Can Angelfish Live With Goldfish Together?

Jaime Douglas
Jaime Douglas

Writer at The Aquarium Keeper

A lot of beginner fishkeepers think of all sorts of weird fish combinations to put in their aquarium. Some fish can live with any other fish, while certain species really can’t coexist with anything else. Some beginners really like the idea of keeping angelfish with goldfish in the same tank. It is one of those cases, where these two species really don’t belong together. Continue reading the article, to find out why angelfish can’t live together with goldfish.

Table of Contents

Is Keeping Goldfish With Angelfish a Good Idea?

Angelfish and goldfish shouldn’t be kept in the same aquarium, because they are incompatible. Both species have different temperaments, and water parameter needs. There could be a temptation to keep both species together, but it would cause more problems than pleasure.

close up of group of angelfish swimming in aquarium

Some people might try to keep angelfish and goldfish together and succeed for some period of time. You can keep them because there is a small temperature range, where both species can live in. Although, there are so many things that can go wrong with this combination. Angelfish might become territorial, goldfish could become aggressive while feeding, and so on. Avoid this combination, because there are so much more things you can put with angelfish and goldfish, that would work.

You might also like to read: Can Guppies Live With Goldfish?

Reasons Not to Keep Angelfish With Goldfish

To begin, there are 3 main reasons why you should not keep goldfish with angelfish. Firstly, these two species have different characteristics, one is more aggressive than the other. Secondly, you would need a very huge aquarium to house these two species, because angelfish is a social animal, that should be kept in groups, while goldfish produce a large amount of waste. Thirdly, goldfish and angelfish are from different regions and have different water temperature needs.


When it comes to aggression, angelfish are known for being hostile to other tank mates. These species usually try to eat smaller aquarium inhabitants like neon tetras or guppies. If you put angelfish and goldfish together in the same tank, rest assured that your angelfish will bully the goldfish. They might be harrassed so much, that your goldfish would be scared to leave a certain place in your aquarium.

Angelfish also become very territorial, when they start to breed. Usually, they lay their eggs on a filter or a decoration and guard them. Goldfish might try to eat the eggs, which can result in more fighting.

The constant bullying and picking could cause your goldfish to become sick or injured. Most goldfish are usually relatively peaceful, but they might show signs of aggression when feeding. Goldfish have a very big appetite, so they will push other fish away for food. To put it into simple words, these two species are not good tank mates to each other, in terms of character.

Tank Size

Most angelfish enjoy their own company, rather than other fish. To get the most out of these species, angelfish should be kept in groups of at least 5-6. To keep that size of a group, you would need an aquarium, which is at least 50 gallons. Angelfish grow very large (up to 10 inches), which is why you need a lot of space for them.

When it comes to goldfish, these species are responsible for producing a large amount of toxic waste into the water. They are known for being “water pigs” because goldfish don’t stop eating and pooping. Because of their nature, you would need at least a 30-gallon tank for a single goldfish.

As you can see, both species need a lot of space, and if you would want to keep angelfish with goldfish, you would need 50 gallons of water for a group of angels, while 30 gallons for a single goldfish. This fish combination is simply not practical.

Different Water Temperature

To move on, both goldfish and angelfish enjoy different water temperatures. Angelfish enjoy living in waters, that are between 78° and 84° F, while goldfish like slightly colder water (68° to 74° F). You could easily keep both species at 76° F, but it wouldn’t be the ideal temperature for any of the two different fish. Angelfish and goldfish would survive in that temperature but certainly would not thrive.

It is just not right to keep fish in different water parameters than they are used to. It is our responsibility as fishkeepers to create the most natural and best environment for our pet fish, so this combination would be the opposite of that.

Can Angelfish Live Alone?

I believe, that angelfish do best in species only tanks. They can become aggressive towards fish, similar to betta fish, angelfish have a very unstable character. One day they might be peaceful, while another day angelfish can go after any other living creature in your tank.

Don’t get me wrong, angelfish are social creatures, but they prefer their own species, instead of other aquarium fish. A large, heavily planted aquarium with proper filtration, and a bunch of hiding spaces would be an excellent home for a school of angelfish. Instead of putting them with goldfish, consider creating an angelfish species-only tank.

Can Goldfish Live Alone?

Similar to angelfish, goldfish’s best tank mates are other goldfish. Smaller fish would do terribly with these species because they might get eaten, while bigger fish would have a harder time swimming with goldfish in the same aquarium.

If you really like goldfish and want to see these species at their best, I highly suggest doing a goldfish species tank, where all of the space is dedicated to them.

Tank Mates for Goldfish

If you still feel, that goldfish alone is simply not enough for you, there are some fish that could do alright with goldfish. The best tank mates for goldfish would be other smaller fish (not too small to get eaten), that are very peaceful and not territorial at all.

Bristlenose Pleco

Probably the most common tank mate for goldfish is the bristlenose pleco. These species are very good at eating algae, although you can’t fully rely on them to keep your aquarium clean. Bristlenose plecos are bottom-dwellers, that would rarely get into goldfish way, so they are excellent tank mates.

Nerite Snail

Even though a nerite snail is not a fish, it can be a good tank mate for goldfish. Nerites are good at eating all different types of algae, leftover food, and dead plants. At the same time, nerite snails literally don’t care about fish or other tank mates, they just live their own life. If goldfish would get too curious about a nerite snail, don’t worry, because the shell would protect your precious snail from any aggression.

Giant Danio

Another great addition to a goldfish tank might be giant danios. Similar to zebra danios, these species have blue and yellow colors on their body and portray schooling behavior. Giant danios can grow up to 4 inches, so you will need a bigger aquarium to keep them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Angelfish Live in a 10-gallon Tank?

Angelfish can’t live in a 10-gallon aquarium, because these species grow very large, can become very territorial, and need a lot of space. Maybe you would have success growing baby angelfish in 10 gallons, but eventually, they will need more room.

Can Angelfish Live With Plecos?

Angelfish can easily live with most plecos in the same aquarium. Just so you know, some plecos grow extremely large and need a lot of space, so be sure to have a big enough aquarium for both species to feel comfortable.

Writer's Thoughts

In my opinion, keeping goldfish and angelfish is a very bad idea. Certainly, there are a bunch of other fish combinations, that would make your aquarium look so much better. Both species would feel happier if they had a tank dedicated to them only.

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