Can Guppies Live With Angelfish? – Don’t Believe What Others Tell You!

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Guppies and angelfish are two of the most popular fish in the freshwater aquarium hobby today. They are staples of every pet store across the country. So you may find yourself wondering can guppies live in the same aquarium as angelfish?

I have kept both guppies and angelfish for years. My experience of keeping both species tells me that you shouldn’t keep guppies and angelfish in the same aquarium. I can say from first-hand experience the angelfish will eat small and baby guppies and they will chase the adult guppies constantly!

Guppies are super peaceful. They will swim around the aquarium keeping themselves to themselves. They don’t bother any other fish in the aquarium. Angelfish on the other hand can be a little aggressive. They aren’t tank bosses, but they can, and will eat smaller fish.

I once kept 3 angelfish in the same tank as a small colony of guppies. At first, it worked out well, but I realized after a few months that there were never any baby guppies. It turned out my angelfish were eating all the baby guppies.

How Big Do Angelfish Grow?

I have always found that angelfish grow to around 6” (15cm) long and 8” (20cm) tall. I once had an angelfish that hit nearly 8” (20cm) long. Angelfish are slender. This allows them to swim really fast.

Guppies on the other hand only reach about 1.5”-2” (4cm-5cm) long. Guppies also have long, flowing tails which prevent them from swimming quickly. An angelfish can easily chase down a small guppy.

Are Angelfish Aggressive?

I would describe angelfish as mildly aggressive. They are members of the Cichlid family, and cichlids are known for their aggression. Angelfish can also act as predators. They can and will eat smaller fish that fit in their mouths.

I have always found, if I keep my angelfish with similar-sized tank mates, they get on fine, but if I keep them with any fish that will fit in their mouths, the smaller fish will at some point end up there.

Guppy Stress

Even an adult angelfish can’t eat a fully grown guppy, but they can cause them to die through stress. When I kept guppies and angelfish together, I found the angelfish would often chase the adult guppies around the aquarium.

This chasing took a noticeable toll on my guppy’s health. My guppies looked dull and their tails were torn. Although my angelfish couldn’t eat the adults, they chased them and nipped at them and caused the guppies to be stressed.

What Fish Make Good Tank Mates For Angelfish?

So, if we aren’t going to keep guppies with our angelfish, what fish will do well with them? I have always had good luck keeping the following with my Angelfish;

  • Platies
  • Sailfin Mollies
  • Corydoras
  • Rainbow Fish
  • Clown Loaches
  • Congo Tetras
  • Lemon Tetras
  • Various Plecos

In Conclusion

I can not recommend keeping guppies and angelfish together. I just haven’t found it to be a successful combination. The angelfish grow much larger than the guppies and they are faster and more aggressive.

When I kept the two species together, the guppies didn’t show good coloration and their fins were often nipped. I also found there were never any baby guppies, probably because my angelfish ate them all!

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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