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Why Is My Angelfish Not Swimming? (6 Common Reasons)

Why Is My Angelfish Not Swimming? (6 Common Reasons)

This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Seeing angelfish swimming around gracefully in your aquarium should be very satisfying. These fish are a joy to own simply because of how gorgeous they are.

You likely love watching them swim around because of how colorful they are. Sometimes angelfish might have problems that will make them a bit more lethargic, though.

If your angelfish isn’t swimming around, then you might be concerned that something is up. Is the fish sick in some way?

Keep reading to learn about the reasons why an angelfish will stop swimming. This should help you to get to the bottom of what is happening with the fish so that you can determine what you need to do.

1 – Stress

Zebra Angelfish in Tank with Other Fish

Stress is probably the most common reason why angelfish will stop moving around. Sometimes fish will get so stressed that they will just stop moving around more than is necessary.

You might even notice an angelfish sitting at the bottom of a tank or hiding among aquatic plants. This could be in an effort to get away from something in the tank.

One potential source of stress will be the other fish in the tank. If you have other fish in the tank, then there could be an aggressive tankmate that is causing your angelfish to experience stress.

It’s important to pick the tankmates for the angelfish carefully to avoid having issues. You don’t want to put fish in the tank that will bully the angelfish.

Two males in the same tank will often fight, too. You should probably avoid putting two males in the same tank, and this is especially true if you have a somewhat small fish tank.

Other sources of stress include excessive noise and water quality issues. You might need to move your aquarium to a quieter spot if you have it in a very noisy part of your home.

2 – The Fish Is Old

Older fish might not swim very much just because they don’t have as much energy as they used to. Angelfish can live to be quite old if you take care of them well.

It’s possible for an angelfish to reach ten years old. If your fish is getting up there in years, then it might not be swimming because it’s tired.

When angelfish get older and closer to death, they’ll choose to rest more than they used to. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your fish is going to die soon, but you can’t rule out the possibility.

Of course, if your fish isn’t that old, then it’s likely not swimming for another reason. There are many more things to consider.

3 – Poor Water Quality

Angelfish in Poor Water Quality

Poor water quality can cause fish to experience several problems. You should know that fish need the pH balance of the tank to stay within a specific range, and it’s important to keep the water in the right temperature range as well.

If you haven’t been taking care of the tank properly, then something could be off. You could be keeping the angelfish in a tank that has a pH balance that isn’t good for them.

Lower water temperatures can cause fish to be sluggish, too. Your angelfish might simply be feeling lethargic because the water quality in the tank isn’t what it should be.

Test the water and try to get things back to good. You can easily test the water using a pH balance testing kit, and raising or lowering the pH level is easily done with chemicals.

4 – Nutrition Problems

One thing to keep in mind is that you need to feed your fish to give it energy. While this goes without saying, some people don’t do a good job of feeding angelfish often enough.

You’re supposed to feed young angelfish three or four times per day. You can get away with feeding a young angelfish a few times per day, though.

An adult angelfish will want to eat twice per day. It’s best to stick to a schedule and feed the fish at roughly the same time each day.

Technically, angelfish can survive for three days without eating. If you continually forget to feed your fish, then the nutrition of the fish is going to suffer.

The fish might not swim around much because it is conserving energy. If you do a better job of feeding the fish, then it might perk up and become livelier again.

Ensure that you’re feeding the fish the right things, too. You want to give the angelfish flakes and shrimp pellets that are meant for angelfish.

Many enthusiasts say that mixing up the angelfish’s diet is a good idea as well. You might want to feed the fish frozen shrimp or special live worms from time to time.

5 – The Fish Could Be Sick

Emperor Angelfish With Gold Velvet Disease

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that your angelfish might not be swimming because it’s sick. When fish contract certain diseases, they will feel less energetic than usual.

A healthy fish is going to swim around and do all of the things that you would expect an angelfish to do. A sick fish is going to look substantially more sluggish, and you might see signs that its health is declining.

There are various angelfish diseases that could cause a fish to stop swimming. Dropsy, which involves the abdomen of the fish swelling, can easily make a fish stop moving around much.

Other conditions to be aware of include ich and swim bladder disease. If you suspect that your fish is sick, then it’s important to take action fast.

You can talk to an exotic veterinarian about the situation to determine what is wrong with your fish. This will allow you to figure out the proper treatment to use so that you can help the fish return to health.

Some types of sickness might be so bad that the fish will die, though. The earlier you catch on to the fact that your fish is sick, the better.

6 – The Fish Could Be Dead

Finally, if the angelfish isn’t moving at all, then it could very well be dead. You can check to see if the fish is alive by trying to scoop it up into a fish net.

If the fish reacts and tries to move around a bit, then you’ll know that it’s alive. If it doesn’t react at all, then there’s a good chance that the fish is dead.

Check for breathing before discarding the fish. Sadly, sometimes fish will just pass away when it’s time.