Angelfish and Rainbowfish

In this post, we will learn about the relationship between Angelfish and Rainbowfish. We will also discuss their biology and tank requirements.

Angelfish and Rainbowfish

Angelfish and Rainbowfish are two very wonderful freshwater fish species. Angelfish and Rainbowfish can be kept together in a community tank. However, it is necessary to observe their behaviour when first introducing them. This combination is possible due to some requirements and size similarities.


Rainbowfish are extremely peaceful fish and are very popular in community tanks. They are small-sized fish and can grow up to 6 inches. They are schooling fish and enjoy being with at least other 6 individuals.

Their colours are awesome and make any community tank brighter. While young they are not very bright in colour. However, when they reach adulthood, they become amazingly brighter. They develop vibrant shades of yellow, orange, red, blue, or green.

Males and females are recommended to be kept together, with more females or a harem for the male. This will help them to develop more natural behaviours.


Rainbowfish are incredibly peaceful fish and must be kept in groups of at least six individuals. The larger the school, the more natural their behaviour and brighter their colours.

They are fish with peaceful behaviour that spend most of their time claiming for territory or the attention of females, the males face each other and display their fins and colours in the maximum possible splendour.

They are very active fish and enjoy having enough space to swim around.


Rainbowfish are originally from Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. They are found in warm slow-moving water bodies. 


They are omnivorous fish. In nature, it feeds on plants, aquatic invertebrates, small fish and organic matter. In an aquarium, we recommend that you always be fed with a good quality feed. They will readily accept dry and live food. Live and frozen foods help accentuate their colouration. 


Rainbowfish are oviparous. The female releases her eggs into the water, close to leaves or rocks, and the male swims around to fertilize them. Their eggs hatch in 7 to 12 days when kept at higher water temperatures. After a few days from hatching, the fingerlings have already consumed the contents of the yolk sac and begin to swim freely. Parental care does not take place.

The Rainbowfish show evident sexual dimorphism. Males are larger and have longer dorsal and anal fins. For example, the male body has a greenish colour with silvery reflections, in addition to an orange or bronze stripe that is highly highlighted, especially in the breeding season; females have the same colouration with absent or little evident orange stripes, in addition to being smaller and having a less robust body.

Tank mates

Rainbowfish are very sociable fish and appreciate quiet environments. They can be kept with several other peaceful fish species, both large and small. Some of the good tank mates for Rainbowfish are:

–       Danios;

–       Catfish;

–       Barbs;

–       Tetras;

–       Rasboras;

–       Cardinal Shrimp.

Tank requirements

Rainbowfish prefer well-planted aquariums planted with dense vegetation and open areas for swimming. The rainbow fish is very fond of moving around, prefers decorations that resemble the environment in which they live and are similar to those found in nature. 

The temperature should be around 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit and pH between 7 and 8. They require large tanks with at least 33 gallons of water depending on the subspecies chosen.


Freshwater Angelfish are Cichlids with flat, triangular bodies, with long anal and dorsal fins. In the wild, the long striped marks on their bodies provide camouflage between plants and roots. As a result of selective breeding by aquaculture enthusiasts or aquarists, many species had their colouration developed, including some without distinctive bands. These fish are easy to breed in captivity and prefer a warm aquarium with an acidic environment.

They are very popular among aquarists for their unique appearance. They grow up to 6 inches in length and 10 inches in height. They can live for up to 12 years when in good conditions.


They are classified as semi-aggressive fish, which means they are, in general, peaceful, but can become aggressive under specific conditions and contexts. 


Angelfish are native to the Amazon River and can also be found in the rivers that flow into it. They live in clean water and prefers warm temperatures.


Angelfish are omnivores. They can feed on almost anything that fits their mouth. It is recommended to feed them with a protein and fibre-rich diet, with live food and some plant-based supplements.


Freshwater Angelfish generate between 100 and 1,000 eggs that hatch in a few days. Eggs are laid on a flat leaf or underwater trunk. The juveniles remain attached to the eggs for 7 days and feed on the rest of the yolk sack. After another week, they are ready to swim freely. At this stage, they will feed on the nutrients available in water and plants.

Couples are generally for life. If one of the two dies, the surviving individual loses interest in reproduction. They also perform parental care for up to two months.

Tank mates

Angelfish can become aggressive in specific situations, like breeding periods or territory establishment. Although, they can make great tank mates to peaceful fish such as:

–       Catfish;

–       Tetras;

–       Peaceful Gouramis.

Tank requirements

Angelfish require plenty of space to swim and vegetation to hide and swim through. The minimum size for an Angelfish tank is 29-gallon for a couple and 80-gallon for a small school.

Temperatures should range between 78 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit and pH from 6 to 8.

Can Angelfish be kept with Rainbowfish?

Angelfish and Rainbowfish can be kept together. This is primarily because both species thrive in similar water conditions. Furthermore, Angelfish and Rainbowfish have similar dimensions in their adult life.

Both Angelfish and Rainbowfish have similar personalities. However, Angelfish are more likely to chase and bully smaller species. Angelfish rarely attack fish the same size or larger than themselves. Rainbowfish can grow up to 6 inches, as can Angelfish.

Angelfish are social creatures that do not like to live alone in tanks. Although they are easier to maintain when surrounded by their conspecifics, they will easily accept the company of different species, but it depends on their size or behaviour.

Will Angelfish and Rainbowfish fight?

Your Angelfish will likely get along with your Rainbowfish. This is mainly because these two species are similar in size and thrive in the same water conditions.


In this post, we learnt about the relationship between Angelfish and Rainbowfish. We also discussed about their biology and tank requirements.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish and Rainbowfish

How many Rainbowfish can be together?

Rainbowfish are schooling fish and must be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals for more natural behaviours. Additionally, males tend to display brighter colours in the presence of females or a harem.

Are Rainbowfish aggressive?

No, Rainbowfish are extremely pacific and make exceptional tank mates for most small, non-aggressive fish species. They should not be kept with large and/or aggressive tank mates that may chase and bully them.

Do Rainbowfish eat other fish?

Rainbowfish are omnivorous. They feed on small crustaceans, insect larvae, and algae. In general, due to their small size and temperament, they do not attack other fish.

What do Angelfish like in their tank?

Angelfish appreciate plenty of space and plants. Additionally, they enjoy features that resemble their natural habitats, such as slow-moving water, warm temperatures, fine sandy substrate, vegetation, and conspecifics. 

What fish can you not keep with Angelfish?

Some small fish should be avoided in Angelfish tanks. This is because they tend to see the smaller fish as prey. Additionally, it is also important to avoid fin-nippers, as the Angelfish would be chased and probably hurt.

What do Angelfish and Rainbowfish eat in the aquarium?

Angelfish and Rainbowfish are omnivorous fish species. Thus, it is possible to offer them several food items, from protein-rich pellets, to live and frozen-dried food, brine shrimp, worms, and crustaceans.


Allen, G.R., 1991. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Publication, no. 9. 268 p. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea.


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

Rainbowfish Care Guide.

Ricky. Rainbow Fish Care: Lifespan, Tank Mates, Diet, & Health.