Can Guppies Live with Angelfish? - "Guppy Poecilia reticulata" by Holger Krisp is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Can Guppies Live with Angelfish? - "Guppy Poecilia reticulata" by Holger Krisp is licensed under CC BY 3.0.


The question of can guppies live with angelfish is a common consideration among aquarium enthusiasts. Both guppies and angelfish are popular choices in the world of freshwater fishkeeping, each possessing unique traits and characteristics. Exploring the compatibility of these two species involves delving into their behaviors, requirements, and the intricacies of maintaining a harmonious aquatic environment. By understanding the dynamics between guppies and angelfish, we can determine whether and how they can share a tank while thriving in each other’s presence.

About Guppies

Guppies, scientifically known as Poecilia reticulata, are small, colorful freshwater fish that belong to the family Poeciliidae. They are native to the warm waters of Central and South America, particularly in countries like Venezuela, Trinidad, and Brazil. Guppies are widely popular in the aquarium hobby due to their vibrant colors, ease of care, and interesting behavior.

  • Physical Characteristics: Guppies are known for their striking and varied coloration. They come in a wide range of colors, including red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and combinations thereof. Their bodies can be patterned with spots, stripes, or even metallic scales. One of the most captivating aspects of guppies is that they exhibit sexual dimorphism. Male guppies tend to be more colorful and have elongated, colorful fins, while female guppies have a more subdued appearance with shorter fins and less intense colors.
  • Behavior and Habitat: In the wild, guppies inhabit slow-moving streams, ponds, and shallow water bodies. They are adaptable to a variety of environments, which has contributed to their popularity in the aquarium trade. Guppies are known for their lively and active behavior. Males often display their vibrant colors and intricate fin displays to attract females.
  • Breeding: Guppies are prolific breeders and can reproduce quite rapidly under the right conditions. Female guppies give birth to live young. They are capable of storing sperm internally and can give birth to multiple broods of fry (baby guppies) from a single mating. This reproductive flexibility has led to a diverse range of guppy strains with varying color patterns and fin shapes.
  • Tank Requirements: When keeping guppies in an aquarium, it’s important to provide them with a suitable environment. A tank of around 10 to 20 gallons (40-80 liters) is generally sufficient for a small group of guppies. They prefer well-maintained, slightly alkaline water with a temperature range of 72-82°F (22-28°C). The addition of live plants, hiding spots, and gentle filtration can create a comfortable and naturalistic habitat for them.
  • Diet: Guppies are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. In the aquarium, they can be fed a diet of high-quality flake or pellet food supplemented with occasional treats like live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. Providing a varied diet helps maintain their health and vibrant coloration.
  • Health and Care: Overall, guppies are relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice for beginner aquarists. However, like any fish, they can be prone to diseases if their tank conditions are not optimal. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and a balanced diet are key to keeping guppies healthy. Quarantining new additions before adding them to the main tank can help prevent the introduction of diseases.

About Angelfish

Angelfish, scientifically known as Pterophyllum scalare, are graceful and iconic freshwater aquarium fish that belong to the cichlid family Cichlidae. Native to the Amazon River basin in South America, angelfish are celebrated for their distinctive triangular body shape, elegant finnage, and captivating behavior. They are a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to their striking appearance and unique personalities.

  • Physical Characteristics: Angelfish are instantly recognizable by their laterally compressed bodies, long and trailing fins, and a distinctive triangular shape when viewed from the side. Their dorsal and anal fins are extended, creating a flowing and graceful appearance. They come in a variety of color patterns, including silver, black, marble, and various shades of gold and yellow. The combination of their shape and coloration makes angelfish one of the most visually appealing species in the aquarium hobby.
  • Behavior and Compatibility: While angelfish are known for their beauty, they are also admired for their complex behavior. They can be quite intelligent and social, recognizing their owners and forming bonds with other fish. However, angelfish can be territorial and may exhibit aggression, especially during breeding. It’s important to provide ample space and hiding spots in the aquarium to mitigate aggression and provide a stress-free environment.
  • Breeding: Breeding angelfish can be a rewarding but challenging endeavor. These fish are known for their attentive parenting behaviors. Once a pair forms a bond, they may choose a flat surface (such as a broad leaf or a slate) to lay their eggs. The parents diligently guard and care for their eggs and later the fry (baby fish). Successful angelfish breeding often requires a dedicated breeding tank, pristine water conditions, and proper nutrition to support the parents and their offspring.
  • Tank Requirements: Providing the right environment is crucial for the well-being of angelfish. A tank size of at least 20 to 30 gallons (80-120 liters) is recommended for a pair of angelfish, and larger tanks are preferable for larger groups. They prefer slightly acidic to neutral water conditions with a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C). Live plants, driftwood, and caves offer hiding places and mimic their natural habitat. Angelfish are generally peaceful with other tankmates that do not exhibit aggressive behaviors.
  • Diet: In the wild, angelfish are omnivores, feeding on a variety of foods including insects, small crustaceans, and plant matter. In the aquarium, they should be offered a balanced diet of high-quality flake or pellet food along with occasional live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. Providing a diverse diet helps maintain their health and vibrant coloration.
  • Health and Care: Maintaining proper water quality is essential for the health of angelfish. Regular water changes, effective filtration, and monitoring ammonia and nitrite levels are crucial to preventing stress and disease. Quarantining new additions before introducing them to the main tank can help prevent the spread of diseases.

Can Guppies Live with Angelfish in Your Aquarium?

Creating an aquarium environment that accommodates guppies with angelfish requires careful consideration of the tank setup to ensure the comfort and well-being of both species. When answering the question, “Can guppies live with angelfish”,  it’s essential to strike a balance between the needs of these fish to promote harmony in the tank.

  • Tank Size: Select a tank that provides ample space for both angelfish and guppies. A tank size of at least 30 gallons (120 liters) or more is recommended to accommodate the angelfish’s larger size and swimming needs. This larger tank size also helps mitigate potential territorial behaviors and aggression.
  • Aquascape: Design the tank with plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers using plants, driftwood, and rocks. These elements serve as shelters for guppies to escape potential aggression from angelfish and also provide resting places for the angelfish. The plants also contribute to maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nutrients.
  • Water Parameters: Maintain water conditions that are suitable for both species. Angelfish prefer slightly acidic to neutral water (pH around 6.5-7.5) with a temperature range of 75-82°F (24-28°C). Guppies are more adaptable and can tolerate a slightly broader range, but generally, their requirements align well with those of angelfish.
  • Tank Mates: When considering tank mates, select peaceful and compatible species. Guppies can live with angelfish if proper precautions are taken. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the tank to reduce stress on both species.
  • Feeding: Provide a balanced diet that suits the dietary preferences of both angelfish and guppies. High-quality flake or pellet food serves as a staple, while offering occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp and bloodworms provides enrichment and enhances their health and coloration.
  • Behavior and Observation: Monitor the behavior of both species closely after introducing them to the tank. Observe for any signs of aggression or stress. Can guppies live with angelfish? Yes, they can, but it’s crucial to be vigilant and ready to intervene if needed. In some cases, angelfish might exhibit territorial behavior, especially during breeding periods.
  • Compatibility Considerations: Can guppies live with angelfish harmoniously? With proper tank setup and careful selection of tank mates, it is possible for these two species to coexist. However, individual fish personalities can vary, and occasional conflicts may arise. Always be prepared to provide additional hiding spots or consider rearranging tank decorations if aggression becomes an issue.
  • Maintenance Routine: Regularly perform water changes to maintain optimal water quality and reduce stress for both species. Adequate filtration is crucial to keep ammonia and nitrite levels in check. Maintaining a clean and stable environment goes a long way in ensuring the well-being of angelfish and guppies living together.

In conclusion, creating a harmonious aquarium environment for both angelfish and guppies requires careful planning and attention to their specific needs. Can guppies live with angelfish? Yes, they can, but success hinges on thoughtful tank design, compatible tank mates, and proactive observation to promote a peaceful coexistence between these two visually captivating species.

Can Guppies Live with Angelfish? - "Guppy Poecilia reticulata" by Holger Krisp is licensed under CC BY 3.0.
Can Guppies Live with Angelfish? – “Guppy Poecilia reticulata” by Holger Krisp is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Will the Angelfish Prey on Guppy Fry?

Yes, there is a possibility that angelfish may prey on guppy fry. Angelfish are known to exhibit predatory behavior, especially towards smaller fish and fry. While they might not actively hunt down fry all the time, the presence of vulnerable guppy fry in the same tank could trigger their natural predatory instincts.

To reduce the risk of angelfish preying on guppy fry, consider the following measures:

  • Provide Hiding Places: Create ample hiding spots using plants, decorations, and structures like caves or dense foliage. These hiding places offer shelter for guppy fry to escape from the attention of larger angelfish.
  • Separate Breeding Tanks: If you intend to breed guppies, it’s often a good idea to have a separate breeding tank where you can transfer pregnant guppies to give birth. This helps protect the fry from potential predators, including angelfish.
  • Frequent Fry Removal: If you choose to keep angelfish and guppies together, closely monitor the tank for fry and remove them as soon as they are born. Transfer them to a separate fry-rearing tank where they can grow safely until they are large enough to be reintroduced to the main tank.
  • Feeding Strategies: Providing ample food for the angelfish can help satiate their appetite and reduce their interest in hunting for smaller prey. This won’t eliminate the risk entirely but may help lower the chances of fry predation.
  • Monitor Behavior: Pay close attention to the interactions between the angelfish and guppies. If you notice increased aggression or any fry disappearing, it might be an indication that the angelfish are preying on them.

In summary, while it’s possible for angelfish to prey on guppy fry, implementing strategies such as providing hiding spots, removing fry, and careful monitoring can help minimize the risks and increase the chances of coexistence between these two species.


In conclusion, the question “Can guppies live with angelfish?” can be answered with careful consideration and preparation. While it is possible for guppies and angelfish to coexist in the same aquarium, success hinges on creating a well-balanced environment that addresses the distinct needs and behaviors of both species. Thoughtful tank design, ample hiding spots, compatible tank mates, and proactive monitoring are essential elements to fostering a harmonious cohabitation. By understanding the potential challenges and taking proactive steps, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and dynamics of both guppies and angelfish within the same aquatic habitat.