Skip to Content

How Long Do Angelfish Live? (Plus Tips to Increase Lifespan)

How Long Do Angelfish Live? (Plus Tips to Increase Lifespan)

Share this post:

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 want to be able to enjoy your angelfish for as long as possible. These fish are very pretty overall, and you can have such a good time observing them in your fish tank.

When you do your best to care for the fish, they’re going to be able to stay healthy for a long time. Of course, no fish is going to live forever even when you do a perfect job caring for it.

How long do angelfish live on average? Are they considered to be long-lived fish?

Keep reading to learn about how long angelfish live. You’ll get information about many different types of angelfish and how long each of them will be able to live on average.

How Long Will Angelfish Live in Freshwater?

When you’re talking about how long angelfish will live in freshwater, it depends on what type of fish you’re talking about. As you might expect, different angelfish types will have different lifespans.

A standard freshwater angelfish such as a silver angelfish should be able to live for up to 10 years in the wild. Of course, there are many dangers in the wild that might keep the fish from living this long.

There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests that angelfish might live for up to 12 years in freshwater. However, it’s much more common for the fish to pass away after reaching the age of 10.

It’s generally accepted that the standard angelfish that people often purchase as pet fish live for around 10 years under optimal conditions. This includes zebra angelfish, gold angelfish, and many other color variations.

Keep reading and you’ll learn more specific information about how long angelfish live in various situations. You’ll also learn about specific types of angelfish so that you’ll know what to expect no matter what angelfish you happen to be interested in.

How Long Will Angelfish Live in a Tank?

As mentioned above, angelfish that are being kept in a tank have the potential to live for up to 10 years. This is assuming that you’re talking about standard angelfish such as silver angelfish or zebra angelfish.

These are the common types of angelfish that you’ll see being sold at various pet stores. Angelfish such as this are genetically similar because they’ve all been bred to simply have different colors or patterns.

They all come from the same basic fish, and this means that they all have roughly the same life expectancy. If you do a good job of taking care of your fish in the fish tank, then it should be able to live for up to 10 years.

However, it isn’t unusual for an angelfish to die before that. Many angelfish will wind up perishing before they reach the age of 10.

Issues with improper water parameters could easily wind up killing an angelfish. Angelfish are hardy fish, but they aren’t invincible.

For instance, your heater could go out, and you might not catch it in time. If the water gets too cold and stays that way for too long, then your angels could easily perish.

How Long Will Tropical Angelfish Live?

Angelfish are generally considered to be tropical fish. It’s true that different types of angelfish can be found in different locations of the world, though.

Thus, the answer given above can also be used to answer this question. The standard tropical angelfish that you see at the pet store should be capable of living for around 10 years.

Some angelfish might live a little bit longer while others might live for a little less time. It all comes down to how well you care for the fish.

There are many types of tropical angelfish that you can find for sale. They’re among the most common types of angelfish that you’ll find for sale at mall pet stores and other such locations.

Angelfish Lifespans Differ Based on Species

As you likely expect, the lifespan of angelfish will differ based on the species that is being discussed. Below, you’ll find information about how long you can expect various types of angelfish to live.

Once you’ve read all of this information, you’ll feel much more informed about the topic. This will give you the information that you need to make a good decision about which fish you should buy for your home aquarium.

Angelfish are fantastic additions to home fish tanks, but you want to find the right one for you. Depending on your sensibilities, expectations, and experience level, some of the fish listed below might not be practical options.

However, there are plenty of standard angelfish that should appeal to everyone. Decide which fish you’re interested in for yourself once you’ve read through everything.

Koi Angelfish

Koi angelfish are fish that can be considered standard freshwater angelfish. They’ve been bred to have coloration that makes them look like normal koi fish.

So, this means that they really aren’t any different from zebra angelfish, silver angelfish, or gold angelfish. They’re just bred in a specific way so that they have the koi fish colors.

As such, they will have the same life expectancy as those other fish. You can expect koi angelfish to live for around 10 years if you care for them optimally.

These are very interesting fish to have in your tank. Many people find the koi angelfish to be among the most stunning angelfish that you can put in a fish tank.

Flame Angelfish

Flame angelfish are truly different from the angelfish that have been mentioned so far. These are saltwater fish that can be found in the waters of Christmas Island and the Marshall Islands.

They have gorgeous blue, orange, and yellow coloration. When gazing at these fish, you’ll really understand why they were given the name flame angelfish.

Captive flame angelfish will only live between five and seven years. You can certainly make them live closer to the seven-year mark if you do your best to care for them.

It isn’t known how long these fish live in the wild. Researchers would need to do some sort of study on the fish to get those numbers.

Caring for these fish will be substantially more difficult than caring for koi angelfish. They’re listed as being moderately difficult to care for, but you need to know that taking care of a saltwater tank is more work than caring for a freshwater tank.

Coral Beauty Angelfish

Coral beauty angelfish have a lot in common with the flame angelfish mentioned above. Of course, these angelfish are absolutely gorgeous and they’ll be a great addition to your tank if you choose to get some.

They wind up being similar in size to the flame angelfish. Both fish will grow to be approximately four inches long at maturity.

These angelfish live a lot longer than flame angelfish do, though. They’re known to live for as long as 15 years in nature.

Theoretically, the coral beauty angelfish should be able to live for 15 years in captivity as well. It might only live to be 10 years old depending on certain factors.

These fish are pretty hardy and easy to care for overall. You just need to be sure to keep an eye on the recommended water parameters.

Queen Angelfish

Queen angelfish are considered to be among the largest angelfish that you can find. They will grow to be as long as 18 inches upon maturity.

Since they’re really big fish, you’re likely not going to want to keep them in your home fish tank. Some people do, though, but they have really big fish tanks.

You can keep a queen angelfish in a large tank that is tall enough to accommodate its unique body shape. This fish will weigh as much as three and a half pounds, and it’s likely to be one of the most impressive fish in your aquarium if you choose to get one.

The average lifespan of a queen angelfish in the wild is around 15 years. In captivity, these fish usually live for about 10 to 12 years.

Emperor Angelfish

Emperor angelfish will be just as impressive as queen angelfish in many ways. This is another very big type of angelfish that you’ll need to keep in a large tank.

It’s said that you must have a 100-gallon tank if you plan to keep an emperor angelfish. This fish will grow to be 15 inches long.

The fish might not be quite as long as the queen angelfish, but that doesn’t mean that it fails to impress. This big fish will, most definitely, stand out in your home aquarium.

You’ll be interested to hear that these fish can live for a very long time. In captivity, an emperor angelfish can live for as long as 20 years.

In the wild, it’s said that they can live several years longer than that. These fish are very long-lived, and they’re certainly among the most interesting angelfish that you could choose to care for.

That being said, emperor angelfish won’t be good fish to put in a tank if you’re a beginner. Leave larger angelfish such as emperor angelfish and queen angelfish for advanced aquarium enthusiasts.

How to Get Angelfish to Live Longer

You can’t necessarily force an angelfish to live longer than it’s expected to live. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do your best to make the fish live for as long as possible, though.

Getting an angelfish to live for as long as it can is really about caring for the fish properly. If you can keep the fish healthy, then you’ll be less likely to encounter issues that will cause the fish to die sooner than it usually would.

Many things have the potential to kill your angelfish. Issues with water parameters could wind up killing the fish if you don’t take care of things fast enough.

Various types of diseases and bacterial infections could kill the fish. If you do a stellar job of caring for your fish, then issues such as this will become less frequent.

Read on to get some advice that will make caring for angelfish simpler. This should allow you to have an optimal experience when taking care of the fish.

Keep an Eye on the Water Parameters

Keeping an eye on the water parameters will always be important. If you’re too lackadaisical when it comes to monitoring the condition of the water, then issues can pop up.

As you know, keeping the temperature in the right range is a must. For standard angelfish such as koi angelfish, the temperature needs to stay between 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’re supposed to monitor the pH balance of the water as well. If you let it get out of hand, then there could wind up being too much ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites in the water.

This will make it hard for the fish to breathe because it’ll limit the oxygen levels in the water. Needless to say, this poses a real danger to your fish.

Always check the pH balance of the water to ensure that it stays between 6.8 and 7.8. The expected pH balance might differ when you’re talking about caring for other angelfish types.

It’s also going to be necessary to keep the fish tank clean. Take the time to clean the tank when necessary and do your best to avoid allowing organic debris to stay in the tank.

Organic debris such as leftover food can easily throw the numbers in the tank off. This is why you need to avoid giving the angelfish more food to eat than they will be able to reasonably finish.

You should also be doing weekly water changes to keep the tank clean. It’s recommended to change 15% of the water each week.

If you stick to a schedule, then you’re likely going to have a much better time. Just do your best to keep up with tank maintenance and the fish will be much happier.

Mitigate Stress Issues

Stress will make it more likely that your angelfish will get sick. If the fish get sick, it’s more likely that they will die.

You can do your part to keep the fish healthy and strong by mitigating stress issues. Many novices don’t yet know how significant of a problem stress can be for fish.

When fish get stressed, they’ll wind up having compromised immune systems. An angelfish that is experiencing stress might start acting funny and they’ll likely look duller than usual.

This could make the fish susceptible to infections and various diseases. You don’t want that since you want the angelfish to live for a very long time.

To keep the fish safe, you should try to protect the fish from getting stressed. Don’t place the tank in a spot that is too noisy since that will cause the fish stress.

Putting a fish tank next to your television or your stereo system might not be the best idea. It’s also unwise to allow children to tap on the aquarium’s glass to try to get the attention of the fish.

Water parameter issues can cause stress and so can overcrowding the fish tank. Do your best to avoid doing things that will stress the fish and they will stay healthier for a much longer time.

Pick Tank Mates Carefully

Picking tank mates for your angelfish should be done with caution. Angelfish are generally considered to be mildly aggressive fish.

They will try to eat fish that are smaller than them, and they will bully certain types of fish. Conversely, the angelfish will get bullied by larger fish.

You need to pick compatible fish for the community tank to be on the safe side. Luckily, there are many fantastic options that you can look into.

For example, you can put guppies in the fish tank with the angelfish so long as you do so when the angels are young. They need to get used to seeing guppies in the tank so that they don’t see them as food.

Dwarf gouramis are known to be excellent tank mates for angelfish. They pretty much mind their own business and the angelfish will leave them alone.

Swordtails are another great option, and they come in many different colors. These fish will add some aesthetic appeal to the community tank if you choose to get them.

Corydoras catfish are some of the best tank mates for an angelfish tank. They stay near the bottom and pretty much just scavenge for leftover food near the substrate.

As you can see, you have plenty of options to consider. There are a dozen other great fish that you could choose from when looking for tank mates for the angelfish.

If you choose poorly, it’ll cause the angelfish to experience stress. This means that you must be careful because the angels could get sick or hurt if you put them in with fish that they aren’t compatible with.

For example, putting angelfish in a tank with oscars could be very dangerous. Those fish are very large and would be able to easily kill the angelfish.

Always Consider Tank Size

Keeping the tank size in mind when making decisions will be a wise choice. You don’t want to make the angelfish feel as if they’re cramped.

Angelfish can become territorial. They will fight other fish over territory, and male angelfish will fight each other, too.

If you have a larger tank, then issues like this won’t be quite so bad. You’ll have happier and healthier angelfish if you give them more than enough room to live.

It’s said that angelfish need at least 10 gallons of space per fish. However, it’s likely going to be better to give the fish more space than that if you wish for them to truly thrive.

If you’re putting together a large community tank, then you should go with a larger tank. Consider how many fish you want to add and do your best not to overcrowd the tank.

Overcrowding the tank will simply stress the angelfish (and the other fish) too much. It’ll make them less healthy, and it’ll be more difficult to keep the tank clean.

Keep Your Eyes Open

Being an observant fish tank owner will help you to do a better job of taking care of the fish. Certain issues can occur in the fish tank despite your best efforts.

Sometimes, fish might get sick or something might happen that you didn’t expect. If you observe your fish regularly, then you’ll be more likely to catch issues before they get too bad.

Always keep your eyes open for issues with discoloration, signs of injury, or other things that can go wrong. This way, you could wind up noticing a fish disease fast, and you’ll be able to take action before things spread.

There are many types of diseases that angelfish are susceptible to. Most of them only become possible when the fish are stressed or are forced to live in poor water conditions.

Regardless, you always want to keep your eyes open. Being a proactive fish owner can help you to keep your fish alive for a long time even if something unexpected happens.

Feed the Fish Properly

Feeding the fish properly will ensure that they have enough energy to thrive. You want to give angelfish enough food so that they can do well, but you don’t want to give them too much.

Generally, you’re supposed to give angelfish as much food as they will be able to finish in two or three minutes. If it’s taking the fish longer to eat than that, then you’re giving them too much.

Don’t leave leftover food in the tank either. Organic debris can throw off the parameters and make the water dirty.

You can remove leftover food with a scoop or net if you make mistakes. Eventually, you’ll get good at feeding the fish just enough.

Adult angelfish are meant to be fed twice per day. Juvenile angelfish need to be fed three times per day.

You’ll want to feed the fish on a schedule to keep things consistent. This ensures that the fish will get the nutrition that they need.

Enthusiasts say that it’s beneficial to mix up the food that you’re giving the angelfish sometimes as well. You might feed the angels fish flakes most days, but you could give them shrimp pellets every now and again.

Share this post: