Taking care of angelfish in your fish tank shouldn’t be too difficult overall. These fish are considered to be some of the most beginner-friendly fish that you can purchase.
They’re very hardy and they can withstand novice aquarium owners making a few mistakes in most instances. However, there are situations that should cause you to worry a bit.
For example, if your angelfish has stopped eating, then you might be concerned about what’s happening. Why would an angelfish stop eating?
Continue reading to learn about some of the reasons why an angelfish might stop eating. This might help you to get a better idea of what is going on.
1 – Improper Water Conditions
One of the most common reasons why an angelfish will stop eating involves improper water conditions. All fish are going to have water parameters that you need to meet for them to remain healthy.
If you aren’t doing a good job keeping an eye on the water parameters, then things might be off. You could have the fish living in water that doesn’t suit them, and this will cause them to stop eating as usual.
Take the time to check the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s in the right range. Angelfish want the water to stay between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although the fish can tolerate temperatures that are a bit higher or lower than this, you won’t want to stray from the recommended temperature range too much. Doing so could lead to various health issues.
The pH balance of the water can be a big problem as well. You need to test the pH balance regularly to keep it in the right range.
When caring for angelfish, you want the water in the fish tank to have a pH balance between 6.8 and 7.8. If you see that the parameters are a bit off, then you can adjust the pH balance using chemicals to either lower or raise the number.
It’s also going to be necessary to keep the fish tank and the water clean. If you aren’t doing regular water changes, then the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels will rise.
When this occurs, it can make it tough for the fish in the tank to breathe. Remember to change out 15% of the water in the tank every week.
If you get into the habit of taking care of water changes each week at the same time, then it’s never going to seem like a hassle. Do your best to keep your tank clean and your water parameters in the right range so that your angelfish can stay as healthy as possible.
2 – Lack of Food Variety
Sometimes angelfish might get tired of eating the same thing. Perhaps you have only been feeding the fish generic fish flakes that you buy from the pet store.
There’s nothing wrong with feeding your angelfish fish flakes, but some enthusiasts suggest that the angelfish might get bored if that’s all they’re given. If the fish have stopped eating the flakes as normal, then perhaps mixing it up would be good.
You could try to feed the angelfish shrimp pellets and other types of food that angelfish like. Frozen shrimp and certain types of live worms can be fed to angelfish.
Many enthusiasts say that varying the diet of the angelfish will be beneficial from a health perspective, too. Consider changing what you’re feeding the fish and put some effort into mixing things up now and then moving forward.
If you need specific advice about what to feed your angelfish, then you could talk to a veterinarian. Exotic veterinarians that care for fish should be able to give you a lot of information about what foods you should be giving the fish.
Generally, it’s not that hard to give your angelfish a balanced diet that will keep them healthy. It just might be necessary to put a bit more effort into mixing up what you give them.
You should still be able to get everything that you need from a standard pet store. It shouldn’t be necessary to feed the angelfish live food to put them in a good position to remain healthy.
Remember that you need to feed the angelfish twice per day when they’re adults. If you’re caring for juvenile angelfish, then you’re supposed to feed them three times per day.
Only feed the angelfish as much as they can eat in two or three minutes. Feeding them more than that could actually be harmful to the fish.
Remember to scoop out any excess food that the fish don’t eat. Leaving the excess food in the tank will be bad for the water parameters.
Eventually, you’ll get pretty good at giving the fish just the right amount of food. Keep an eye on things and this should be an easy problem to solve.
3 – Illness
Various types of illnesses could wind up causing your fish to lose its appetite. Is only one of the angelfish lacking an appetite or are all of your fish not eating?
Try to keep an eye on your fish to better determine what might be happening. There are all sorts of angelfish illnesses that you’ll want to look out for.
An angelfish could have ich, velvet disease, dropsy, or any number of other problems. Examine the fish and try to take note of any symptoms.
Look for issues such as spots, rapid breathing, excess mucus production, and other signs of illness. If the fish is sick, then you’ll need to take appropriate actions to save the fish.
If you feel confused or overwhelmed, then you can ask for advice from an exotic veterinarian. A vet will be able to help you to diagnose the fish and will also give you advice about how to treat any issues.
Should you not wish to reach out to a vet, you can look up specific angelfish illnesses and symptoms to try to get a handle on what might be happening. If you’re observant and proactive, then you should be able to help your fish.
4 – Changes to the Territory
Changes to the territory can sometimes make angelfish stop eating as normal. Angelfish are fairly territorial fish, and they generally keep an eye on the things that are in the fish tank.
This means that the aquatic plants, rocks, and other things in the tank are constantly noted by the fish. If you make some changes to the fish tank, then that might cause the fish to stop eating for a time.
It’s likely that the fish will be fine and will start eating again soon. However, you should note that rearranging the plants or rocks in the aquarium can cause reactions like this from the angelfish.
You should probably avoid rearranging the aquarium too often for the sake of the fish. As long as you’re being mindful of things, it’s unlikely that this will become a huge issue.
5 – Bully Fish
There’s a chance that your angelfish could be getting bullied by other fish in the tank. If you’re keeping your angelfish in a community tank, then you might not have made good choices when choosing tank mates for the angels.
If you put a large bully fish in the tank with the angels, then this large fish might be bullying them and keeping them from eating. In this situation, the angelfish might try to hide near the aquatic plants or in other hiding locations.
You might try to feed the fish, but they will feel so unsafe that they won’t come out of their hiding spots. If this seems to be what’s happening, then you need to change things in the tank quickly.
It’s not good to keep angelfish in a tank with fish that they aren’t compatible with. If things go really wrong, then the bully fish could wind up killing your angels.
Whenever you’re adding fish to a community tank, it’s imperative to look at the compatibility of all of the different fish. If you don’t do this, then you’ll run the risk of having issues pop up.
If necessary, find a new home for the fish that don’t get along. Put them in a separate tank and try to make things comfortable so that the angelfish might start eating again.
6 – Vitamin Deficiencies
There have been situations where angelfish have stopped eating due to having vitamin deficiencies. If an angelfish has a vitamin deficiency, then it might have a severely decreased appetite.
Sometimes this might make it so that the angelfish will choose to skip meals. This isn’t good, and you’ll definitely want to address issues with vitamin deficiency as soon as possible.
You can take care of this issue by adding special supplements to the water. There are supplements that contain vitamins that can easily be added to the water, and this will help your fish if they’re vitamin deficient.
Often, it will be discovered that the angelfish are deficient in vitamin B12. Thankfully, you should be able to adjust this and get things back to normal fairly soon.
It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t have to give the fish vitamins if you’re feeding the fish a varied diet. If you feed the fish a good diet that gives them all of the nutrients that they need, then there won’t be a reason for the fish to be deficient in vitamins.
You might need to rethink the food that you’re giving the angelfish. Some adjustments to the diet might make the difference.
Don’t Ignore This Issue
Angelfish are great and you want to be able to keep enjoying them for a long time. If you don’t take the time to figure out what’s going on, then the angelfish could very well die.
A lack of appetite doesn’t necessarily mean that an angelfish is on the verge of death. However, it’s a sign that something is amiss.
You’re going to want to take the time to figure that out so that you can get things back to normal. If you can’t determine what the problem is, then it’s unlikely that things will get better on their own.
Being a proactive, observant fish tank owner will be helpful in this situation. If you can take the time to examine your fish and see what is going on, then you’ll be able to get to the bottom of things.
The two most serious situations will involve illness and bullying. If you think that you might have put an incompatible tank mate in the aquarium with the angelfish, then you’ll want to remove the fish right away.
A problem such as this is fairly easy to solve, but the illness issue can be more problematic. If your fish are sick in some way, then it might be necessary to quarantine them and treat them with special medications.
Just do your best to determine what is wrong so that you can take action. Being able to figure things out sooner rather than later could mean the difference between saving the fish and having to watch it die.
Now that you’ve learned a lot about this topic, you should have a good idea of what to do. Taking a bit of time to examine the situation should help you to figure out what’s wrong.
Hopefully, it’s just a minor issue such as a lack of food variety or a small vitamin deficiency. Such problems can easily be fixed by adjusting the diet or adding vitamin supplements to the water.
A more serious issue such as illness can be problematic, but you can keep an eye out for symptoms. If you suspect that a fish has a condition such as ich, then you can quarantine the fish and do your best to treat it.
Just being a fish tank enthusiast who cares enough to put the effort in really helps. If you’re doing your best for the fish, then there’s a good chance that you’ll get a positive outcome.
If you manage to solve whatever issues are keeping the fish from wanting to eat, then things should return to normal. The fish should look healthy again and it’ll be just as active as it was before.
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.