Are Angelfish Cichlids? (Are They Cichlids Compatible???)

If you are wondering angelfish are Cichlids or not and want to know what kind of fish Angelfish is then you are at the right place.

In this article, I am going to answer all your questions.

And by the end of this article, you will have enough information about the Angelfish and you can confidently get one for your aquarium.

Angelfish belong to the Cichlids family. This family contains about 1600 known species i.e. scientifically described species.

Besides, more and more species are being discovered annually and the actual number of the total species which are scientifically described and not described is around 2000 to 3000.

Are Angelfish Cichlids? (Are They Cichlids Compatible???) image

Angelfish Behavior

The natural habitat of cichlids is very competitive and it contains a lot of predators.

To protect their eggs and mate, the natural behavior of cichlids has become very aggressive.

They carry this treat in your aquarium as well.

So, in general, most of the Cichlids are very aggressive and territorial.

But there are some exceptions as well.

Angelfish, Rams, Kribs, and Keyholes Cichlids are a peaceful variety of cichlids.

But still, during feeding and breeding period angelfish may get territorial.

Tips to reduce aggression in angelfish

  • As mentioned earlier, angelfish may get very territorial during breeding time. So if you are planning to breed angelfish then you should prepare a separate tank and put the breeding pair into the tank.
  • If you are keeping angelfish in a community tank then you should use a larger tank. Also, you should not overcrowd the tank. The larger tank will provide a lot of space for the fish.

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Angelfish Tankmates

There are a few things you should keep in mind while choosing tank mates for your angelfish.

  • Angelfish have long delicate fins so you should avoid keeping the fish that are known to be fin nippers. There are several varieties of fish like Serpae Tetra that are known to be fin nippers. Also, there are other fish like tiger barbs which are aggressive fin nippers. So you should avoid keeping such species of fish in your with your angelfish
  • Another thing you should keep in mind while choosing tank mates for angelfish is that the size of the fish should not be smaller than the size of the mouth of your angelfish. If the size of the fish is smaller than the size of the mouth of Angelfish then Angelfish can easily eat them.
  • Angelfish are relatively very less aggressive cichlids than other species of cichlids.So you should avoid keeping other types of cichlids that are known to be very aggressive like Oscar and African Cichlids.

Best Angelfish Tankmates

Compatible angelfish tank mates infographic

1. Platy Fish

platy fish

Image by Marrabbio2 under CC BY-SA 3.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHPlaty
SCIENTIFIC NAMEXiphophorus maculatus
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE2 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN2 - 3 years
DIETOmnivores
WATER TEMPERATURE65°F - 77° F
WATER pH7 - 8
WATER HARDNESS10° to 25° dH
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY10 gallon
BREEDINGLivebearer

Platy fish is one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish.

This fish is ideal for angelfish because it is small in size than the Angelfish but it is big enough to not fit into the mouth of the Angelfish.

Usually, the females are larger than the males.

The female can grow up to 2.5 inches and males grow only up to 1.5 inches.

Platies come in different varieties such as Red wagtail, Tuxedo, salt and pepper, etc.

2. Black Mollies

Black Mollies

Black Molly by Marrabbio under CC BY-SA 3.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHBlack Molly
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPoecilia sphenops
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE4 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN3 - 5 years
DIETOmnivore
WATER TEMPERATURE70°F - 82°F
WATER pH7.5 - 8.5
WATER HARDNESS10° to 25° dH
BREEDINGLive-bearers

Generally, Black mollies are very peaceful fish.

So they are a good tank mate for your angelfish.

They also come in different variations and patterns.

The best part about Black mollies is that they can live in almost any water condition.

Besides, they are omnivorous and algae eaters so they can help you to keep your aquarium clean.

3. Bristlenose Pleco

bristlenose pleco

Image by Pia Helminen under CC BY-SA 3.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHBristlenose Pleco
SCIENTIFIC NAMEAncistrus Cirrhosus
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE5 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN5+ years
DIETHerbivore
WATER TEMPERATURE73° - 81° F
WATER pH5.8 to 7.8
WATER HARDNESS2° to 30° dH
BREEDINGEgg layer

Bristlenose Plecos are bottom feeders so they spend most of their time dwelling at the bottom of the aquarium searching for leftover food.

Bristlenose pleco is a very good choice for your angelfish aquarium because they don’t grow very large.

And they spend most of their time at the bottom of your aquarium so they will not bother your angelfish.

Besides, Bristlenose pleco feeds on the leftover food which will help to keep your aquarium clean.

You can also supplement them with high-quality flake food and algae wafers.

4. Bolivian Ram Cichlids

Bolivian ram cichlid

Image by NonstickRon under CC BY-SA 2.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHBolivian Ram Cichlids
SCIENTIFIC NAMEMikrogeophagus altispinosus
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE3.1 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN6 years
DIETOmnivorous
WATER TEMPERATURE73.4-82.4°F
WATER pH6.0-7.5
WATER HARDNESS5 — 15 dGH
BREEDINGEgg layers

Bolivian Ram Cichlids are very peaceful fish which makes it an ideal tank mate for angelfish tank.

These fish are very hardy and they eat all kinds of food.

So they are relatively easy to care for and you can easily keep them even if you are a beginner.

But this species of fish require a lot of hiding places.

And a great way to provide it a lot of hiding places is to include a lot of plants into your aquarium.

Besides, these fish prefer to be in a group of at least 5 to 6 of the same species.

5. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach

image source under CC BY-SA 4.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHKuhli Loach
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPangio kuhlii
CARE LEVELIntermediate
MAXIMUM SIZE4 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN10 years
DIETOmnivore
WATER TEMPERATURE75° –86° F
WATER pH6.0–6.5
WATER HARDNESSup to 10° dH
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY20 gallons
BREEDINGEgg Layer

Kuhli Loach is one of the best addition to any aquarium tank.

These are eel-shaped fish and they stay active during the night scraping for the leftover food.

They are bottom-dweller so they will not bother you are angelfish.

Besides, they are very peaceful and shy so they can easily live with any peaceful fish.

They also help to keep your aquarium clean.

6. Swordtail

Swordtail

Image by Bernat Arlandis under CC BY-SA 2.0

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHSwordtail
SCIENTIFIC NAMEXiphophorus helleri
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE5 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN3 - 5 years
DIETOmnivores
WATER TEMPERATURE72°F - 82° F
WATER pH7 - 8
WATER HARDNESS9° to 15° dH
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY10 gallon
BREEDINGLivebearer

Swordtail is another hardy aquarium fish.

The male fish has a sword-like anal fin which gives it its name.

These fish is generally live peacefully but they can also get aggressive during the breeding period.

And the male can bully the female.

So you should maintain a good ratio of at least three females for one male to avoid aggression.

Swordtails are livebearers i.e. the offspring come out freely swimming.

They are not good parents and they eat their own offspring so you will not see a lot of offspring.

7. Keyhole Cichlids

keyhole cichlid

Image source under CC BY-SA 2.5

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHKeyhole Cichlids
SCIENTIFIC NAMECleithracara Maronii
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE5 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPANup to 8 years
DIETOmnivorous
WATER TEMPERATURE72 - 81°F
WATER pH6.0 – 8.0
WATER HARDNESS20.0 dH
BREEDINGEgg layers

Keyhole cichlids are known to be one of the most peaceful cichlids.

They are also very hardy so you can easily keep them.

Generally, it is very difficult to find Keyhole cichlids but if you find them then you should definitely keep them in your aquarium.

As they are very peaceful, they will not cause any problem with your angelfish.

Angelfish Tank Size Guide

Now you know the best Angelfish tank mates, you may be wondering what size tank should I get for my angelfish.

Well, there are a few factors that come into play while deciding the tank size for your angelfish.

  • The first factor is how many plants or other ornaments you are going to put in your aquarium. The more plants or other ornaments you will put in your aquarium the bigger the aquarium you will require.
  • How many times you are willing to do the water changes per week. If you are willing to do water changes more frequently then you can keep angelfish in relatively small aquariums.
  • What kind of filter you have. The filter plays an important role while deciding the tank size for your angelfish. If you are using a simple filter say HOB filter then you will not be able to keep a lot of fish in your aquarium than when you have a powerful canister filter.
  • How many and what kind of tank mates you are going to put with your angelfish. If you are going to put a lot of tank mates and if these tankmates are very messy i.e. they produce a lot of waste then you will have to get a bigger tank for your angelfish aquarium.

Now I know all this information can be very overwhelming.

So the general rule of thumb I follow is a 29-gallon tank for two angelfish.

A 29-gallon tank allows you to add a good amount of plants and other ornaments in your aquarium.

Also, you can add other small varieties of fish in your aquarium with your angelfish.

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FAQ

Can cichlids go with angelfish?

Yes, the peaceful varieties of Cichlids like Rams, Kribs, and Keyhole Cichlids can easily live with Angelfish. 

But you should avoid keeping aggressive Cichlids like Oscar and African cichlids with your Angelfish.

Can angelfish kill each other?

Angelfish are cichlids and they are territorial up to a certain extent.

Angelfish are relatively very peaceful than the other cichlids like Oscar.

Now depending on the situation, the angelfish might attack each other but they will not kill each other.

Now I am going to take different scenarios here.

If you have only two angelfish in the tank then they will not attack each other.

If you have two male Angelfish then they will also not attack each other.

But if you have three Angelfish out of which one is male and two are females then the male will form pair with one of the two females.

And this pair may attack other angelfish after breeding if it comes in their territory.

So in this case, if you have a larger tank then it will not cause any issue.

But if you have a smaller tank and other fish can easily get into the territory of the paired angelfish then the paired angelfish will attack other fish.

Can two female angelfish fight?

Yes, two female angelfish will fight each other during the breeding time after laying the eggs.

For example, if you have two females and only one male Angelfish in a tank then the male angelfish will choose one of the two females and mate with her.

After laying the eggs the paired angelfish will get aggressive if other angelfish come into the territory of the paired angelfish.

If you have a large tank then you may not see fighting but if you have a small aquarium then most likely other fish will enter into the territory of paired angelfish.

And the paired angelfish will attack other fish to protect their eggs.

Can you keep Angelfish with African cichlids?

African cichlids are very aggressive so it is not a good idea to keep angelfish with African cichlids.

Also, you should avoid keeping other species of cichlids that are aggressive like Oscar with your angelfish.

But there are some species of Cichlids that are relatively less aggressive and you can easily keep them with your angelfish.

Examples of these kinds of Cichlids includes Kribensis cichlids, Keyhole Cichlids, and Bolivian ram cichlids.

Can Gouramis live with angelfish

Yes, Gouramis and angelfish can live peacefully in the same tank.

Gouramis are very peaceful fish and they will not cause any problem with your angelfish.

If your angelfish is very aggressive or territorial then you should avoid keeping Gouramis with your angelfish.

You should also avoid keeping Gouramis during the breeding period of Angelfish because at that time they most likely get territorial.

Besides, Gouramis are very hardy fish and they can tolerate a wide range of water parameters so they are very easy to keep.

Do angelfish eat tetras?

Yes, Angelfish can eat tetras if they are smaller than the mouth of angelfish.

So you should avoid keeping small tetras like Neon tetra with your angelfish.

Also, you should avoid keeping any other small fish which is smaller than the size of the mouth of your angelfish.

Can angelfish live with guppies?

Yes, Angelfish can live with guppies.

But there is a caveat to that.

If your angelfish is very large and the size of its mouth is larger than the size of guppies then Angelfish can easily eat them.

But if you keep angelfish and guppies together from a very small age then angelfish will consider them as the tank mates and may not eat them.

How many angelfish can you have in a 50 gallon tank?

You can have anywhere between 4 to 15 angelfish in a 50 gallon tank.

There are a few factors that come into play while deciding how many Angelfish you should keep in a 50 gallon tank.

If you are a beginner then I recommend you to keep only 4-5 angelfish in a 50 gallon tank.

The thing is, angelfish can get very big.

It can get up to 6 inches tall.

So it requires a lot of space to swim around.

Besides, during the mating period, they can get territorial and at that time having fewer fish in a large tank is always a good idea.

What kind of filter you have also come into play while deciding how many Angelfish you should keep in a tank.

If you have a powerful canister filter then you can keep more angelfish than when you have a HOB filter.

If you want to keep more Angelfish in a small tank then you will have to do water changes more often.

So, if you are willing to do more water changes and if you have a powerful filtration system in place then you can keep more angelfish in your 50 gallon tank.

Conclusion

Angelfish is a very attractive fish.

It belongs to the cichlids family.

Generally, it is a very peaceful fish and it can get territorial during the breeding period.

You can keep Angelfish with other peaceful species of cichlids like Ram, Kribs and Keyhole Cichlids.

But you should avoid keeping it with aggressive cichlids like Oscar and African cichlids.

I hope now you found all the answers to your questions regarding angelfish.

If you do please share this article.

Also, let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

As always, happy fishkeeping!

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