You’ve probably heard that angelfish are among the most popular pet fish that you can buy. These aquarium fish are so wildly popular that they’re sold in just about any pet store that sells fish.
If you’ve recently purchased some angelfish for your aquarium, then you’re probably learning what you can about them. Thankfully, these fish have a reputation for being easy to take care of.
They’re hardy fish that also happen to be quite beautiful. Most of the time, people wind up purchasing juvenile angelfish that have yet to become fully grown.
You could be wondering how fast angelfish will grow. Honestly, this depends on many factors, and there’s a lot to consider.
Keep reading to learn about angelfish growth rates. This should help you to understand approximately how long your fish will take to reach its maximum growth potential.
You’ll also learn a bit about what you should be doing to keep the fish healthy. A healthy fish will be more likely to grow and thrive, after all.
Maximum Growth Rate for Angelfish
First, you’re going to learn about the growth rate of standard freshwater angelfish. This information will be the same for various angelfish types such as koi angelfish, zebra angelfish, and silver angelfish.
Angelfish will be pretty small when they’re first born. Angelfish fry are very tiny and you have to feed them small things such as freshly hatched brine shrimp.
Normal angelfish food won’t even fit in the mouths of angelfish fry. The angelfish fry do grow rapidly, though, and you’ll see the fish reach four inches in size by the time they’re six months old on average.
After this, the growth rate will slow down for a time. It can take around a year or slightly longer for the fish to reach their maximum size.
Generally, angelfish are only going to grow to be six inches long, but they can grow to be as long as ten inches. It depends on the fish as well as various other factors.
You can expect the angelfish to reach its full size in approximately one year. For some fish, it might take a few months longer than this.
Of course, you’ll want to keep feeding the fish as normal, and it’ll also be imperative to keep an eye on the water parameters. The fish will need ideal conditions to be able to grow and stay healthy.
When in a Tank
It’s good to note that growth rates might differ when you compare wild angelfish to those that are kept in captivity. If an angelfish is in a tank, then it might have a slightly different growth rate than one that is in the wild.
Generally, it’s more likely that an angelfish will reach its maximum growth if it’s in the wild. It’s a bit less likely that the fish will reach maximum growth in a tank setting.
This is because the fish is kept in a smaller and more constrained environment. That being said, it isn’t impossible for an angelfish to reach maximum growth in captivity.
There are many instances of freshwater angelfish growing to be as large as ten inches long in captivity. Although the average growth of a freshwater angelfish is closer to six inches in a tank setting, it isn’t too unusual for a fish to reach ten inches.
Of course, this is assuming that the fish is being kept in a large enough fish tank and that it’s being cared for optimally. If your fish does reach ten inches, then you can feel as though you’re doing an exceptional job caring for it in a fish tank setting.
If the fish only grows to be around six inches, this isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re doing anything wrong. An average freshwater angelfish will only reach six inches when being kept in a tank, after all.
There could be genetic factors at work that will make a fish more or less likely to grow larger than normal. All you can really do is keep caring for all of your fish to the best of your ability.
Freshwater vs. Saltwater
You should know that freshwater angelfish and saltwater angelfish are quite a bit different. Many freshwater angelfish that you will find at the pet store are very similar to each other.
In fact, many of them are the same species of fish that have simply been bred in different ways to change the coloration. As such, the care requirements for those fish are either identical or very similar.
Most of these fish will have the same or similar growth rates. They’ll all be capable of reaching either six inches or ten inches at maximum growth.
There are other freshwater angelfish that are different such as the Altum angelfish. The Altum angelfish is a very tall, long fish that isn’t as commonly sold.
This fish can be as tall as thirteen inches and as long as seven inches. You’ll need a tall, deep tank to care for such a fish.
The majority of the freshwater angelfish that you will find at pet stores will be standard fish that will grow to be around six inches long. Saltwater angelfish are a lot different.
The various types of saltwater fish that you can care for will have different care requirements, and they’ll reach different sizes. For this reason, it’s good to look at some of the popular saltwater angelfish options individually so that you’ll have the information that you need.
Flame angelfish are a popular dwarf variety of angelfish. They start out pretty small and they only grow to be around four inches in length.
The males and the females will be slightly different sizes. Male flame angelfish will be slightly larger and will have larger blue streaks on their fins.
Females will have smaller bodies, but they won’t be too much smaller overall. These are gorgeous fish that will look fantastic in your saltwater fish tank.
Since they’re smaller than many other saltwater angelfish, you can keep them in a smaller tank. You’ll still need at least a 30-gallon tank for these fish, though.
Queen angelfish are among the largest types of angelfish that you will find. These are actually extremely large fish for home aquarium standards.
Most people aren’t going to be able to get very large tanks in their homes. You’d need a big fish tank to be able to care for a queen angelfish.
You see, a queen angelfish will grow to be as large as eighteen inches long. They can weigh as much as three and a half pounds, too.
When a queen angelfish hatches, it’ll rapidly grow to reach around 20mm in four weeks. In about eight months, the fish will be between twelve and fourteen inches long depending on various factors.
These fish grow pretty fast and they’re so big. They’re a sight to behold, but they might not be the most practical fish for your home aquarium.
You’d need a 180-gallon tank or larger to keep a queen angelfish in your home. If you don’t have the room, then you definitely shouldn’t purchase this fish.
Emperor angelfish are another large species of saltwater angelfish. They aren’t quite as big as the queen angelfish, but they’re still very large overall.
An emperor angelfish can reach fifteen inches long at maturity. These fish will grow and change over the course of two years.
At some point between two years and thirty months, the emperor angelfish will wind up gaining its adult coloring. It’ll also reach its maximum size sometime around this time.
Keeping a fully grown emperor angelfish in your home aquarium is likely going to be impractical unless you have a lot of space. You’d need a 220-gallon fish tank to be able to do so.
Even so, these are such impressive fish that you might be interested in checking them out. Many people adore emperor angelfish, and if you have a chance to see one in an aquarium somewhere, it’s well worth doing so.
Pygmy angelfish are much more practical fish to own in a home aquarium. These are saltwater angelfish that are going to be fairly small overall.
In the wild, pygmy angelfish will grow to be around three inches long. In captivity, these fish often only grow to be around two and a half inches long.
Keep in mind that it isn’t impossible that the fish will grow to be three inches long. It’s just more likely that it will grow to be two and a half inches long.
These are hardy fish that are well worth looking into if you have a saltwater aquarium. Just remember to look up compatibility if you’re planning to place these fish in a community tank.
Yellow angelfish are another popular type of saltwater angelfish that you should consider. These are fish that will reach close to five inches at maximum growth.
Usually, these fish will wind up growing to be around four and a half inches long at maturity. When you care for these fish well, they’re going to live happily in a fish tank.
In fact, these are saltwater angelfish that have been known to live for ten years in captivity. This is assuming that you’re caring for the fish optimally, though.
Yellow angelfish are very pretty and they’re fairly practical for most saltwater fish tank owners. You’ll need at least a 70-gallon fish tank to care for these fish.
It’s also necessary to have live rock so that these fish can graze. They’re not reef-safe fish.
Can You Make Angelfish Grow Faster?
You can’t necessarily make angelfish grow faster than they’re supposed to. It is possible to support the angelfish by taking care of it, though.
Essentially, the angelfish need to be able to live in a good environment where they can thrive. If the angelfish aren’t placed in an environment where they have everything that they need, then the growth rate of the fish could be stunted.
For example, you’re supposed to keep angelfish in water that is kept at a certain temperature. For average freshwater angelfish, you’re supposed to keep the temperature of the water between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the fish winds up being placed in water that is too cold, then that could have an impact on how it grows. Another factor that could impact the fish involves nutrition.
Fish need the energy to be able to grow and keep on living. If the fish aren’t being fed enough, then they won’t grow as much as they’re supposed to.
All of this is very logical “common-sense” type of stuff that you probably assumed even if you aren’t experienced when it comes to taking care of fish. Of course, you’re going to have better luck if you try to feed the fish the right types of food.
Below, you’ll get a bit of advice about angelfish nutrition. This should help you to get the most out of the angelfish so that they can grow to be strong and healthy.
Advice for Feeding Angelfish
When it comes to feeding angelfish, you’re just going to want to make sure that you feed them the right things. Angelfish need to be given enough food so that they get all of the nutrients that they need.
Most people wind up feeding angelfish a combination of fish flakes and shrimp pellets. There are other foods that you might want to consider giving the fish as well.
When looking for fish flakes, it’s best to give the angelfish cichlid flakes or tropical flakes. These are relatively inexpensive, and they’ll give the angelfish the necessary protein that they need to thrive.
Shrimp pellets are great because angelfish love to eat shrimp in the wild. They should eat the shrimp pellets up happily.
Experts say that it’s good to try to mix things up and feed your angelfish a balanced diet. This means giving the fish shrimp pellets sometimes and ensuring that you give them the right type of fish flakes often.
You might wish to mix in other food types such as tetra bloodworms. The angelfish will love these, but you don’t want to go overboard and feed the fish too much.
Angelfish will also enjoy freeze-dried shrimp. Many people feed angelfish freeze-dried shrimp or worms sometimes for nutritional purposes.
You can get away with just feeding the angelfish the fish flakes and shrimp pellets, though. It’s also possible to feed angelfish live food such as shrimp, but this might be costly and less practical for many fish owners.
Remember to feed the angelfish the right number of times per day. A juvenile angelfish should be fed three times per day while an adult angelfish should be fed two times per day.
You only want to feed the fish as much as it can eat in two or three minutes. Otherwise, you’re feeding the fish too much, and this could cause the fish to become constipated if you keep it up.
Constipation is bad because it can negatively impact the swim bladder of the fish. Do your best to avoid overfeeding your fish, and be sure to scoop out any excess food that the fish don’t finish.
Of course, you must remember that this advice is specific to freshwater angelfish. Look up specific feeding advice for the species of angelfish that you have purchased.
If you are caring for saltwater angels, then you’ll want to learn about their specific feeding requirements. The advice of not overfeeding the fish and being sure to give them a balanced diet will remain the same.
Water Parameter Advice
As you know, taking care of the water parameters will be crucial when caring for fish. You want to ensure that everything is right in the tank so that the fish will do as well as they can.
If the water parameters are off, then it’s less likely that the fish will grow normally and remain healthy. For standard freshwater angelfish, you’re going to need to be concerned with the temperature of the water and the pH balance.
You already know that the temperature should stay between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to keep the pH balance of the water between 6.8 and 7.8 for most freshwater angelfish.
Regularly testing the pH balance of the water is a good idea. You can raise or lower the balance as necessary using special chemicals.
Keeping the water clean is another important factor to consider. It’s generally recommended to change out 15% of the water each week.
Some people choose to change out 25% of the water on a biweekly basis. This is likely fine, but it might be safer to stick to weekly water changes.
Always remove organic debris from the tank such as excess food. Too much organic debris can raise the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels of the tank.
If certain levels get too high, it can make the fish sick or even make it hard for the fish to breathe. This is why it’s imperative to focus on the cleanliness of the aquarium.
When you’re taking care of saltwater fish, it’s also important to keep an eye on the salinity of the water. Check the specific gravity recommendations for the type of saltwater angelfish that you’re caring for.
Watch Out for Stress
Stress can cause fish to experience various health problems. When fish aren’t healthy, they aren’t going to grow as strong.
Some types of diseases and infections can stunt the growth of fish. When fish get stressed, they develop compromised immune systems.
This means that fish that experience significant stress are more likely to get diseases or infections. It could have a significant impact on the growth potential of the fish.
As you might expect, improper water parameters will stress the fish. Other factors can also stress the fish such as placing the fish in a cramped environment.
You need to be sure to put the angelfish in a fish tank that is large enough for them. Angelfish hate being put in small fish tanks, and they also don’t like being put in overcrowded tanks that have too many fish.
Always do your best to give your angelfish enough space to live happily. It’s also good to avoid putting the fish tank in a very noisy part of your home.
Excessive noises will cause angelfish to experience stress. Children tapping on the glass of the fish tank will also cause stress.
Do your best to reduce stress factors and the fish will stay healthier. If you’re a proactive fish owner, then this shouldn’t be difficult.
How Fast Do Angelfish Fry Grow?
If you’re wondering specifically about angelfish fry, then you should know that they grow pretty fast. Within weeks you will see the angelfish fry go from being super tiny to getting much larger.
It’s said that angelfish fry will grow to be the size of a dime by the time they’re eight to ten weeks old. They keep on growing steadily until they eventually reach four inches in size by the time they’re six months old.
When the angelfish fry grow fins, they’re going to be considered to be true angelfish and not angelfish fry any longer. The parent fish keep looking out for the angelfish fry until they grow fins.
This means that they won’t be considered to be angelfish fry by the time they reach four inches long. They’ll just be juvenile angelfish.
After learning more about angelfish growth rates, you should feel a lot more informed. You understand that many angelfish can grow to be quite large.
Common freshwater angelfish will usually grow to be as long as six inches in a fish tank. They have the potential to grow to be ten inches long under the right circumstances, though.
Various types of saltwater angelfish will grow to be different sizes. There are very large saltwater angelfish such as the queen angelfish.
Decide which types of angelfish you would like to care for in your home. Be sure that you have enough room if you’re interested in some of the larger angelfish or you won’t have a good experience.
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.