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Can Angelfish Live in Cold Water? (And How Cold Is Too Cold?)

Can Angelfish Live in Cold Water? (And How Cold Is Too Cold?)

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

You likely already know that angelfish are among the most popular pet fish in North America. They’re popular around the world, and many people find them to be pretty additions to any freshwater fish tank.

If you’re considering adding some angelfish to your fish tank sometime soon, then it’s good to look into their care requirements. Angelfish need to be cared for properly to stay alive even though they are considered to be a hardy type of fish.

For instance, you might be wondering whether or not angelfish can survive in cold water. Will the angelfish be able to live in cold water or will they wind up dying in water that is too cold?

Read on to learn everything that you need to know about the recommended water parameters for angelfish. You’ll also get some good basic tips that will help you to care for angelfish to the best of your ability.

Wild Angelfish Can Tolerate Slightly Colder Temperatures

It should be noted that wild angelfish have to deal with temperature fluctuations. As you might expect, the temperature of rivers and streams will change based on the weather.

Sometimes the water can get fairly cool, but it’ll also stay pretty hot in the jungle areas where angelfish can be found. Due to the places that they live fluctuating in temperature, it’s necessary for angelfish to be able to tolerate a fairly wide range of temperatures.

Wild angelfish should be able to do just fine in water temperatures between 65 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this doesn’t mean that this is the ideal temperature range.

It’s known that wild angelfish can tolerate brief exposure to colder or hotter water temperatures. The fish won’t instantly die if the water dips lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Extended exposure to extreme temperatures wouldn’t be good for the fish, though. If a fish was forced to stay in water that was too cold, then it likely wouldn’t survive all that long.

This same information will apply to angelfish that are being kept in an aquarium setting. If the aquarium is large enough, then minor temperature fluctuations shouldn’t be a huge deal.

You simply want to avoid allowing the temperature to fluctuate too often. Several temperature fluctuations in a brief period of time could be detrimental to the fish.

Of course, the fish will do much better if the temperature remains steady. Gradual temperature changes are much easier for fish to deal with than sudden ones, too.

What Is the Recommended Water Temperature for Angelfish?

Thermometer on the Outside of an Aquarium

So you know that angelfish can survive temperature fluctuations. You also know that temperature fluctuations can be bad for the fish when they’re exposed to extreme water temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

If your goal is to keep the angelfish healthy, then you should want to keep the temperature steady. Angelfish aren’t meant to live in cold water, and if the water gets too cold, then it’s certainly not going to be a positive thing for the fish.

Cold water could wind up killing your angelfish. If you aren’t taking measures to ensure that the water temperature in the fish tank remains steady, then you’re going to have a tough time keeping the angelfish alive.

The recommended water temperature for angelfish is between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that the temperature remains in this range, you’re going to need to use some type of heater.

Trying to take care of angelfish without a heater will not be a good idea. It’s possible that things will be fine for a while, but eventually, the water temperature in the tank will get too cold for the fish.

Even if you live in a warm area, the temperature won’t stay naturally hot enough to keep the water in the tank warm enough. The fish will experience temperature dips, and this will wind up killing the fish.

Luckily, it isn’t difficult to get a heater for your aquarium. You just need to get one that will make it easy to keep the water temperature in the right range.

Most people keep thermostats in the tank so that they will always be able to check the water temperature. You should monitor the water temperature regularly to ensure that the heater is working as intended.

Tips for Buying a Heater

A Fish Tank Heater

As mentioned earlier, getting a heater for the fish tank is going to be highly recommended. It’s not going to be tough to find a decent heater for a fish tank, but you might wish to seek one out that will be as convenient as possible.

Some of the newer types of aquarium heaters are easier to use than ever. For example, you can buy a heater for the fish tank that has the thermometer built in.

This allows you to easily see how warm the water is, and you don’t have to worry about buying a thermometer separately. Since heaters for aquariums don’t cost a lot of cash, it makes sense to go with the one that will be the most convenient.

If you don’t know where to go to get what you need, then that’s a simple problem to solve. You can easily find heaters for aquariums at the local pet store.

Any pet store that sells fish and fish tanks should have everything that you need. If you don’t have a good pet store close to your location, then you’ll still be able to get what you need.

You can buy heaters from popular online retailers and have them shipped right to your home. Simply ensure that you’re getting a heater that will be able to heat your tank properly.

If you have a big fish tank, then you might need a slightly more powerful heater. There should be information about whether the heater is rated to heat fish tanks that are the size of yours.

You could choose to read customer reviews online as well. This will give you some information about how good the heater is so that you can know what to expect.

The pH Balance of the Water Also Matters

Measuring the pH in a Fish Tank

Paying attention to the water temperature is of the utmost importance, but you should also be testing the pH balance of the water. If fish are made to live in water that has an improper pH balance, then it’s possible that the fish could die.

If the fish don’t die, then they might wind up being unhealthy. This is why it’s imperative to keep a close eye on the water parameters.

When caring for the typical type of angelfish that you see being sold at pet stores, it’s recommended to keep the pH balance of the water between 6.8 and 7.8. This should allow you to keep the fish as healthy as possible.

You’ll be able to lower or raise the pH balance as needed using special chemicals. You can get everything that you need for the aquarium from your local fish tank store or pet store.

So long as you’re keeping an eye on the fish tank, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter issues. Remember to change the water out responsibly and keep testing it to ensure that things stay in the right range.

Final Thoughts

Angelfish can technically survive in cold water for a little bit of time. Limited exposure to cold water probably won’t harm your fish, but it can be very bad too.

In the wild, angelfish will have to deal with temperature fluctuations. The water will warm up a bit in the morning, and then it’ll get a bit cooler at night.

The temperature changes are generally gradual enough that they don’t negatively impact the fish. If there was a sudden and unexpected cold snap, it’d have consequences for the angelfish, though.

Angelfish are good at tolerating limited exposure to extreme temperatures. They’re not so good when it comes to living in cold water for too long.

If you wind up exposing the fish to cold temperatures for long periods of time, then the fish could die. You don’t want that, and this means that you should endeavor to keep the temperature of the water steady.

This can be accomplished by putting a heater in the fish tank. You’ll be able to easily keep the fish tank at a temperature of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit so that the fish can thrive.

So long as you do your best to care for angelfish, they’re going to be able to live for quite some time. There are angelfish that have lived for as long as ten years in fish tanks.

That will likely never happen if you aren’t monitoring the water parameters. You must keep the water temperature in the right range, and it’s going to be important to test the pH balance of the water too.

Now that you have a better understanding of all of this, it should be easier for you to care for angelfish. Don’t hesitate to buy angelfish if you think that they would be a good addition to your tank.

Just remember to do some research ahead of time. You only want to add angelfish to a tank if you know that they will be compatible with the fish that you already have in there.

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