Can angelfish and harlequins live in the same aquarium?

In this article we will discuss Angelfish and Harlequin rasboras.We will also discuss their relationship and other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview 

  • Can angelfish and harlequins live in the same aquariums?
  • Key specifications of angelfish and harlequin rasboras
  • Angelfish 
  • Harlequin rasbora
  • Where are angelfish and harlequin rasboras found?
  • How long do angelfish and harlequin rasbora live?
  • What tank size do angelfish and harlequins need?
  • Are angelfish and harlequin rasbora aggressive in nature?
  • What do angelfish and harlequin rasbora eat?
  • Are water parameters same for angelfish and harlequins in aquarium conditions?
  • Do angelfish and harlequins need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do angelfish and harlequin need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do angelfish and harlequin need similar substrates in their tank?
  • Is it easy to care for angelfish and harlequins togethers in the same aquariums?
  • Are angelfish and harlequins both perfect community fish?
  • Are angelfish and harlequins beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Can angelfish and harlequins live in the same aquarium?

Angels occupy the surface and middle region of the tank,whereas rasboras occupy the middle regions of the tank,and it would be challenging to feed them,because angels are bigger in size and will quickly eat everything on the surface level itself.

Rasboras being smaller in size won’t compete for food resources with them and might starve themselves to death.

Although they come from the same water conditions, they can’t be kept together, because rasboras are smaller in size and can end up becoming a snack for angelfish.

Key specifications of angelfish and harlequin rasboras.

Key specificationsAngelfish Harlequin rasbora
Scientific name
Types

Family 
Pterophyllum Genus
Freshwater angelfishAltum angelfishLeopold’s angelfishCichlidae
Trigonostigma heteromorphaBlack harlequin Blue harlequin Gold harlequin Cyprinidae 
Temperament Semi-aggressive Peaceful and friendly
Diet OmnivoresOmnivorous  
Habitat South America90 different speciesAsiaThree color variants

Angelfish

Angelfish are popular freshwater fish,6-8 inches in length and famous for their long  finnage.

Angelfish have a thin, round ,flat body laterally compressed and come in huge varieties like silver,gold zebra,blacklace,albino and mixture of colours.They are not aggressive but get aggressive with fin-nippers.

Harlequin rasbora

Harlequin rasboras are very beautiful cyprinids famous for their peaceful behavior.

They are considered as the exotic varieties of aquarium fish.They are very small in size and males are larger and more colorful than females.

They come in golden,blue and black colour.Harlequin rasboras are famous for their peaceful temperament and friendly behaviour.They get along well with almost every aquarium fish

Where are angelfish and harlequin rasboras found?

Angelfish and harlequin rasboras are both tropical freshwater species and are found in the slow moving water streams.Angels come from South America and harlequins come from Asia.

How long do angelfish and harlequin rasbora live?

Angelfish can live  between 5-10 years and Harlequin rasboras can live between 5-8 years in captivity.

Their lifespan completely depends on the right tank size, nutritional diets,ideal vital parameters, suitable tank mates and stress free environment.

What tank size do angelfish and harlequins need?

Tank size for angels

  • Angels are bigger in size and need a bigger,taller and spacious tank of 40-45 gallons to house them.
  • An 80 gallon tank will keep a small school of angelfish together.
  • Angels need an open swimming area  and lots of hiding space in their tank.

Tank size for harlequins

  • Minimum tank size for harlequins is 10 gallons.
  • Community tank-size for harlequins is 30 gallons.
  • Angels too need an open swimming area  and lots of hiding space in their tank.

Are angelfish and harlequin rasbora aggressive in nature?

Harlequin rasboras are famous for their peaceful temperament and friendly behavior and they get along well with almost every aquarium fish.

Angelfish are peaceful cichlids but may get aggressive during spawning while pairing off.They also get aggressive when kept with bigger fish as they compete for food resources.

I even heard from some aquarists that angels are fin nippers and when kept together with harlequins, they nipped their fins and even killed them.

What do angelfish and harlequin rasbora eat? 

Angels and rasboras are both omnivorous and accept almost all types of food given to them.Both are voracious eaters and will eat up anything whatever fits into their mouth.

The main problem is overfeeding. If you overfeed them, you need an effective filtration system to eliminate all the biological waste per hour from the tank.

If it is not done then levels of ammonia and other organic pollutants will spike in the tank and will change the water chemistry and make the water unstable for them to survive in tank conditions.

Food preference for angelfish:

  • Hikari vibra bites
  • Tubifex worms
  • Tropical flakes
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Freeze dried bloodworms (most favorite)
  • Fluval bug bites
  • Color flakes
  • Tropical granules
  • Zucchini
  • Algae wafers

Food preference for harlequin rasboras:

  • Commercial food-micro pellets and flakes
  • Live and frozen food- insect larva, daphnia, bloodworms,baby shrimps
  • Plant based food like fresh vegetables 

Are water parameters same for angelfish and harlequins in aquarium conditions?

Angelfish come from tropical freshwater and thrive well in warm water whereas harlequin rasboras come from soft, acidic black waters.

They both are found in slow water currents in their natural habitats so they thrive well in the same current in their tanks too.

Water parametersAngelfishHarlequin rasboras
Water typeTemperature Breeding temperaturepHWater hardnessWater movementFreshwater 80F (warm water)80F-82F6.8-7.8 (acidic)3-8 dKHSlow movingFreshwater 72F-81F82.4F6.0-7.82-15dGHSlow moving

Water parameters are similar for each other but this won’t be the only condition for keeping them together.Angels are bigger in size as compared to harlequin rasboras and wont spare them if kept together.

Do angelfish and harlequins need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Angelfish and harlequins both come from regions which are famous for their dense vegetation.Tall,dense live plants with broader leaves go well with both angels and harlequins tanks.

Tank plants for angelsAnubias,Hornworts,Vallisneria,Java fern,Amazon sword,Wisteria and Water sprite
Tank plants for harlequinsCryptocoryne species,Aponogeton and Cabomba

Do angelfish and harlequins need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Angelfish need lighting for 12 hours per day whereas harlequins don’t need bright lighting in their tanks.

Bright lighting might stress harlequins.So if they are kept together then you need to think about the lighting parameters in their aquariums.

Do angelfish and harlequins need similar substrates in their tank?

Angelfish and harlequins both occupy the middle region of the tank so substrate is not so important to them.Bare bottom tank goes well with both of them.

Is it easy to care for angelfish and harlequins togethers in the same aquariums?

Angels and harlequins are easy to care for because they both are hardy fish ,undemanding and dont need an extraordinary tank setup to keep them.They get adapted to any set-up quite easily.

Are angelfish and harlequins both perfect community fish?

They both are perfect for community tanks, especially harlequins, as they love to live in schools and shoal together with their groups.Angels are social fish and can be kept in a group of 6 together but they don’t shoal together.

Are angelfish and harlequins beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Angels and harlequins are recommended for both beginners and experienced aquarists because they are low maintenance fish and don’t need sophisticated set-ups to keep them.  

Summary

  • Both angels and harlequins are perfect for community aquariums.
  • Both live in groups and swim together with their own species peacefully.
  • They both prefer dense vegetation in their aquariums to hide and lots of swimming space to swim.
  • Both are hardy species and can tolerate a wide range of conditions in their tanks.
  • Both are sensitive to ammonia spikes and other tank pollutants.It is very important to their levels in check to avoid various infections.
  • Angels and harlequins are easy to care for and recommended for both newcomers and experienced fishkeepers because of their undemanding nature and low maintenance tank set-up.But proper tank management practice can increase their longevity.
  • Angels and harlequins have more or less similar preferences like water conditions, substrates and other tank requirements.
  • Angels and harlequins can’t be kept together because harlequins are smaller in size and angelfish has the tendency to gobble up smaller fish in their vicinity.
  • Angels and harlequins don’t make suitable tank-mates for each other.

Frequently asked questions

Will angelfish eat harlequins?

Yes, bigger angelfish would definitely eat harlequins if they are kept together in a similar aquarium.

Do they have similar tank mates?

Tank mates for angelfish- Plecos, platies, corydoras, gourami, mollies, african butterfly fish and discus fish.

Tank mates for harlequin rasbora-Other rasboras,cardinal tetras,small characins (neon tetras),bettas,catfish,dwarf gouramis,danios ,assorted small barbs,otocinclus.

What kind of infections do they get?

Infections in angelfish-Hexamita disease (parasitic disease) and Ich (Protozoan disease)

Infections in harlequin rasbora-Dropsy,ammonia poisoning,slime disease,gill parasite and hole in the head disease.

Reference

https://www.buildyouraquarium.com/complete-freshwater-angelfish-set-care-guide/

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