Angelfish habitat

In this post, we will learn more about Angelfish habitat, both in the wild and inside a fish tank.

Angelfish habitat

Freshwater Angelfish inhabit tropical rivers and water bodies from South America. Originally from the Amazon River and the rivers that flow into it. They live in clear calm waters and prefer temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Angelfish natural habitat

Amazon Basin characteristics

The Amazon River basin has about seven million square meters. It is the basin with the largest volume of fresh water on the planet, comprising the largest river in the world, the Amazon.

The Amazon River is about 7,000 meters long and has a water volume of 210,000 cubic meters, dumping approximately 31 tons of sediment into the Atlantic Ocean every second. The river is also found in the largest fluvial plain in Brazil and is of the meander type (it presents tortuousness along its course), and can be widely used for navigation. There are about 20 thousand kilometres suitable for navigation in the Amazon River region and surroundings, in addition to an excellent hydroelectric potential.

Rivers that form the Amazon Basin

The Amazon River basin is formed by more than 1,000 tributaries, which come from different countries, which have smaller rivers and other water sources that drain their volume into the basin.


This fish species, along with its close relatives, lives in the Amazon River Basin, primarily throughout Peru, Brazil, and Colombia. However, they have been spread worldwide in fish tanks.

They prefer calm warm water from slow-moving bodies. They also appreciate well-vegetated areas with a sandy substrate, from where they can get some of their food.

Angelfish aquariums

A fish that inhabits a wide variety of different habitats and morphologies around the world can be raised in a tank. It is recommended to use methods and components that simulate their natural environment.

Aquarium substrate

The substrate is usually the first thing it is thought about after defining the tank size. It is important to search for information on how to clean and keep the substrate adequate for your fish.

A simple substrate made from gravel materials will be a better idea to start with. While using gravel as part of the aquarium substrate is a good idea, the downside of this material is that it tends to store more waste. This should not discourage you from using gravel, as this material is easy to clean and does not require a lot of maintenance. Plus, it is pretty cheap.

Besides the use of gravel, you can opt for sand as a substrate. Sand is a better addition, as the natural habitat for Angelfish has a sandy bottom. Using sand will likely give the aquarium a realistic and natural look, although it is more difficult to clean. Besides this drawback, sandy substrates are preferred over gravel due to their resemblance to the Angelfish natural habitat.

Plants for Angelfish 

The natural habitat of Angelfish in the Amazon Basin is characterized by a lot of vegetation. That fact, by itself, should give you enough reasons to include several plants for your Angelfish in the aquarium.

Not just the plants alone, you can also include rocks and all sorts of hiding places to ensure your fish has the right environment. The addition of rocks and plants will also help you to avoid stress às they would provide hiding and resting spots.

Using artificial plants is also an idea you can use to achieve the same goals as using natural plants. Your Angelfish tank would resemble the natural Angelfish habitat even using artificial structures. During your selection, be sure to settle for artificial plants that have large leaves and can stand upright to give an impression of the ones in their natural habitat.

In addition to plants, you can add other decorations such as artificial rocks and woods. Tank vegetation will assist a lot with the Angelfish natural habitat resemblance. Large rocks can provide a safe refuge for fish to hide or lay eggs. In general, natural habitat looking and some resembling decorations will help in keeping your Angelfish stress-free and healthy.

There are different species of freshwater Angelfish

Genus: Pterophyllum

Pterophyllum leopoldi

Pterophyllum scalare

General characteristics

Freshwater Angelfish belongs to tropical species of Cichlids present in the Amazon River basin, very far from the African cichlids that live in lakes.

The freshwater Angelfish has a triangular body appearance and grows up to 6 inches in length and 10 inches tall. The triangular shape of this fish allows it to mix with aquatic plants. Also, in some species, the dark vertical stripes serve to better camouflage themselves with the surroundings.


Freshwater Angelfish is an omnivorous animal and in its natural environment, it feeds on small fish, insects, shrimp, and some invertebrates.


Freshwater Angelfish have many predators, most of them are larger fish and birds.


Freshwater Angelfish generate around 600 eggs that hatch in a few days, around 2 or 3. Eggs are laid on a flat sheet or underwater trunk. The juvenile is known as fingerling, remains attached to eggs for up to 5 days until they feed on the rest of the yolk sack. After this period, they will become free-swimming fish. That is when they start feeding on microorganisms found in the water. 

They are classified as monogamous. However few studies show that the males can swap pairs after some mating cycles.


In this post, we learnt about the Angelfish habitat in the wild and inside a fish tank.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Angelfish habitat

How many Angelfish should be kept together?

The answer to this question will depend on the size of the tank you have. An adult Angelfish require a minimum of 10 gallons of water in a tank.

What is Angelfish favourite food?

They enjoy almost any type of food you offer them. However, they will prefer some brine shrimp and bloodworms.

What do Angelfish eat?

As omnivores, they eat almost any type of food. They enjoy vegetables like zucchini, spinach, and some peas, as well as animal protein from shrimp, bloodworms, and insects. 

What is the lifespan of an Angelfish?

Angelfish can live usually up to 10-12 years. However, keeping ideal water conditions and feeding habits may increase their life expectancy to 15 years.

What is the general behaviour of freshwater Angelfish?

In general, they are peaceful fish. However, they are territorial, so they can get somehow aggressive and attack other fish that enter their territory.

How big can an Angelfish grow?

Angelfish can grow up to 10 inches in height and 6 inches in length. Thus, it is important to keep Angelfish in large tall tanks, with plenty of space and plants.


Angelfish Care Guide.

Angelfish Complete Care Guide, Size, Life Span, Tank Mates, Breeding. 2020.

Angelfish Egg Stages – The Complete Guide.