The exotic and elegant angelfish are one of the most popular species of fish kept in home aquariums. While many fish lovers like to keep social angelfish in a group, others prefer keeping them in community tanks.
But, can I keep a single angelfish in a community tank? Yes, you can keep a single angelfish in a spacious community tank. Keep in mind that angelfish can become quite aggressive if not kept with the right species. Thus, you will have to make sure that you have compatible and friendly tank mates before you add an angel to the community.
This is a rather short answer, but it should satisfy your curiosity for now. Continue reading if you want to find out what is the best way to introduce an angelfish to a community tank, and what are good options for angelfish tank mates.
Can A Single Angelfish Do Well In A Community Tank?
While lots of people love keeping angelfish in groups in species only tanks, many others want to add an angel to a community tank.
Angelfish are social creatures, and keeping one in a community is only possible with the right tank mates. When in a healthy environment and surrounded by compatible tank mates an angelfish will be content and thrive.
Keeping an angelfish in a community means that you will have to meet its basic needs, such as equipping and decorating the tank properly, picking out the right tank mates, and ensuring that the tank is big enough for the whole community.
Meeting the angelfish’s basic needs is an important factor that ensures its happiness. However, many owners wonder are angelfish better suited for life in pairs and groups.
If this is one of your biggest concerns, you can rest assured! A single angel will do absolutely fine in a community tank.
Keeping multiple angelfish in a community can cause pairing and that pair can become very aggressive towards other tank mates.
Like other cichlid species, angelfish are territorial and can become aggressive, especially if they aren’t kept with the right species.
For this reason, juvenile angelfish are a better option for community tanks since they are non-aggressive while still young. Furthermore, female angels can eat smaller fish and will harass all other tank mates during spawning.
- We also recommend reading our article: Do angelfish get lonely?
How To Introduce An Angelfish To A Community Tank?
Due to their intensive personality and territorial nature, you may need to do a bit more than just add an angelfish to a tank and hope for the best.
Basically, you have only two options, either get a young or adult angelfish for your community tank.
While you can’t go wrong either way, if this is your first time owning an angel, you may want to consider getting a juvenile. This way you will get a better understanding of this species and get to know your new fish from the start.
Young angelfish are also small, meaning that yours will grow up around the rest of the community and be less likely to eat them once it reaches its impressive adult size.
Furthermore, juvenile angels aren’t aggressive and are less likely to nip or attack any other fish in the tank or fight over territory.
If you decide on a juvenile angel, just add it to the tank and make sure to observe the dynamic for the next couple of days. In most cases, a young angel will settle nicely and enjoy being part of a group.
However, if you notice that another member of the community is harassing the angel, get the bully out into a separate tank to calm down. After a few days in isolation, the bully will learn the lesson and you can get him back into the community tank.
On the other hand, adding an adult angelfish to a community tank can be a bit tricky. However, it isn’t impossible!
In this case, it is essential that you have compatible tank mates, ones that aren’t overly aggressive to attack the angel, or too small that can easily fit into the angel’s mouth and be eaten.
Generally, you can start building your community by adding an adult angelfish first and later introducing different species one step at the time. Or you can add the adult angel at any point if you are certain that other tank mates are peaceful and don’t have aggressive natures.
Again, it is very important that you observe the community for the next couple of days to see how the new angel is settling in and are there any changes in the dynamics.
On the first sign of trouble, remove the aggressive fish into a time out and place it back into the community after a few days.
Are Male Or Female Angelfish Better For A Community Tank?
While it may not seem like something you should consider, the gender of an angelfish can be an important factor in maintaining peace in the community.
Generally, keeping a single male angel is always a better option since they don’t have any of the aggressive tendencies that are seen in groups or pairs.
Female angels, on the other hand, can false spawn even if there is no male angel in the tank. During this period a female will be aggressive and guard the eggs for a few days by attacking any other fish that comes near them.
However, considering how hard it is to determine the sex of angelfish there is a big chance that you end up with a female in your community. In this case, you can transfer the female in another tank, clean the eggs, and then get her back into the community to avoid aggression.
What Fish Can You Put With Angelfish In A Community Tank?
Choosing tank mates for angelfish can be difficult since they are predators in the wild and usually eat any fish that they can fit into their mouths.
Considering that angelfish can be aggressive, they are best paired with peaceful and non-aggressive species that aren’t so small to be perceived as an easy meal.
The following fish are a good option for an angelfish community tank:
- Corydoras Catfish (Cory Cats)
- Bristlenose Pleco
- German Blue Ram
- Keyhole Cichlids
- Bolivian Rams
- Malaysian Trumpet Snails
- Lemon Tetras
- Head and Tail Light Tetras
Note, while all of these fish are suitable tank mates for an angelfish, you should be careful and keep an eye on dynamics when keeping small fish.
If you plan on keeping small fish, introduce them while the angelfish is young and small. This way, the angel will see them as tank mates and not a meal.
What Wish To Avoid In An Angelfish Community Tank?
Certain fish can either be preyed upon or are aggressive, and should never be in the same tank with an angelfish. Knowing which species to avoid will help you create a peaceful and healthy environment for your angelfish to thrive.
Species to avoid include:
- Neon Tetras: Are small and will easily become prey to an adult angelfish.
- Cardinal Tetras: Are slightly larger than Neon Tetras but not large enough for an adult angelfish to have problems eating.
- Blackskirt Tetras: Sometimes trigger attacks, so it is best not to keep them with angelfish.
- Harlequin Rasboras: Are also small and usually end up eaten by angelfish.
- Shrimp: Angelfish eat shrimp so it is best not to keep them in the same tank.
- Aggressive Fish: Any aggressive fish should never be kept in the same tank as an angelfish since they will bully it. Species to avoid include, Jack Dempsey, oscar, silver arowana, most barbs, and most sharks.