Guppies and Angelfish

Can angelfish and guppies live together?

Keeping guppies and angelfish together is like eating an entire pizza in 1 sitting: 

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

If this is your first tank- it would be a bad idea. Angelfish belong to a fish family known for its territorial behavior. They require different water than guppies and the only way for you to avoid predation is by using a pretty big tank.

But if you have a bit of experience under your belt and want to know the exact details- read on. 

Guppies VS Angelfish

Guppy Fish Picture

Guppies belong to the Poeciliidae family- known for it’s peaceful nature.

  •  Males: 1-2 inches;
  • Females: 1.5-3 inches

Guppies will require a water temperature of 78-82°F and pH between 7.0-8.5

Omnivorous; will eat flakes, pellets, live food, and algae

Guppies are live bearers and reproduce quickly


Angelfish are part of the Cichlidae family, which is semi-aggressive.

  • Males: 4-6 inches; 
  • Females: 5-7 inches

Angelfish require a water temperature of 78-82°F but pH of 6.5-7.5

 Omnivorous; will eat flakes, pellets, live food, and algae

Angelfish lay eggs and are known to be more aggressive

Why You Shouldn't Put Angelfish And Guppies Together

I’m going to assume that you are the beginner or first fish keeper here. If you have a little bit of experience under your belt then you may be able to pull it off, but honestly, there’s a better way to stock a 120 gallon tank. 

Let’s get started. 

Angelfish are messier than guppies

Angelfish produce more waste than guppies because they are larger fish and they have a higher metabolism. This means that they eat more food and they produce more waste products, such as ammonia and nitrogen.

Live food, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms, is high in protein. 

When fish eat a lot of protein, they produce more waste. Guppies typically eat more plant matter than angelfish, which produces less waste.

Angelfish are territorial and aggressive

Angelfish are territorial fish, especially during breeding season. They will defend their territory from other angelfish, as well as from other fish species. Angelfish may also become territorial towards objects in their tank, such as plants and decorations.

Territorial behavior in angelfish can manifest itself in a number of ways, including:

  • Chasing: Angelfish may chase other fish out of their territory.
  • Nipping: Angelfish may nip at the fins or other parts of other fish.
  • Boxing: Angelfish may ram or headbutt other fish.
  • Mouth fighting: Angelfish may bite at each other’s mouths.

In severe cases, territorial behavior can lead to injury or even death.

Angelfish need a big tank and live forever

Since angelfish are true schooling fish they need to live in groups of at least 4 or more. For every fish, you’d need to plan for another 10 gallons of water. 

Because of their territorial nature, you’d want to provide many hiding spots and a lot of extra space. When you add all of that together, you’d get to a pretty big tank. A big tank setup will cost thousands and will be a lot more stressful as angelfish are more prone to disease. 

Angelfish are also known to live around 10 years, which makes keeping them a pretty serious commitment. 

Angelfish are more prone to disease

Let’s face it, would you prefer to get back home from a long and enjoy your tank, or would you like to anxiously check out each and every fish in your tank while you blame yourself for providing bad care?

Angelfish are more sensitive compared to guppies, which makes them a little trickier to care for when you are just getting started. 

While the same reasons apply, like getting stressed or catching a guppy disease, it is still easier for them to catch them. 

Guppy And Angelfish Breeding

You can’t crossbreed guppies and angelfish. The main reason is that they reproduce in different ways. 

Guppies are livebearers, meaning that the female fish gives birth to live young. The gestation period for guppies is about 21-30 days, and the female can give birth to anywhere from 20 to 100 fry at a time. Guppy fry are very small and vulnerable, and they need to be protected from predators.

Angelfish are egg-layers. The female angelfish will lay her eggs on a flat surface, such as a rock or a plant leaf. The male angelfish will then fertilize the eggs. The eggs will hatch in about 3-5 days, and the fry will be free-swimming. Angelfish fry are larger and more robust than guppy fry, but they are still vulnerable to predators.

Differences between guppy and angelfish breeding:

  • Livebearers vs. egg-layers: Guppies are livebearers, while angelfish are egg-layers. This means that the female guppy gives birth to live young, while the female angelfish lays eggs.
  • Gestation period: The gestation period for guppies is about 21-30 days, while the gestation period for angelfish is about 5-6 days.
  • Fry size and vulnerability: Guppy fry are very small and vulnerable, while angelfish fry are larger and more robust.
  • Parental care: Guppies exhibit very little parental care, while angelfish fry are guarded by their parents for several weeks.

I'm Still Keeping Guppies And Angelfish

How can I make the pair successful?

Here’s what you can do to make guppies and angelfish successful under one roof (or, more like tank lid):

Choose the right tank

The tank should be at least 55 gallons in size. In the ideal world, I would go even bigger and start with a small amount of fish (more on that later).

This will give the fish enough room to swim and explore, and it will also help to reduce aggression.

Provide plenty of hiding places

Guppies and angelfish both need plenty of hiding places. This will help to reduce stress and aggression. Hiding places can include plants, driftwood, and rocks. Otherwise, you can get whatever tank decoration (like castles) you’d like.

Pro Tip: angelfish are top dwellers and prefer the top area of the tank. Build your guppy hiding spots near the bottom where angelfish can’t get to them. 

You can read about making guppies and shrimp tankmates to see an example of it.

Maintain good water quality

Good water quality is essential for the health of all fish- but you want to prioritize the angelfish. The Guppies will adapt. Perform regular water changes and use a good filtration system. The water temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.

Feed the fish a varied diet

Guppies and angelfish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Feed them a varied diet that includes flakes, pellets, live food, and frozen food.

Another Pro Tip: prevent aggression by making sure your fish are well-fed. I would start by feeding the angelfish on one side of the tank and then feed the guppies in the other to prevent competition. 

Monitor the fish closely for signs of aggression

If you notice any aggression between the fish, it is important to take steps to separate them. You may need to add more hiding places to the tank, or you may need to separate the fish using a divider.


Will guppies eat angelfish fry?

s, guppies will eat angelfish fry. Guppies are omnivores, and they will eat any small food that fits in their mouths. Angelfish fry are small and vulnerable, and they are easy prey for guppies.

Will angelfish kill guppies?

Yes, angelfish can kill guppies. Angelfish are larger and more predatory fish than guppies, and they may eat guppies, especially if the guppies are small. Angelfish may also kill guppies if they are stressed or if the tank is overcrowded.


Guppies and angelfish do not make the best tankmates. Angelfish are known to be more aggressive, territorial, and overall harder to maintain than guppies.

For a first-time fish keeper, you’ll most likely struggle with angelfish because they are more prone to disease, require more attention to water quality and demand a bigger tank to get started.

Now that you have all that in your brain- what is your next step?

Are you planning on a tank, or are you looking for an addition?

Let me know in the comments!

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