Angelfish Overview, Behaviour, Aquarium Setup & Water Conditions, Tank Mates, Diet, Care Guide & Breeding:

Angelfish look beautiful in aquarium & people usually keep them in marine tanks. But there are fresh water angelfish too that are native to South America. Freshwater angel fish is not a real angel fish, but it belongs to the Cichlid family. Freshwater angel fish get the name of angelfish because of the wing-like shape of the fins.




Angelfish Care Level


Angelfish Behavior


Angelfish Color

Gold, silver or black

Angelfish Lifespan

10 Years

Angelfish Size

6 inches

Angelfish Food

Omnivorous Diet

Angelfish Family


Angelfish Min. Aquarium Size

20 gallon

Angelfish Compatibility

Similar-size good behavior species


You can find freshwater angelfish in the river basin & it belongs to Peru, Colombia & Guiana. They look beautiful, need simple care, & they are not that aggressive as compared to other Cichlids.

They can live up to 10 years in aquarium. Mature angelfish are 10 months old.

Due to their popularity, they are available at almost every fish store.

Their avg. price is $10.

Angelfish Aquarium Setup, Care, Tank Mates & Breeding
Angelfish Aquarium Setup, Care, Tank Mates & Breeding

Behaviour of Angelfish:

Angelfish can show aggression & they are classified as semi-aggressive fish. They like to make small hierarchies & battle to protect their ranks.

They live in small schools of fish but they are not usually social with other members. Angelfish form territories & they show aggression when defending their territory.

Their behaviour is not that bad as Cichlids. They usually don’t attack other fish outside of their school.

They like to live in planted aquariums. If your aquarium has too many fish then they might hide, but they normally like to show themselves.

Most of the fish eat their babies but angelfish likes to take care of their fries. They like defending eggs & the new born babies for up to 2 months.

Angelfish usually do not interact with each other but their only interaction is between mating & competition.

Freshwater angelfish can reach 6 inches in length, & their beautiful fins can reach a height of up to 8 inches.

They have arrowhead shape, & their bodies are wide & triangular. They have silver color with 4 large, black bands. Young angelfish have 7 bands but when they reach maturity, their band reduces to 4.


Angelfish Water Temperature & Quality:

Freshwater Angelfish live in slow moving streams as well as in swamps in the wild. They like warm water with temperature ranging from 75 to 82 Degree Fahrenheit. They usually live in acidic water.

They like swampy conditions, & you can keep substrate in your aquarium more like sandy, & they like many live plants & hide in them.

Angelfish likes to live in clean water so it is recommended to maintain water quality for these beautiful fish. Their ideal pH range is between 6.8 to 7.

Angelfish will dig the substrate so it is recommended to add soft & fine substrate in the tank. Such substrate will not scratch angelfish. It is advisable to add fine sand / mud in angelfish tank.

Angelfish likes to live in slow moving water so there is no need to generate strong currents. It is recommended to use low current filter or air filter in their aquarium.

It is recommended to provide 8 – 12 hours of artificial light exposure to your angelfish aquarium.

Adding plants to an aquarium will give look like a small swamp which is a small representation of angelfish’s tropical swampland.

Adding amazon sword plants is a good idea because of their wide & broad leaves, they will provide comfortability to the angelfish, & fish can use them for hiding.

Do not use floating plants because they cover the artificial light from reaching water.


Angelfish Aquarium Size:

The min. tank size for 2 angelfish is about 20 gallons. The min. tank size for a small group of angelfish should be around 80 gallons.

Adding a new freshwater angelfish requires a minimum of 10 gallons.


Angelfish Tank Mates:

In the rivers, angelfish live with many different species. They live in slow moving streams with other cichlid species including Discus, Oscars, Banded Cichlids, little Catfish, Characins, Silver Arowana & the large Arapaima.

It is difficult to choose the best tank mates for freshwater angelfish. If you want to keep Angelfish with more Cichlids then select Discus, Bolivian Ram & Dwarf Cichlid. Angel Fish will not be aggressive towards these species.

They can share aquarium with Jack Dempseys, even though they are very aggressive.

If you want to avoid Cichlids then my suggestion is to keep Mollies & Dwarf Gouramis. Little Catfish, such as Plecos & Pictus can live with angelfish.

Adding many angelfish in one aquarium is not a good choice because they will show aggression towards each other when they are competing for territory & food.

Avoid adding Cichlids that have bad behavior including Oscars & Convicts.

Do not add Bards to Angelfish aquarium because then are known as “fin nippers”. They will stress angelfish by chasing them, & will bite their fins.

Keep angelfish in schools of about 5 to 6 together in one aquarium. They will make territories inside their own group & their contest for domination is pleasing to watch.

Do not add guppies to angelfish aquarium because of their small size. Adding larger livebearers are always a good choice. Also if you are adding the betta then note that angelfish might attack them. Adding a giant betta or a normal betta fish with shorter fins can use high swimming speed to escape the angelfish.


Angelfish Care Guide:

Adding new freshwater angelfish directly to aquarium should be avoided so I suggest you to keep them in aquarium for a period of 2 – 4 weeks & then if they are healthy then add them to main aquarium.

You can keep them in a diversity of aquarium setups including bare bottom aquariums, community aquariums & planted aquariums. It is a good idea to add live plants to aquarium as they can absorb toxic chemicals released from fish poop & take them as nutrients which help the growth of the plant. Adding a natural environment inside your aquarium is a good choice. Add java fern in aquarium if you want tall, textured leaves for the fish to swim around, & you can keep them in low light aquariums. They like to live in warm waters with temperature between 78 to 86 Degree Fahrenheit. If you are planning for breeding angelfish, then provide them temperature of about 82 Degree Fahrenheit which is the best temperature for raising babies. They are not that much affected by pH, & are able to live in a broad range of pH from 6 to 8. Water hardness can affect your fish & it is suggested to keep freshwater angelfish in hard water. However, they are able to live in soft water too with no problem & can adapt to such conditions.

Also you can keep one angelfish in aquarium. Keeping one fish does not seem to stress them. However, they like to live in schools in rivers, but they can be kept alone in aquarium.


Angelfish Diet:

Angelfish needs omnivorous diets but love to eat little live food. When living in rivers, they like to eat insects, larvae, rotifers, crustaceans & little fish.

Angelfish must be offered a highly enriched protein & fiber food. They receive most of the nutrients in the fish tank from live food.

Feed them tubifex worms which is the best diet for angelfish. They offer protein rich diet to angelfish that they can get from rotifers that is one of the food choice of angelfish when living in the wild.

Offer them live water fleas & brine shrimp as they love eating them. If you can’t offer them live food, then they also eat flake or pellet diets that have high protein.

Angelfish are good eaters & it is suggested to feed them 2 times a day. For mated pairs, you can offer food for up to 4 times daily.

Angelfish do not like to eat live plants or algae. But you can provide some content of vegetables in their food because they need fiber diet too.


Breeding Angelfish:

You can easily breed angelfish & this is why they are very famous.

They will find pair on its own. When you pair them, they will choose their territory for mating.

When they pair, then it is the time to setup breeding.

Your breeding environment must contain a 20-gallon aquarium with slow moving water & a vertical, slanted surface. Use tiles, PVC pies which can offer spawning surfaces for the pair.

Offer your pair flake diet with high protein & live tubifex forms, & you can feed them up to 4 times daily. Maintain the breeding aquarium temperature of about 82 Degree Fahrenheit.

If you find your female angelfish spend lots of time close to spawning surface, then she is getting ready to lay eggs. She can lay eggs from 200 to 400 during one spawning session, & male angelfish will fertilize them.

Both parent angelfish will look after the eggs & fries for a month before you can arrange a separate aquarium for fries which is about 20 gallons in size.

Offer brine shrimp to your angelfish fries with hardboiled eggs that are mixed with water until they are 7 weeks older. After this period, offer them flake & dried diets.

After spending 8 weeks in the new aquarium, you can take them back to the main aquarium as your fries are able to survive with adult angelfish.

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