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Every great tank needs great fish. Otherwise, unless you have a planted tank, what’s the point of having a fish tank if you don’t have any fish? Angelfish are wonderful additions to any tank, but be sure to pick the right tank mates if you don’t want fights to break out between your beloved fish.

Angelfish, despite their peaceful-sounding name, are aggressive towards smaller, meeker fish. Therefore, choose freshwater fish between 2 and 10 inches long that are neither meek nor aggressive as tank mates. Also, Angelfish prefer the surface area, so bottom-dwelling fish pair well with them.

Luckily, Angelfish are not super picky about who shares the tank with them, so long as they don’t get in their way and won’t fall victim to bullying. First, we will introduce some of the best fish to pair with Angelfish, as decided by experts, and then we will talk about how to choose your own tank mates for your precious Angelfish.

What are the Best Fish to Pair With Angelfish?

There is a wide range of fish that work great with Angelfish, both in coexisting well and in complimenting the colors and shapes of the Angelfish.

We recently discussed with a few experts from fish stores on what the best tank mates for Angelfish would be. Below will be the list of the top three fish to have as tank mates with Angelfish, as per the fish store’s recommendations and our own research and experience.

Let’s start with #1:

1. Boesemani Rainbow Fish

Boesemani Rainbow Fish, otherwise known as Boeseman’s Rainbow Fish, pair extraordinarily well with Angelfish.

These vibrantly colorful fish can grow to be up to 4.5 inches long, which makes them a great size to live with Angelfish. Also, seeing as they have a peaceful demeanor, they won’t pick on the Angelfish. As an added bonus, the Boesemani Rainbow Fish inhabit the middle section of the tank, which leaves the Angelfish to their kingdom at the top of the tank.

Boesemani Rainbow Fish are social fish by nature, leading to them coexisting fantastically with other fish. However, due to their social nature, in order for them to really be happy, they need to be in shoals of at least 5 fish.

Another great attribute of the Boesemani Rainbow Fish is their longevity. Rainbow Fish, when properly cared for, can last between seven to eight years, even up to twelve years in some cases!

All in all, the Boesemani Rainbow Fish easily takes the throne as the best tank mate to pair with Angelfish.

2. Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras Catfish are absolutely adorable little fish.

Not only are they adorable, but they tick the three main boxes for being tank mates with an Angelfish:

  • They grow anywhere from 2 to 3 inches
  • They are peaceful fish
  • They inhabit the bottom section of the tank

In addition to all those wonderful traits, they also will help clean your tank for you! Corydoras Catfish will search for uneaten food and algae at the bottom of the tank and eat them for you, though they will sometimes make a slight mess with the substrate. Don’t, however, depend on them to be your entire cleaning crew, as they won’t get all the algae.

These cute catfish are also school fish and have been known to die if alone, so make sure if you get some Corydoras Catfish to get multiple.

3. Dwarf Gourami

Dwarf Gourami Fish

The Dwarf Gourami is a beautiful and unique fish.

However, it comes in third on this list because it does carry some traits that may cause some tension if in the same tank as Angelfish:

  • They are labyrinth fish, which means they breathe air from the surface as well and need access to the surface
  • Dwarf Gourami are mellow fish and they will succumb to bullying if attacked.

While they may be mellow fish that like the surface, they can still pair well with Angelfish, especially if your Angelfish are especially peaceful.

What Makes a Good Tank Mate for an Angelfish?

Angelfish are wonderful fish. The amazing colors and the unique shape of their body makes them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. Additionally, Angelfish are one of the most peaceful of the members of the Cichlid family, enabling quite a wide range of tank mates.

When choosing tank mates, there is a lot to consider. There are so many factors that affect whether fish will be good together, including size, personality, the water temperature they prefer, the space they occupy in the tank, and more.


Fish that work well with Angelfish are no smaller than two inches and no more than ten inches at adult size. Fish smaller than two inches will be bullied or eaten, and fish bigger than 10 inches could bully the Angelfish.


While Angelfish are one of the most peaceful of the Cichlid family, that does not mean they aren’t aggressive. Angelfish will have no remorse for bullying particularly timid fish. However, they are susceptible to becoming the victim themselves if bullied. Therefore, aggressive fish do not pair well with Angelfish.

A good tank mate for Angelfish will be peaceful, but not too timid as to allow themselves to be bullied.

Tank Space

Angelfish love the top section of the tank. In fact, they love it so much that they can become territorial over it and become aggressive to fish that also occupy the top of the tank.

Angelfish work best with fish that occupy the middle or bottom sections of the tank.

Water Temperature

Angelfish are freshwater tropical fish, meaning they need a water temperature of around 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Any fish that are going to be with them need to be able to live in that environment. This means that Goldfish are absolutely not suitable tank mates for Angelfish.

Angelfish can coexist with a variety of beautiful and amazing fish. Before you pair any fish together, it is always best to research the specific species and whether they will be compatible or not. Researching and knowing your fish will lead to a happy and spectacular tank for years to come.


Hi, my name is Jordan. I've been in the fishkeeping hobby since my childhood. Welcome to my blog where I help fishkeepers enjoy the hobby by offering free guides, advice, & product reviews. Read more...