Angelfish and Guppies are favorites for indoor fish tanks. But is it okay for them to share one?
What do you need to think about if you want both in your tank? How about how the tank is arranged, what kind of water they need, and what they eat?
I’m going to talk about all these points and others in this article, giving you the details you need. Let’s dive in.
Can I Keep Angelfish and Guppies Together in the Same Tank?
No, it is not advisable to keep Angelfish and Guppies together in the same tank. Angelfish can be aggressive towards smaller fish like Guppies, posing a risk to their well-being.
- Dietary Needs: Angelfish require a high-protein diet that guppies might outcompete them for, leading to nutritional deficiencies.
- Size Disparity: Full-grown Angelfish can reach up to 6 inches, which may intimidate or even lead to the predation of much smaller Guppy counterparts.
- Fin Nipping: Angelfish have a tendency to nip at the fins of long-tailed fish like Guppies, which can cause stress and injury.
- Breeding Stress: Guppies breed frequently, and their fry are likely to be eaten by Angelfish, adding stress to the Guppies and disrupting breeding patterns.
Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates
Angelfish vs. Guppies: Behavior
The first factor worth considering is the Angelfish’s and Guppies’ natural behavior. Here is what you should know:
1. Angelfish: Natural Behavior
Angelfish, by nature, are semi-aggressive and can exhibit territorial behavior when they mature, especially if they pair off and breed.
In a community tank, they often assert dominance and require space to establish their hierarchy.
- Territorial Defense: Mature Angelfish typically require at least 20 gallons per fish to establish territories, often showing aggression if this space is encroached upon.
- Predatory Instincts: Angelfish, which can grow up to 6 inches, may see small fish as prey, especially in tanks smaller than 55 gallons where space is limited.
- Social Hierarchy: In groups, Angelfish form a strict social order; the dominant fish usually eats first and chooses the prime hiding spots in the tank.
2. Guppies: Natural Behavior
Guppies are sociable, active swimmers and are generally non-aggressive, making them a staple in community aquariums.
They reproduce quickly, which can lead to overpopulation in a tank if not managed.
- Schooling Behavior: Guppies thrive in groups of five or more, requiring less space with a minimum of 2 gallons per fish, enabling a dynamic and engaging tank environment.
- Non-Aggressive Interaction: Guppies rarely show aggression; they coexist peacefully with similarly sized and tempered fish, avoiding conflicts within a diverse tank.
- Rapid Breeding: A pair of Guppies can reproduce monthly, with fry numbers ranging from 20 to 50, necessitating a tank management plan to control population growth.
Ideal Parameters for Angelfish and Guppies
In setting up an aquarium, understanding and managing the ideal water parameters for both Angelfish and Guppies is critical.
Here’s how the parameters line up for each fish type and a combined setup.
|Temperature||76°F – 86°F||72°F – 78°F||76°F – 80°F|
|pH Level||6.5 – 7.0||7.0 – 7.8||6.8 – 7.2|
|Water Hardness||3 – 8 dKH||8 – 12 dKH||5 – 9 dKH|
1. Angelfish: Ideal Parameters
Angelfish thrive in warm, slightly acidic to neutral water that reflects their Amazonian basin origin.
Stability is key for these fish; sudden changes in water conditions can lead to stress and disease.
- Optimal Temperature: Angelfish prefer a warmer water temperature, ideally between 76°F and 86°F, to mimic their natural tropical habitat.
- pH Level: The ideal pH for Angelfish is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.5 to 7.0, which helps in their digestion and reproduction.
- Water Hardness: Angelfish fare best in soft to moderately hard water, with a hardness level of 3 to 8 dKH, aligning with the waters of the Amazon.
2. Guppies: Ideal Parameters
Guppies are highly adaptable, but they do best in stable water conditions that are slightly alkaline.
They are hardy fish, yet maintaining ideal water parameters ensures their vibrant coloration and health.
- Optimal Temperature: Guppies require a slightly cooler temperature range than Angelfish, doing well between 72°F and 78°F, which aids in their metabolism.
- pH Level: Guppies thrive in a pH range of 7.0 to 7.8, favoring a more alkaline environment that supports their immune system and breeding.
- Water Hardness: They are suited for moderately hard to hard water, with an ideal range of 8 to 12 dKH, which assists in maintaining their structural health.
Angelfish vs. Guppies: Tank Setup
The tank setup for Angelfish and Guppies differs due to their distinct habits and physical needs, but a shared tank can find a middle ground.
The table below offers a succinct comparison.
|Tank Aspect||Angelfish||Guppies||Both Types|
|Tank Size||At least 30 gallons per Angelfish||10 gallons for a small group||Minimum 40 gallons|
|Foliage||Dense, tall plants||Live plants like java moss||Combination of tall and dense plants|
|Decorations||Vertical structures||Floating decorations, mid-water spots||Varied decorations with hiding spots|
|Filter||Canister or HOB, gentle flow||Sponge filter||Canister or HOB with sponge pre-filter|
|Heater||Required, stable temperature||Required, stable temperature||Required, stable temperature|
|Substrate||Fine to medium, supports plant life||Small, smooth gravel or sand||Mixed granule size for varied flora|
|Pump||Air pump for gentle movement||Air pump for oxygenation||Air pump with adjustable flow|
|Lighting||Moderate||Bright||Moderate to bright, adjustable|
|Ammonia/Nitrite||0 ppm||0 ppm||0 ppm|
|Nitrate||Less than 20 ppm||As low as possible||Less than 20 ppm|
1. Angelfish: Tank Setup
Angelfish tanks should reflect the complexity of their natural environment, with stable water conditions being crucial for their well-being.
A larger tank with ample hiding spaces and a focus on vertical space is important to accommodate their tall body shape.
- Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: Angelfish need a well-cycled tank with ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm and nitrates kept below 20 ppm to prevent stress and health issues.
- Tank Size: A minimum of 30 gallons is recommended for Angelfish due to their size and territorial behavior, with an additional 10 gallons per extra fish.
- Foliage: Angelfish prefer dense plantings which provide hiding places and mimic their natural habitat; tall plants like Amazon swords are ideal.
- Decorations: Structures that offer vertical hiding spaces, like driftwood or tall rocks, cater to the Angelfish’s preference for vertical swimming spaces.
- Filter: A canister or hang-on-back filter rated for the tank’s volume ensures clean water; a gentle flow is necessary as Angelfish dislike strong currents.
- Heater: A reliable heater is needed to maintain the 76°F-86°F temperature range, with a built-in thermostat to prevent fluctuations.
- Substrate: A fine to medium-sized substrate is preferable for Angelfish, supporting plant life and resembling their natural sandy riverbeds.
- Pump: While Angelfish don’t need strong currents, an air pump can provide gentle water movement and adequate gas exchange.
- Lighting: Moderate lighting that simulates a tropical environment encourages natural behavior and benefits live plants in the Angelfish’s tank.
Also Read: Can Angelfish And Betta Fish Live Together?
2. Guppies: Tank Setup
Guppies require a setup that accommodates their active swimming and breeding behavior, with emphasis on water quality and open swimming areas.
While they are adaptable, guppies do appreciate a well-planted tank with plenty of light.
- Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: Guppies need their water parameters to be just right, with 0 ppm ammonia and nitrite and nitrates as low as possible, ideally under 20 ppm.
- Tank Size: A 10-gallon tank can suffice for a small group of guppies, but larger is better to give them ample space and accommodate their fast reproduction.
- Foliage: Live plants like java moss and hornwort not only provide hiding spots for fry but also help absorb excess nutrients and maintain water quality.
- Decorations: Floating decorations or those that create mid-water hiding spots can be beneficial for guppy fry to hide from adults.
- Filter: Sponge filters are excellent for guppy tanks as they provide gentle filtration and a surface for beneficial bacteria to colonize.
- Heater: A steady heater is important to keep the water temperature stable between 72°F and 78°F, which is optimal for guppies.
- Substrate: Guppies are not fussy, but small, smooth gravel or sand is preferable as it facilitates cleaning and doesn’t injure the delicate fry.
- Pump: An air pump is necessary to keep water circulating and oxygen-rich, especially if the tank is densely stocked with plants and fish.
- Lighting: Bright lighting helps maintain vibrant coloration in guppies and is essential if the tank is planted, though direct sunlight should be avoided to prevent algae growth.
The Dietary Requirements of Angelfish and Guppies
Feeding Angelfish and Guppies in a shared tank involves striking a balance to meet their differing dietary needs.
This table simplifies what each fish type requires and how to manage their diet together.
|Dietary Aspect||Angelfish||Guppies||Both Types|
|Food Types||High-protein, live, frozen||Flake food, live brine shrimp||Varied diet with size-appropriate food|
|Quantity||Eat in 30 seconds, twice a day||Pinch of food, under 1 minute||Controlled portions, no leftovers|
|Feeding Schedule||Same times each day||1-3 times a day||Multiple times, separate areas|
1. Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements
Angelfish are omnivores with a preference for high-protein foods, which is essential for their growth and health.
They require a varied diet that mimics the insect larvae, small crustaceans, and vegetation they would consume in the wild.
- Food Types: Angelfish thrive on a mix of live, frozen, and flake foods, including bloodworms, brine shrimp, and specialized cichlid pellets that cater to their nutritional needs.
- Quantity: Adult Angelfish should be fed an amount they can consume in about 30 seconds, twice a day, to prevent overfeeding and maintain water quality.
- Feeding Schedule: Consistency is key; feeding Angelfish at the same times each day helps regulate their metabolism and supports their immune system.
2. Guppies: Ideal Dietary Requirements
Guppies are not as demanding as Angelfish when it comes to food, but they still benefit from a varied diet that includes both plant and animal matter.
They have smaller mouths and will need appropriately sized food.
- Food Types: A diet of high-quality flake food, supplemented with frozen or live brine shrimp and daphnia, provides the necessary nutrients for Guppies.
- Quantity: Guppies should be fed a pinch of food, or what they can eat in under a minute to avoid leftovers that can decompose and deteriorate water quality.
- Feeding Schedule: Feeding Guppies 1-3 times a day with the proper amount ensures they get enough nutrients throughout the day without excess waste.
Tips for Keeping Angelfish with Guppies
While it is generally not recommended to keep Angelfish with Guppies due to the risk of aggression, if one chooses to do so, careful management and constant vigilance are crucial.
Ensuring the tank is well-structured to provide hiding spots and ample space can mitigate potential problems.
- Spacious Tank: Opt for a larger tank, at least 40 gallons, to provide enough room for both Angelfish and Guppies to coexist without encroaching on each other’s territory.
- Plentiful Hiding Spots: Create numerous hiding places with plants and decorations, allowing Guppies to escape from Angelfish if they become aggressive.
- Strategic Feeding: Feed Angelfish and Guppies at opposite ends of the tank to reduce competition and ensure both species receive adequate nutrition.
- Observation Routine: Establish a daily observation routine to monitor the Angelfish’s behavior towards the Guppies, looking for signs of stress or aggression.
- Selective Breeding: Choose larger, faster Guppies that may be better at evading the Angelfish, reducing the risk of them being seen as prey.
- Breeding Control: Keep Guppy breeding in check to avoid overpopulation, which can lead to increased aggression from Angelfish due to crowded conditions.
- Rescue Plan: Have a separate tank ready as a contingency plan to separate the Angelfish or Guppies if the cohabitation leads to persistent aggression.
How to Introduce Your Angelfish to a Tank with Guppies
Introducing Angelfish to a tank with Guppies must be done with precision to ensure the safety and harmony within the aquarium.
It is crucial to provide an environment that meets the needs of both species and to monitor their interaction continuously.
- Separate Acclimation: Place the Angelfish in a quarantine tank for at least 2 weeks to observe health and behavior, preventing disease transmission.
- Visual Barrier: Employ a tank divider for the first few days post-quarantine, allowing both Angelfish and Guppies to get accustomed to each other’s presence without risk.
- Rearrange Decor: Shuffle the tank’s layout to remove established territories; this can include moving plants and caves, giving the impression of a new environment to the Angelfish.
- Monitor Interactions: Observe the fish after removal of the divider for aggressive Angelfish behavior, ready to reintroduce the barrier if nipping or chasing occurs.
Best Tank Mates for Angelfish and Guppies
When selecting tank mates for Angelfish and Guppies, it’s essential to choose species that are neither aggressive nor too small, and that have similar water parameter requirements.
Ideal companions should be peaceful yet able to hold their own, without outcompeting either Angelfish or Guppies for food.
- Corydoras Catfish: These bottom dwellers are peaceful, won’t compete with Angelfish for space, and are hardy enough to coexist with the active Guppies.
- Mollies: Mollies share similar water preferences to Guppies and are robust enough to not be bullied by Angelfish, making them great middle-dwellers for such a tank.
- Platies: Platies, like Guppies, are peaceful and add color and activity to the tank without inciting the territorial nature of Angelfish.
- Dwarf Gouramis: Their calm demeanor and tolerance for a wide range of water conditions make them suitable tank mates that won’t provoke Angelfish.
- Loaches (like Kuhli or Zebra): Loaches keep to themselves and typically stay out of the way of both Angelfish and Guppies, adding diversity without disruption.
- Bristlenose Plecos: They are excellent for keeping algae in check and are non-invasive, allowing Angelfish and Guppies to swim freely.
Also Read: Can Angelfish And Glofish Live Together?
For quick readers, here’s a short summary:
- Angelfish and Guppies are not compatible due to size and behavior differences; Angelfish can be aggressive towards smaller Guppies.
- Both fish have distinct tank setup requirements; Angelfish need larger tanks with dense foliage, while Guppies require less space and thrive with plenty of light.
- Water parameters for a mixed tank need to be carefully balanced, with a temperature of 76°F – 80°F and pH levels between 6.8 and 7.2 to accommodate both species.
- Dietary needs differ significantly; Angelfish require high-protein foods, whereas Guppies do well with flake food and brine shrimp.
- If attempting to house both together, a larger tank, careful feeding, and constant monitoring are essential to minimize stress and aggression.