Can Angelfish And Goldfish Live Together? (Common Mistakes)

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Both angelfish and goldfish are extremely popular species in freshwater home aquariums. But does that mean you can keep them together in the same tank?

What about the water requirements of each species? Will the fact that goldfish live in relatively colder water pose an issue? And what about other tank mates to consider?

In this article, I’ll discuss all these questions and more, so you leave with all the information you need. Let’s get started.

Can I Keep Angelfish and Goldfish Together in the Same Tank?

No, Angelfish and Goldfish should not be kept together in the same tank. Their differing requirements and behaviors make cohabitation challenging.

  • Temperature Needs: Angelfish require warm water (75-82°F), while Goldfish need cooler conditions (65-75°F), making a shared environment unsuitable.
  • Water Quality: Angelfish prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH (6.5-7.0), whereas Goldfish thrive in neutral to slightly alkaline water (pH 7.0-7.5), complicating water chemistry balance.
  • Behavioral Differences: Angelfish are territorial and may become aggressive, while Goldfish are generally peaceful, leading to potential stress and conflict in the tank.
  • Dietary Requirements: Angelfish need a high-protein diet, while Goldfish require more carbohydrates, making feeding both species in one tank a complex task.

Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates

Angelfish vs. Goldfish: Behavior

The first factor worth considering is the Angelfish’s and Goldfish’s natural behavior. Here is what you should know:

1. Angelfish: Natural Behavior

Angelfish exhibit behaviors shaped by their environment, showing a combination of territorial and social traits distinct from Goldfish.

  • Territorial Instincts: Angelfish often establish territories, especially during breeding, aggressively defending their chosen area.
  • Social Hierarchy: These fish form a clear pecking order, with dominant individuals controlling prime resources.
  • Interactive Feeding: Angelfish tend to be interactive during feeding, often displaying assertiveness to get food first.

2. Goldfish: Natural Behavior

Goldfish, in contrast to Angelfish, display more peaceful and sociable behaviors, influenced by their non-territorial nature in the wild.

  • Peaceful Coexistence: Goldfish are known for their peaceful demeanor, rarely showing aggression towards tank mates.
  • Foraging Habit: They spend much of their time foraging at the bottom, sifting through substrate for food.
  • Group Swimmers: Goldfish often swim in groups, showing a preference for social interaction over territoriality.

Ideal Parameters for Angelfish and Goldfish

Here’s a table I made showing the ideal water parameters for Angelfish and Goldfish, focusing on temperature, pH level, and water hardness.

Optimal Temperature75-82°F (24-28°C)65-75°F (18-24°C)
pH Level6.5-7.07.0-7.5
Water Hardness3-8 dGH8-12 dGH

Angelfish: Ideal Parameters

Angelfish thrive in a specific aquatic environment that closely mimics their natural Amazonian habitat.

Ensuring the right temperature, pH, and water hardness is crucial for their health and well-being.

  • Optimal Temperature: Angelfish prefer warmer water temperatures, ideally between 75 to 82°F (24 to 28°C). This range supports their metabolic processes and encourages healthy growth and activity.
  • pH Level: The ideal pH level for Angelfish is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0. This acidity level mimics their natural Amazon Basin environment, promoting their well-being.
  • Water Hardness: Angelfish require soft to moderately hard water, with a general hardness (GH) of 3 to 8 dGH. This level of hardness ensures the right balance of minerals for their health.

Goldfish: Ideal Parameters

Goldfish, being hardy and adaptable, can tolerate a range of water conditions.

However, for optimal health, specific parameters regarding temperature, pH, and water hardness should be maintained.

  • Optimal Temperature: Goldfish prefer cooler water temperatures, typically between 65 to 75°F (18 to 24°C). This range suits their metabolism and helps prevent diseases common in warmer waters.
  • pH Level: A neutral to slightly alkaline pH, ranging from 7.0 to 7.5, is ideal for Goldfish. This range supports their digestive processes and overall health.
  • Water Hardness: Goldfish thrive in moderately hard water, with a general hardness (GH) of 8 to 12 dGH. This hardness level provides the necessary minerals for Goldfish health without being excessively hard.

Angelfish vs. Goldfish: Tank Setup

This table outlines the differences in tank setup requirements between Angelfish and Goldfish, covering aspects from water quality to tank equipment.

Tank Setup ComponentAngelfishGoldfish
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate0 ppm (Ammonia, Nitrite), <20 ppm (Nitrate)0 ppm (Ammonia, Nitrite), <40 ppm (Nitrate)
Tank SizeMinimum 20 gallons for a pair20 gallons for first, 10 gallons for each additional
FoliageAbundant, both real and artificialTough or artificial preferred
DecorationsDriftwood, caves for hidingSmooth, no sharp edges
FilterHigh-quality, moderate currentPowerful, high-capacity
HeaterRequired for 75-82°FNot typically required
SubstrateFine to medium gravel or sandCoarse gravel or large pebbles
PumpAir pump for gentle water movementStrong air pump
LightingModerateModerate to bright

Angelfish: Tank Setup

Setting up an ideal tank for Angelfish involves careful consideration of various factors to mimic their natural Amazonian habitat.

Proper water quality, tank size, and environmental enrichment are key to their health and happiness.

  • Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Keeping ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm and nitrates below 20 ppm is crucial for Angelfish health, as they are sensitive to poor water quality.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 20 gallons is recommended for a pair of Angelfish, with larger tanks needed for groups to provide ample swimming space and reduce aggression.
  • Foliage: Angelfish prefer a tank with abundant foliage, both real and artificial, providing hiding spots and mimicking their natural environment.
  • Decorations: Adding decorations like driftwood and caves offers additional hiding places, essential for reducing stress and territorial behavior in Angelfish.
  • Filter: A high-quality filter is necessary to maintain clean water and remove harmful toxins, with a preference for filters that don’t create strong water currents.
  • Heater: A reliable heater is required to maintain the ideal temperature range of 75-82°F, crucial for Angelfish health and metabolism.
  • Substrate: Fine to medium-sized gravel or sand is ideal, facilitating natural behaviors and contributing to the aesthetic of the tank.
  • Pump: An air pump to provide gentle water movement helps in oxygenation, enhancing water quality without creating strong currents that Angelfish dislike.
  • Lighting: Moderate lighting is preferred, mimicking the light levels of their native Amazon Basin and promoting plant growth in the tank.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Firemouth Cichlids Live Together?

Goldfish: Tank Setup

Goldfish tanks should be designed to cater to their hardy nature while providing ample space and a stimulating environment. Unlike Angelfish, Goldfish have different requirements regarding tank setup.

  • Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: Goldfish produce more waste, so maintaining ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm and nitrates below 40 ppm is essential for their health.
  • Tank Size: A minimum of 20 gallons for the first Goldfish and an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish is recommended, as Goldfish need ample space to grow.
  • Foliage: Goldfish enjoy tanks with plants, but tough or artificial plants are better, as they tend to nibble on soft, live plants.
  • Decorations: Smooth decorations without sharp edges are ideal, as Goldfish are active and can accidentally harm themselves.
  • Filter: A powerful filter is crucial for Goldfish due to their high waste production, ensuring the tank remains clean and the water quality high.
  • Heater: Unlike Angelfish, Goldfish do not typically require a heater, as they prefer cooler water temperatures.
  • Substrate: Coarse gravel or large pebbles are recommended to prevent Goldfish from accidentally ingesting fine substrate while foraging.
  • Pump: A strong air pump is beneficial for Goldfish tanks to ensure adequate oxygenation, given their active nature and higher oxygen needs.
  • Lighting: Moderate to bright lighting is suitable for Goldfish, as they are less sensitive to light compared to Angelfish and it promotes a healthy aquatic environment.

The Dietary Requirements of Angelfish and Goldfish

This table compares the dietary needs of Angelfish and Goldfish, highlighting differences in food types, quantity, and feeding schedule.

Dietary AspectAngelfishGoldfish
Food TypesFlake foods, brine shrimp, bloodworms, vegetablesPellets or flakes, vegetables
QuantitySmall amounts 2-3 times a daySmall amounts 2-3 times daily
Feeding ScheduleConsistent, same times each dayRegular, consistent times daily

Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Angelfish, being omnivorous, require a balanced diet that includes both plant and animal matter.

Their diet should be varied and rich in nutrients to ensure proper growth, coloration, and health.

  • Food Types: Angelfish thrive on a diet comprising flake foods, frozen or live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and vegetable matter, providing a balanced mix of protein and fiber.
  • Quantity: Feeding adult Angelfish small amounts 2-3 times a day is ideal, ensuring food is consumed within a few minutes to prevent overfeeding and water quality issues.
  • Feeding Schedule: Consistency is key; feeding Angelfish at the same times each day helps regulate their metabolism and keeps them in optimal health.

Goldfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Goldfish are opportunistic feeders with a predominantly vegetarian diet. They require a diet that supports their digestive system and keeps them healthy and active.

  • Food Types: A diet of high-quality goldfish pellets or flakes, supplemented with vegetables like peas and leafy greens, suits their nutritional needs and aids digestion.
  • Quantity: Goldfish should be fed small amounts that can be consumed within a few minutes, 2-3 times daily, to avoid overfeeding and maintain water quality.
  • Feeding Schedule: Regular feeding times each day are important for Goldfish to maintain a healthy digestive system and overall well-being.

Possible Tank Mates for Angelfish

Choosing the right tank mates for Angelfish is essential, as they can be semi-aggressive and territorial.

Ideal companions are those that are peaceful, can thrive in similar water conditions, and are neither too small to be preyed upon nor too large to bully Angelfish.

  • Dwarf Gouramis: Compatible due to their peaceful nature, Dwarf Gouramis can coexist with Angelfish, avoiding territorial conflicts in a well-structured aquarium.
  • Corydoras Catfish: Being bottom dwellers, Corydoras Catfish avoid the territories of Angelfish, making them excellent tank mates for a harmonious environment.
  • Mollies: Adaptable and non-aggressive, Mollies share similar water parameter requirements with Angelfish, allowing for peaceful cohabitation.
  • Platies: Platies are peaceful and active, which helps in maintaining a balanced tank environment without infringing on the territory of Angelfish.
  • Bristlenose Plecos: These algae eaters are great companions for Angelfish, keeping to themselves and helping to clean the tank without causing stress.
  • Loaches: Loaches, especially the smaller species, can be good tank mates for Angelfish, as they are peaceful and occupy different tank levels.
  • Rasboras: These small, peaceful fish are excellent companions for Angelfish, coexisting without competing for space or food in the tank.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Crayfish Live Together?

Harlequin Rasbora

Suitable Tank Mates for Goldfish

Choosing tank mates for Goldfish involves finding species that are peaceful, can thrive in similar water conditions, and are not prone to fin-nipping.

It’s important to avoid species that are small enough to be eaten by Goldfish or so large they might bully them.

  • Rosy Barbs: These are a good match as they’re peaceful and thrive in cooler water, similar to the Goldfish’s environment.
  • Zebra Danios: Active yet non-aggressive, Zebra Danios coexist well with Goldfish, requiring similar water temperatures.
  • Weather Loaches: Ideal companions, Weather Loaches occupy the bottom of the tank, reducing competition for space and sharing water preferences.
  • Bristlenose Plecos: These algae eaters are beneficial for tank cleanliness and are not known to disturb their tank mates.
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows: Small yet robust, these fish share the tank harmoniously without competing for food or space.
  • Giant Danios: A great choice for tanks with larger Goldfish, these danios are peaceful and have similar water requirements.
  • Snails: Snails can be a great addition, helping in algae control and tank cleanliness without posing any risk to the aquatic harmony.
Bristlenose Pleco


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish and Goldfish should not be housed together due to conflicting temperature, pH, and dietary needs, as well as behavioral differences.
  • Angelfish require warm water, slightly acidic pH, and a high-protein diet, alongside a tank setup that accommodates their territorial nature.
  • Goldfish prefer cooler water, neutral to alkaline pH, and a diet richer in carbohydrates, with a tank setup that suits their peaceful, non-territorial behavior.
  • Ideal tank mates for Angelfish are peaceful and compatible with their environment, like Dwarf Gouramis and Corydoras Catfish.
  • Suitable tank mates for Goldfish are those that thrive in similar conditions and are neither too small nor too large, like Rosy Barbs and Zebra Danios.