Are Danios And Angelfish Compatible Tank Mates?


Opposites attract, as they say, and there’s nothing more opposite in personality and size than Angelfish and Danios. One is larger and swims slowly and languidly while the other is small and extremely lively. Are Danios and Angelfish compatible tank mates?

Yes, Danios and Angelfish can be great tank mates if:

  1. the Danios are in a complete school;
  2. there is a big enough tank;
  3. the Danios are not small enough to fit the Angelfish’s mouths.

Let’s discuss these one by one.

Condition #1: The Danios Should Be In A Complete School

Danios are schooling fish and would exhibit aggressive behavior if the numbers are too few. We recommend at least 6 Danios to balance each other’s high energy out. More would be better.

If you notice constant fin nipping between a few Danios even if they’ve established their hierarchy already, then it’s a sign that there aren’t enough of them.

Most fish keepers aren’t happy with just 6, though. And it’s true that a group of 10 to 14 Danios look great darting around in the tank. It would contrast nicely with a couple of Angelfish.

Condition #2: Your Tank Should Be Big Enough

One thing these two species of fish have in common is that they need a lot of tank space. Angelfish can grow as big as 12 inches from end to end and that would mean your 20 gallon just won’t do. Plus, Danios really like to swim around and will get nippy in an overcrowded tank.

Danios And Angelfish Compatible Tank Mates?
Are Danios And Angelfish Compatible Tank Mates?

So for a combination of say, 10 Danios and 2 Angelfish, get at least a 75-gallon tank. Bigger would be better.

The aquarium you choose should have some height to accommodate how Angelfish swim. But it shouldn’t be too narrow that your Danios won’t have space to zip through.

Condition #3: Your Danios Shouldn’t Be Too Small

One of the general rules in taking care of cichlids is that anything that can fit their mouths is fair game. If your Angels are on the bigger side, make sure you don’t put really small Danios with them, including juveniles.

For example, the Celestial Pearl Danios is the smallest Danios variety at a mature size of 1 inch at the most. It’s this trait that may make it dangerous to keep them with Angelfish as they may get eaten.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Giant Danios which can grow up to roughly 5 inches in size. Remember these are schooling fish and therefore should be in a group of about 6 Danios. If you’re keeping these with a couple of Angelfish, your tank size should even be bigger than 75 gallons. Try a 90-gallon instead.

Our recommended types of Danios for your Angelfish are Zebra Danios and the regular Pearl Danios which are just about the right size.

Even the Giant Danios are very active swimmers.

If you are interested in learning more about your fish behavior, check out the links below:

Optimal Water Conditions (Chemistry) For Danios And Angelfish

Some people argue that these two kinds of fish shouldn’t be together because Angelfish like warmer temperatures while Danios want it a little cooler. But remember that both of these fish are from tropical waters and very hardy. A little compromise within their range is completely fine.

Along with temperature, here are the optimal conditions to keep both Angelfish and Danios in a tank.

ConditionsLevel
Temperature78 deg F
Water flowSoft
Water hardness17-19 dGH
pH7.5
Aquarium size75 gallons at least and tall
Dietomnivorous

It would be a smart move to purchase the fish where the parameters are similar to what you already have. Your fish would have less problems adjusting to each other this way.

What if my Danios start nipping on my Angelfish?

Angelfish have long delicate fins and it would be a shame to if they get nipped and hurt.

If you’ve satisfied all requirements listed above and still have nippy Danios, try adding more Danios so they can turn their attention on each other and not your Angels. You can also try increasing the tank size if your budget allows.

Another option would be to add in some live plants if you don’t have them already. Live plants give both species a place to hide and rest, and they provide algae as a snack for both as well.

Angelfish in Danio Tank
Angelfish in Danio Tank

If there’s fighting, try observing if there’s just one bully in there. There are always exceptions to the rule as every fish has its own personality. Give the unruly Danio a time out and re-introduce him a few days later. If the situation doesn’t improve after a couple of tries, you’ll have to rehome the bully or return it to the pet store where you got it.

Tip: It would solve a lot of problems and potential issues if these fish were raised together from juveniles. Baby Angelfish wouldn’t treat Danios as food and would be used to them sharing space as they get older.

How To Feed Danios And Angelfish?

The Danios may be smaller, but they’re zippity fast. And this can be a problem during feeding time.

One common situation when Angelfish and Danios are in the same tank is that the Danios snatch the food before the Angels can feed. This can get frustrating.

Solution #1: One thing you can do is feed them in separate corners. Lure the Danios into one corner and drop their food there. Then drop food for the Angels where they’re nearest.

Solution #2: Another way would be to feed the Angelfish sinking food. Danios prefer to eat at the top and middle of the water column, but the Angelfish won’t mind feeding at the bottom.

Solution #3: There’s also a period in the morning when the Danios are still “asleep” while the lights are still off. If your Angelfish are already active, feed them during that time and the Danios won’t bother them.

Just remember when to stop dropping food because overfeeding compromises the quality of your water.

Will Danios Eat Angelfish Eggs?

Yes, most likely they would. Danios even eat their own eggs, so there’s a danger there.

If you’re breeding your Angelfish, monitor them closely so you can take out the eggs once they’re fertilized. Otherwise, leaving them in the community tank would be a natural form of population control if you don’t want the babies.

For Angelfish breeding, check out our post “The Complete Guide to Angelfish Fry Feeding and Care”.

Danios in angelfish tank
Danios and angelfish compatibility in the tank.

Can Glofish Danios Be Kept With Angelfish?

The GloFish Danio is the glow-in-the-dark version of the Zebra Danio. These fish behave the same, grow the same, and are the same. It’s just the color that’s different.

Yes, Angelfish and GloFish Danios can live together. In fact, it might be one big pretty sight to have them in the same tank.

If you’ll be keeping GloFish Danios, you will have blue light. But remember that actinic light is not moonlight and should be turned off at night. This will help both your GloFish Danios and your Angelfish get some rest.

Final Thoughts:

Opposites do attract, or in this case, opposites look attractive. With the contrast in behavior, size, and personality, Angelfish and Danios would look great in your tank. It’s just a matter of providing what they need.

Happy fishkeeping!

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