Angelfish and GloFish often find homes in freshwater tanks. But is it possible for them to coexist in the same aquarium? What do you need to think about to house them together?
Considerations include the aquarium environment, water conditions, and dietary needs of each fish.
In this article, I’m going to cover all these points and beyond, giving you the full scoop. Let’s get started.
Can I Keep Angelfish and Glofish Together in the Same Tank?
No, Angelfish and GloFish are typically not compatible to be kept in the same tank.
- Temperament Clash: Angelfish are cichlids, which can be territorial and aggressive, particularly in confined spaces, unlike the typically peaceful GloFish.
- Environmental Needs: Angelfish require specific water conditions that can differ from GloFish preferences, such as a higher temperature range (75-82°F).
- Size Disparity: Adult Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches and may view smaller GloFish as prey, leading to stress or injury for the GloFish.
- Feeding Competition: Angelfish are adept feeders and may outcompete GloFish for food, potentially leading to malnutrition or starvation for the GloFish.
Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates
Angelfish vs. Glofish: Behavior
The first factor worth considering is the Angelfish’s and Glofish’s natural behavior. Here is what you should know:
Angelfish: Natural Behavior
Angelfish are inherently semi-aggressive and can exhibit complex social behaviors that are often seen as assertive or territorial.
In a community tank setting, this can sometimes lead to stress among more peaceful species.
- Dominance Displays: Angelfish can grow to 6 inches and often show dominance by chasing or nipping at other fish, especially during feeding times or in overcrowded tanks.
- Territorial Breeding: During spawning, Angelfish lay up to 1000 eggs and fiercely guard their site, which can span over a large area of the aquarium’s bottom.
- Hierarchy Formation: In groups, Angelfish will establish a social hierarchy; the dominant fish may control prime feeding spots, leading to subordinate fish being underfed.
GloFish: Natural Behavior
GloFish are genetically altered to carry a fluorescent gene, but they retain the non-aggressive and schooling nature of their original species, such as zebrafish.
- Schooling Harmony: GloFish are best kept in groups of five or more to encourage natural schooling behavior, which can reduce stress and promote a harmonious environment.
- Passive Interaction: Unlike Angelfish, GloFish do not establish territories, making them less likely to engage in aggressive confrontations with tank mates.
- Feeding Equality: GloFish have a peaceful approach to feeding and often do not compete aggressively for food, ensuring more equal distribution among tank inhabitants.
Ideal Parameters for Angelfish and Glofish
This table summarizes the ideal water parameters for Angelfish and Glofish, with a column addressing the parameters for a tank that contains both fish types.
|Temperature||75-82°F (24-28°C)||72-80°F (22-27°C)||76-80°F (24-27°C)|
|Water Hardness||3-8 dGH (50-134 ppm)||6-12 dGH (100-200 ppm)||5-10 dGH (75-167 ppm)|
Angelfish: Ideal Parameters
Angelfish thrive in a specific range of water conditions that mimic their natural Amazonian habitat.
Maintaining these parameters is crucial for their health, as they are sensitive to changes in water quality and temperature.
- Optimal Temperature: Angelfish require warmer water temperatures between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit to remain healthy and active.
- Acidic pH Levels: The ideal pH level for Angelfish is slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 7.5, which helps in emulating their natural riverine conditions.
- Soft to Medium Water Hardness: Angelfish prefer softer water, with a hardness level of 3 to 8 dGH (50 to 134 ppm), which is conducive to their slime coat and overall health.
Also Read: Can Angelfish And Guppies Live Together?
Glofish: Ideal Parameters
GloFish, engineered from various species, generally tolerate a wider range of conditions, but they still have optimal parameters that ensure their vibrancy and health.
- Preferred Temperature Range: GloFish are comfortable in a temperature range of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, slightly cooler than the ideal range for Angelfish.
- Neutral pH Balance: GloFish can thrive in a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5, aligning closely with the upper end of Angelfish’s pH tolerance.
- Moderate Water Hardness: They adapt well to moderate water hardness levels, ideally between 6 to 12 dGH (100 to 200 ppm), which is slightly harder than the preference of Angelfish.
Angelfish vs. Glofish: Tank Setup
In this table, you’ll find a concise comparison of the tank setup requirements for Angelfish and Glofish, and recommendations for an aquarium that accommodates both.
|Tank Setup Component||Angelfish||Glofish||Both Types|
|Tank Size||55 gallons for community||20 gallons for small school||100 gallons or more|
|Foliage||Dense, tall plants like Amazon Swords||Live/artificial, colorful plants||Dense, varied foliage|
|Decorations||Smooth rocks, driftwood||Brightly colored or fluorescent decor||Combination of structures|
|Filter||Powerful, gentle flow||Gentle flow, adequate bioload||High-capacity, gentle flow filter|
|Heater||Adjustable thermostat||Consistent temperature control||Reliable, adjustable heater|
|Substrate||Fine to medium-grained||Dark or brightly colored substrate||Substrate suiting both preferences|
|Pump||Optional, depends on tank size||Beneficial in smaller tanks||Size-appropriate air/water pump|
|Lighting||Moderate||Bright, enhances fluorescence||Bright, supports plant life|
|Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate||0 ppm Ammonia/Nitrite, <20 ppm Nitrate||0 ppm Ammonia/Nitrite, <20 ppm Nitrate||0 ppm Ammonia/Nitrite, <20 ppm Nitrate|
Angelfish: Tank Setup
Angelfish tank setup must account for their territorial nature and need for vertical space due to their body shape.
They are sensitive to water quality, requiring a well-maintained environment to prevent stress and disease.
- Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate: Levels of ammonia and nitrite should always be at 0 ppm, while nitrates should be kept below 20 ppm for Angelfish to thrive.
- Tank Size: A minimum of 20 gallons is essential for a single Angelfish, but 55 gallons or more is recommended for a community or breeding pairs.
- Foliage: Angelfish prefer densely planted tanks with tall plants like Amazon Swords, which provide hiding spaces and mimic their natural habitat.
- Decorations: Smooth-edged rocks and driftwood can add structure without risking harm to the Angelfish’s long fins as they navigate the tank.
- Filter: A powerful filter with a gentle flow is necessary, as Angelfish do not appreciate strong currents but require clean, well-oxygenated water.
- Heater: A reliable heater is crucial to maintain the required temperature range, with an adjustable thermostat for precise control.
- Substrate: Fine to medium-grained substrate is preferred, which allows for plant rooting and reflects Angelfish’s natural riverbed environment.
- Pump: An air pump is not mandatory but can be beneficial to ensure adequate oxygen levels, especially in larger or more densely stocked tanks.
- Lighting: Moderate lighting suffices for Angelfish, mimicking the subdued light of their natural habitat, and supporting plant growth without encouraging excessive algae.
Glofish: Tank Setup
Glofish tank setup can be more flexible due to their hardier nature; however, it should emphasize the display of their vibrant colors and support their schooling behavior.
- Ammonia Nitrite Nitrate: GloFish tanks require ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm, while nitrate levels should remain under 20 ppm to prevent toxicity.
- Tank Size: For GloFish, a 20-gallon tank is the recommended minimum to accommodate a small school, providing ample swimming space.
- Foliage: Live or artificial plants are suitable, with a preference for colorful or fluorescent varieties to complement GloFish’s bright colors.
- Decorations: GloFish enjoy a variety of decorations that they can swim around and through; brightly colored or fluorescent decor can enhance their glow.
- Filter: A filter that can keep up with the bioload while creating a gentle flow is ideal, as GloFish do not require a strong current.
- Heater: GloFish need a stable and consistent temperature, achieved with a good-quality heater, to prevent stress due to temperature fluctuations.
- Substrate: A dark or brightly colored substrate can work well with GloFish, accentuating their colors and accommodating the less stringent rooting needs of plants.
- Pump: An air pump can be beneficial in smaller tanks to increase circulation and oxygenation, complementing the filtration system.
- Lighting: Brighter lighting can be beneficial for GloFish to enhance their genetically modified fluorescent colors, especially with blue or black lights.
The Dietary Requirements of Angelfish and Glofish
Here is a snapshot of the dietary needs for Angelfish and Glofish, with guidelines for feeding when both are present in the same tank.
|Dietary Component||Angelfish||Glofish||Both Types|
|Food Types||Varied diet; flakes, live/frozen food||High-quality flake food, frozen/live treats||Combination diet, focus on high-quality flakes|
|Quantity||Consume in 30 seconds, twice daily||Small amounts, finish in under a minute||Feed moderately to satisfy both without overfeeding|
|Feeding Schedule||Morning and evening with fasting days||Consistent times each day||Twice daily at set times, with observation|
Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements
Angelfish are omnivores with a strong preference for live and diverse foods that mimic their natural diet in the wild.
They require a balanced diet to maintain their health, coloration, and to ensure proper growth and breeding behavior.
- Food Types: Angelfish diet should include a variety of flakes, pellets, live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms, and vegetable matter.
- Quantity: Adult Angelfish should be fed an amount they can consume in about 30 seconds to prevent overfeeding, twice daily.
- Feeding Schedule: Regular feeding times in the morning and evening help establish a routine, with occasional fasting days to aid digestion.
Glofish: Ideal Dietary Requirements
GloFish, depending on their species origin, generally have less specialized dietary needs but still require a well-rounded diet to maintain their energy levels and bright coloration.
- Food Types: A mix of high-quality flake food formulated for tropical fish, along with occasional frozen or live treats, is ideal for GloFish.
- Quantity: GloFish should be fed small amounts that they can finish in under a minute, one to two times a day, to avoid overfeeding.
- Feeding Schedule: Consistent feeding times each day are recommended, with the last feeding a few hours before lights out to mimic natural eating patterns.
Tips for Keeping Angelfish with Glofish
While keeping Angelfish with Glofish is not recommended due to their differing needs and behaviors, if you decide to proceed, meticulous planning and monitoring are required.
A carefully structured environment and vigilant management can help mitigate potential issues.
- Tank Size Upgrade: A tank of 100 gallons or more provides the necessary space for both species, with the vast area reducing the likelihood of Angelfish exhibiting territorial aggression.
- Sight Barriers: Use tall plants like Amazon swords or decorations that reach near the surface, providing hiding spots and breaking direct lines of sight to help GloFish avoid Angelfish territories.
- Feeding Stations: Set up at least two feeding stations at opposite ends of the tank, which will distract the Angelfish and allow GloFish to feed in peace.
- Careful Observation: Spend at least 30 minutes daily observing their interactions during feeding and active times, noting any chasing or nipping behaviors.
- Balanced Grouping: Keep a small group of Angelfish (around 4-6) with a larger school of GloFish (10 or more) to disperse attention and reduce bullying.
- Stress Monitoring: Watch for signs of stress in GloFish, such as faded coloration or hiding, which are indicators that the tank dynamics may not be harmonious.
- Emergency Plan: Have a secondary tank ready for immediate separation if aggressive incidents occur, to prevent injury or death, especially for GloFish.
How to Introduce Your Angelfish to a Tank with Glofish
Introducing Angelfish to a tank with GloFish should be done with great care and planning to ensure a smooth transition and reduce the potential for aggression.
Acclimating your Angelfish gradually to the new environment and the existing inhabitants is key to a successful introduction.
- Quarantine First: Before introduction, quarantine the Angelfish for at least two weeks to monitor health and prevent the spread of diseases to the GloFish.
- Water Parameter Adjustment: Slowly adjust the Angelfish to the tank’s water parameters by using the drip acclimation method over the course of an hour.
- Tank Environment Enrichment: Prior to the introduction, rearrange the tank decorations and plants to disrupt established territories of the GloFish and reduce aggression.
- Controlled Observation: After introduction, observe the Angelfish’s behavior intensively for the first few hours to ensure it is not being bullied or showing signs of stress.
Best Tank Mates for Angelfish and Glofish
Finding the best tank mates for Angelfish and GloFish involves selecting species that can comfortably tolerate the conditions preferred by both and exhibit non-aggressive behavior.
It’s essential to choose fish that won’t nip at the Angelfish’s fins and are not so small that they could be seen as prey by Angelfish.
- Corydoras Catfish: These peaceful bottom dwellers are excellent companions for Angelfish and GloFish, as they occupy different tank levels and don’t compete for space.
- Dwarf Gourami: A colorful choice that lives harmoniously with Angelfish and GloFish, Dwarf Gouramis share similar water parameter requirements and are also peaceful.
- Mollies: Mollies are adaptable fish that can coexist with both Angelfish and GloFish, bringing activity and live-bearing characteristics to the tank without causing distress.
- Platies: Platies are another livebearer that is hardy and peaceful, making them suitable tank mates that generally won’t trigger Angelfish aggression or outcompete GloFish.
- Larger Tetras: Choose larger tetra species, such as Black Skirts or Silver Tips, which are less likely to be nipped by Angelfish or considered prey due to their size.
- Loaches: Kuhli or Zebra Loaches can be a good match as they are peaceful and tend to keep to themselves, rummaging through the substrate and avoiding conflicts with tank mates.
For quick readers, here’s a short summary:
- Angelfish and GloFish are not ideal tank mates due to differences in temperament, environmental needs, size, and feeding behaviors.
- Angelfish prefer slightly acidic, warmer water, and are territorial, which can stress the more peaceful, schooling GloFish.
- To accommodate both, a large tank (100 gallons or more) with carefully structured environments and multiple feeding stations may be necessary.
- Despite the challenges, with meticulous planning and monitoring, including a separate backup tank, it is possible to house Angelfish and GloFish together.
- When choosing tank mates for either fish, select species that share similar water parameters and are non-aggressive to ensure a peaceful community aquarium.