Angelfish and Catfish

In this post, we will learn about the relationship between Angelfish and Catfish. We will also discuss their biology, requirements, and if they can live together in the aquarium. 

Angelfish and Catfish

Angelfish and Dwarf Gourami are two amazing freshwater species that can be a great addition to a community tank. In general, they will get along very well and make excellent tankmates. Their natural habitats are similar, and thus, they could be set up in a tank with proper conditions for both.

Everything to know about Catfish

Catfish is a generic name for a diversity of species. They are very common fish in the aquarium market. They got the “Catfish” name due to their barbels. They use them to search for food as their eyesight is limited.

In general, they have an easy-going and friendly temperament, many freshwater catfish make a brilliant addition to single-species and community aquariums. Different Catfish species will behave and look differently, as well as will require different water and tank conditions. 

5 most popular Catfish species

1.   Cory catfish

Cory catfish are also known as Corydoras. This group refers to a group of more than 160 different species. They are, in general, low maintenance and quite hardy. Most of the corys will grow only up to 4 inches long. This makes them perfect tankmates to many small fish species.

They enjoy well-planted tanks and do better in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH between 6 and 8.

2.   Striped Raphael catfish

Striped Raphael catfish are highly playful and explorer fish. They have harmful sharp fins and can measure up to 9.5 inches. However, their length average is 6 inches. 

They can become very stressed in limited spaces and prone to many diseases. Temperatures should range from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH levels from 6.5 to 7.5.

3.   Otocinclus

Otocinclus are also called otos and are very popular catfish in community tanks. They grow only up to 2 inches and make great additions to tank dynamics.

They are algae eaters and they are usually searching for food. They are very peaceful and timid fish, Thus, providing plenty of hiding spots is a must for this species. They enjoy warmer water and neutral pH levels.

4.   Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose Pleco is also an algae eater and spends most of its life cleaning rocks, driftwood, and tank walls. They grow no more than 5 inches long. 

They are hardy fish and can adapt to a wide range of parameters. Their temperature range is from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

5.   Glass catfish

The Glass catfish have a wonderful translucid body. It is possible to see their organs and bones through their bodies. These fish can grow up to 6 inches long and are schooling fish. They require to be in groups of at least 5 individuals.

Their temperature requirement is around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH around 6.5.

Everything to know about Angelfish

Angelfish are classified as peaceful fish. Although, the best classification for them is semi-aggressive. Most of the time, they are very peaceful fish but can become aggressive during territory disputes and if threatened.

They occupy slow-moving heavily-vegetated waters. These fish can grow up to 6 inches in length and live for up to 12 years.

Some good Angelfish tankmates are Corydoras, larger Tetras and Rasboras, and some peaceful Gouramis, as the Dwarf Gourami. 

If not planned carefully, a community tank with Angelfish and smaller fish could become an enormous issue. Angelfish would probably begin to chase and bully the smaller ones, or even devour them. Thus, tankmates should not be that small.

Angelfish tank requirements

Angelfish occupy warm freshwater environments with loads of vegetation. For this reason, they prefer warmer temperatures in heavily-planted tanks. The temperature range should be from 73 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and pH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.8.

For vegetation, you could go with native species as Anacharis and Amazon Sword, and some other plants as Java moss and Java fern.

Angelfish feeding habits

Angelfish are omnivorous fish, they usually feed on larvae, insects, and smaller fish. Their nutritional needs are a high-protein and fibre-rich diet. Some other items can be added to their diets, such as live worms, fleas, and shrimp. It is also possible to offer some pellets and flakes, or natural vegetables, like spinach and zucchini.

Angelfish and Catfish combination

The best Angelfish-Catfish combinations are between Angelfish and:

–       Cory catfish;

–       Glass catfish;

–       Bristlenose pleco;

Here are some tips to make a successful combination between Angelfish and Catfish:

–       Choose young Angelfish – younger Angelfish are more tolerant and are not prone to aggressive and territorial behaviours. Thus, when they become fully grown, they will be accustomed to their tankmates;

–       Plenty of space – space is essential for the fish not to get stressed and not to bother any of the tankmates. Additionally, space allows you to plant and set hiding spots for the fish, reducing the chances of issues;

–       Plenty of live plants and decorations – both fish groups enjoy well-plated tanks with plenty of hiding spots and decorations. Plants will also help you with maintaining water quality;

–       Avoid Angelfish breeding – During breeding periods, angelfish are more prone to aggressive behaviours and egg protection;

–       Avoid predatory catfish species – they are almost exclusively fish eaters. A good rule of thumb when trying to decide about a catfish for your aquarium is that all catfish with long barbels are predators, but not all predators have long barbels.

How to make this combination work?

The Angelfish and Catfish combinations can work very well, in general. However, it is important to keep some tank conditions to improve the chances of these fish combining and to keep them healthy. 

–       Ideal water temperatures are usually between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit;

–       Slow water flow – soft filtration system;

–       pH range from 6.8 to 7.5;

–       Plenty of vegetation and hiding spots;

–       Feeding routine/schedule;

–       Enough space.


In this post, we learnt about the relationship between Angelfish and Catfish. We also discussed their biology, requirements, and if they can live together in the aquarium.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Catfish

Can Angelfish live with Catfish?

Most of the catfish species make good tankmates to Angelfish. Although there are a few predatory species that should be avoided. In general, the catfish remain at the bottom of the tank, while the Angelfish occupy the middle and top layers of the tank. They rarely interact and thus, aggression and other issues are almost completely avoided.

Can Glass catfish go with Angelfish?

Yes, Gall catfish can go with Angelfish. Both of them appreciate well-plated tanks and are peaceful fish.

How big can Glass catfish grow?

Catfish size will vary according to the species. Smaller catfish grow on average 2 inches and larger catfish, 18 inches or more.

Will Glass catfish eat Guppies?

It depends on the Catfish species you have. In general, once Guppies are very peaceful small fish they can be nice tankmates to Catfish, mainly Glass and Corydoras catfish.

Are Catfish aggressive?

In general, Catfish are not aggressive species. Most of them just mind their own business. However, some predatory species would easily devour some tankmates in their sleep. 

Are Catfish schooling fish?

They are not classified as schooling fish. However, some species, such as the Glass catfish and the Corydoras, are gregarious and do better when in small groups of their own kind.


Yang, A. 2021. The 15 Best Types Of Freshwater Aquarium Catfish.

Smith, L. 2021. Aquarium Catfish: Why they are Fantastic and How to Properly Keep Them in your Freshwater Tank.

Morgan, K. 2021. 10 Best Tank Mates For Angelfish.

Sanders, J. 2021. 11 Top Catfish Species for Your Aquarium.