People who keep angelfish in their fish tanks are generally thrilled with the experience. These fish are gorgeous and they can be a lot of fun to take care of.
Many people gravitate toward angelfish because they’re considered to be hardy. They are easier to take care of than many other fish that you might be interested in.
That being said, you do need to take care of the fish properly to keep them alive. If you don’t do things right, then you’re not going to be able to enjoy watching healthy angelfish swim around in your tank.
The information below will help you to have the best experience when caring for angelfish as a beginner. This angelfish care advice will teach you how to best take care of these fish so that you can keep them alive for as long as possible.
You’ll learn all about the basics of taking care of angelfish each day. There will also be some advanced information about potential problems that you might encounter.
Are Angelfish Hard to Take Care of?
Angelfish are considered to be some of the easiest fish to take care of overall. They’re very hardy and you don’t have to try incredibly hard to keep them healthy.
That being said, you can’t just ignore the fish and expect them to survive in your fish tank. As with all other fish, you’re going to have to put in some effort if you want to keep enjoying them in your aquarium.
They’re definitely among the easiest freshwater fish to take care of, though. The most common types of angelfish that people buy such as the koi fish are very simple to learn how to care for.
Of course, there are also different types of angelfish to consider. Some angelfish are going to be harder to take care of than others.
There are also saltwater angelfish that you can choose to purchase. Most people who buy angelfish from a pet store will be getting the more common and more readily available freshwater angelfish.
This article is mainly focused on caring for common freshwater angelfish. Saltwater tanks are harder to take care of than freshwater tanks as a general rule.
If you get used to caring for freshwater angelfish, then you might eventually become interested in doing a saltwater tank. For now, it’s time to focus on what you need to do to care for freshwater angelfish.
Angelfish Water Conditions
The most important thing to get right when caring for angelfish will be the water parameters. Whenever you’re caring for a fish, it’s going to be important to pay close attention to the recommended water parameters.
You have to keep an eye on things such as the temperature of the water as well as the pH balance. If you don’t monitor these things, then your fish are going to wind up getting sick and you could even kill them.
It’s best to regularly test the water to see how the pH balance looks. Generally, it’s recommended to keep the pH balance between 6.8 and 7.8 when caring for angelfish.
If the balance is a little bit high or a little bit low, then you can change things using special chemicals. It should be easy to keep the balance in the right range so long as you’re being proactive about monitoring the numbers.
You’re also going to want to know the temperature of the water at any given time. Angelfish don’t tolerate large fluctuations in water temperature very well.
It should be very easy to get a thermometer that you can place in the tank or on the side of the tank. These usually come with some type of display that allows you to glance at the thermometer to determine the temperature.
To get the best results, you should try to keep the angelfish tank between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The fish can tolerate temperatures that are slightly hotter and cooler than this, but this will be the best temperature range for the fish to thrive.
Keeping the Water Clean
Keeping the water clean is also going to be imperative. There are a few ways that you can go about doing this.
Of course, you’ll need to use a good filter that will help to eliminate debris and other things that shouldn’t be in the tank. Ensure that you buy a strong filter that is capable of filtering the water in the fish tank that you’ve chosen.
A larger fish tank will need a more powerful filter. You’ll need to seek out a filter that is specifically meant to work for the size of the fish tank that you’re putting the angelfish in.
You’ll also need to do weekly water changes to keep the water as clean as you can. If you don’t do this, then ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites will build up in the tank.
When ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites build up in a fish tank, it’s going to make it harder for the fish to breathe. It’ll make it so that there will be less oxygen in the tank overall, and you might notice your fish gasping for air if things get really bad.
Thankfully, you can keep problems such as this at bay by simply changing out 15% of the water on a weekly basis. Get in the habit of changing out the water each week and it won’t seem like a chore at all.
It should be said that you can also choose to do this on a bi-weekly basis. You’ll simply need to change out a larger percentage of the water bi-weekly.
Most enthusiasts would say that it’s easier to just change the water weekly. If you get into the habit of doing this as part of the maintenance routine, then it shouldn’t be bad at all.
Angelfish Water Hardness
Water hardness is something that you need to be aware of as well. The angelfish aren’t going to want to live in water that is too hard.
It can cause them to experience various health issues. Keeping an eye on the water hardness shouldn’t be too hard, but it is something that you must be cognizant of.
The water hardness should be between three and eight degrees dKH. This translates to a water hardness between 54 and 145 ppm.
Generally, you won’t have issues with water hardness so long as you’re treating your water. You shouldn’t be pouring tap water into your fish tank.
Water that goes into a fish tank needs to be treated with a special conditioner. Otherwise, you’re doing things wrong.
What pH Do Angelfish Like?
As mentioned earlier, the pH balance of the water is an important thing to get right. If you don’t pay attention to the pH balance of the water, then your angelfish will wind up dying.
Keep the pH balance between 6.8 and 7.8 to keep them as healthy as possible. Whenever the pH balance changes, you’ll want to try to ensure that things stay in the right range.
It should also be your goal to keep the pH balance as steady as you can. You don’t want the pH balance to wildly fluctuate.
As such, it might be best to shoot to keep the pH balance somewhere in the middle of the recommended range. For example, you should try to keep the balance at 7.3.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for Angelfish? (Freshwater and Saltwater)
The ideal temperature for angelfish will differ a bit depending on what type of angelfish you’re caring for. As mentioned above, the common freshwater angelfish will do great when put in water that has a temperature between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is true for koi angelfish, silver angelfish, zebra angelfish, and many other freshwater variations. You see, these are basically all the same type of fish.
The differences between these fish involve the way that they look. The coloration is different and some of the fish have different patterns, but these traits have all been bred into the fish.
There are actually different angelfish species, too. For instance, there are many saltwater angelfish such as flame angelfish and queen angelfish.
Flame angelfish like standard marine temperatures between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Queen angelfish also like this same temperature range.
Emperor angelfish should be able to do nicely in water temperatures that range between 72 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The most important thing to remember is that you should follow the recommended parameters based on the specific species that you’re caring for.
If you’re a beginner, then there’s a good chance that you’re caring for the standard freshwater angelfish. Just do your homework so that you know what to expect before you take the fish home with you.
Otherwise, you might do something wrong and wind up killing the fish. Improper water temperatures will stress a fish and cause it to experience significant health problems.
How to Feed Angelfish
Feeding angelfish will actually be quite simple overall. These fish eat special fish flakes that are formulated for angelfish.
You can also feed them things such as frozen shrimp, shrimp pellets, and even some types of live worms. It’s important not to overfeed the angelfish, though.
Give the angelfish enough food that they will be able to finish everything within two or three minutes. Adult angelfish need to be fed twice per day, but juvenile angelfish should be fed three times per day.
It’s generally easier to feed the fish on a schedule. Try to stick to feeding the fish around the same time each day so that you will get into a routine.
Watch Out for Stress
Stress can be very bad for your fish. Pretty much any fish that you take care of will do worse if it’s experiencing significant stress.
If you’re new to taking care of fish in your home, then you might not be aware of things that can cause fish to experience stress. For example, you might not have known that excessive noises can cause angelfish to feel stressed and scared.
Placing an angelfish tank in a busy room where there is a lot of noise might not be the best idea. This will keep the angelfish in a stressed and agitated state.
It’d be a lot better to find a good room where you can enjoy the fish in a quiet environment. Try to keep the fish tank away from your TV or stereo system to be on the safe side.
People tapping the glass of the fish tank can cause the fish to feel stressed, too. It’s a scary thing for the fish to experience, and you should try to tell children in your home not to do this.
Crowding the fish tank will be a bad thing for the angelfish, too. They want to have more than enough space to move around comfortably.
Why is stress so bad for angelfish? Well, it can make them more susceptible to diseases and infections.
Angelfish that are under stress will wind up having compromised immune systems. This makes them less capable of fighting off illnesses.
If your goal is to ensure that your fish thrive under your care, then you need to take the issue of stress seriously. Do what you can to protect your fish from becoming too stressed.
Pick the Right Fish Tank Size
Picking the right fish tank size is going to be imperative when caring for angelfish. You want them to have more than enough room to be able to swim around without feeling like they have to fight over territory.
You should know that angelfish are considered to be mildly aggressive. They will fight other fish and each other over territory.
If you try to place too many fish in a small fish tank, then you’re not going to have a good experience. You might wind up having significant issues with the fish fighting, and this can lead to injuries.
Generally, it’s said that one angelfish needs at least ten gallons of space. This means that a tank that houses two angelfish should be at least twenty gallons.
Truthfully, it’d be better to buy a larger tank than it would a smaller one. Angelfish will be happier when placed in tanks that are fairly large.
Two fish might be happier in a 29-gallon fish tank than they would in a 20-gallon fish tank. If the fish are unhappy or stressed, then you’ll likely be able to tell because they will look dull instead of being colorful and vibrant.
About Angelfish Aggression
You should also know that angelfish can be pretty aggressive. Specifically, male angelfish will fight each other when placed in the same tank.
If you wish to keep more than one male angelfish in a fish tank, then you should ensure that you have a larger tank. When two males are kept in a small fish tank, it makes them that much more likely to fight.
The fish keep bumping into each other and they constantly feel the need to fight over territory. These issues are mitigated when you place the fish in a larger aquarium.
It’s also wise to keep aquatic plants and hiding spots in the fish tank. This gives the fish a chance to run away and hide from each other instead of constantly having to fight.
Conversely, you can’t put large bully fish in with the angels either. This will make it so that the angelfish get bullied or eaten by the larger and more aggressive fish.
It’s best to keep angelfish in a community tank with fish such as guppies, gouramis, goldfish, and bettas. Do your best to check the compatibility if you’re planning on setting up a community tank so that you can avoid incidents.
Angelfish Egg Care
Taking care of angelfish eggs will be a bit different than caring for the angelfish themselves. At some point, two of your angelfish might choose to form a mating pair.
A male and a female might pair off so that they can spawn. The female will lay eggs, and the male will then pass over the eggs to fertilize them.
You’ll know that a mating pair has formed when two fish start taking certain actions. The fish will start chasing each other, wagging their tails, and they’ll eventually lock lips before shaking each other.
When a mating pair has formed, you might wish to transfer the two fish to a breeding tank. This is a good idea because it makes it so that the angelfish won’t have as much to worry about.
Angelfish will lay eggs in a community tank, but they’ll have to defend the eggs from other fish. Even other angelfish might attempt to eat the eggs.
You won’t have to be as concerned for the eggs if you place the mating pair in a breeding tank. It’s recommended to set up a breeding tank three months in advance so that all of the water parameters will be good to go.
Once the eggs have been fertilized, you can choose to care for the eggs yourself or you can allow the parent fish to do everything. It’s likely easier to let the parent fish care for the eggs, but there are some drawbacks.
Sometimes the angelfish will get stressed and they’ll choose to eat the eggs. This is unfortunate, but you can try to mitigate situations such as this by keeping the angelfish from experiencing stress as much as possible.
Putting the fish in a breeding tank will help, but you’ll also want to be careful about excessive noises near the tank, sudden light changes, and other potentially stressful factors.
If you choose to care for the eggs yourself, then you’ll need to do everything that the parents do for the eggs. This means keeping the eggs safe and clean while providing them with oxygen.
You can provide the eggs with oxygen by using air stones in the fish tank. Moving angelfish eggs can be next to impossible, though.
To move the eggs, you’ll need to hope that they’ve been laid on a breeding cone or a leaf. If the fish lay the eggs on a leaf, then you can cut the leaf from the plant and carefully place the leaf in the tank where you wish to care for the eggs.
It takes approximately sixty hours for the eggs to hatch when they’re kept in water that is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Once this happens, they’ll reach the wiggler stage.
You don’t have to do anything during this stage because the wigglers will be attached to the yolk. They’ll be getting nutrients from the yolk and you won’t need to feed them yet.
It’ll take five more days for the wigglers to detach from the yolk. At this point, they will become free swimmers and they’ll be true angelfish fry.
Angelfish Fry Care
Caring for angelfish fry will be tough if you aren’t prepared. These small angelfish won’t be able to eat standard angelfish food just yet.
Ideally, you should care for angelfish fry in a rearing tank. You want to keep them away from other fish because they can easily be eaten.
It’s generally recommended to separate the angelfish fry from the parent fish, too. After a few weeks have passed, it’s common for the parent fish to get annoyed by the fry, and they might choose to eat some of them.
Caring for the angelfish fry in a rearing tank helps to keep as many of them alive as possible. You’ll want to let them acclimate to the rearing tank for a few hours before you try to feed them.
Feeding the angelfish fry will require you to have food that they can actually eat. They have very small mouths and they won’t be able to eat the standard food types that you feed your angelfish yet.
You should be feeding the angelfish fry newly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms. These are the only things you’ll be able to get that are small enough for them to eat.
After three weeks have passed, the angelfish fry can start eating crushed fish flakes. After another week or so, they’ll be able to start eating foods such as fish flakes, pellets, and freeze-dried fish foods.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.