Species of Fish You Can Keep With Angelfish

What fish can live with angelfish? This is a list of freshwater fish species that are generally peaceful and compatible with your angles, and unlikely to nip the fins of your angels.


Elephant nose and the snake loaches tend to be good with angels. Clown loaches, (Botia macracantha), tend to nip angelfish fins and tails.

Peaceful loaches include:

kuhli loach photo

Kuhli loach by Krista76 at Flickr

Kuhli loach, Pangio kuhlii

Dojo or Weather loach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus

Dwarf chain loach Botia sidthimunki

Horse-faced loach Acantopsis choirorhynchus

Java loach Pangio oblonga

Myers loach Pangio myersi

Peppered loach Lepidocephalichthys guntea

Polka dot loach Botia kubotai

zebra loach picture

Zebra loach by m.agullo at Flickr

Red finned loach Yasuhikotakia lecontei

Skunk/Hora loach Yasuhikotakia morleti

Yo-yo loach Botia lohachata

Zebra loach Botia striata


Tetras too big to be angelfish lunch can be in a community angelfish tank. Some of these include:

Silver-tipped tetra  Hasemania nana

Glowlight tetra Hemigrammus erythrozonus*

Blue tetra Coelurichthys microlepis

Bloodfin tetra  Aphyocharax anisitsi

Red-eyed tetra Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae

Glass bloodfin or glass bloodfish  Prionobrama filigera

Head-and-tail light tetra Hemigrammus ocellifer*

All rosy tetras of the Hyphessobrycon genus

*Any of the Hemigrammus tetras would be peaceful companions, but are small enough to be lunch.


Several species of Corydoras, plecos, and other catfish are generally compatible with angelfish. These include:

Peppered corydoras Corydoras paleatus

Skunk corydoras Corydoras arcuatus

Bronze corydoras Corydoras aeneus

Panda corydoras Corydoras panda

Banded corydoras Corydoras barbatus

Elegant corydoras Corydoras elegans

Spotted doradid Agamyxis pectinifrons

Spotted bristlenose Ancistrus dolichopterus

Pleco Hypostomus plecostomus

Dwarf gourami photo

Dwarf gourami photo by Stopped at Flickr


Varieties of the blue gourami are too

aggressive for angelfish. Some gouramis are acceptable.

Snakeskin gourami Trichogaster pectoralis

Dwarf Gourami Cloisa lalia

South American and West African Dwarf Cichlids

The West African dwarf cichlids aren’t aggressive like the African river cichlids. Some of them can be kept as angelfish tank mates. The blue ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) and Kribensisis Pelvicachromis pulcher, are common South American dwarf cichlids. These can be kept in a community tank, but they become aggressive when spawning. Keeping South American and West African cichlids in a community tank works best in a large, well planted aquarium.

Agassiszi’s dwarf cichlid Apistogramma agassizii*

African butterfly cichlid Anomalochromis thomasi

Cockatoo cichlid Apistogramma cacatuoides

Macmaster’s dwarf cichlid Apistogramma macmasteri

Panda dwarf cichlid Apistogramma nijsseni

Dwarf flag cichlid/Flag acara Laetacara curviceps

Blue ram Mikrogeophagus ramirezi

Nanochromis parilus Nanochromis parilus

Kribensisis, Pelvicachromis pulcher

bala shark with angelfish picture

Bala shark, photo by UnfocusedOne at Flickr

*Members of the Apistogramma genus are generally tolerant of other species.


Platy Xiphophorus maculates

Bala shark Balantiocheilus melanopterus

Female Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens

Peacock goby Tateurndina ocellicauda

Choosing Compatible Fish for an Angelfish Tank

It’s not just temperament to keep in mind when deciding what fish to put with your angelfish. You also have to choose fish that can live and thrive in the same water conditions as angels. Livebearers, such as mollies (Poecilia), are peaceful, but these brackish water fish do better with some salt in their tank. Angelfish should not live in a salted tank. Also, this is a general list and individual fish may surprise you. Some individuals found on the aggressive fish list can be peaceful enough for angels, while some individuals on the peaceful fish list can have unusually aggressive temperaments.

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