Can Cichlids Live With Angelfish? [A List Of Cichlids That Can]

Image of a cichlid in a tank

Cichlids and freshwater angelfish belong to the family Cichlidae. But can cichlids live with angelfish?

Cichlids can’t live with angelfish as most cichlids are aggressive. Cichlids are fast swimmers that bully the docile, peaceful, slow-moving angelfish. However, some South American cichlids like blue acara, rams, keyhole, and rainbow are compatible with angelfish and need similar water parameters.

Let’s now take a deeper look at why cichlids and angelfish can’t live together.

4 Main Reasons Why Cichlids And Angelfish Can’t Live Together

Cichlids are aggressive fish that compete with each other and other fish in the tank. On the contrary, angelfish are primarily peaceful and tolerant. So it’s challenging to keep them together.

Given below are the four main reasons why cichlids and angelfish can’t live together.

1. Opposite Behavior

Cichlids aggressively compete for territory and food with other tankmates. In contrast, angelfish are primarily peaceful and find dealing with cichlids’ aggression challenging.

Angelfish will get chased and attacked by the aggressive cichlids. Although angelfish are aggressive during mating and spawning, they are relatively calm and tolerant toward other species.

Cichlids’ constant aggression, chasing, and bullying can be stressful for the angelfish. As a result, it can weaken the immune system of the angelfish, thereby increasing the risk of diseases that can be fatal.

2. Water Parameters

Angelfish can handle variations in the water parameters, but they prefer slightly warmer water temperature between 78°F to 85°F (25.5°C to 30°C), with pH between 6.8 to 7.8, and hardness between 3°dH to 8°dH.

Similarly, African cichlids need warm water in the range of 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 30°C), with pH level between 7.8 to 8.5 and hardness between 9°dH to 18°dH.

Angelfish prefer soft or acidic water in contrast to the hard and alkaline water preferred by African cichlids. So keeping them together can stress the angelfish and affect their health.

Recommended Further Reading: Cichlid Care And Interesting Facts | Are Cichlids Aggressive? | Why Do Cichlids Shake? | Do Cichlids Have Teeth?

3. Swimming Capability

Most cichlids are aggressive and fast swimmers. On the contrary, angelfish are slow swimmers and can easily get chased and bullied by the fast swimming cichlids.

The fast swimmers compete for food and leave very little to nothing for the slow simmers, making them starve for food. This can make it very difficult for angelfish to survive without food.

So it’s best to keep angelfish with slow swimmers so that they get their share of food easily.

4. Size & Temperament

A fish’s temperament usually depends on its size. Large cichlids are highly aggressive in behavior, and small-sized cichlids are mostly peaceful.

While angelfish are cichlids and have some aggression, they fall in the lower spectrum of aggression compared to the large or same-sized cichlids.

So keeping angelfish with large cichlids is dangerous for the angelfish as they can get bullied and stressed. However, keeping angelfish with the smaller cichlids that can fit in their mouth is equally dangerous for the cichlids.

Are Angelfish A Type Of Cichlid?

Angelfish swimming alone

Angelfish is a freshwater fish belonging to the Cichlid family. It has a similar structure to other cichlids but is remarkably different in behavior and habitat requirements.

Angelfish are hardy than most cichlid species and can survive in difficult conditions, unlike other cichlids that need good care. Some angelfish have plain color, while others have stripes.

Like cichlids, angelfish also have laterally compressed bodies and small mouths. However, while cichlids are naturally aggressive, angelfish are mostly peaceful.

Although angelfish are generally peaceful, they can get aggressive toward each other when trying to pair up and spawn. Also, they won’t hesitate to eat small fish that fit in their mouth.

What Types Of Cichlids Can Live With Angelfish?

The vast majority of cichlids are aggressive for the angelfish. However, a few cichlids species are compatible with angelfish.

Given below are cichlid species that can live with angelfish.

1. Blue Acara

The blue acara stands out among other aquarium fish because of its unique and unconventional color patterns as well as its unusual shade combination.

They are non-aggressive, tolerant, and peaceful fish. The blue acara is compatible with most fish and will get along well with angelfish. 

However, they are a bit aggressive during the breeding season.

You will also need to provide cover with plenty of bush, plants, and rocks in the tank for the blue acara to hide and rest.

2. Bolivian Ram Cichlids

Bolivian ram cichlids are peaceful, non-aggressive fish and real hardy.

They are easy to care for and an excellent option for beginners. They are also tolerant and can cohabitate with angelfish.

However, the Bolivian ram cichlids need hiding places in the aquarium. So you must add plenty of aquatic plants in the aquarium to provide the required cover for the rams.

Related Further Reading: Can Goldfish Live With Cichlids? | Do Cichlids Sleep? | Do Cichlids Eat Tropical Fish Food?

3. German Blue Ram Cichlids

German blue ram cichlids are beautiful and popular freshwater cichlids. They are reasonably calm and live well with non-aggressive tankmates.

These fish are known to be pleasant and friendly. As a result, they make excellent tankmates for angelfish.

However, select a decent tank size with proper filtration as rams need fresh and clean water.

4. Keyhole Cichlids

Keyhole cichlids are among the most peaceful cichlids and a popular choice among cichlid keepers. They are also good tankmates for angelfish as they are unlikely to nip at the long fins of angelfish.

Their peaceful nature and tolerant behavior toward other species make them ideal tankmates for angelfish.

They are also great for community tanks. However, keyhole cichlids are difficult to find.

5. Rainbow Cichlids

Rainbow cichlids are non-aggressive fish. They are perfect for community tanks and compatible with angelfish.

Rainbow cichlids are also easy to care for and adapt well to any new environment. However, they should be kept in clean conditions with ideal water parameters to thrive.

Besides the fish mentioned above, you can also keep angelfish with dwarf and parrot cichlids.

Can Peacock Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Peacock cichlids and angelfish can’t live together because both need different water conditions. Besides, most peacock cichlids will bully the angelfish as they are slower swimmers.

Can Convict Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Convict cichlids and angelfish can’t live together. Convict cichlids are aggressive and fast compared to the slow and peaceful angelfish. They will also attack and nip the fins of angelfish.

Can Firemouth Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Firemouth cichlids and angelfish can’t live together. Although firemouth cichlids are ideal for community tanks, they are fast and easily bully the slow-moving angelfish.

Can Ram Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Yes, ram cichlids and angelfish can live together in the same tank. Both ram cichlids and angelfish are peaceful, non-aggressive, and tolerant toward other species. So they can live in harmony.

Can Jewel Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Jewel cichlids and angelfish can’t live together. Jewel cichlids are aggressive, dominating, and will bully the angelfish. They can also hurt the angelfish to establish dominance.

Can Malawi Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Malawi cichlids and angelfish can’t live together as they need different water conditions. Malawi cichlids will also bully and nip the angelfish’s long fins. So it’s best not to keep them together.

Can Parrot Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Yes, parrot cichlids and angelfish can live together. Both these fish need similar water parameters and devour brine shrimp and bloodworms. So they can cohabitate provided they have a lot of space to live.

Can Dwarf Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Yes, dwarf cichlids can live with angelfish. Dwarf cichlids are bottom dwellers, non-aggressive, and slow movers, making them suitable for angelfish. Both these fish are also tolerant of other species.

Interesting Further Reading: Do African Cichlids Need Salt? | Can Cichlids And Other Fish Live Together? | Can Cichlids Eat Bloodworms?

Can Electric Yellow Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Electric yellow cichlids can’t live with angelfish as they are too aggressive. They also need different water parameters to thrive.

Can South American Cichlids Live With Angelfish?

Not all South American cichlids can live with angelfish. However, there are some like blue acara, ram, keyhole, Bolivian ram, and rainbow cichlids that are compatible with angelfish.