Tropical Freshwater Angelfish Care

About Freshwater Angelfish

Freshwater angelfish are one of the most popular Cichlids in the hobby. They draw people to them with their elegance, mild mannered temperament and inquisitive nature. Today there are over 30 different types of freshwater angelfish in the hobby. They are hardy and very easy to care for. A pair of angelfish can be kept in a tank as small as 20 gallons in size.

Because of their ease of keeping , freshwater angelfish are very popular for first time fish keepers as well as seasoned aquarium owners. They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and will eat many different types of foods. They are also very easy to breed and are a good choice for the first time aquarium fish breeder. A pair of angelfish will spawn often in a tank that has been given proper care and maintenance.

Angelfish Care

Angelfish prefer to live in groups and should be kept in groups of 4 or more unless they are a breeding pair. They are very easy to keep and can tolerate a range of water conditions. Even being as hardy as they are good tank maintenance should be observed to give them most optimal conditions and to ensure the Angelfish are always healthy.

The best tank conditions for Angelfish include water that is kep at a temperature ranging from 72-79 degrees and pH range of 6.8-7.5. The tank can be 20 gallons in size but should be no smaller and should be tall enough to allow plenty of space for the long fins of Angelfish.

Breeding Freshwater Angelfish

Breeding freshwater angelfish is not all that difficult. Only a few things are required of the Aquarium owner to get them to breed. The first requirement is to get a breeding pair.

The best way to get a breeding pair let them pair up on their own by keeping several juveniles together in an aquarium and letting it happen naturally as they grow up together. Once a male an a female has paired up then they must be separated from the rest by either moving the pair to a new tank or the others.

A breeding pair of angelfish in their own breeding tank will spawn natuarally with good tank maintenance. Good tank maintenance is they key to having angelfish spawn regularly and produce many broods of fry.

Spawning occurs by the pair first choosing a flat surface to lay the eggs, then the female lays her eggs on the surface by making several passes along it. She is followed by the male angelfish who passed closely over the eggs fertilizing them. Once they have done this several times, both parents will guard the eggs. Freshwater angelfish will care for the fry once the eggs have hatched and make excellent parents. Rarely a young pair may eat their eggs after spawning but usually only do so on the first or second spawning.

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Comments 20 comments

Bard of Ely profile image

Bard of Ely 7 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I have bred angelfish many years ago. Great hub!

traynell 6 years ago

i had three angelfish die can you tell me why?

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 6 years ago from USA Author

I need more details. What were the fish doing before they died?

jamal sindhi 6 years ago

how can b identify angel male and female

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 6 years ago from USA Author

Sexing angelfish is difficult. The best way to get a breeding pair is to get 6 or more juveniles and let a male a female pair up as they mature in your tank.

Rebecca 6 years ago

I successfully kept 2 angelfish for about a year together in a 10 gallon tank. Probably due to the Ph shock of a necessary move across the country, one of the pair (not an established breeding pair) died. Since then, my remaining angelfish (5 inches tall) refuses to eat, interact, or really do much of anything. It is completely unlike his former behavior.

I tried buying a few tiger barbs in the hopes of enticing him to interact again. Although it did provoke some movement out of him, they were much too aggressive toward each other and the angel, and I removed them from the tank.

I'm considering buying another angel, because I can't see many other ways to get my remaining angel to eat/move/live normally. Is it better to buy a juvenile angel, or risk introducing an adult angel his size that may have already established pecking-order patterns?

If it helps at all, my remaining fish was always the more dominant of the former pair.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Sheryl 6 years ago

My angelfish has lost its two long fins underneath and is having trouble swimming upright but is still feeding well and otherwise seems happy, is there a cure or is it cruel to keep it??

Pat 5 years ago

i am house sitting,,, owner has 2 angels,,,ok the first week,, last night,, listless, lying on side,,slow moving,,, no changes ,, the owner changed water just before she left.. today i did partial change,, added stress relief, and changed filter.... any other suggestions....

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 5 years ago from USA Author


How often did you feed the angelfish? You might not be feeding them enough or you could even be overfeeding them.

christine 5 years ago

Today I just got my first angelfish since i was like 5 yrs old and now im 20yrs so any tips on caring for one

Richard Moore 5 years ago

I recently lost a Sun Gold Angelfish as it was attacked and subsequently killed by an over-zealous plocostomus that was approx. 6" in length. My angelfish was about 4" in size and I had it for about 4 years. I have two other angels remaining (marbled) and they have been affected by the loss of "Bella". I got rid of the dangerous killer in hopes to save my other fish. I have a 35 gal. tank that is well-maintained. Any suggestions as to what I might add or should I leave well enough alone. I also have 3 catfish, 1 black/grey tetra.

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 5 years ago from USA Author


Many plecos are fairly peaceful but there are some that are territorial (especially if they are feeding). Perhaps you could get smaller algae eating fish like whiptails or bull-nose plecos. You might also get a new angelfish. Other than that, your tank is probably good how it is.

Denise 5 years ago

I recently lost the male angelfish of the pair og German blues that I have. I think he had a swim bladder issue and tried everything to save him. My question is can I add a new angelfish or will the remaining one be aggressive toward it? Do I need to add the same breed of angelfish? I have a 70 gallon tank and was wondering how many I can accommodate ? I have 2 male rainbows and one female as well. The rainbows have always seemed very aggressive but never actually disturbed the angelfish. Am concerned how they will react now that the female angel is on her own. Any suggestions?

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 5 years ago from USA Author


You can add more angelfish to your tank. You should get the same breed unless you want to mix two different breeds to see what kind of fry they produce.

I would add more than just one angelfish because you can't really tell the sex of angelfish till they are ready to spawn. To get a better chance of getting another male to pair up with your female you should get 3 or 4 more. Once the female has paired up with another male you can keep the others or take them to a local pet store.

Feline Pet Store 4 years ago

Great Hub. I love animal websites. Although I only have 2 small fish, some of my friend's homes look like a pet store. Makes me wish I had more pets.

Anna 3 years ago

I have a breeding pair in my 26 gallon aquarium. They have not been succesful yet. I keep my water around 80 Firefighter. I clean the tank once every 2 weeks. They are also the only fish in the tank and I still don't know what I am doing wrong. Their eggs keeps on turning white and i remove the eggs that turn white but no matter how much i take off they still keep on turning white. Can you please tell me what I should try to do?

mark 3 years ago

i have got a pair of angelfish in a 4ft by 15inch by 18inch tank they have laid 4 batches of eggs and let the fry be free swimming then they eat them all up. Any sugestions please.

Kim 3 years ago

Hello. I have a question on my mating pair of Angels. I have seen the eggs they laid and watched them turn into little fry which then begin to wiggle a lot. A day later they were wiggling themselves off of their spots and the Mother or Father would catch them in their mouth then spit them back on the heater. The little ones would wiggle even more then become freed again then they would start swimming then fanish. So my question is can they survive in the tank without the care of the parents?. Thank you for any answers I can find for I have 3 breeding pair and this is all new to me.

Web Gazelle profile image

Web Gazelle 3 years ago from USA Author

It is not uncommon for new pairs to eat their eggs or fry after the first couple tries at breeding. If your pair doesn't figure things out and protect the eggs and fry after the 4th try then you might need to split up your pair and find another male or female.

New angelfish fry can survive without parents but you will need to make an extra effort to keep feeding them. You will need to feed them either baby brine shrimp or commercially prepared fry foods like First Bites by Hikari.

Maggie 14 months ago

I have a new pair of angles, i had 5 neons too, but they all died when i hooked up the heater. My angles stay in the corner almost all the time. Will they die too? Is there something wrong with my heater? I don't have a lot of money to buy things for the tank. What should i do?

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