Are Angelfish Aggressive Towards Other Fish?

Angelfishes are cichlids, and they possess quite a number of the characteristics of cichlids. Angelfishes are beautiful types of fishes and have their origin traced to the topical area of South America.

Are Angelfish Aggressive Towards Other Fish?

No, Generally Angelfish are peaceful species of aquarium fish. Due to their cichlid nature, there are exceptions to their peacefulness, particularly during breeding. But this does not imply that they are aggressive. Although Angelfish are calm and accommodating, they also can be aggressive at times.

Being aggressive is one of the numerous characteristics of cichlids. As Angelfish are part of the cichlid members, they tend to express some dynamic characters during specific periods.

Specific periods trigger Angelfish’s aggressiveness. Some of the times they might get aggressive include:

  • Pairing Off : Angelfish are known to pair. During pairing, they pick a partner for themselves. The pair includes two Angelfish. When pairing, Angelfish tend to be aggressive towards other Angelfish. This pairing is a semi schooling activity for them.  Matching plays a significant role in determining territorial power and mating. Therefore, Angelfish, mainly the males, do not take this show for fun.
  • Mating : Angelfish can also become aggressive when they are mating. As you know, in most animals, males always fight or prove superiority to gain females. This phenomenon is also applicable to Angelfish.
  • Feeding : There isn’t a fish that will be willing to give up its food for the sake of other fish. Angelfish can be aggressive when it comes to feeding. Angelfish are also aggressive towards smaller fishes.

There are little or no other situations that warrant Angelfish to be aggressive. They are very peaceful.

Emperor angelfish

Are Fresh Water Angelfish Agressive?

Angelfish are peaceful fish and generally will not show any agression. They might show agression when they are paring off, Mating and sometimes during feeding time.

I have kept angelfish for many years and they really are peaceful fish as I never had any issues with agression with them.

Angelfish are perfect fish to add to a community tank because they will get on with other peaceful fish breeds.  Because angelfish are usually larger than most fish they will not get bullied or picked on.

Angelfish are part of the cichlid family of fish which are typically agressive fish, But angelfish are an exception to the rule.

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How To Reduce Angelfish Agression?

Some fishes are naturally aggressive. These kinds of fishes display their aggressiveness at every moment they can get. When a fish shows its aggressiveness, it is due to irritation and disturbance. Except if the fish are usually aggressive.

Angelfish are not pushy. Although they are cichlids that give them every reason to be offensive, they exhibit a peaceful lifestyle compared to others. They only become aggressive when they feel irritated or feel a need to defend themselves.

Once an Angelfish feels any irritation, it starts to display some aggressive behavior. Some of the things that irritate them include:

  • Adding Other Fish To The Tank : This factor is the primary factor that influences the aggressiveness of Angelfishes. Angelfish do not like other fishes around them. As much as they love schooling in pairs, they also like their privacy. Angelfish can accommodate other fishes very well, but it constitutes their aggressiveness. Whenever any of the fishes trespass, they will exhibit their aggressive behavior. So, you reduce the number of tank mates they have.
  • Bad Water Conditions : Whenever you don’t meet the water conditions for Angelfish, it irritates the Angelfish. This irritation leads to their aggressiveness. Once you do not keep the appropriate water conditions for your Angelfish, they will become more aggressive due to the irritation, so you should maintain the right water conditions.
  • Bad Tank Condition: One of the factors that also cause the aggressiveness of the Angelfish is keeping inadequate tank conditions. When the tank becomes too small for several Angelfish, they become aggressive towards one another.

Angelfish grow aggressive when they do not have the amenities and facilities in their tank. You should maintain adequate tank conditions for your Angelfish.

Why Is My Angelfish Attacking Other Fish?

Angelfish typically will not attach another fish for no reason, they will usually attack other fish if they are pairing up, mating, spawning, guarding eggs or during feeding time if they are feeling very hungry.

When they show agression it will typically only last a short time.  If the agression is lasting for long periods you might need to take action.

If the angelfish is mating or laying eggs they do not want other fish hanging around, If this is happening you might consider seperating some fish in to another tank tempary.

If an angelfish is showing agression during feeding then this is usually a sign the angelfish has an insufficent diet.  Make sure you are feeding the angelfish twice a day and feed them a balanced diet such as fish flakes.

Why Are My Angel Fish Attacking Each Other?

Angelfish will typically nip each other now and then, its their way of saying hello. But if they are attacking each other constantly this is usually a sign they are pairing up, mating, or trying to establish a peeking order.

When angelfish pair up the male fish will typically chase the female and nip her, the nip will not hurt and can be mistaken for one angelfish attacking another.

If the angelfish has just laid eggs both the mum and dad will guard the eggs, at this time stress and agression levels typically run high so its only natural that one angelfish might attack another, especially if the angelfish is not the mum or dad.

Sometimes when you add a new angelfish in to an existing tank the angelfish might attack the new angelfish, the reason for this is because they are trying to work out who is boss.

Water Conditions for Angelfish

To keep your Angelfish healthy and active and reduce the risk of them showing agression you have to maintain the right water conditions. Knowing that water is one crucial factor for fish survival, which Angelfishes are not exempted from, you shouldn’t deprive them of good quality ones.

There are some factors to consider when supplying your goldfish with water. These factors include:

  • pH : The pH of water defines the acidity or basicity of the water. You should be aware of the ideal pH value of the water that suits your Angelfish. You should also know that exceeding this value can affect the health of your Angelfish. The pH of the water supplied to your Angelfish’s tank should be between 6.8 and 7.8. This value should not be exceeded to keep your Angelfish healthy.
  • Temperature : Due to their natural environment, Angelfishes like to stay in cold water. You should avoid making your Angelfish water cold or warm; the water should be cool. The temperature of the water should be 78°F to 84°F. Exceeding this temperature might pose hazards to your Angelfish life. You should, therefore, maintain the temperature.
  • Hardness : The hardness of the water should be around 30dKH and 80dKH. Angelfish are not picky when it comes to hardness, but you should maintain this hardness value.

You should always change their water regularly. Frequently changing and filtering the water will also be the right approach.

Tank Conditions For Angelfish

There aren’t many tank conditions to keep for Angelfishes. You should always know that Angelfish do not like confined spaces. They love their tank to be big and spacious.

They grow a bit large, and in their adult stage, they might require a tank as large as 55 gallons. Aside from the size of the container, they also like to have some facilities and amenities in their aquarium. You can add several decorations to suit their taste.


Angelfish are generally not aggressive. They only show little traits of aggressiveness when they feel some irritation.

It would be best if you kept your Angelfish from being aggressive by meeting their needs and demands. It would be best if you also fed them regularly as inadequate feeding constitutes the factors that get them in their offensive state.



Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.

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