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7 Of The Best Dither Fish For Angelfish!

Using dither fish to help calm a stressed or aggressive fish in an aquarium tank is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people start to work out how cheap, easy, and effective dither fish can actually be.

Due to this, there have been a number of people reaching out with various questions about choosing dither fish for their tank recently as they can be a very effective way to calm an aggressive fish or help a shy fish feel calm in the tank.

For todays article, we are going to be taking a look at what we feel are the best dither fish for angel fish on the market right now.

Angelfish are more popular than ever and a large number of people have chosen to keep them in their tank but due to being cichlids, angelfish can be aggressive.

Some types of angelfish can also be skittish and easy to scare so a schooling dither fish can also help with this too.

Now, the type of angelfish, the size of you tank, and the other fish in the tank will all come into play when you decide what dither fish you want to add but our duggestions below should offer something for everyone.

Dither Fish For Angelfish

Here is our short list for the best dither fish for angelfish currently available and we will cover each of them in more detail below:-

  • Tiger Barbs
  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • Rasboras
  • Pencilfish
  • Corydoras
  • Livebearers

Some people do add more than one of the dither fish species listed about in their angelfish tank and although it can work, you have to avoid accidentally overstocking your tank.

One problem with using livebearers as dither fish is that if you don’t just stick with something like male only guppies then they can rapidly breed and cause issues with your tank being overstocked so keep that in mind.

Tiger Barbs

We really do love tiger barbs as a dither fish option no matter the species of fish you are trying to use them with.

They are our default recommended species for a dither fish in almost all cases and they can serve your angelfish well and many people use tiger barbs in their angelfish tank with great success.

Just keep in mind that tiger barbs do usually need four or five of them to be added to a tank to be happy so make sure you have the space available in your tank prior to ordering your tiger barbs if possible.


Tetras are another very popular dither fish option for angelfish but they may cause problems with the smaller, skittish types of angelfish due to their rapid schooling and random direction changes potentially stressing your angelfish.

If you are looking for a dither fish to calm aggression in your angelfish then tetras can work very well.

There are a number of different types of tetras that you are able to use with your angelfish allowing you to have some options for color and size of your dither fish but if you do just want a cheap option, then neon tetras work very well.

Tetras are a schooling fish so you will usually need at least six of them in your tank and we usually recommend that you don’t add multiple types of tetras in the same tank although it can work in some setups.

For example, stick to just neon tetras rather than adding neon tetras and ember tetras to your angelfish tank.


Danios are one of the more active dither fish on our list but they are a good option to consider, especially if you have a larger angelfish tank.

Zebra Danios and Leopard Danios work well as dither fish in an angelfish tank and can help bring some color and activity to your tank while still providing a good dither fish option for your angelfish.

As with other dither fish, we recommend that you have at least six of them in your tank but more is usually better if possible but the size of your aquarium tank will come into play for the upper limit of danios you can keep in your tank.


Rasboras are another schooling fish that works well as a dither fish option for angelfish and are a good community fish in general for many different tank setups.

There are many different types of rasboras that you can choose from and they come in a wide variety of colors making it easy to find something to compliment your angelfish tank.

Just like other schooling fish on our list, we recommend six or more rasboras in your tank but more is almost always better when it comes to dither fish and rasboras are no different.


Pencilfish are a good option for a dither fish but they can be a bit more difficult to find than some of the other options on our list so we wouldn’t recommend them for beginners.

They are a good choice if you are looking for a smaller dither fish option and come in a variety of colors to compliment your angelfish tank.

Pencilfish usually occupy the upper water level of your tank too so they are one of the better dither fish options if you are looking to breed your angelfish in the tank as it is less likely that your pencilfish will eat the eggs of the angelfish.


Corydoras are a decent option for a dither fish if you are only looking for something to help calm a stressed or anxious angelfish in your tank.

They are usually very peaceful and can help bring some much needed activity to the bottom of your tank while not causing any issues with even the skittish types of angelfish.

Corydoras are a very popular type of fish within the hobby and come in a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from allowing you to get some beautiful looking fish.


As we mentioned back at the start of the article, livebearers have the down side of breeding rapidly in your tank and although they can be excellent dither fish for your angelfish, they can quickly swell their numbers.

Thankfully, livebearers and your angelfish will eat many of the livebearer fry to reduce this population expansion but they can still quickly take over your tank.

Many local fish stores have male only or female only tanks for guppies, platies, and molllies allowing you to remove this downside though.

Due to their low price, most liverbeareres can offer a cheap, low maintenance, and very colorful dither fish option for your angelfish tank.