Can Angelfish And Zebra Danios Live Together? (7 Key Tips)

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Angelfish and Zebra Danios are favorites for many who have freshwater tanks. But, is it possible for them to share a tank?

What do you need to think about if you want to house them together? How should the tank be arranged, and what about the water conditions and how each fish eats?

I’m going to cover all these topics and more in this piece, so you’ll have all the details you need. Let’s dive in.

Can I Keep Angelfish and Zebra Danios Together in the Same Tank?

Yes, Angelfish and Zebra Danios can live together in the same tank, but there are important considerations to keep in mind.

  • Temperature Compatibility: Angelfish require 76-82°F, while Danios are flexible but prefer 64-74°F; a compromise at 76°F could suffice for both.
  • Behavioral Differences: Angelfish are semi-aggressive and territorial, and may chase the swift, playful Danios, potentially causing stress.
  • Size Disparity: Adult Angelfish may grow up to 6 inches, compared to Danios at 2 inches, risking the smaller fish being seen as food.
  • Dietary Needs: Both species eat flakes, but Angelfish might need larger or specialized food that Danios can steal, leading to nutritional imbalances.

Also Read: Angelfish Tank Mates

Angelfish vs. Zebra Danios: Behavior

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

Angelfish: Natural Behavior

Angelfish are naturally semi-aggressive and territorial, especially when they mature and during breeding.

They prefer to claim certain areas of the aquarium and may become aggressive to other fish encroaching on their space.

  • Hierarchy Establishment: In the wild, Angelfish create hierarchies, and in the confines of an aquarium, they’ll assert dominance over certain territories and may bully smaller fish.
  • Breeding Aggression: When breeding, Angelfish become fiercely protective of their eggs and fry, potentially attacking tank mates that come too close to their nesting site.
  • Slow and Steady: Angelfish are not as active swimmers; they gracefully meander through the water and prefer a peaceful environment to match their serene swimming style.

Zebra Danio: Natural Behavior

Zebra Danios are known for their high energy and playfulness.

They are schooling fish that exhibit fast, darting movements and thrive in a group setting, often at the top levels of the tank.

  • Active Schooling: Zebra Danios are gregarious and highly active, often seen in groups swiftly swimming across the tank, which can be stressful to slower fish like Angelfish.
  • Surface Dwellers: They spend a great deal of time near the water’s surface, seeking food, which can disrupt the Angelfish that prefer the middle to lower regions.
  • Peaceful Community Fish: Despite their speed, Danios are generally peaceful and make good community fish, often coexisting well with species that match their energy level.

Ideal Parameters for Angelfish and Zebra Danios

The table below contrasts the ideal water parameters for Angelfish and Zebra Danio, as well as the parameters for a tank housing both types of fish.

ParameterAngelfishZebra DanioBoth Types
Temperature76°F – 82°F64°F – 74°F~76°F
pH Level6.5 – 7.56.5 – 8.06.5 – 7.5
Water Hardness3 – 8 dKH5 – 19 dKH3 – 8 dKH

Angelfish: Ideal Parameters

Angelfish are native to the Amazon Basin and prefer warm, slightly acidic water.

They thrive in well-maintained aquariums where the water parameters are kept stable to mimic their natural habitat.

  • Optimal Temperature: Angelfish need a tropical range between 76°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C) to maintain their metabolism and immune system effectively.
  • pH Level: They prefer a pH level ranging from 6.5 to 7.5, which mirrors the slightly acidic conditions of their native Amazonian waters.
  • Water Hardness: Soft to moderate water hardness, about 3 to 8 dKH (54 to 145 ppm), is ideal for Angelfish, aligning with the soft river basins they come from.

Zebra Danio: Ideal Parameters

Zebra Danios are hardy fish native to the freshwater streams of South Asia and are adaptable to a range of conditions, though they have specific preferences that promote optimal health.

  • Optimal Temperature: They can tolerate a wide temperature range but prefer cooler waters, ideally between 64°F to 74°F (18°C to 23°C).
  • pH Level: Zebra Danios are comfortable in a pH range of 6.5 to 8.0, allowing for some overlap with Angelfish but also tolerating more alkaline conditions.
  • Water Hardness: They do well in moderate to slightly hard water, around 5 to 19 dKH (90 to 342 ppm), which is a bit harder than the preference of Angelfish.

Angelfish vs. Zebra Danios: Tank Setup

This table highlights the differences in tank setup requirements for Angelfish and Zebra Danio, along with a column for tanks containing both fish types.

Tank FeatureAngelfishZebra DanioBoth Types
Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate0 ppm/0 ppm/<20 ppm0 ppm/0 ppm/<30 ppm0 ppm/0 ppm/<20 ppm
Tank SizeMin 29 gallonsMin 20 gallonsMin 30 gallons
FoliageDenseLess densityModerate density
DecorationsMinimalMinimalMinimal to moderate
FilterGentle flowModerate currentModerate flow
PumpMild currentBeneficialModerate current

Angelfish: Tank Setup

Angelfish require a specific environment in the tank to stay healthy, considering their sensitivity to water quality and need for swimming space.

A serene setting with ample room and proper filtration is crucial for their well-being.

  • Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: Angelfish need ammonia and nitrite levels at 0 ppm, with nitrates kept below 20 ppm to prevent stress and disease.
  • Tank Size: A tall tank is essential for Angelfish due to their vertical finnage, with a minimum size of 29 gallons for a pair.
  • Foliage: Dense foliage is crucial, using plants like Amazon Swords to mimic their natural habitat and provide hiding spots.
  • Decorations: Smooth-edged rocks and driftwood can be added, but space must be open for Angelfish to navigate without damage to their fins.
  • Filter: A high-quality filter that provides a gentle flow is needed to keep the water clean while not disturbing the Angelfish with strong currents.
  • Heater: An adjustable heater is required to maintain the temperature between 76°F and 82°F, crucial for Angelfish health.
  • Substrate: Fine to medium-sized substrate is preferred, mimicking the sandy bottoms of their natural environment and supporting plant growth.
  • Pump: A pump should be present to assist in water circulation, but the current should be mild to not stress the Angelfish.
  • Lighting: Moderate lighting that simulates a tropical environment will suffice, allowing for plant growth without overly bright conditions that could irritate Angelfish.

Zebra Danio: Tank Setup

Zebra Danios are less demanding regarding tank setup, valuing space for swimming and a current that simulates their natural riverine habitats.

They’re adaptable, but certain conditions can enhance their vibrancy and activity levels.

  • Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate: Zebra Danios are tolerant but still require ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, with nitrates preferably under 30 ppm.
  • Tank Size: A 20-gallon long tank is the minimum recommended size for a small school of Danios, providing them with adequate swimming room.
  • Foliage: They enjoy tanks with plants but need less density, allowing for more open swimming areas and space to play.
  • Decorations: Minimal decorations are needed, but they do appreciate having some structures to dart in and around.
  • Filter: A good filtration system is necessary, and Zebra Danios appreciate a moderate current which helps mimic their natural flowing water habitat.
  • Heater: A heater should be used to keep the water within their preferred temperature range of 64°F to 74°F.
  • Substrate: Gravel or small pebbles work well for Zebra Danios, accommodating plants and open areas for swimming.
  • Pump: An air or water pump can be beneficial to maintain water flow and oxygen levels that Zebra Danios enjoy.
  • Lighting: Standard aquarium lighting is sufficient as Zebra Danios are not as sensitive to light levels as Angelfish.

The Dietary Requirements of Angelfish and Zebra Danios

The following table outlines the dietary needs of Angelfish and Zebra Danio, as well as recommendations for a tank with both fish.

Dietary AspectAngelfishZebra DanioBoth Types
Food TypesFlake, pellets, live/frozenFlake, small pellets, live/frozenVaried diet, cater to both
Quantity30 seconds of food, 2-3 times/dayFinish in 2 minutes, 1-2 times/dayModerate amounts, 2 times/day
Feeding ScheduleTwice a dayTwice a dayTwice a day

Angelfish: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Angelfish are omnivores with a preference for high-protein foods, which is crucial for their growth and health.

Their diet should be varied and include both meaty foods and vegetation to mimic their natural feeding habits in the wild.

  • Food Types: Angelfish diet should include a mix of flake foods, pellets, and live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.
  • Quantity: Adults should be fed two to three times a day with the amount they can consume in about 30 seconds to prevent overfeeding and tank pollution.
  • Feeding Schedule: A consistent schedule, with feedings in the morning and evening, helps maintain their metabolism and health.

Zebra Danio: Ideal Dietary Requirements

Zebra Danios are not fussy eaters, but a balanced diet will ensure they are healthy and display vibrant colors.

These active swimmers require regular feeding but in smaller quantities to avoid obesity and water quality issues.

  • Food Types: A varied diet of flake food, small pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods such as micro-worms suits Zebra Danios well.
  • Quantity: They should be fed small amounts that they can finish in two minutes, once or twice a day.
  • Feeding Schedule: Regular feeding times in the morning and late afternoon align with their active periods and help prevent overfeeding.

How to Introduce Your Angelfish to a Tank with Zebra Danios

Introducing Angelfish to a tank with Zebra Danios requires strategic planning to ensure a harmonious integration.

Carefully acclimate the Angelfish to the existing water conditions and closely monitor interactions.

  • Quarantine Period: Isolate the Angelfish in a quarantine tank for a minimum of two weeks, ensuring it is free from common diseases like ich or fin rot before introducing it to the main tank.
  • Water Parameter Adjustment: Slowly adjust the quarantine tank’s water to match the main tank’s parameters, aiming for a temperature of 76°F and a pH of 7.0 over a week.
  • Acclimation Process: Employ the drip acclimation method by adding 5 mL per minute of tank water to the Angelfish’s container to equalize water parameters over several hours.
  • Visual Barrier: Install a clear but perforated divider in the main tank to allow both Angelfish and Danios to adjust to each other’s presence for a few days without physical interaction.
  • Feeding During Introduction: Feed the Angelfish and Danios on opposite ends of the tank to establish feeding territories and reduce competition for food during initial encounters.

Tips for Keeping Angelfish with Zebra Danios

Maintaining a tank with both Angelfish and Zebra Danios can be challenging due to their different needs, but with careful management, a harmonious environment is possible.

Focus on creating conditions that meet the middle ground for both species and observe their behavior to prevent stress.

  • Tank Size: Opt for a larger tank, at least 30 gallons, to give the Angelfish ample vertical space and the Zebra Danios enough room to swim actively.
  • Water Quality: Regularly test the water to keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm and nitrates below 20 ppm to cater to the sensitive Angelfish while still suitable for Danios.
  • Feeding Zones: Establish separate feeding zones to minimize competition, feeding Angelfish at the bottom and Zebra Danios at the top.
  • Balanced Temperature: Set the aquarium heater to maintain a stable temperature around 76°F, which is a compromise between the preferred ranges of both species.
  • Diverse Diet: Provide a variety of foods that cater to both species’ needs, such as flakes and pellets for Angelfish and smaller items like micro-worms for Danios.
  • Hiding Spots: Arrange the tank with plenty of plants and decorations to create hiding spots for Angelfish, reducing the stress from active Danios.
  • Observation: Closely monitor the tank, especially in the initial weeks, to ensure the Angelfish are not getting bullied or stressed by the more active Danios.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Catfish Live Together?

Best Tank Mates for Angelfish and Zebra Danios

Selecting tank mates for Angelfish and Zebra Danios requires careful consideration of temperament and environmental needs to ensure compatibility.

Ideal tank mates will share similar water parameters and exhibit non-aggressive behavior that complements both the Angelfish and Danios.

  • Corydoras Catfish: Bottom dwellers like Corydoras are peaceful, they’ll coexist with Angelfish without intruding on their space and are active enough to keep up with Danios.
  • Dwarf Gourami: These calm fish share a similar preference for water conditions with Angelfish and are not overly active, avoiding any disruption to Danios.
  • Mollies: Mollies are versatile in terms of water conditions and are peaceful; their size makes them less likely to be bullied by Angelfish.
  • Platies: Platies are a peaceful choice that dwell in the same water parameters, and their active swimming can be a good match for Zebra Danios.
  • Harlequin Rasboras: They are peaceful schooling fish that require similar water conditions and will add to the tank’s dynamics without bothering the Angelfish.
  • Bristlenose Pleco: A good choice for algae control, Bristlenose Plecos stay out of the Angelfish’s way and are not too boisterous for Danios.

Also Read: Can Angelfish And Platies Live Together?

Dwarf Gourami


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish and Zebra Danios can coexist in the same aquarium, but careful consideration of water temperature and tank conditions is essential to accommodate both species.
  • While both species can eat flakes, the Angelfish’s larger size and semi-aggressive nature may lead to stress for the smaller, more active Zebra Danios.
  • Angelfish require a stable environment with warm, slightly acidic water and a serene setting, while Zebra Danios are adaptable but thrive in cooler temperatures and more active conditions.
  • Introducing Angelfish to Zebra Danios demands a gradual acclimation process and strategic feeding practices to reduce competition and stress.
  • Creating a peaceful community tank with both Angelfish and Zebra Danios involves a larger tank, controlled feeding zones, and a selection of tank mates that share similar water requirements and temperament.