Can You Keep Angelfish Alone In A Community Tank With Other Fish?

I’ve had an Angelfish live alone in my aquarium once. And, never again! I couldn’t deal with how lonely and bored my Angelfish became. That was when I had to ask myself, do Angelfish need to be kept in groups? Or maybe, these territorial fish would prefer to stay alone?

Owing to their territorial nature, Angelfish could live alone. But, it would be rather selfish of you to keep Angelfish isolated. Angelfish in groups has advantages like lowered stress, mating, spared energy, etc. 

Moreover, Angelfish in the group imitates their natural habitat. And, it becomes easier to establish a hierarchy. 

Since I have kept Angelfish alone and with groups, I’d like to share some of my experiences with you. I think it’s better to keep Angelfish in a group because I like my fish to have some friends. But, please take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

Habit Of Angelfish: Alone Or Group?

You behave in a certain way. And I, too, behave in a certain way. Similarly, Angelfish have their pattern of habits.

It is important to know an Angelfish habit before you decide to keep in a group, pair, or even single.


We, humans, are territorial, protective of our tribe. Your Angelfish isn’t far away from us.

Angelfish are territorial and don’t shy away from fighting their kind. Yes, your fish doesn’t mind killing fish for its land.

Social Hierarchy

Your Angelfish doesn’t have poor, rich, or upper and middle class like we humans. But rather, Angelfish have a hierarchy based off on strength.

Fights can happen to establish this hierarchy. But, peace will come about once this hierarchy is established.


Angelfish, owing to their size, eat a lot compared to their fish buddies.

That’s why a fight can occur once you throw some prawns and juvenile fish in your tank.


A male and female Angelfish can live in peace, even mating sometimes, giving you cute baby Angelfish.

But, keep two males together, and watch the two fight till death or till hierarchy is established. There is a good chance that one will die. However, in rare cases, even two males (as a pair) live in harmony.

Introverted but Prefer Shoal and Pair

Imagine fighting with your friend for a day. A sense of relief will wash over you only if your friend tries to talk with you.

Similarly, Angelfish can live alone, like an introvert. But, anyone can get lonely and bored in their own company. That’s why Angelfish prefer shoal and group.

By the way, Angelfish live in a group in their natural habitat.

Can You Keep Single Angelfish Alone In A Secluded Tank?

First of all, every soul needs company. Be it a dog, cat, human, rabbit, any living soul needs a friend. Likewise, your Angelfish needs company too.

In the wild, Angelfish don’t live alone. Living alone means inviting danger and predators. That’s why Angelfish live in a group and maintain social hierarchy.

However, an Angelfish can live alone in your tank. Provided that the tank is clean, regulated water, foliage, etc. You also have to make sure that the tank is not bare and empty.

So, basically, you can keep a single Angelfish in a single tank. But, this act is unethical! You will be acting against nature if you seclude your Angelfish. 

If you are scared your Angelfish might get aggressive with others, maybe buy a matured Angelfish for your secluded tank?

That’s because Young Angelfish are vulnerable. These young ones might feel uneasy around empty waters.

Anyway, I’ll repeat this if I have to, but, I don’t like any fish to die of loneliness, sadness. Thus, single Angelfish in a single tank is a big no-no for me.

Can You Keep Angelfish Alone In A Community Tank?

It is always better to keep one Angelfish in a community tank rather than a secluded tank. This way at least your Angelfish has some friends, even if of another species.

Of course, you’ll have some doubt on whether your Angelfish might able to live with other species. You can observe your Angelfish for a day or two and you’ll have your answer.

Usually, it is seen that Angelfish who lived alone in a secluded tank are territorial. These Angelfish are aggressive and may bite their tank mates.

However, Angelfish who are habituated to having tank mates are docile. Young Angelfish, too, are comfortable in a community aquarium.

Hear me on this one. It’s even better to keep a shoal of Angelfish (let’s say a group of 6) who have established hierarchy in a community tank. The pecking tribe has been established and now your Angelfish group can live in harmony with the rest of the tank mates.

Tank Mates For Angelfish

Here is a rule of thumb before you keep your Angelfish in a community tank.

  • The fish in the tank should be friendly and peaceful.
  • The fish shouldn’t be small to fit in the mouth of Angelfish. Because, as a famous Angelfish once said, “Whatever fit, I eat!”

Now, here are some species of fish your Angelfish can befriend.

  • Mollies
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Boesemani Rainbowfish
  • Zebra Loaches
  • Kribensis Cichlids
  • Platies
  • Head and tail light tetras
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • Guppies
  • Rummy Nose Tetras
  • Lemon Tetras
  • Keyhole Cichlids
  • Swordtails

How Many Angelfish (Also For Alone) In How Many Gallons Of Water?

Since Angelfish isn’t a small fish, the tank for Angelfish should be humongous. I’m not exaggerating at all. You should calculate the following for your Angelfish.

By the rule of thumb, 1 inch of Angelfish needs 1.5 gallons of water. 

Since Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches, 1 Angelfish needs 9 gallons of water.

Let me be fair and tell you that a single Angelfish needs 10 gallons of water. Because, hey, I would like your Angelfish to swim freely without any inhibition.

If you are planning on getting a shoal of Angelfish, let’s say 6 of them, you should get a 60-gallon tank.

By the way, Angelfish are territorial too. So, a big tank isn’t a problem for an Angelfish.

Like I told you, you need a HUGE tank for this lovely yet territorial fish.

Now, let me tell you the group size that you should get!

Minimum Group Size

A pair of Angelfish is the minimum grouping you can keep in your tank.

It’s better if you pair up a male with a female. Because aggression is reduced.

If you decide to keep two Angelfish of the same gender (especially males), get ready for a war inside your tank! In the best case, one will dominate the other and somehow live peacefully. In the worst-case scenario, the dominant one will kill (yes, you heard this right!) the weak one.

Whatever the case, it is better to pair up the opposite gender. Mating might be a problem though.

You can apply the rule of thumb i.e. 2 Angelfish (6 inches length) need 6 x 2 x 1.5= 18 gallon tank.

It’ll be better off if you give a pair of Angelfish a 30-gallon tank, just to make sure that your fish can swim freely!

Ideal Group Size

The ideal group size for Angelfish is 6. It’ll be even better if every male Angelfish has a female partner.

Greater than 6 means that you can invite some tank war. However, once the hierarchy is established, it means you no longer need to worry anymore!

A greater number of Angelfish means you need a large tank. 6 Angelfish needs a 60+ gallon tank.

To set up a 50-gallon tank, you can read the following link: How To Set A 50-Gallon Fish Tank?

What Will Happen If You Keep Your Angelfish Alone In A Tank?

Well, I told you that a single Angelfish in a single tank has many downsides. Let’s talk about it below.

Stress And Loneliness

A lonely Angelfish is mostly sad. Especially, if it’s a young one with no friends around.

This can cause stress. Low stress means low immunity. Thus, parasites can easily infect your fish who has low immunity. Angelfish will suffer from diseases. 


A lonely Angelfish won’t swim as actively because it has no job to do.

Moreover, the Angelfish won’t eat as much too. Even an active angelfish becomes really passive when they’re alone.

Death Of The Alone Angelfish

A lonely angelfish can have many diseases because of lowered immunity.

Diseases and parasites will slowly cause death in your Angelfish.

Alone Angelfish Is Unethical

Under optimum condition, an Angelfish can live alone. However, it’s rather selfish to you’re your Angelfish all alone.

It’s cruel and your fish will be miserable.

Advantages Of Grouping Angelfish Instead Of Alone

I’ll now talk about the upsides of grouping Angelfish.

No Stress

Studies show that fish are happier in a group. Staying in a group invites play.

A group is safer from predators too. Thus, Angelfish have low stress while shoaling in groups.

Finding Mate For The Alone Angelfish

It is easier to find a partner in a shoal. This will make your Angelfish very happy. Moreover, the compatibility is also greater when there are opposite genders.

Lower Energy Consumption

Due to hydrodynamic efficiency, the fish gets kinetic energy from their companion. This means Angelfish in a group need less energy to swim.

This saves energy and your Angelfish will be healthy in the long run.

Confident And Active

I’d kept my Angelfish in a single tank. That Angelfish used to hide behind plants. But, when I kept him in a group, he stayed more active and confident.

My Angelfish must’ve felt secured and happy in a group.

So, keep your Angelfish in a group to give him a boost of confidence.

Downsides of Grouping Angelfish

Of course, everything has its downsides. And grouping Angelfish has its downsides as well. Let’s talk about it below.

Aggression Toward Each Other

Your Angelfish communicate through the chemicals. These chemicals come from their bile and feces. This chemical decides who the leader is and who the submissive one is.

If you keep 3-4 Angelfish together, usually one or two Angelfish will be bullied. Until and unless hierarchy is established, you won’t get to sleep properly due to tension.

Overcrowding Angelfish

Angelfish need plenty of water to swim around. 1 Angelfish needs 10 gallons of water to swim freely.

Sometimes, without knowing, you might overcrowd your Angelfish group.

This can lead to diseases breeding in your tank. 

With less area to swim around, your Angelfish can become aggressive. Because, hey, your lovely Angelfish is territorial and can fight for its area. 


Do Angelfish kill each other?

Because Angelfish are territorial, Angelfish may kill each other in a pair. Or generally, one will kill the other. This behavior is seen typically in two male Angelfish.

During mating season, aggression may fuel in your tank. 

However, in some cases, the Angelfish bond and live in harmony. A shoal of Angelfish with established hierarchy live peacefully. 

What Do Angelfish Eat? 

Angelfish enjoy pellets, flakes, frozen, as well as live food. 

Bloodworms and brine shrimps are also enjoyed by Angelfish. 


Your Angelfish can definitely live alone. But, I don’t recommend it. It’s because you’re stripping your Angelfish from benefitting from the order of nature. 

Moreover, angelfish in a group is happier, lives longer, and prevents boredom and disease. 

Keeping these things in mind, I hope you keep your Angelfish as a pair, group, or shoal.