Do Angelfish get lonely?

In this article, we will answer the question “Do Angelfish get lonely?”. We will also discuss how to identify if your Angelfish is feeling lonely or depressed and what to do in the case your Angelfish is feeling lonely.

Do Angelfish get lonely?

Yes, Angelfish can feel lonely and depressed. Experts showed that animals usually respond adversely to privation of motivations. Thus, if there is a single Angelfish in the tank with no other tankmates it might feel lonely and even become depressed. Altered swim patterns may also indicate loneliness. However, it is possible to solve this issue very easily by adding some tankmates following the tank size capacity.

Can Angelfish feel solitary and depressed?

Angelfish are similar to any other animal species. However, fish are not able to display these signs of illness as clearly as other animals. This could be defined as an evolutionary trait, as a manner of not showing they are weak and vulnerable to predators. 

For this reason, it is important to keep an eye for other symptoms and additional signs that your Angelfish may have developed. 

Angelfish are very intelligent animals. Thus, they are capable of being aware of other fish presence or absence in the tank. Therefore, they would easily realise if they are alone in a tank or not, and thus, would experience loneliness as they are social species.

Although Angelfish are not classified as schooling fish, they prefer living with conspecifics and also with some other fish species. Keeping them alone would be forcing them to unnatural conditions, which could provoke stressful situations of loneliness and boredom.

However, some Angelfish have different personalities and can be good if kept alone, without feeling lonely or depressed. Similar to other animal species, Angelfish can differ severely in personality from each other and the species general characteristics.

Therefore some Angelfish can thrive well by themselves, it is important to remember that loneliness is also hazardous to fish. Depression and loneliness can provoke a fish’s death due to lack of activity, lack of appetite, and stress that could lead to other fish diseases.

How do I determine if an Angelfish is lonely or depressed?

Below are some conditions, symptoms, and signs you should look for to detect if an Angelfish is experiencing loneliness or depression.

Check the Angelfish colours

Angelfish are popular due to their bright awesome colours. Specialists believe that the existence of stressful conditions can provoke a colour fading. If you have a single Angelfish and its colours are fading, consider it might be feeling lonely. However, you should take into account the context in the tank, as brighter colours might be the result of stress too. Although, if the Angelfish is alone, the colour variation is very likely to be the result of loneliness.

Check the Angelfish daily activity

The Angelfish activity and swimming patterns are extremely valuable to determine if an Angelfish is in distress and provide information about the fish emotional state. These fish tend to be curious and usually spend a lot of time exploring their surroundings. Thus, if an Angelfish that was previously very active begin to float at the bottom for longer periods could be a signal of loneliness and depression.

Check if the Angelfish is eating 

Angelfish are typical omnivorous animals. They will try to feed on anything that fits in their mouth and thus, do not reject food items. They are even known for becoming a bit aggressive regarding food. Accordingly, if you have a single Angelfish in a tank and they begin to show a lack of appetite, it may be feeling lonely. You can detect this by looking for any leftovers and observing the feeding habits of your Angelfish.

Check the Angelfish social interactions

As we stated before Angelfish are active fish. Several individuals can start sharing interactions with their owners depending on how long they have been keeping them. This usually starts happening during feeding time, when the fish react with some excitement. 

Although Angelfish are not like dogs and cats that interact clearly and openly, they have their manner to show they are excited and happy. They can loop and jump. If your Angelfish usually interact with you and suddenly it has reduced the interactions and changed behaviour, it is something you should begin to worry about.

If you check your Angelfish and they are not suffering from any infection, they might be feeling lonely and could become depressed quickly. Signs of Angelfish most common illnesses are white spots along their body, the fins tend to look rotten and even, and they might change swimming and breathing patterns.

What are the recommendations when an Angelfish feels lonely?

If you checked all the Angelfish behaviour and activities as pointed above and concluded it is feeling lonely and depressed. There are some recommendations we would like to highlight for you to try reducing your angelfish emotional issues.

  • If you Angelfish is lonely, the most obvious solution is to get some tankmates. If the tank size allows you, it is also recommended to get other Angelfish individuals. If you opt for other fish species, go for the peaceful ones that are a good match to Angelfish tanks. With this solution, the issue will likely be solved quickly;
  • Additionally to new tankmates, it is also recommended to add other tank structures, such as decorations and plants. By making the environment more complex, it may become new stimuli for the Angelfish curiosity and thus, it would reduce its boredom;
  • It is crucial to have an appropriate tank size for the Angelfish. This is because they require plenty of room to swim around and explore. Also, to set up a complex environment you will need room for it. Thus, having the appropriate tank size will make it possible to set the ideal tank for your Angelfish;
  • Another possible solution, in the case you have no room for more fish or a more complex environment. Try adding reflective structures such as a mirror. The Angelfish attention will be caught for some time before realizing it is the reflection. It is also possible to add some drawing on the glass of your tank, this could also get some of the Angelfish attention;
  • You can try new social interactions with your Angelfish. Try to trace your finger along the glass walls to attract the Angelfish attention and make them more playful and active.

These are a few solutions that can help you on making your fish less bored and lonely. If you have tried all of them and even though your Angelfish shows signs of loneliness and depression, it might be another issue and the recommendation is to visit a veterinarian.


In this article, we answered the question “Do Angelfish get lonely?”. We also discussed how to identify if your Angelfish is feeling lonely or depressed and what to do in the case your Angelfish is feeling lonely.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do Angelfish get lonely?

How many Angelfish should I keep together?

Although Angelfish are not schooling fish, they prefer living with conspecifics. Thus, we recommend having at least 4-6 individuals in a  fish tank. However, the tank size is a limiting factor and should be appropriate for the number of fish you decide to have.

Can Angelfish live with guppies?

Yes, Guppies can make great tankmates to Angelfish. However, the recommendation is to present them while the Angelfish are young. Thus, they will not see the small Guppies as food but as tankmates.

How many Angelfish can be housed in a 10-gallon tank?

NONE, 10-gallon tanks are not suitable for any Angelfish. The minimum size required for an Angelfish is around 20 to 30-gallon. By adding new Angelfish, you should add another 10 to 15-gallon of space for each new Angelfish.

Can I keep a single Angelfish in a community tank?

Yes, it is possible to have a single Angelfish in a community tank. Just make sure the community inhabitants are good compatible mates for an Angelfish. 

Can I keep 2 male Angelfish in the same tank?

Yes, it is possible to keep two male Angelfish in the same tank. However, the tank should be large enough for them to establish their territory without fighting. 

Why do my Angelfish keep fighting?

Angelfish are territorial fish and thus they usually fight to establish and secure their territory. They can also fight during feeding times. To avoid territorial fighting, you should opt for a larger tank with plenty of plants and structures. However, if even after you get a larger tank they keep fighting, you should separate them from other tanks.


Susel, G. Do Angelfish Get Lonely? Can They Get Depressed?

Pierre and the WaterWorldCraze-Team.

Aashaya. 2021. Can Angelfish Live Alone? Is It Wrong To Keep Them Alone?