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Are these species okay together?


Registered Member
I am getting a 40 gallon freshwater tank and am trying to decide which species I can have together. Here is what I am thinking..
2 Angelfish
3 Gourami
3 German Ram Cichlids
2 BoesemanivRainbow

Now, I know I need to get something for algae eaters. What do you suggest. Shrimp are cool, are they okay and do I need something other than them? How many shrimp?

I think killifish are good too. Do I have room for a couple?

Also, do I need males? Can I do all female? Also, do I have to get all the same kind of gourami or can I get 1 powder blue, 1 neon blue and 1 flame? Same with cichlids.. can I get a ram, angel ram and a black convict?

Thank you for your advice!!


AC Members
Welcome to AC, Ayla! It kind of depends on the shape of your 40g tank, there are at least 3 I know of: a "long" 4ft x 1ft; a "breeder" 36 x 15?; & a "tall" 30 inch x 12 x 20? tall.

Angels & gouramis often don't get along, be very careful! Bosemanii rainbows are big fish..."maybe" in a long, but that's pushing it pretty hard; I'd vote no.

NO to convicts, they can be aggressive for their size...but less with just 1 of either sex...& not with the wimpier rams.

Rams can work with angels OR gouramis, they're more bottom-ish fish. But I have to say I find "angel rams" repulsive, sorry, I know they common these days...but any "balloon " fish is doom to a shortened life & many problems. There just isn't enough room in a "short body" for normal "innards"; both digestive & reproductive. The long fins can be fine in many species...I'm just not a fan :rolleyes:


AC Members
Hi! I would be very careful with your stock list.

Angels are very fickle creatures. You want to have either a male and female or two females. Even then you may get fighting. Best bet is to get a group and rehome when a pair forms. Or just go with a single angel. Theyre also incredibly hard to sex so it makes it difficult to pick just 2.

Gouramies and angels are hit or miss. Depends on the temperment of the fish. I have a dwarf gouramie in my 55g with a single angel and dont have any issues, knock on wood. Having said that, I would not put multiple gouramies nor would I mix multiple gouramies with angels.

Same thing again with the ram. Get a single or get a male and female. Three is just going to lead to fighting.

Rainbows need to be kept in schools (preferably 6+) and require a 48" long tank. Do you have a 40g breeder or 40g long?

You do not buy creatures to eat algae. You buy creatures because you want to keep them. There is many ways to control algae that dont require a creature. Shrimp are fun but I wouldnt mix them with angels , rams and gouramies. Larger shrimp like amanos might do ok. Again though, only purchase if you want them. You will need to supplement diet as well.

Convicts are aggressive and should not be mixed in a community tank. I wouldnt mix angel rams and blue rams but thats me. Depending whether you decide on angels or gouramies, you should be ok to mix different dwarf gouramies.

Do some research on cichlids, gouramies and territories, angels and territories and cycling. Hope that helps a bit :)


Registered Member
Thank you both! I am just learning. I actually haven’t purchased a tank. I was looking at a 38 gallon bow front tank and read that some fish like longer tanks, so I thought I would go with a 40 long. Would the 38 be better? I like the look of it better.

I read a lot of fish thrive better when there are more of them? If I can do just 1 each, that’s great. I really want an angel fish, they are very pretty. I thought you had to have algae eaters, but if I don’t, that’s great! I might get a few large shrimp though, they are pretty neat!

So, if I get 1 angel fish, 1 dwarf gouramie and 2 Rams (1 male and 1 female). Will that be okay? What else can I put in there that will get along with all of these? Will killfish work? Give me some ideas. I have done a lot of research today, but have to do so much more! Thanks!!!


AC Members
Oh! If you don't have a tank yet that changes things a lot! You don't "need" more than 1 of some species...but do of schooling/shoaling species. Angel, rams or gouramis can be kept singularly if you want...but they may not get along with each other, it's a crap shoot many times.

You need to decide what fish you really, really want & plan around it/them to make a workable tank. It can be done, but maybe not all the way you hope for.

My favorite size tank is a 75g, 4ft x 18 inch X 20 in. tall. That will give you lots of options! But still not all your choices...It's good you're planning yet...

I'm just going to suggest this because I'm a bottom feeder nut...have you looked at small loaches or catfish? They'd both/either need a group of at least 6 (mostly) but are very entertaining!! OK, I'm off my soapbox...for now, lol. Just another aspect to consider...but a fun 1, ha!


Registered Member
Ok. I can possibly be okay with 1 angelfish, 1 gourami and 1 ram?

If I don’t get an angel, can I put gourami and ram together? If This is possible, how many of each are okay together?


AC Members
It's more angels & gouramis that may well fight; rams are mostly lower/bottom fish & out of the others' way, like I said. A true M & F pair of rams would likely be fine with 1 or the other. Breeding behavior is fun to watch...if you don't have very high hopes of raising fry in a community tank. A fry or 2 "may" survive but it's iffy at best.

Fry rearing is a major ordeal even in a separate tank, save that effort for a later time if you want to try it. It's a lot of work but can be rewarding! Work up to that after your first tank successes.

Another way to keep angels is to get 5 or 6 quite small 1s & let them choose. You'll have to rehome probably 4 if you can identify a true pair. They may not be your favorites but compatibility is all with them, rams too to a bit of a lesser extent. With rams, males mature later than females. A half inch female may beat the crap out of of an inch long "junior' male until he figures out what to do. Kind of like people in some ways, lol.

Instead of big rainbows, how about some deeper bodied tetras? Red phantoms but NOT the similarly colored serape tetras. Lemons, diamond or pristellas maybe...it depends on your tank size & dimensions too.


AC Members
Personally i find it an ok mix. But as many have pointed out angels and gaurami get pretty big. I would do 2 angels smaller and Maybe 1 gaurami. But to matxh the full grown size of the angel i would avoid dwarf gaurami.
Also note u will want to think about eithwr relocating them when they out grow the tank or perhaps use them to go bigger!.
My angel is near 4 year old and close to 7" tip to tip. Currently in a discus tank. 7 discus 4-5", 1 angel 7" 1 clown louch 4" and a few corys to clean up the messy eating habits of the discus.
I had with that big angel a emperor gaurami!! Nearly 7" when I moved him to my clients 125.
They can co-exist for sure. Angels are fairly easy fish to manage. And as long as they are all introduced at the same time.. I would see no major issues tempermant wise. Just pick the fish for the size as well. Try and keep them all close to the same size and feed them a right away when u put them in the tank. Insure there is no competition for food. Also consider a few plants for hiding places. Tall plants!!.

Good luck!! And have fun!!
Edit.. P.s. 1 inch per gallon is the common rule of thumb. Consider full sized fish unless u plan to rehouse them!.
Edit2. P.s.s.. Adding bubblers to the tank as well as a smaller powerhead or wavemaker will help increase the payload for the tank as well.


this is bat country
I just wanted to jump in here to add that 1" per gallon is NOT a good rule to go by. Size is one factor, but temperament, area of the tank (upper or lower in the water column) along with many other factors play a huge part in species selection.

Do a ton of research before buying to save your self a bunch of heartache later on. I say that from experience. You're off to a good start with this already.


AC Members
We all have our experiences... Saying to me the angels and guramies dont mix is like saying chocolate and peanut butter dont mix..
Perhaps through my years of aquascaping and tank building i have become numb to some of the common "known".
I came here looking for some answers and share my experiences. The possibilities are endless folks. Dont be affraid to step outside the box. Learn new amd forget old. Make it your own hobby, what u want it to be. Not wjat others have had success with. In a growing community and such passion taking experiences from as many people as possible is THE BEST way to go.
I love my fish. I love this hobby. Currently running 6 tanks. 2 salt 3 fresh and a qt.
I am not sure this forum is the right place for me.

Best of luck!!