Are Angelfish Schooling Fish? {Can You Keep Them Together?}

How many angelfish do you have in your tank? Are angelfish schooling fish?

What is the maximum number of angelfish you can have in your tank? Can angelfish live together in peace?

This article contains everything about angelfish schooling behavior and if they need to be kept in groups.

Are Angelfish Schooling Fish?

Angelfish are not schooling fish because they can live alone. They are generally social fish and love to stay in groups when kept in a tank or the same area.

You can keep a number of angelfish in the same tank, and they will be fine, but you need to ensure you do not overcrowd them.

Are Angelfish Territorial?

They can be territorial during feeding time or breeding seasons, where they will have to fight for food and mate. They often fight for space-defining who the boss is to themselves.

Angelfish will live together in groups but will tend to fight each other rather than cooperate.

Do Angelfish Fight?

Fighting usually occurs with males, while females tend to be more peaceful. Angelfish are less territorial than other fish in the tank; they major their attention on fellow angelfish.

  1. Smaller angelfish tend to hide from the larger ones that act as bullies.
  2. When keeping angelfish together, you shouldn’t have more than one male in the group.
  3. If you have more than one male, you should ensure there are excess females to balance it. If there are lesser females and more males in the group, there will be a problem.

The males will fight each other until one becomes the dominant male while others back off. It is not as easy as it sounds; it is always a brutal act. In the quest of becoming the dominant male, the angelfish can get injured or even die.

Angelfish Schooling Behavior

Angelfish are from the Cichlidae family, which makes them cichlids. Unlike other cichlids, angelfish are less aggressive and territorial, which means they can allow other angelfish in their tank in some cases.

They are territorial but very much less when compared to other cichlids. Angelfish are social fish and love to live in groups. You will see them live in groups of 3 to 4 in the tank, having their own territory.

Angelfish can display territorial behaviors during certain periods.

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What Schooling Fish Are Compatible with Angelfish?

Before adding tankmates to your angelfish tank, you need to know the ones that are compatible with your angelfish. Keeping incompatible tankmates with your angelfish can result in much trouble or even the death of either party.

Here are some compatible tank mates for your angelfish:

1. Corydoras catfish

Corydoras catfish are peaceful fish that love to live in groups. Like angelfish, they are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, making them easy to take care of. They can also take care of the tank cleaning as they will romp and scour the bottom of the tank for uneaten food.

2. Dwarf gouramis

Dwarf gouramis are also a suitable tank mate for your angelfish. They are easy to take care of and are very peaceful, but you have to make sure you do not have more than one male in the tank. If you have more than one male, they will fight until either or both of them get stressed and die.

3. Zebra loaches

Zebra loaches are schooling bottom feeder fish that will make a good tank mate for angelfish. They will thrive in the same water conditions as angelfish and do a great job keeping your décor and substrate clean. Zebra loaches are not aggressive and will live peacefully with angelfish in the same tank.

4. Praecox rainbow fish

These fish are peaceful schooling fish and will make compatible tank mates for angelfish. They are schooling fish, so you need to keep them in groups of five or more. They are hardy and very easy to take care of, making them suitable for your angelfish.

5. Platies

Platies are one of the few livebearers that will be a compatible tank mate for angelfish. They are very peaceful and won’t cause trouble for your angelfish.

Can Angelfish Live Alone?

Angelfish can live alone without any problem. They will live happily in a tank all by themselves even though they are social fish. Their social behavior causes them to love to stay in groups.

Although they will live happily alone in the tank, they will prefer to live in groups. You should keep your angelfish in groups of 4 to 5 or more. You have to make sure you do not overcrowd the tank.

How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank?

If you have a small tank of about 20 gallons, you will have to reduce the number of angelfish to about 3 to 4. Having too much angelfish in your tank can cause overcrowding in the tank. It will reduce the number of resources that get to each fish, hence the need for competition.

You also have to make sure you create a perfect balance between the males and females. Male angelfish are quite territorial and will fight over almost everything. You need to make sure there are not too many males in the tank.

You can have a male to 4 females in the tank. It means for every four females angelfish in the tank; you will have a male. It will reduce the level of aggression and territorial behaviors in the tank.

How Many Angelfish Should You Have in Your Tank?

The number of angelfish you have in your tank should depend on the size of your tank. If you have a large tank, it will accommodate more angelfish. Smaller tanks will accommodate a lesser number of angelfish.

If you want to keep more angelfish, you will need to get a larger tank. The bigger the tank, the larger the number of angelfish it can accommodate. Get a bigger tank for you to keep more angelfish in the tank.


Angelfish are not schooling fish. They are only social fish that love to stay in groups.

They can stay together with several compatible tank mates and live peacefully with them.


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John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.