them together should cause no problem. That’s how my tank is working, thankfully.

  2. Angels are not good tank mates for mystery snails. Even though they’re big, the angels like to nibble at their antennas which I’m sure is terribly painful and stressful. Both my angels did this and had to be rehomed. By the way some call mysteries apple snails. Don’t do it.

  3. I wouldn’t recommend shrimp in an Angel Tank, they quickly become a snack for the Angels and the survivors will spend the rest of their lives hiding.

  4. I have a 55 gallon fish tank with three angelfish. Two are beautiful and growing. The third reminds me of a roller-coaster test pilot. When he is swimming, he will do loops, spins, flips and never swims straight more than 3-4 inches. At night, he usually ends up on the bottom of the tank and half the time is upside down. There are times that I think he is dead, but a small tap on the glass and he moves about. I have no idea what to do about this one. I also had a placo and several fantails. All these after a week or so died and was floating upside down at the top of my tank. I live in central Texas and over 3 hours from any major city. Suggestions please.

    • Hey Wade,

      Sounds like you got a bit of trouble in that tank. Could you tell me a little more information? Were all the fish in the same tank? Did you put all this fish in at the same time? Have you tested your water parameters? Is this a newly set up tank?

  5. I’ve found in my 150 gallon tank that Apple Snails and Tetras work best after trial and error. I have 24 Angel Fish, 8 Apple Snails, and around 25 Tetras. The Tetras learned very fast not to mess with the Angel, it took one of their lives! But, since then, no further problems. They find safety in numbers and sort of swarm back and forth. The Angel Fish are my favorite tropical fish, rivaling the color of saltiness and seem to have real noticeable personality. I have a very large and old one about 13.5 inches in height who runs the show. I wish I could post a pic for all you Angel lovers. What ever you do, love your Angel Fish!

  6. I have a 55 gallon tank. 1 angei, about 2 ann half nches, a pleco about 3 inches and 3 tetra about 3/4 inches. Would 5 medium size angels be a good addition?p

    • Plecos shouldn’t be in any tank less than 100 gallons.. learned the hard way.. I bought a pleco about 2 years ago… I say almost an inch in size and recently he was around 8 inches… the whole reason I purchased a 55 gallon… overtime I added a beta, rainbow shark and 6 angelfish.. went good for about a year and than fish started dyeing… Checking water levels and everything I couldn’t figure out why until I saw the shark chasing fish… my pleco ended up dying from this and had to be BURIED outside… so plecos are something to stay away from unless you hope to go big on your tank in the future…

  7. Black skirt Tetra live very well with Angel fish i have 3 Angels all adults and 10 black skirt Tetra and have never been attacked or been the attackers

  8. I’m about to buy a larger tank and considering angelfish as a centrepiece fish. I don’t understand why neon and glowlight tetra would be suitable tank mates but cardinal tetra wouldn’t be. My cardinal tetra are larger than their glowlight tank mates, and are slightly larger than the neon tetra that they used to share a tank with.

    The shoals of cardinals and glowlights are both fully grown. Does anyone have experience of adding juvenile angelfish to such a tank? I assume juveniles will be easier to assimilate and less likely to view the other fish as food.

    • I know this is old but cardinal tetras are thin and smaller than most neon and glowlight tetras. Neon and glowlight tetras grow tall and wide whereas cardinal tetras just remain 2″ or so and are thin, adult angelfish would probably see the cardinals as food more than tankmates.

  9. @time green, neons and glowlight tetras are a little bit more skiddish than you might want with angles. Just my opinion.

  10. Hi! I’ve been doing a lot of reading about homing plecos with Angelfish and I’ve been reading that they have a habit of sucking the slime off of the Angels. I know that my Angel has ammonia poisoning (which I am currently treating him and the tank for), but my roommate has noticed that the Angel’s side fins seem to be getting smaller. I’m wondering if it would be worth re-homing the pleco just to be safe?? Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Courtney,
      I would relocate the angel until he is better. Also, water changes and bacteria in a bottle should help with your ammonia problem.

  11. I have a dwarf gourami , blue gourami , goldfish , female mollie, 3 catfishes , 2 black skirt tetras m would I be able to have angel fish with this mixture of fish?

  12. I have 5 fresh water fish tanks one of them with 4 angels and I have never had a problem with plecos. In fact they help my tanks stay clean and don’t pay attention to the angel fish. That’s really weird that they would suck the angel fish.

  13. I have two albino plecos that stay smaller, and are a dull orange. So far no problems. Onbthebother hand, my Mbunabare killing each other and the Silvers are being nipped by the Rainbow Shark. The 3 mollies are fine, as are the ten guppies that are survivors from about 20 put intobthe tank, Angelfish food. But the last 10 are savvy and fast, and the 3 smaller males hang together.

  14. I was going to try a Back Ghost Knife fish with my angel tank… I tried once before in a 10 gallon with an angel and the pleco but ended up dyeing… this was when I was very novice though… has anyone kept a BGK with angels before?

  15. Knife fish are a bad idea.

    They are nocturnal hunters and will even attack bigger fish. They will eat anything that can fit in their mouth and tear apart what can’t.

    If the knife fish is to small the angels will kill it. They don’t seem to like any fish with big, colorful or flowing fins. So they will probably bully it.

  16. I currently have 6 Angels together with 2 silver sharks, 2 corys and a gourami.

    I just rehomed them in a new 100 liter tank from the 30 liter tank they were in.

    Now that I have all the extra room I plan to add more fish.

    I am an American living in Israel so I have had to get used to the limited selection available here.

    Most of the available varieties are relatively agressively cichlids and I don’t want any with my angels.

    I plan to get a bristlenose pleco as they are more voracious cleaners and generally more active but also don’t get too big.

    Also want to have a total of 5-6 Cory’s. And maybe 2-3 gouramis.

    As for the others, I am still trying to decide and would love suggestions.

    I want a kuhili loach or two but haven’t seen any here.

    I have considered trying a dwarf snowflake eel as they tend to carry them from time to time here and I have had some before and they never showed any agression.

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