Do angelfish eat other fish?

In this article, we will answer the question “Do angelfish eat other fish?”. We will also discuss how to avoid angelfish from eating other fish and some reasons why they eat them.

Do angelfish eat other fish?

Angelfish are omnivores, which means they eat other fish species and their own kind. Fish is a staple of their food, as they would hunt and eat other fish in the wild to supplement their diet. Even in domestic aquariums, this hunting instinct can be strongly present.

Angelfish are classified as “semi-aggressive” by most fish keepers because they belong to the cichlid family. This is a freshwater fish that is notorious for being exceedingly aggressive. Angelfish aren’t as violent as other cichlids in aquariums, but they’ll eat any fish that fits in their mouth.

This includes any smaller fish. Angelfish are territorial, thus males fight each other by biting and headbutting. If the territorial disagreement becomes too heated, one of them may consume the other. 

Because angelfish consume the flesh, it’s important to choose their tankmates carefully to avoid them becoming prey. It makes no difference how much or what kind of food you feed them.

Why do angelfish eat smaller fish?

Smaller fish are eaten by larger fish. Angelfish, like all living things, have an innate need to survive. They’ll behave in their own best interests, even if it means consuming another fish species or one of their own. 

It’s a popular misconception that huge fish only eat little fish if they’re hungry, however, this isn’t true. Fish consume each other for a variety of reasons, including:

Territorial behaviour

Some fish are territorial, while others yearn for nice territory but aren’t willing to fight tooth and nail to defend it. 

Regardless, all fish prefer to stay in locations where they are safe from predators and can coexist happily with their peers. Smaller fish will be devoured by larger fish if they are present in the territory. 

This is especially true in species like angelfish, where females prefer to breed with males who have the finest territory. This encourages the guys to clean up the area in whatever way they can, including cannibalism.

Resources competition

Fish require sufficient food and space for offspring maintenance and development. Larger fish may devour smaller fish if they prevent this from happening. Similarly, if the small fish serve as food for the larger fish, they’re easy prey.


Angelfish are monogamous, and they build long-term bonds with their partners. Mated fish couples have been found to protect one another from predators and other dangers. As a result, big fish may devour smaller fish that might normally be considered a threat.

Are angelfish dangerous to other fish?

Angelfish, depending on their size, may consume other tankmates. As a result, you may believe it is ideal to keep angelfish entirely secluded in their tank. That’s a quick fix, but it’s also harmful to the angelfish. Freshwater angelfish, it turns out, have a higher level of welfare in communal tanks with other fish. 

The study discovered an increase in shoaling, which occurs when fish congregate and swim in unison. This not only creates a beautiful, diversified aquarium, but it also extends the life of your angelfish. As a result, they tend to be healthier and more active when they are in groups.

Are angelfish cannibals?

Angelfish can be aggressive, even toward one another, but it isn’t their preferred mode of behaviour. If given alternative options, angelfish will eat their own kind last.

Cannibalism frequently occurs in the following circumstances: 

–       The smaller angelfish can fit into the mouth of the larger fish. 

–       During mating or territorial issues, angelfish get into fights with one another. 

Angelfish babies and eggs do not follow this common rule. Angelfish are commonly referred to be babies cannibals, which refers to an adult of a species consuming their own children. 

Filial cannibalism can be divided into two categories:

  • Total filial cannibalism: Parents eat their entire offspring.
  • Partial filial cannibalism. Parents eat only a part of their offspring.

Ignorance, which is common among new parents, is the most common cause of total filial cannibalism.

How do I avoid my angelfish from eating other fish?

Reduce your angelfish’s stress levels to keep them calm. This may be achieved by placing the tank in a quiet section of the room with minimal activity. 

– Only changing their water when absolutely required. The frequency will vary according to the number of fish in the tank..

–       Providing them with adequate nutrition (2-3 times a day, depending on their size). 

–       Angelfish may grow to be rather huge, so maintain them in a big tank – around 15 inches deep.

–       Provide an appropriate place to lay their eggs.

–       Check to see if your water is at the proper temperature.

–       Use a stress coat to help the fish recuperate from skin and fin damage by removing pollutants from the tank. 

–       Remove everyone but the breeding pair of fish from a communal tank.

–       Make sure the aquarium isn’t too crowded. 

–       Do not introduce fresh new fish to the aquarium in small increments. 

–       Keep a lookout for any tears in their fins, colour changes, or other physical problems. 

–       Keep the lights dim and consistent near the tank; they are easily disturbed by sudden changes in brightness. 

–       Check the pH balance of the water to verify it is proper.

Fish that devour other fish is, as you can see, quite common. Angelfish can be aggressive, but lowering their stress levels will keep them from eating other fish or each other.


In this article, we answered the question “Do angelfish eat other fish?”. We also discussed how to avoid angelfish from eating other fish and some reasons why they eat them.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do angelfish eat other fish?

Is it true that angelfish consume baby fish? 

Angelfish don’t eat their young very often, especially if they’ve had multiple litters. If the fry is maintained with the parents, another reproductive cycle will be delayed since they will be preoccupied with the kids.

What size of fish can an angelfish eat?

Angelfish are little and charming, but they grow to reach 6-8 inches long when completely grown. When you see immature angelfish in the live fish store, it’s hard to believe that they’ll grow to reach 6-8 inches long. Angelfish will consume any fish that is small enough to fit in their mouths, thus any fish that is small enough will be eaten. 

Are angelfish capable of killing other fish? 

Angelfish are cichlids, and all cichlids are territorial, especially while mating and protecting their eggs and young. Angelfish, on the other hand, are placid for a cichlid and will not hurt other fish in the tank. 

What kind of fish should I pair with angelfish? 

Gouramis, peaceful barbs, rainbowfish, corydoras, and other medium-sized catfish are good tankmates for bigger tetras and rasboras, as well as gouramis, peaceful barbs, rainbowfish, corydoras, and other medium-sized catfish. Angelfish can be kept in larger aquariums with discus if the temperature is kept above 82° F.

Are angelfish friendly with other fish?

They have calm behaviour and get along with any community fish that won’t try to devour them. Lemon Tetras make excellent Angelfish tank mates for these reasons. Lemon Tetras should be housed in groups of six or more. 

Why are my angelfish constantly fighting? 

Because angelfish are territorial, they fight. One approach to keep the peace is to remove the regions that your angelfish have claimed. To accomplish this, remove the angels from the tank before rearranging its layout. For a few days, keep the aggressive ones in a different tank.


Broden, J. Do Angelfish Eat Other Fish?

Can Angelfish Eat Other Fish?

Will Angelfish Eat Other Fish?