Angelfish and Discus

In this post, we will learn a little about the relationship between Angelfish and Discus, discuss if these two species can live together in a community aquarium, as well as some biological features of both.

Angelfish and Discus

Angelfish and Discus are two amazing freshwater fish species. This combination looks natural. They are originally from the same area and similar environments, Thus, keeping them together should not be an issue at all.

Fish Temperament

Temperament is one characteristic that varies among different species and also among different individuals within the same species. Fish can be docile or peaceful, semi-aggressive, or aggressive. Peaceful fish are very easy to find a good match for community tanks. Although, semi-aggressive fish require careful analysis of the tank mates and tank conditions before introducing them to other fish.

Angelfish temperament

Angelfish are very beautiful and peaceful fish species. Although they are not schooling fish, they prefer being kept in small groups. They feel safer in the company of conspecifics. If kept alone, they can develop some aggressive behaviour due to stress.

During the breeding period, they usually become more aggressive to protect the eggs, the offspring, and their territory. Thus, in a community tank, it is suggested to avoid Angelfish breeding.

Discus Temperament

Discus fish are extremely peaceful fish that avoid conflicts to their maximum. They are great for community tanks and enjoy living with conspecifics in the tank.

They are shy and appreciate hiding spots to run away when feeling threatened or bullied. Similarly to the Angelfish, Discus fish tend to become protective concerning their eggs and offspring.

Habitats and Tank Requirements

Keeping natural features in a tank may improve the fish wellbeing and also longevity. Resembling their natural environment can reduce stress and, thus, reduce disease vulnerability.

It is important to carefully choose equipment (filter, heater, etc.), substrate, and décor. These structures are very important for fish health.

Angelfish habitat

Angelfish natural habitat is the Amazon River basin in South America. They inhabit warm slow-moving freshwater bodies, full of vegetation and peaceful. In these areas, the substrate is fine and the vegetation provides food and hiding spots.

Angelfish Tank Requirements

There are many live plants great for Angelfish tanks, Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Java Moss, and Java Fern. Besides being very natural from the Angelfish environment, the Amazon Sword is ideal once they offer hiding spots and provide both safety and wellbeing to Angelfish.

A fine substrate is also recommended, it will resemble the Angelfish natural habitat and also prevent them from injuries, as they enjoy digging around.

The minimum tank size for an Angelfish is 10-gallon. However, as they prefer being kept with conspecifics, it is required at least a 20-gallon tank per pair.

Angelfish temperature requirements from 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH levels are recommended to be kept between 6.8 and 7. Additionally, aquarium lighting should mimic the sunlight for an average of 8-12 hours per day.

Discus Habitat 

Discus fish are also originally from the Amazon River basin, more specifically the flood plains, with lots of shades and soft sediments. They enjoy areas with fallen trees and very slow water flow.

Discus Tank Requirements

Similarly to the Angelfish, the Amazon Sword can be a nice option for live plants for a Discus tank. The Amazon Sword would provide oxygen and assist you in maintaining the water quality.

They also appreciate fine soft substrate, as they tend to search and dig for food. To resemble their natural habitat, it is recommended very slow-moving water. 

For temperatures, the range should be from 82 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. pH levels should range from 6.0 and 7.0. Regarding the tank size, there should be at least 7 gallons of water for each of the Discus individuals, and they should be kept in groups.


Life quality and proper feeding may guarantee a healthier fish, and thus, result in enhanced longevity. An improper or poor diet could result in fish being vulnerable to many diseases.

Angelfish Diet

Angelfish are omnivores, they feed on almost everything. Live prey is recommended to be on a diet basis, such as shrimp, worms, and fleas. Supplemented by plant matter, like spinach and zucchini. High protein pellets or flakes are also good choices to offer Angelfish.

Discus Diet

Differently from the Angelfish, Discus are carnivorous. However, in the tank, they can be raised as omnivorous. In the wild, they can consume a variety of foods, including bugs and bug larvae. 

Plenty of plants, crustaceans, and worms are recommended to be introduced in the tank. Shrimp and mosquito larvae can also be included in their diet.

Angelfish and Discus

Angelfish and Discus fish can be kept together in a tank. They can get along very easily and their tank requirements are very similar. 

By following some steps the Angelfish-Discus combination has more chance to be successful.

  • The temperature of the water around 82 degrees Fahrenheit;
  • Slow flow medium-powered filtration system;
  • Vegetation to reduce the water movement;
  • pH levels ranging between 6.8 and 7.0;
  • Lighting during an average of 8-10h per day;
  • Soft fine substrate;
  • Well-planted tank, with Amazon Sword and some Javas;
  • Live food, like brine shrimp, vegetables, and high protein flakes;
  • Tank size around 100-gallons.


In this post, we learnt a little about the relationship between Angelfish and Discus, discussed if these two species can live together in a community aquarium, as well as some biological features of both.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Discus

Is Discus bigger than Angelfish?

Discus can reach up to 9 inches in length, however, the average is 6 inches, while Angelfish reach a maximum of 6 inches long. Thus, Discus fish can be bigger than Angelfish.

Can you keep Plecos with Discus?

Yes, it is possible to keep some Plecos species with Discus. Bristlenose Plecos, Zebra Plecos, and Orange Spot Plecos make great tank mates to Discus fish.

Can Angelfish go with Discus?

Yes, Angelfish and Discus can live together in a community tank. However, it is recommended not to breed any of them to avoid aggressive behaviours.

What fish can live with Discus?

In general, peaceful fish species can go with Discus. Some of them are Tetras, Loaches, some Rams, and Angelfish. The most important is to keep ideal conditions for both fish you are considering in the tank. Thus, to be with Discus fish, the tank mates must accept warmer and little acidic water.

Are Discus peaceful fish?

Discus are classified as calm and peaceful fish. However, as Cichlids, they can become a bit aggressive when pairing off and mating. They also can get aggressive when protecting their offspring.

Does Discus really need daily water changes?

Discus does not require daily water changes. Although, it is important to maintain a water change routine to guarantee water quality. At least 15-20% of water changed every two weeks.


Fabian. 2019. Angelfish and Discus Fish Can Live Together?

Can Angelfish And Discus Live Together?  

Alderton, D. (2012). Cichlids: Understanding Angelfish, Oscars, Discus, and Others. Fox Chapel Publishing.