Are Angelfish Cichlids: Traits, Characteristics, and Aggressiveness

If you’re looking for a fish that is both beautiful and easy to keep, you should consider getting an angelfish. These small fish are perfect for beginners, making great pets. They are beautiful to look at, but they are also very friendly and easy to care for.

Angelfish are a type of cichlid, also a species under the cichlid family. In addition, some of them can be found in the wild, which means that they are available for sale.

Angelfish Characteristics From the Cichlid Family

Physical Characteristics

Angelfish and cichlids have the same physical characteristics, including a long pointed snout that helps them grab prey from the water’s surface, 19 to 23 eyespots on angelfish scales that help it blend in with its surroundings, and a diet of tiny aquatic creatures such as invertebrates and algae.


Yes, angelfish and cichlids are territorial fish. This means they will fiercely defend their territory against other fish in the same tank or other tanks. In addition, both species have been known to live in small cave-like spaces and rarely interact with their tank mates.

Intelligence Level

The intelligence level of angelfish varies from lower than average to the same as cats, dogs, dolphins, and pigs. So you can use this characteristic if it suits your fancy! Some researchers suggest it is suitable for schools or dormitories where an individual fish needs social responsibility. It may also be a good choice for beginner aquarists.

Activity Level

This is a tricky question to answer as the activity level of angelfish and cichlids can depend on many factors, including environmental conditions, tankmates, and feedings. However, both fish species generally exhibit higher activity levels during daytime hours compared to nighttime hours.

Mating Behavior

Male angelfish and cichlids will court female fish by swimming close to them, nipping at their fins, and rubbing their scales against the females. Once the courtship has been successful, the male will carry out a display in which he flips around wildly while emitting high-pitched noises. The show may last for up to 10 minutes.

Feeding Behavior

Angelfish and cichlids are omnivorous fish, which means that they eat a wide variety of foods, including plant matter, meat, and plankton. However, the angelfish diet is usually more varied than that of cichlids.

Are Angelfish Aggressive?

Angelfish are generally peaceful and easy to care for, but they have some quirks that you should be aware of. For example, angelfish may become territorial if they feel threatened or another fish invade their territory. They may also react aggressively if their feedings are interrupted, or they sense danger.

Can Angelfish Kill Each Other?

It’s entirely possible that an angelfish could kill another fish in a tank, but this is usually only a problem if the other fish is not compatible with an angelfish’s feeding and tank lifestyle. Generally speaking, most cichlids and angelfish can get along well in a tank, given enough space to swim and plenty of food.

Can Two Female Angelfish Fight?

Yes, two female angelfish can sometimes fight in a tank. This is usually due to territoriality or competition for food. So if you have multiple females in your tank, it’s best to keep them separated until they have had time to adjust to one another.

How to Reduce Aggression in Angelfish?

If you have an angelfish exhibiting aggressive behavior, it’s essential to try and understand why the fish is acting this way. Once you know what triggers the aggression, you can start to take steps to reduce or eliminate those things from your aquarium environment. For example, if your angelfish gets territorial when its food dish is taken away, try moving it closer to the tank to have a better view.

Best Angelfish Tankmates

Angelfish and cichlids are usually peaceful fish, but you should be careful about choosing tankmates for these species. If your angelfish feels threatened or another fish invade its territory, it may become aggressive. Additionally, some angelfish can be territorial and react aggressively if their feedings are interrupted or if they sense danger. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the personality of each fish before bringing them home so that you can create a safe and compatible tank environment.

Boesemani Rainbow Fish

Some angelfish prefer to live with other fish species, such as the Boesemani Rainbow Fish. This fish is peaceful and easy to care for, so it may be a good choice if you’re looking for an aquarium companion for your angelfish.

Corydoras Catfish

The Corydoras catfish is another fish that can be a good tankmate for angelfish. These fish are usually calm and peaceful, so they should not stop aggression towards your angelfish. If you experience aggressive behavior from your angelfish, try removing the other fish from the aquarium and housing them separately for a while.

Dwarf Gourami

The dwarf Gourami is another fish that can be a good tankmate for an angelfish. These fish are usually easy to care for and do not get aggressive quickly. If you choose to house your angelfish with a dwarf Gourami, make sure that their tanks have similar water parameters so they can peacefully coexist.

Zebra Loaches

The zebra loaches can also make a great choice as an angelfish tankmate. These fish are peaceful and easy to care for, so they should not threaten your angelfish territory. Likewise, the zebra loaches have a diet that includes crustaceans which may help to supplement your angelfish’s food intake.