Top 10 Tank Mates For Freshwater Angelfish

Updated on November 21, 2020 by

The freshwater Angelfish has become such a popular fish in the aquarium hobby the past years. You can easily find them in pretty much every pet store on the planet, but with all that popularity comes to the tricky question.

What are the best tank mates for freshwater Angelfish?

You’ve probably asked yourself on various occasions: “What fish can I put with my Angels to add more excitement and activity to the tank?” – we’re glad to have you reading this article. As you know, we’re always here to help! So here is our list of the top 10 tank mates for freshwater Angelfish.

Since we’ve already agreed that the freshwater Angelfish is one of the most popular fish in the hobby, you’ll be thrilled to find there are quite a few great companions for the amazing Angelfish.

1. Rummynose Tetras

If you’ve got the right tank with enough space, you should just buy like a dozen of them and put them in your Angelfish tank. Rummynose Tetras are perhaps the best schooling fish, which is a good thing because when you’ve got a nice sized group of them in a larger tank, they’ll just pal around all day long swimming in a little swarm.

Rummynose Tetra

You might also be interested to check out our article on the best 55-gallons fish tanks as well.

Adding to their lovely schooling display, Rummynose Tetras are absolutely gorgeous with that bright redhead and the black and white tail. Rummynose Tetras are top tank mates for Discus, Bettas, and pretty much every other community fish you can imagine, without having any issues with them at all.

Rummynose Tetras will amaze you with their swimming back and forth – there’s something magic about that which you’ll undoubtedly love! There’s something about watching a vast swarm of fish. Just go back and forth. It just does something for me. I don’t know.

2. Cardinal Tetras

Well, the Cardinal Tetra is just another fish that you can pretty much find in any pet store. So you decide to put those together, Angels and Cardinal Tetras will go along perfectly! You’ve got a perfect match!

Cardinal Tetra

Cardinals are small and beautiful fish that are easy to care for and get along with almost all other fish in the hobby. These schooling fish are doing best when kept in small groups, and they’ll add a ton of activity to the tank, which is fantastic!

With Angels, who aren’t the most active fish out there, having a group of Cardinal Tetras schooling around will definitely create an astonishing display. The Angels will just sit there and look pretty while the Cardinals will be all over the place with constant movement.

What’s even better is that none of them will bother each other, although we should always understand that Angels, for the most part, are peaceful fish, but they’re cichlids in the end. So there is a bit of unknown when it comes to the Angelfish’ temperament. With Angelfish’s problematic behavior, you can never know when you end up with a bad apple that doesn’t want anything else in the tank. But in most cases, they’ll be fine.

Angelfish are becoming territorial and aggressive, mainly when they pair off and want to breed, so watch out as they can get pretty bold. So just be aware of that.

I’ve got a small group of six Angels once from a local fish supplier, and they simply couldn’t get along from day one. In the end, each of them went to separate tanks, except a pair that gave us adorable and peaceful Angels.

3. Rainbowfish

Rainbowfish make excellent tank mates for Angelfish, and you don’t have to do anything special about it. They just stay in one spot. They school, shoal, flare, spawn, and everything else about these fish is great.


Something to keep in mind, though, is that you want to stay away from the smaller species of Rainbowfish like the Pseudomugil.

You’ll simply be amazed by the iridescent colors of the Rainbowfish! Their name comes from the fact that their colors are getting brighter in the light reflection. Not just that, but the Rainbowfish colors actually enhance in time, so the older the fish, the more amazing colors it’s gonna have.

One other thing to bear in mind though about Rainbowfish is that males can often turn aggressive towards one another, especially during breeding.

4. Rams

Rams are the favorite fish of many aquarium enthusiasts. They’re super cute tiny cichlids, and they get along perfectly with everybody. They stay really small, so it’s no problem keeping them in a 29-gallon tank, and like all the other fish on this list, they will do well in the same water parameters as Angelfish.

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi - american cichlid

There are a few different Rams types, like the Bolivians blue, German blue, golden, and Balloon Rams. The Balloons might look slightly odd compared to the other Rams, but they are nevertheless great looking fish.

Ram Cichlids have a similar temperament to Discus, and I’d say they require a higher experience level necessary to keep them well. Pretty much any fish keeper can keep Angels, but I recommend learning how to maintain a healthy aquarium before you tackle Rams. They can be a little fragile.

5. Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barbs are another all-around great fish that are good looking and peaceful. Cherries will get along perfectly fine with your Angelfish. They aren’t super active fish and do well when kept in groups.

Another cool thing is you can buy a group of Cherry Barbs relatively cheap! For a few bucks, you can generally get a few of them in most pet shops.
Cherry Barb - Puntius titteya

Angelfish and Cherry Barbs will certainly never bother each other. You’ll love the Cherry Barb’s bright red color, which is something most fish-keepers would fall for.

I believe Cherry Barbs are such an underrated species, so if you’ve never kept them, go ahead and give it a try – you surely won’t regret it!

6. Harlequin Rasbora

This is another fish that’s very common among aquarists. They are fantastic little fish that go well in so many different situations: they do best in community tanks and planted tanks. And yes, Angelfish tanks too!

Although Harlequin Rasboras are seen a lot among aquascapers in heavily planted tanks, these fish will do perfectly in an Angelfish tank.

Harlequin Rasboras

They will school around the tank endlessly, creating an impressive display. Rasboras aren’t fussy eaters and will do just fine with flakes or frozen food, similar types of food that are ideal for Angelfish as well.

7. Danios

Angelfish are pretty chill fish. They cruise around looking pretty, and for some people, that gets a little boring.If you’re one of those people who think Angelfish can be a little boring and want to spice things up, think about adding some Danios.

Several different types of Danios like Celestial Pearl stay tiny, while others like giant Danios can’t get over 4 inches in size. But the good thing is none of them are known to be aggressive towards other fish. There are a few Danios that I would caution you about, though. For example, the Celestial Pearl can be so small that the Angels could eat them.

Danio Rerio - Zebra

You might not like the giant Danio mainly because they get pretty big, and you’ll want to have several of them if you’ve got your Angels in about 30 gallons. In such a case, they might not have enough room to reach their full potential.

So it’s best to stick with Zebra Danios or the beautiful Gold Line Danios. They’ll look amazing, give you plenty of activity and get along great with your Angels.

8. Corydoras Catfish

One of the best things about Corydoras is that they go well in almost all community tanks. This is a small Catfish that will usually stay on the bottom of the tank scavenging around looking for whatever food leftovers.

Corydoras aeneus - catfish

They go great with Angels because they’ll stay on the bottom while angels will stay at mid-level or top. So there’s never really a chance for any problems to occur.

I guess you just imagined a bunch of Cardinals that are swimming around in a group all over the place, a few Angels as the main focal point in the tank, and then a group of Corys patrolling the substrate. All that in a good size tank with some fantastic live plants, and you’ll simply get a tank that even the biggest aquarium snob would envy.

9. Plecos Catfish

When we dive into the Plecos topic, well, that’s a pretty broad subject because there are so many different varieties. The cool thing about finding a Pleco that will go well with your Angels is it doesn’t matter which type you pick because pretty much any of them will go along.

Hypancistrus zebra

The thing is, not all Plecos will go in every tank like the common PlecoPleco – it’s not that they’ll be a problem for the Angels, but it’s that they’ll be a problem for the tank. What I mean is that common Plecos aren’t great in planted tanks. They’ll just dig them up and tear them up all over the place.

So if you have a planted tank, which so many people with Angels do, you’ll want to stay away from common Plecos.

With plenty of folks putting Angels in tanks up to 55 gallons, that’s not nearly enough size to handle a common Pleco that can get up to two feet long. No need to panic, though, because tons of Plecos can go in a tank that size, and they won’t bother your plants or your Angels no matter which type of Pleco you choose.

They are super cool and unique catfish that will not only stand out because they look so cool, but they’ll also help things stay tidy around the tank. Don’t automatically assume that every Pleco is an algae eater, though.

Please do your research on them before you pick one for your Angelfish tank. Ensure they’ll do what you want them to do, and they won’t get too big for your tank.

10. Otocinclus Catfish

Whether you have a tank full of Angelfish or African cichlids, there’s going to be a moment when you’ll ask yourself, “what’s a good algae eating fish?” – that I can put in my tank just to help me keep things under control. When it comes to your Angels tank, the answer to that question is Otocinclus.

This is a fantastic tiny catfish that will do an excellent job at keeping algae under control. They’ll clean algae off of rocks, wood, decorations, and the glass, and they’ll do it non-stop.

I never see these little guys never take a break, and the best thing about them is they’re not aggressive at all towards other fish or anything else in your tank.

Well, except the algae! Of course, Otos will stay pretty small, so you won’t have to worry about them outgrowing your tank. They’re a social fish that appreciates being kept in a small group. So, please put them with a small group of other Otos in your Angelfish tank. You’ll be impressed at how fast they’ll clean things up.