Can Angelfish and Goldfish Live Together? - "Angel fish" by R/DV/RS is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Can Angelfish and Goldfish Live Together? - "Angel fish" by R/DV/RS is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


When setting up an aquarium, one of the most enchanting decisions is choosing which fish to bring into your underwater world. Among the myriad of colorful options, angelfish and goldfish often catch the eye with their beauty and charm. But this leads to a pressing question many enthusiasts face: can angelfish and goldfish live together? This question isn’t just about aesthetics or space but delves deeper into the well-being of these aquatic creatures. Understanding their needs and whether they can coexist harmoniously in the same tank is crucial for their health and happiness. In this exploration, we delve into the specifics of why these two popular species, despite their appeal, may need to lead separate lives in our homes.

About Angelfish and Goldfish

Starting with angelfish, these elegant beauties hail from the tropical rivers of South America. Known for their striking triangular bodies and gracefully long fins, angelfish have a certain serenity about them that can mesmerize any observer. They come in a variety of patterns and colors, from shimmering silver to speckled gold. Angelfish are a bit like the sophisticated, quietly confident folks at a party, gliding around with an air of grace.

On the flip side, we have the goldfish, which couldn’t be more different in terms of origin and personality! These cheerful, hardy little swimmers come from cooler waters in East Asia and have been companions to humans for centuries, making them perhaps the most iconic pet fish. Goldfish are the life of the aquatic party, available in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, and colors. From the classic orange comet to the fancy, flowy-tailed varieties, there’s a goldfish to capture everyone’s heart. They’re like the friend who’s always up for a good time, bringing brightness and energy wherever they go.

Despite their differences, both angelfish and goldfish share a common trait: they’ve captured the hearts of fish enthusiasts around the world. Whether it’s the tranquil beauty of the angelfish or the joyful exuberance of the goldfish, both bring a unique blend of color, life, and personality to any tank. However, their differing needs and lifestyles remind us of the importance of understanding our finned friends better, ensuring they live their happiest, healthiest lives. So, let’s dive a little deeper into why these two popular fishes are more like distant cousins rather than roommates.

Temperature Requirements

Diving into the world of aquariums, it’s essential to talk about something that’s often invisible but always crucial: water temperature. Just like we humans have our preferred climates—some of us basking in the warmth of the sun while others thrive in cooler, crisp air—our aquatic friends, angelfish and goldfish, have their own ideal temperature ranges that keep them happy and healthy.

Angelfish are the tropical treasures of the fish world, preferring the warmer waters reminiscent of their South American river origins. These elegant swimmers thrive in temperatures between 76°F and 86°F (24°C to 30°C). This warm environment is perfect for their metabolism and overall health, supporting their active swimming and robust immune systems. Imagine them lounging in a warm, tropical river, basking in the warmth that energizes their graceful movements.

Goldfish, on the other hand, are the hardy souls of cooler waters. Originating from temperate regions in East Asia, they’re quite comfortable in a range of 68°F to 74°F (20°C to 23°C), with some varieties able to tolerate even cooler temperatures. This cooler environment suits their slower metabolism and helps keep their immune systems strong. Think of them as enjoying a pleasant spring or autumn day, cool enough to keep them briskly swimming about without a care in the world.

Herein lies the conundrum: the optimal temperature ranges for angelfish and goldfish do not comfortably overlap. Housing them together would mean one (or both) species would have to endure less-than-ideal conditions. For angelfish, cooler temperatures can slow their metabolism too much, making them sluggish and more susceptible to diseases. For goldfish in warmer waters, their metabolism might kick into overdrive, leading to increased waste production and potentially shorter lifespans due to the stress on their bodies.

This difference in temperature preference is a fundamental reason why these two popular aquarium dwellers are better off in separate tanks, living their best lives in conditions that suit them just right. It’s all about creating a slice of their natural habitat right in our homes, ensuring they’re not just surviving, but thriving.

Can Angelfish and Goldfish Live Together? - "Angel fish" by R/DV/RS is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Can Angelfish and Goldfish Live Together? – “Angel fish” by R/DV/RS is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

So, Can Angelfish and Goldfish Live Together?

So, can angelfish and goldfish live together? Angelfish and goldfish, while both enchanting in their own right, are not ideal tank mates due to their differing environmental and care requirements. The crux of the issue lies in their distinct needs for water temperature, as we’ve discussed, with angelfish thriving in warmer tropical conditions and goldfish preferring cooler temperate waters. This disparity makes it challenging to create a shared environment that meets the needs of both species simultaneously.

Moreover, there are other considerations beyond temperature, such as differences in diet, behavior, and space requirements, that further complicate their cohabitation. Angelfish are known for their semi-aggressive nature and might view smaller goldfish as food, while goldfish produce a significant amount of waste, which can lead to poor water quality for more sensitive species like angelfish.

While both angelfish and goldfish can make wonderful additions to your home, they’re best kept in separate aquariums where their unique needs can be fully met. This ensures both species can live healthier, happier lives without the stress or risk associated with incompatible living conditions.


In the journey of fishkeeping, creating a harmonious and healthy environment for our aquatic friends is paramount. The question of whether angelfish and goldfish can live together has guided us through the crucial aspects of their care, revealing the significant differences in their environmental needs, behaviors, and lifestyles. Although both species are undeniably appealing and beloved by aquarists worldwide, their cohabitation in the same tank is not advisable. By understanding and respecting the unique needs of each fish, we ensure they thrive, bringing us joy and the beauty of the natural world into our homes. So, while angelfish and goldfish may not share a tank, they can certainly share our affection and care, each in their own special aquatic haven.