Keeping angelfish in your aquarium will be great. They look super pretty and they’re not that hard to take care of overall.
Many beginners wind up gravitating toward angelfish due to how easy it is to care for them. It’s important to not let the reputation of the angelfish cloud your judgment, though.
Some might learn that the angelfish are easy to care for and it’ll cause them to let their guard down. You do need to take care of the fish properly if you want them to survive and thrive.
If you made some mistakes recently and missed feeding your angelfish, then you might be wondering how long the fish can go without food. Can an angelfish go for a day or two without being fed, or will this wind up killing the fish?
Read on to learn about angelfish and how long they can go without eating. This should help you to better understand the needs of the angelfish so that you can keep it healthy.
Angelfish Can Survive for a Few Days Without Food
Generally, angelfish should be able to survive for a few days without food. It’s said that angelfish should be able to go three days without eating and be just fine.
That doesn’t mean that you should neglect your fish, though. It’s not really good for the fish to continually be made to wait to eat for three days.
It’s also likely that an adult angelfish would be able to survive for longer than three days without eating. How long an angelfish will live before it starves to death will depend on various factors.
Thus, it isn’t possible to give you a completely accurate answer about how long an angelfish can go without eating before it dies. Just know that it should be okay for up to three days.
Some say that a healthy full-grown angelfish will be able to go one week without food before passing. Most responsible owners would never want to test that claim because they’d prefer to keep their fish alive.
Younger fish might not be able to survive that long, but they should still be able to go several days without having problems. Even a young angelfish is likely not going to starve to death after three days, but you should feed the fish more often than that if you want to keep them healthy.
If you went away for the weekend and forgot to get someone to feed your fish for you, then the angelfish should be alive by the time you return. In the future, it’d be better not to forget to set up an arrangement for someone to feed the fish.
How Often Are You Supposed to Feed Angelfish?
Normally, you’d want to feed your angelfish every single day. You don’t need to feed it too much, but an angelfish will want to eat once or twice per day.
Most owners opt to feed the angelfish twice each day. You can set up a schedule for when you’re going to feed your fish and stick to it.
There are enthusiasts who say that young angelfish should be fed a bit more often. Some say three times per day is ideal for younger fish, but many have reported keeping the fish healthy with only two feedings per day.
If you miss a feeding or two, it isn’t going to kill the fish. As mentioned above, a fish can easily go two or three days without being fed.
Waiting for longer periods of time than that will be tougher on the fish. If you’re home, then there’s no reason not to feed your fish at least once per day.
Do your best to maintain a consistent feeding schedule for the fish. This is going to help the angelfish to stay healthy, and it’ll be more likely to reach its maximum growth potential as well.
What Do Angelfish Eat?
Angelfish eat pretty standard types of fish food, but you will need to seek out provisions that are meant for angelfish. There are various types of fish flakes and food pellets that are meant for angelfish to consume.
You’ll also find that people feed angelfish frozen shrimp and other things like that. In the wild, angelfish love to eat small invertebrates such as shrimp, and they also eat worms.
Angelfish are omnivores, and this means that they will eat many things. If the nutritional needs of the fish aren’t being met, then you might even see the fish start to eat the aquatic plants that you’ve placed in the aquarium.
Usually, you won’t see angelfish trying to eat plants unless they really feel the need to. If you do a good job of feeding the angelfish each day, then it won’t eat the plants.
Angelfish do like to nibble on plants, but they usually won’t eat them so long as they’re doing fine nutrition-wise. Keep this in mind and be sure to feed your angelfish the type of food that it needs to stay healthy.
It should be noted that some angelfish enthusiasts like to cycle what they’re feeding the fish. They might feed them fish flakes one day and then feed them fish pellets the next.
Mixing up the food can keep the fish from getting bored. You don’t necessarily have to do this so long as the nutritional needs of the fish are being met, but it isn’t a bad idea.
If you need specific advice about what to feed your angelfish, then you could ask professionals. Some choose to speak to the clerks at the aquarium stores and pet stores that they frequent.
These workers generally know quite a bit about angelfish and their nutritional needs because they sell so many of them. Another option is to speak to an exotic veterinarian to learn more about the specific needs of the fish and recommended food options.
Giving your fish food that has been approved by a veterinarian is likely going to be the safest bet. You should be fine just buying angelfish food from the pet store as well.
Is There a Way to Tell When Fish Are Hungry?
Perhaps you just have a hard time determining when your fish are hungry. As a beginner, you might be confused about what times you need to feed your fish.
Instead of waiting to feed the fish, it’d be better to just pick a time of day to feed the fish and stick to it. You don’t really have to wait until your fish start looking hungry to give them what they need.
That being said, there are signs that you can look out for that will help you to determine if the fish are truly hungry. If you see the fish digging around the substrate, then that’s a clear sign that they’re looking for food.
You also might notice the fish inspecting the top of the aquarium. It’s likely doing this because it’s hoping that there will be something to eat.
If you feed the fish at regular intervals each day, then you likely won’t see the fish acting like this too much. Even feeding the fish once or twice per day will be fine.
What If the Fish Always Act Hungry Even After Being Fed?
Don’t worry if your fish appear to be hungry even after you have fed them. Healthy angelfish are going to act like this because they will always want food.
Of course, you don’t need to give them food all the time. Angelfish only need so much food on a daily basis to remain healthy.
This is why using signs of hunger to tell when you’re supposed to feed the fish is a bad idea. You’d be feeding the angelfish constantly if you fed them every single time it seemed like they wanted some fish food.
Instead, you should stick to a plan of feeding them once or twice per day. It’s easier to just maintain a consistent schedule, and your fish are going to do just fine with this arrangement.
Just do your best to feed the fish when it’s time to do so. The angelfish will be fine so long as you’re feeding the fish the right stuff that it needs to remain healthy.
How Much Should You Feed the Angelfish?
How much you should feed the angelfish is pretty simple to remember. Just give the fish as much food as it can finish within two or three minutes.
You don’t necessarily have to stand there with a timer to get things down. Try to give your fish enough food without giving them so much that they will have a tough time eating it all.
Eventually, you’ll have a good feel for how much food you need to give the fish. It should become second nature to just give the fish their food and know that you gave them enough.
Feeding fish too much is something that can be just as dangerous as not feeding them enough. Do your best to avoid going overboard so that you can keep your fish safe.
What Should You Do with Uneaten Food?
In the event that you do give the fish too much food, it’s going to be best to remove excess food. If you don’t get rid of the excess food, then its presence could throw off the balance of your tank.
The chemistry of the water in your aquarium is a crucial aspect of keeping your angelfish alive. You might not think that leaving some fish flakes in the water would be too bad, but you’d be surprised.
You could inadvertently cause the ammonia levels to rise in the tank. The oxygen and the pH levels of the tank could be altered, and your fish could be in danger because of this.
Granted, a few fish flakes are unlikely to cause this to happen, but as a general rule, you don’t want to leave uneaten food in the tank. Throwing things off can be detrimental, and continuing to throw things off can lead to serious consequences.
So long as you know this, you’ll easily be able to discard unfinished food. You can scoop it out using a net or a siphon.
Why Are My Angelfish Dying If They Aren’t Starving?
If you came home after a day or two and discovered that your angelfish died, then you’re likely very bummed out. It’s unlikely that the angelfish died of starvation unless you forgot to feed your fish for much longer than a few days.
As mentioned earlier, angelfish will generally not die from starvation in just a couple of days. They’ll definitely be fine for up to three days, and an angelfish shouldn’t die before going without food for an entire week.
So if the angelfish didn’t starve to death, then what happened? Angelfish can die for a number of different reasons.
The most common reasons why angelfish die involve problems with the water. You likely already know that you need to prepare the water and maintain a certain pH balance for the fish.
For the most common angelfish, the pH balance of the water needs to stay between 6.8 and 7.8. This number can differ somewhat depending on what type of angelfish you’re caring for, but the important thing to understand is that the pH balance needs to be maintained.
If the pH balance is thrown off somehow, then that puts the fish in danger. You might not have checked the pH balance recently, and it could have been too low or too high for longer than you realized.
A fish will die when kept in a tank that doesn’t have the right pH balance. It’s sad that issues like this occur, but it’s just a reminder that you need to be vigilant about testing the pH balance of your tanks.
Another thing that could have happened involves the water temperature fluctuating. Angelfish are usually considered to be tropical fish, and this means that they like warm water.
Common angelfish like to be kept in tanks that have water temperatures between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive in slightly cooler or hotter temperatures, but they could easily die if the temperature dips too low or gets too hot.
If the heater stops working while you’re away for a few days, then your fish could die. This is especially true if it’s during the winter and you don’t have your heat turned on very high.
The filter could have stopped working, too. Fish need filters so that they can survive, and that’s why everyone always tells beginners that they need to buy good filtration systems.
Sometimes filters will stop working, and the fish will be in danger at this point. The fish can live for a while without a filter, but if you were gone for three days or so, then the fish very well could have died.
So your angelfish likely didn’t die of starvation unless you didn’t feed them for quite some time. There are many other reasons why angelfish could die to consider, and you’ll likely be able to determine what happened by examining the tank to see if everything is working correctly.
Food Isn’t the Only Important Consideration
Giving your angelfish enough food and giving them the right food matters. You know that how you feed your fish will play a big role in whether or not the fish will be able to thrive.
However, it’s important to know that angelfish need you to give them a good environment as well. If you attempt to place angelfish in a fish tank that is way too small for them, then they won’t do well.
As a general rule, you want to give angelfish more room to swim than they actually need. There’s a formula that says each angelfish that you add to a tank needs to have approximately 10 gallons of space.
This is technically true, but it’d be best to keep the fish in larger tanks than that. For example, if you have two angelfish, then you should really keep them in a 29-gallon tank or an even larger tank.
These fish grow to be pretty large, and you don’t want them to feel cramped in the fish tank. An adult angelfish will wind up being around six inches long on average.
If you feed the fish well and continue to care for it, then it might even reach 10 inches in length. The fins will usually be around eight inches long, too.
These fish do better in tall tanks because those tanks accommodate the size of the fish better. If you want to keep the fish happy and healthy, then try to get a tall tank for them that is more than big enough.
You should be able to get good tanks from various local pet stores. You can also get what you need online if you don’t have an adequate store near you.
Take care when setting up the tank as well. You want to find a spot for the tank that will be ideal for the fish.
Many people don’t know that these fish can get stressed and scared. When angelfish are stressed or scared, they will start to change color.
The beautiful colors will start to fade and the fish will look far duller than before. This is because the fish feels frightened and is trying to change color in an effort to hide or at least not stand out as much.
Since you want the fish to look as gorgeous as possible, it makes sense to put the tank in a spot where it will feel safe. Keep the fish tank away from kids who will tap on the glass and cats that will try to paw at the fish.
It might be best to keep your fish tank in a part of your home that doesn’t have as much traffic. Do your best to find a good location and your fish will more likely be happy and colorful.
Plants Help a Lot
Most fish tank owners are going to choose to put aquatic plants in the tanks. This is done for many different reasons, but you might be drawn to certain plants because they look really cool.
There are a lot of amazing plants out there that you can purchase for your aquarium. Many of them will be beautiful to look at, and they also benefit the fish in various ways.
Angelfish use aquatic plants to hide when they wish to be left alone. This is good for when one of the fish wants to get away from the other fish in the tank.
They also simply have fun swimming through the plants. Plants make angelfish feel at ease because it’s more natural and makes them feel like they’re in a normal environment.
These plants can also be very beneficial when it comes to breeding. Female angelfish will lay eggs and stick them to the big leaves of aquatic plants.
Males are sometimes too shy to fertilize eggs when they’re out in the open. This is because they’re concerned that the babies will be in danger.
The presence of the plants allows the angelfish to obscure the eggs, and the male will happily fertilize them when they’re on the plants. If you plan on allowing the angelfish to breed, then having aquatic plants in the aquarium will be quite helpful.
This is great, but you might be happy to know that this can also help the fish to avoid starving. You see, angelfish are generally considered to be omnivores.
Angelfish will eat plants when they feel that they need to. If you forget to feed the fish for a while, then the fish will likely start to eat the plants.
In some ways, the presence of the plants can act as a last-ditch effort to save the angelfish when you make mistakes. The fish can eat the plants and gain the nutrition that they need.
Under normal circumstances, angelfish wouldn’t choose to eat plants. They might nibble on the plants, but they wouldn’t actually consume them.
If the nutritional needs of the fish aren’t being met, then it’s a different story. It’s likely a good idea to place various aquatic plants in your fish tank.
These plants can help to get rid of ammonia and other harmful things in the tank. Truly, it’s best to have live plants in the tank with your angelfish.
If you’d like to buy some good live plants that work well for angelfish tanks, then you should consider looking into Amazon sword and jungle val plants. There are many other good options, but those two plants are perfect for angelfish.
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.