Angelfish Care : A Complete Guide (With Pictures)

Angelfish is one of the most recognized pet fish among many aquarists, mainly because of their graceful swimming behavior.

This freshwater fish belongs to the family Cichlidae, and they are often characterized by their long majestic fins that give them a spirited personality.

angel fish care

Angelfish are common because they beautify aquariums with their fancy outlook, and it is easy to care for them.

Quick Facts

Temperament : Semi-aggressive
Care Level : Easy
Colour : Colour : Silver or black, Gold, 4 dark brands
Diet : Fish Flakes, Blood Worm, Java Moss
Adult Size : 6 inches
Lifespan : 10 years
Water Temperature : 75-82F
Water Ph : 6.8 to 7
Tank Size : Min 5 Gallon


The freshwater Angelfish (pterophyllum scalare) belongs to the Cichlidae family, and it is quite different from the marine Angelfish that belongs to the Pomacanthidae family.

Angelfish have unique colors with graceful swimming behavior. They are hardy, easy to keep, and less aggressive than other members of the Cichlidae family and fish of similar size

Typical Behaviour

Angelfish are active swimmers. They can grace your tank with their entertaining movement in the middle of the tank among plants. Outside competition and mating, they don’t interfere with other members of the tank.

Angelfish are quite territorial; they form a hierarchy and defend it. Although they might not be as aggressive as most other cichlids fish, they still bully other fish outside their school. You might not see cooperative foraging because they will rather fight than cooperate.


You can easily distinguish Angelfish from other aquarium members because of their fancy outlook, typical behaviour, and elegant swimming. Angelfish’s triangular snouts and complete bodies give them the shape of arrowheads.

The appearance of adult angelfish and juveniles is slightly different. Adult Angelfish are mostly silver with four large, black bands on their body. Juveniles initially have seven of these black bands, but gradually reduce to seven as they grow.

angelfish appearance

The standard colors for Angelfish include Silver, Black, Gold, and marbled. However, the marbled ones are either jagged or have dark spots. The Gold and Silver Angelfish is completely bare with no patterns.

Life Span

Angelfish average life span is 8-10 years.  However, their lifespan depends on their care, feeding habits, tank conditions, and general health conditions.  Angelfish has one of the most extended lifespans of all aquarium fish

Angelfish can live up to 10 years if the conditions are right with them. They reach maturity after ten months and can attain maximum size after 1 or 2 years.


Like lifespan, the feeding and living conditions of Angelfish can affect their overall size. Angelfish can grow up to 6″ in a well-kept tank.

However, it is essential to note certain factors that can influence the growth of these fish. These factors include feeding habits, diet, tank and water conditions, and genetics. You can control all these factors except genetics, which they inherit from their parents.


How can you tell if an Angelfish is male or female?  The most pronounced difference between female and male Angelfish is in the tube located between the anal and the ventral fin. This tube is thicker in females compared to males. The difference will also become more evident during spawning.

One of the biggest challenges most aquarists have is telling the difference between male and female Angelfish

Compatible Tank Mates

When mixing Endler livebearer with other fish in a community tank it is important not to mix them with larger fish as they could eat your Endler livebearer fish.

angelfish Compatible Tank Mates

If you want to mix with guppy fish you need to be careful as they will bread with them and your tank could become over run with their fry if you are not careful.

Due to the Endler livebearer calm and peaceful nature they can mix with many different fish.

Compatible tank mates for Angelfish include

  • Mollies
  • Plecos
  • Pictus
  • Discus
  • Dwarf Cichlid

Water Conditions

It is best to keep your Angelfish under ideal conditions if you want to get the best out of them. They love to swim; therefore, it is best to keep them in a spacious tank without hindrance.

Ensuring that your Angelfish live under ideal water conditions is essential for them to live long and attain maximum size.


Angelfish prefer warm water. They thrive best in water within the temperature range of 75-820F. It is recommended to use an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature at the recommended setting.  If you are after a heater check out the ones that are available on amazon

PH Level

pH is the level of acidity or alkalinity of water. Angelfish prefer a near-neutral pH of 6.8 to 7

You can monitor your aquariums water using a PH water tester kit available on amazon

Oxygen level

As with most fish it is important for these fish to live in well oxygenated water, For this I recommend to install an air pump in to your aquarium as this will insure that the water is well oxygenated. You can pickup an air pump online from amazon.

angelfish with air pump

Tank Setup

There are certain things we need to consider when we are selecting a tank, we know the needs of this fish are

  • Prefers a lot of space as they are active and love to swim around
  • Angelfish love decorations and live plants with broad leaves to provide hideouts and enhance by swimming
  • Ensure slow and steady water flow and avoid powerful current
  • Angelfish will thrive better if they have 8 to 12 hours of light per day
  • Substrates in the tank should be soft and subtle because Angelfish love to dig

With this information we can now select a tank.

endlers tank setup

Tank Size

Angelfish often experience a drastic increase in size as they grow. They can grow up to 6″ when the tank conditions are right. They also love to swim; therefore, they need a tank with enough space to accommodate their size and permit their elegant swimming.

The minimum tank size for an Angelfish is between 5 to 20 gallons. Additional tank size is dependent on the number of Angelfish you intend to keep in the same tank

How many Angelfish to keep in a 5 gallon tank? Only Juvenile Angelfish will fit into a 5 gallon tank. At full maturity, not even one Angelfish will fit into a 5 gallon tank.

If you are looking to purchase a fish aquarium I recommend you check out the aquariums on amazon


The cleaner your tank water is the more chance your fish have of thriving and living a happier and healthier life.  I have always used a fluval aquarium filter which I highly recommend, Check them out here


It is recommended to use an aquarium heater to keep the water temperature at the recommended setting.  If you are after a heater check out the ones available on amazon

I also recommend that you monitor your aquariums water temperature by using an aquarium digital thermometer.  Check out these ones from amazon

Tank Decorations

Angelfish love to have decorations and live plants in their tank. This addition enhances its graceful swimming and provides them with hideouts. Some of the suitable tank decorations for Angelfish include;

  • Amazon Sword
  • Java sword
  • Duckweed
  • Pondweed

angefish Tank Decorations


How often do Angelfish need to be fed? You shouldn’t be driven by the way Angelfish eats because they are greedy eaters. You can feed younger Angelfish about 3 to 4 times a day. This frequent feeding is to ensure that they have enough diet to meet their rapid growth. You can cut the feeding times to twice a day as they grow. If you overfeed Angelfish, they can become overweight, which is not suitable for their health.

What should I feed my Angelfish? Angelfish are not picky eaters; they will eat almost anything you provide to them. They are omnivorous that feed on both plants and animals—Angelfish fancy live foods such as insects, larvae, shrimps, crustaceans, and other smaller fish. You can also feed them with vegetables, spinach, romaine, and zucchini. Angelfish will grow healthy with various pellets, flakes, frozen and freeze-dried foods.

How long can Angelfish live without food? Like every other living thing, Angelfish needs food to survive. It is guaranteed that Angelfish can live for three days without food. However, healthy adult Angelfish living under ideal conditions can live up to 14 days without food. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that you shouldn’t starve your Angelfish.


The ease of breeding is one of the reasons why Angelfish is popular among most aquarists. It would be best if you made slight adjustments to the water and tank conditions when it is your Angelfish’s breeding season. You should increase their feeding and raise the water temperature to 820F.

The breeding of Angelfish starts with pairing off of males and females that creates territory for themselves as the female prepares to spawn. The female will lay about 200 to 400 eggs, after which the male will fertilize it externally.

Angelfish show parental care; hence, they will look after their fry until they are a month old. After this, you can move the fry into a separate tank. You can feed the fry with hardboiled egg and brine shrimp larvae until they are 5 to 7 weeks old. The fry can graduate to the adult tank after eight weeks.

How to tell if Angelfish is pregnant? The most apparent sign when an Angelfish is pregnant is the protruded belly. This area is known as the gravid spot or gravid patch. The tube between their anal and ventral fins also becomes more pronounced and thicker. 


The last thing I want to go through is the common diseases these fish could suffer from.

Fin and Tail Rot
Like the name, fin and tail rot imply targets and specifically affect the fin and tail of Angelfish. It is primarily facilitated by overcrowding of tanks, power water quality, and overfeeding. This disease’s common symptoms include fraying of the fin, lethargy, loss of appetite, and inflamed patches on the fin. The most effective treatment is making the water conditions right and adding the correct dosage of antibiotics to the tank.

Hemorrhagic is one of the fatal diseases that affect Angelfish. It involves critical parts of the fish’s system, like the internal organs, respiration, skin, and muscle. It is even more lethal because it is easily transferable in the tank. Some of this disease’s symptoms include swollen abdomens, darkened coloration, abnormal swimming behavior, and bulging eyes. Cleaning the aquarium and regular water changes will help you curb this disease.

Columnaris is another disease that affects Angelfish. Some of the symptoms of this disease include reduced coloration of the fish, the appearance of patches, and white spots on the head. It is often caused by a sudden change in water, overcrowding, low water quality, and a compromised immune system of the fish. You can treat this disease by applying suitable antibiotics appropriately.

Freshwater Ich

This is a parasite of protozoal disease that results in springing up of white spots on the gills and bodies of fish belonging to the freshwater species. The major cause of this disease is sudden changes in water temperature

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the frequently asked questions about this fish

How Many AngelFish Should Be Kept Together? You can keep as many Angelfish as you want, providing you have enough space to accommodate them all. Therefore, the number of fish you can stay together depends on the size of your tank. You should allocate about 20 gallons for each fish.

What Kind Of Fish Can You Put With AngelFish? Angelfish are semi-aggressive and territorial. Therefore, it is best to keep them with a more peaceful species of fish. Likewise, Angelfish prefer to swim around the middle of the tank; hence, it is best to keep them with fish that spend most of their time at the surface of the tank or bottom dwellers.
The fish you should keep with Angelfish should be of similar size because they can prey on smaller fish and snack on them.

Should Angelfish Be Kept In Paris? Angelfish can be kept in Paris. However, you should be careful about the temperature because Angelfish thrive best in warm water. You can keep them indoors, include a heater in the tank, or use alternative means to ensure that the temperature is at an optimal level.