Are you setting up a new aquarium and wondering what fish to add to it? Do you love angelfish and goldfish, but aren’t sure if they should go together?
Simply put, the answer to “can angelfish live with goldfish?” is no, it’s not a good idea to house these two together and we’re going to explain why.
Goldfish and angelfish are two very popular pets. It makes sense that you might want to keep them together. But, just because you technically can, doesn’t mean you should.
Fish species have a wide variety of requirements to keep them happy and thriving. Unfortunately, what goldfish and angelfish need doesn’t line up.
The most important thing is to have fish that are happy and healthy. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize their quality of life for your tank to look good.
Still not convinced? That’s okay. Let’s explore why it’s a bad idea to keep these two together.
What Are Angelfish?
Angelfish are one of the most sought-after fish species in the aquarium-keeping hobby. They have arrow-shaped bodies with beautiful, long-flowing fins that allow for graceful swimming.
Usually, their bodies will be light silver or gold with black stripes. You may also find angelfish that are black, white, orange, or yellow.
Native to South America, angelfish live throughout the Amazon River system. Because of their long-flowing fins, they prefer waters that are slow-moving and quiet. They like to hide amongst vegetation in areas of low light.
Keep in mind that there are two kinds of angelfish: freshwater and saltwater species. Today, we’ll talk about the freshwater variety.
What Are Goldfish?
Goldfish are native to parts of eastern and southeastern Asia. They are descendants of the Prussian Carp. Unlike their ancestors who are dull, the modern species are colorful.
Because of their ancient heritage, they have quite noble beginnings. People began to breed silver carp during the Song Dynasty from 960-1279 AD.
During breeding, some of the offspring developed a color mutation. The mutation left them with orangish-yellow scales.
It’s very common to house goldfish in outdoor ponds, and this practice began in ancient China. As years passed, people began to bring the fish inside to display their beautiful colors. This practice led to the commonality of keeping goldfish inside. Today, we have “fancy goldfish” who are unable to survive in outdoor ponds in cold climates.
Why Shouldn’t You Keep Them Together?
Angelfish and goldfish are both freshwater species. Yet, that doesn’t mean they’ll do well together. These fish both have very different needs, so they won’t be happy together.
They Have Different Habitat Requirements
Goldfish and angelfish don’t do well together because their habitat requirements differ. To make your goldfish happy, your angelfish will suffer and vice versa.
Angelfish are a tropical species that likes warmer temperatures. To keep them happy and healthy, you must install a heater in their tank. Keep their tank heated to 75°F-86°F (24°C-30°C).
Goldfish are a cold-water species that do not need a heater. As long as your house remains at room temperature, they will be okay.
The perfect aquarium temperature for your goldfish is between 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C).
Pond goldfish can overwinter outside in freezing temperatures. But, fancy goldfish won’t survive those extreme temperatures. Still, they won’t die unless your house becomes extremely cold.
Goldfish are hardy and can survive in the temperatures that angelfish prefer. Still, they won’t thrive in these temperatures. To keep them happy, they shouldn’t be overly warm or cold. The ideal range truly is 65°F-75°F.
These two are both omnivores and eat similar diets. Yet, angelfish need more protein, and goldfish need more plant matter.
It’s a good idea to feed both species a variety of bloodworms, brine shrimp, and other similar foods. Still, angelfish will need more.
You must feed your goldfish a variety of aquatic vegetation and vegetables.
Also, angelfish are more aggressive and will drive the goldfish away from the food. If this goes on for long enough, your goldfish are likely to suffer from malnutrition. This can lead to its death
Minimum Aquarium Size
The minimum tank size is something you need to take into consideration. Both species will do better with larger tanks. Still, goldfish need even larger tanks than angelfish.
Both fish will do okay in a small tank for a time if you buy them as babies. But, you’ll need to upgrade them as they grow. Keep in mind that goldfish can grow very quickly — often as much as 1 in (2.54 cm) per year.
You’ve probably heard that it’s okay to keep a goldfish in a bowl because they’ll only grow to the size of their tank. This is true in a way, but it’s not as simple as that.
If you keep a goldfish in a small bowl or tank, you will stunt its growth. While its body stops growing, its internal organs will continue to develop. This leads to organ damage and eventual death.
Goldfish kept in a small tank will generally only live for a year or two. When kept in a properly-sized tank, they can live an average of 10-20 years and may grow 12+ inches long.
For your goldfish to remain healthy, you should keep it in a tank of at least 25 gallons. 25 gallons is enough for a single fish, although 30-40 gallons is even better. If you want to add more to your tank, you need an extra 10-20 gallons per goldfish.
Angelfish don’t need as much space, but they still need a large tank. When they are full-grown, they will reach an average length of 6 inches.
To give them plenty of room to swim and grow, you should keep them in a tank that is at least 30-40 gallons. You should add an extra 10 gallons for each extra angelfish.
Generally, you’re going to buy a filter that matches the size of your tank. In other words, if you have a 20-gallon tank, you’re going to buy a 20-gallon filter.
This works for angelfish, but it won’t do for goldfish.
Goldfish produce an enormous amount of waste, so you must stay on top of cleaning. Frequent water changes are necessary, and a large filter is ideal.
Rather than buying a filter made for the size of your tank, you usually want to double it. So, if you’re buying a 50-gallon aquarium for your goldfish, it’s best to buy a filter designed for 100-gallons.
Can Angelfish Kill Goldfish?
It probably comes as no surprise that angelfish and goldfish won’t get along even when food isn’t involved.
Angelfish may seem gentle when you buy them as babies, but they become territorial as adults. Simply put, angelfish are a member of the cichlid family. Cichlids are known for their aggression.
You have to watch the adults closely when adding new fish to your tank as they are likely to bully them.
You also need to watch the conditions of your water closely. Angelfish don’t take well to changes in their water parameters. They will take their frustrations out on their tank mates.
It’s very unlikely that your angelfish would actually kill your goldfish, but they can harm them. They are notorious fin-nippers and can cause significant fin damage.
Goldfish are a very peaceful species. They are docile and non-confrontational. They prefer to live in harmony with their fellow tank mates.
What Fish Can Be With A Angelfish? (Or Goldfish)
Disappointed that you can’t keep these two beautiful fish together? The good news is that you have options.
If you’re set on keeping angelfish, consider some of these tankmates:
- Barbs (peaceful species — e.g. no tiger barbs)
- Dwarf Gourami
- Rainbow Fish
- Ram Cichlids
- Larger Tetras
Don’t keep fish smaller than 1.5 in (3.81 cm) with your angelfish — the angelfish will eat them.
Goldfish usually do best on their own due to the large amount of waste they produce. Yet, they are peaceful animals. So, you can get away with housing them with other creatures if you keep the tank extra clean.
Some good fish to keep with goldfish include:
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Giant Danio
- Hillstream Loach
- Weather Loach
- White Cloud Minnow
Make sure any fish you keep with your goldfish are bigger than its mouth. They are opportunistic and will eat anything that can fit inside their mouth.
If you provide lots of hiding places in the tank, you can keep cherry shrimp with your goldfish. Hiding places are essential for your shrimp. Otherwise, your goldfish will eat them.
All things considered, it’s not a good idea to keep goldfish with angelfish. If you must have both, consider setting up two separate tanks — your fish will lead happier lives.