Can Angelfish Live With Goldfish?

Angelfish and goldfish cannot typically live in the same tank. The two species come from different climates and prefer differing water temperatures. Their temperaments are different from each other and can cause stressful living conditions for both. Both fish are considered peaceful when housed with other fish of their species.

Although it is not advisable to house angelfish and goldfish together, there are ways it can be done. If you have a non-fancy goldfish, consider acclimating it to warmer water to enjoy life with angelfish. Ensure your tank is big enough to accommodate the substantial growth typical for both fish.

Is It A Good Idea For Angelfish To Live With Goldfish?

It is not usually considered a good idea for angelfish to live with goldfish. The two species of fish typically prefer different climates and temperaments, making them not-so-ideal tank mates.

There are two main reasons that angelfish and goldfish are not compatible:

  1. Angelfish and goldfish prefer different water temperatures
  2. Angelfish and goldfish have different temperaments

Let us look at these main reasons and understand them in a little more detail.

1. Angelfish And Goldfish Prefer Different Water Temperatures

Angelfish come from the Amazon. This means they thrive in water temperatures between 78- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Goldfish are cold-water fish. They typically thrive in water temperatures between 68- and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fish must be housed in water temperatures that suit their physical needs. Fish that are housed in water that is not suited to them may encounter health issues.

A few health issues that can arise from fish being housed in water that is the wrong temperature include:

  • Muted coloring
  • Lethargy
  • Being over-active
  • Not able to reproduce
  • Shortened lifespan
  • Ick and other parasite outbreaks caused by a sudden drop in water temperature
  • Aggression

Although angelfish and goldfish typically have different water temperature needs, there are ways to increase the water temperature of goldfish and enable them to coexist with angelfish. This method depends on the type of goldfish you have and needs to be executed with caution.

Gold fish or goldfish floating swimming underwater in fresh aquarium tank with green plant. marine life.
Gold fish or goldfish floating swimming underwater in fresh aquarium tank with green plant. marine life.

2. Angelfish And Goldfish Have Different Temperaments

Both angelfish and goldfish are considered docile, friendly breeds when housed with their own species. When housed together, however, their different ways of life can cause stress in the tank.

Angelfish have been known to attack goldfish on occasion. These tropical fish are natural predators, and in nature, they ambush their prey.

While they are not likely to eat an entire average to large-sized goldfish, it is possible that they could swallow small ones whole or nip at the goldfish. The fins of goldfish are particularly at risk when angelfish and goldfish are housed together.

Goldfish are calm most of the time. They tend to become a little over-zealous at feeding time, which could cause irritation and stress to angelfish living in the same tank.

Goldfish also produce large amounts of waste. Since angelfish are sensitive to changes in their environment, the large amounts of waste caused by their goldfish neighbors can cause an amount of stress on their psyches and bodies.

How Can I Keep Goldfish With Angelfish?

Although it is not recommended, there are ways to keep goldfish with angelfish. If you are dedicated to the cause of housing these two fish species together, keep in mind that the process needs to be slow.

Assess how the fish are faring regularly and remove one species if they are not doing well in the communal living environment.

To keep goldfish with angelfish, follow a few thoughtful steps:

  • Raise the temperature of the water for the goldfish
  • Provide a large tank
  • Limit the number of angelfish
  • Consider the size of the goldfish

Let us look at these points a little more.

1. Raise The Temperature Of The Water For The Goldfish

Goldfish are considered cold-water fish. They typically thrive in temperatures between 68- and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although this is their favored temperature range, pet goldfish are often kept in tropical regions where the water is naturally somewhat warmer, simply because of the climate.

Since angelfish are tropical fish, their favored water temperature is naturally warmer than that of goldfish. Their water typically needs to be between 78- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The maximum temperature for goldfish, 74 degrees, and the minimum temperature for angelfish, 78 degrees, are not too far from each other. With a little careful and patient planning, it is possible to raise the temperature of the goldfish water and acclimate it to warmer living conditions.

Be sure to raise the temperature of the water slowly, and only introduce angelfish when the water is around 75 or 76 degrees. At this temperature, both fish species should be able to survive and thrive together.

Please note that this temperature option only applies to non-fancy goldfish. Goldfish of the fancy variety may not be able to withstand the warmer water conditions needed by the angelfish.

Please also remember that the water temperature of around 76 degrees is still a little cool for angelfish which typically enjoy tank water that is a little warmer.

2. Provide A Large Tank

Both angelfish and goldfish grow to substantial sizes. No matter the fish you have, if your fish get too large for the tank, they may become sick or aggressive, leading to further environmental problems.

Furthermore, angelfish can become territorial. This phenomenon takes precedence during mating season. When angelfish become territorial, they are aggressive and need extra space.

Be sure that your fish tank is large enough to house your angelfish and goldfish when they are small and fully grown to avoid health and stress issues among the residents.

3. Limit The Number Of Angelfish

Limiting the number of angelfish in a tank minimizes the risk of aggressive behavior toward the goldfish that share the environment.

Since angelfish can become territorial and aggressive at certain times, it is best to limit their numbers to five or six per tank.

Angelfish are also known to become aggressive when their living conditions are cramped. This is another reason to keep the tank large and the number of fish low.

Striped Angelfish in Planted Tank

4. Consider The Size Of The Goldfish

Angelfish are naturally predatory. In nature, they are ambush predators and eat fish smaller than themselves.

While not all goldfish are small enough to be eaten whole, you should consider the size of the goldfish you want to keep with your angelfish.

The size of the goldfish should be nearly as large, or the same size as the angelfish, if not bigger.

Even medium or large goldfish can become prey to angelfish. Angelfish sometimes nip at goldfish, especially in the fin areas.

Ensuring your goldfish are big enough to hold their own will go a long way in maintaining a habitable coexistence between your goldfish and angelfish.


The idea of housing angelfish and goldfish together may seem like a good one at first since their appearances seem to complement each other. In reality, angelfish and goldfish do not typically live well together. They have different needs in terms of their ideal water temperature. They also have different temperaments, leading to potential issues and stress caused by each other.

If you are incredibly keen to keep angelfish and goldfish in the same tank, it is best to acclimate the goldfish to warmer water before introducing them to the angelfish. Ensure the tank is big enough for all the fish, and keep angelfish numbers to a maximum of eight. It is best to have large goldfish to avoid being eaten or attacked by the angelfish.