When you’re thinking about buying a fish tank for your home, it’s fun to look at the different fish that you could add to it. There are plenty of fun options to consider, but many wind up gravitating toward angelfish.
Angelfish are iconic freshwater fish that people love keeping in their fish tanks. Not only do these fish have beauty, but they’re also a lot of fun to observe.
If you’re looking for a good fish that will be relatively easy to care for, then you can’t go wrong with buying angelfish. As a beginner, you might be concerned about whether or not these fish will be too much for you to handle, though.
Are angelfish good for beginners? Or will they wind up being tough fish to care for if you don’t have a ton of experience with aquariums?
Read on to learn everything that you need to know about angelfish and what to expect when caring for them as a beginner. This will make it easier for you to make a good choice about whether or not you should buy angelfish for your tank.
Angelfish Are Good for Beginners
For the most part, angelfish are good beginner fish because they’re fairly hardy. You don’t have to be an absolute expert to be able to care for angelfish, but that doesn’t mean that you can neglect the fish.
Since angelfish are freshwater fish, it’ll be fairly simple to maintain the fish tank. You’ll need to perform regular maintenance, but it isn’t so complicated that you’ll feel overwhelmed as a beginner.
After you get the angelfish set up in the aquarium, you’ll just have to perform a little bit of maintenance while remembering to feed the fish at regular intervals. You’ll also need to ensure that the water parameters are on point.
The same can be said for pretty much any type of fish that you could buy. Essentially, angelfish simply require the bare minimum type of care to thrive.
If you’re looking to buy a fish that won’t be overly picky, then this will be a good choice. Angelfish are incredibly pretty, and it’ll be fun to have them in the tank.
That being said, there is a lot more to learn about angelfish when you want to care for them the right way. You also likely have many other questions about caring for these fish since you’re a beginner.
Below, you’ll get more information about angelfish that will help you to have a good experience caring for them. This should help you to feel confident that you can care for the fish and continue to enjoy them for a long time to come.
Give the Angelfish a Big Enough Tank
It’s going to be crucial to place the angelfish in a big enough tank where they will be able to grow. Sometimes, beginners will underestimate how big angelfish can get, and they might wind up purchasing tanks that are too small.
When angelfish are fully grown, they’re going to be big enough that they’ll need to be in a somewhat larger tank. This means that you should put them in a 55-gallon tank if possible.
You could start the angelfish in a smaller tank and then move them to a larger one as they continue to grow. It simply might be easier to just start with a 55-gallon tank so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of switching tanks.
Some people have found success when keeping angelfish in smaller tanks, but you’ll need to avoid putting too many other fish in the tank. If you have a 29-gallon tank, then you’ll want to keep no more than two angelfish in there.
Generally, it’d be better to have more room than not enough room. You want the angelfish to thrive and to feel as if they have enough space to do what they need to do.
To give you an idea of how large angelfish get, you can expect an average fish to reach six inches in length upon maturity. However, it should be said that many angelfish will grow larger than this when cared for properly.
If the angelfish is kept in optimal conditions and fed well, then it could easily grow to 10 inches in length. You have to plan ahead for this, and you should avoid crowding the fish tank with too many fish.
Experts generally recommend going with tall aquariums for these fish. They match up better with the bodies of the fish.
Getting the water requirements right will be among the most important factors when caring for these fish as a beginner. It’s technically possible to raise captive angelfish in a number of different water conditions, but you’ll be better off if you stick within recommended ranges.
Typically, angelfish do better when they’re placed in tanks with slightly warmer water. You’d do well to keep the temperature of the water between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
The pH balance of the water is going to be a bit more particular. You want to keep the pH balance of the water between 6.8 and 7.8.
Water hardness can be between three degrees and eight degrees dKH. This works out to being between 54 and 145 ppm.
You’ll need to go out and buy a good filtration system for the fish tank to keep the fish healthy. You’ll want to approach water changes in specific ways to keep the fish in good shape, too.
Some change 10% of the water each week, but it’s also possible to change out 25% of the water biweekly to get good results. Either way, you’ll be fine so long as you remember to change out the water without taking too much at once.
Also, you need to learn about how to prepare the water since you’re a beginner when it comes to taking care of fish tanks. You can’t just pour tap water into the tank without treating it first or it’ll be harmful to the fish.
The tap water can be treated using water conditioner products that can be purchased at pet stores. You should be able to get the water treatment conditioner that you need from the same store that you purchased the fish from.
If you need any help or have any questions, then the clerks at the pet store will likely be happy to help you. Often, the workers in the fish tank area will be knowledgeable about the products that you need.
You’ll be able to get even more information if you go to a specialty fish tank store. Simply ensure that you know how to treat the water before you start changing things out.
Feeding the Angelfish
Of course, you need to feed the angelfish regularly so that they will stay alive and healthy. Angelfish are omnivores and they will eat many different things when you observe them in the wild.
The feeding range for angelfish is either at the surface or in the middle of the water. In the wild, angelfish would feast on things such as small crustaceans and various worms.
You obviously won’t be feeding the fish worms or crustaceans, but you will need to use various types of food from the pet store. Some angelfish enthusiasts choose to feed the fish shrimp pellets, but you could also feed the fish color flakes, tropical flakes, or whatever other fish food your local pet store recommends.
There are people who feed the angelfish live or frozen foods as treats, but this isn’t necessary. As a beginner, it’d likely be easier to stick to feeding the fish the flakes because it won’t be time-consuming or hard to understand.
You might see some benefit from rotating the diet of the fish daily, though. This means buying different types of flakes and avoiding feeding the fish the same thing too often.
When placing fish flakes in the tank, you don’t want to go overboard. Give the fish enough food that they will be able to consume it all within two or three minutes.
You’ll get this down after you’ve been feeding the fish for a week or so. It isn’t completely necessary to stand there with a timer, but you just want to avoid giving the fish too much food at once.
Feed your fish once or twice each day. So long as you remember to do this, it should be easy to keep the fish healthy.
For the most part, angelfish are quite peaceful. You’ll most often see them swimming around in the fish tank, and they should get along with each other pretty well.
However, there are situations when angelfish will become aggressive. This is especially true during the time when the fish are pairing off to breed.
If you see the angelfish fighting with each other, then it could be that two males are fighting for the attention of a female. Eventually, you’ll see angelfish start to form pairs when they’re ready to breed.
This is assuming that you’re keeping males and females in the tank together. If you only have male fish or female fish in the tank, then those sorts of issues might not arise.
When two fish pair up in an attempt to spawn fish, you’ll see certain signs. The fish will wag their fins, and this can sometimes be a sign of aggression.
One huge sign that two angelfish have formed a pair is when they lock lips and shake one another. At this point, you can expect a female to lay eggs for the male to fertilize.
If you want to get into breeding angelfish, then it might be good to separate the pairs so that they can do what they need to do. Place the two angelfish that have formed a pair in a breeding tank so that the eggs can be fertilized and will remain safe.
Breeding tanks are just fish tanks that you set up for the purpose of allowing your fish to breed. You don’t have to do this, but it could be beneficial.
Can You Put Other Fish in the Tank?
Yes, you can put other fish in the tank with your angelfish. However, you need to know that angelfish can be a bit territorial.
The angelfish might eat many of the other fish that you place in the tank if they’re too small. Like most fish, angelfish are going to eat other fish that will fit inside of their mouths.
If you want to have many different types of fish in your aquarium, then it’ll be wise to consider the types of fish that you add to the tank. Angelfish will do better with some fish in the tank than they will with others.
As you can see, you do have options that you can consider. If you want to have more than just angelfish in your tank, then it’s possible to do so.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Angelfish?
It can actually be pretty tough for beginners to tell the difference between male and female angelfish. To the untrained eye, they look very similar.
Even someone with a bit of experience could make a mistake and misidentify a fish. There are some things that you can look at that will make it easier to get a good idea of whether a fish is male or female.
Male angelfish will typically be a bit smaller and more colorful than their female counterparts. Also, males have an external sexual organ that you can try to locate known as the gonopodium.
If you can learn to identify the sex organ, then you should be able to always tell the difference between a male and female angelfish. Admittedly, it can be hard to spot sometimes, and this is especially the case if the angelfish is very active.
Just remember that males have rod-shaped anal fins while females have fan-shaped anal fins. If you can keep this in mind, then you’ll get pretty good at identifying the gender of the fish.
How Long Do Angelfish Live?
Angelfish have the potential to live for a long time if you care for them well. If you neglect the angelfish, then they won’t live long at all, but they’ll be around for many years with proper care.
In some instances, angelfish have lived to be 10 years old in captivity. This isn’t too unusual, so you can expect the fish to survive for quite some time if you’re keeping its environment stable and feeding it well.
It’s nice to know that angelfish can remain in your aquarium for so long when you do a good job of caring for them. Since angelfish aren’t that hard to care for when compared to other fish, they’re good options for beginners.
You should be able to keep the fish in your aquarium healthy by just putting in the minimum effort that is required. If you do an excellent job of caring for the fish, then they’ll grow large and reach the maximum lifespan of 10 years old.
What About Saltwater Angelfish?
The angelfish that have been discussed so far are freshwater angelfish. They’re very easy to care for overall, and these are the fish that you will want to purchase when you’re a beginner.
It’s also possible to get angelfish that are meant to be cared for in saltwater. This is going to be much harder for someone who isn’t experienced.
Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that the salinity of the tank is proper to keep the fish alive. You’ll also have to deal with the special feeding requirements that saltwater angelfish have.
It is possible to buy special saltwater angelfish frozen food that will make things easier. Even so, it’s not recommended to get saltwater fish if you’re new to taking care of aquariums.
If you wind up loving having aquariums in your home, then it might be fun to look into saltwater tanks in the future. It’s just best to start with an easier option to ensure that things go well.
What Can Kill Angelfish?
There are many things that can kill angelfish, but captive angelfish will usually die because of inadequate water conditions. You might make the water too hot or too cold, and this will cause the fish to die.
Having the pH balance of the water be thrown off can kill the fish, too. Hard water could be a problem and so could a lack of oxygen.
You need to keep the filter working and address any concerns with water hardness. It’s imperative to keep the water in the right condition as discussed earlier in this article.
It’s also possible to kill the angelfish by not feeding it often enough. Remember that you’re supposed to feed the angelfish once or twice per day.
If you go on vacation and forget to ask someone to feed your fish, then you can’t expect to come back and find the fish alive. Mistakes do happen when you’re a beginner, but this would be a very big one.
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.