Do angelfish have a personality?

In this blog post we will discuss distinct personalities of beautiful and colorful angelfish.This blog will give you all the necessary information about their different types of behavior.


In this blog

  • Do Angelfish have a personality?
  • What are the reasons for aggression in angelfish?
  • Why do angelfish lock lips with each other?
  • What are the signs of a happy and healthy angelfish?
  • What tank size will keep the angelfish happy?
  • Do well decorated tanks keep angelfish happy?
  • What water parameters keep the angelfish happy in aquarium condition.
  • What are the signs of a hungry angelfish?
  • What are the signs of a sick angelfish?
  • Angelfish mating behavior
  • What is this shaking behavior in angelfish?
  • Do angelfish like heavily planted tanks?
  • Which tank mates keep angelfish happy and stress free in their tanks?
  • What upsets angelfish?
  • Are angelfish Protogynous hermaphrodites?
  • Do angelfish change their colors?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions

Do angelfish have a personality?

Angelfish can be seen in quiet, slow moving water,dimly lit areas,overhanging vegetation of tropical South America,specifically Amazon river system.

Angelfish can live up to 10 years in captivity,if they are kept in a right size aquarium,given nutritions, balanced diet meals and optimal water conditions.They like spacious tanks and a stress free environment for their growth.

  • Angelfish have distinct personalities.
  • Uniqueness-Pointed fins,sparkling scales on their bodies,and extra set of bristle-like teeth make them more unique and beautiful.
  • Angelfish are territorial in the presence of food resources, mates or eggs.
  • They get disturbed or overwhelmed by loud noises and sudden moves.
  • They are very intelligent.
  • They are seen active during the daytime.In their natural habitat they hunt during the day time and hide in the reefs during night time.
  • Angels communicate through chemical cues (pheromones) in their urine.They release urine and bile in water when they want to give some important signals to their members.
  • They are called opportunists,as they tend to eat anything in their vicinity,which can easily fit in their mouth.They also show aggression to establish their hierarchy in aquariums.

What are the reasons for aggression in angelfish?

  • Angelfish get aggressive due to frequent water changes in their aquarium.
  • If they are kept with aggressive breeds like cichlids then they display their aggression.
  • They get aggressive with fin-nippers.
  • If food resources are scarce in their aquarium.
  • Competition for resources leads to aggression.
  • Overcrowded aquariums and lack of spaces triggers aggression.
  • Male angelfish show aggression towards each other during breeding time.

Why do angelfish lock lips with each other?

  • If you find your angels’ locking lips, they are actually fighting.
  • Angelfish lock their lips even befor mating season for finding a spawning site.
  • Locking their lips is a sign of dominance too.
  • It could also be a sign of aggression.

What are the signs of a happy and healthy angelfish?

A happy and healthy angelfish will show these signs:

  • Angels are voracious eaters,so if your angels are eating well and having a hearty appetite then that’s one of the important signs of a happy and healthy angelfish.
  • Angels are known to occupy the middle region of the tanks for swimming and other activities.If they are swimming actively in the middle region of the tank,it means they are doing fine.If they are found on the upper region of the tanks,then they might be facing some health issues.
  • Angelfish will live happily in water temperatures between 75-86 °F.
  • They will swim back and forth very energetically around the aquarium.
  • A happy and healthy angelfish will not show any signs of disease.
  • Their fins will be flared out.
  • They will look bright and vibrant
  • Breathe easily and normally.

What tank size will keep the angelfish happy?

Tank size and shape is really an important factor and it also determines angelfish behavior.

  • Smaller and overcrowded tanks are the main reason for their aggressive behavior.
  • Minimum tank size for angels is 30 gallons.
  • Angels are bigger in size and need a bigger,taller and spacious tank of 40-45 gallons to house them.
  • Taller aquariums are best for angels as they can nicely accommodate their body shape.
  • Angels do well in bigger and spacious tanks.
  • Angels won’t thrive well in smaller and crowded aquariums.

Do well decorated tanks keep angelfish happy?

Yes, angelfish very much like well decorated aquariums.They would love to have lots of large vertical standing rock in their aquarium for hiding when they feel shy or threatened.They do like driftwood in their aquarium,as it very much mimics their natural habitat.

What water parameters keep the angelfish happy in aquarium condition.

Water parameters for angelfish:

  • Water type- They are freshwater species
  • Water temperature – 75-86F(warm water) will keep them happy.
  • Breeding temperature-Suitable breeding temperature is 80-82F
  • Water pH-6.8-7.8 (acidic)
  • Degree of water hardness-3-8 dKH
  • Water movement-They prefer slower water currents in their tanks.

What are the food preferences and feeding frequency of angelfish?

Angelfish are omnivores and bottom feeders and will accept a wide range of food.

  • Tropical flakes,color flakes,tropical granules
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Freeze dried bloodworms 
  • Veggies
  • Algae wafers
  • Frozen mysis shrimp

Feeding frequency for angelfish

  • It is important to feed younger angelfish 3 to 4 times a day for their growth and colouration.
  • Adult angelfish should be fed twice a day.
  • Overfeeding is harmful to them,as it can increase their body weight.

What are the signs of a hungry angelfish?

A hungry angelfish will show these signs:

  • Angels will start digging their aquarium substrate in search of food.
  • They will come near the top of the aquarium and wait for their food.
  • They will show aggressive behaviors.
  • They will become slow and lethargic.

What are the signs of a sick angelfish?

  • Angelfish will not breathe normally and will be seen gasping at the water surface.
  • They will be seen swimming sideways due to swim bladder disease.
  • Their eyes will be bulged,either one or both the eyes.
  • Lot of mucus will get accumulated on their bodies.
  • They will be seen rubbing themselves on hard surfaces.
  • They will not interact with their tank mates and will isolate themselves from all.
  • Skin will have lesions or sores.
  • Shape and size will change
  • Bloating due to overfeeding.

Angelfish mating behavior

  • Mating behavior is seen during the winter season.
  • Male and female angelfish will start pairing off.
  • Female angelfish will have bulging bellies.
  • Male angelfish attracts females angelfish by flapping their pectoral fins.
  • A single male with a group of 4 females is called a harem.
  • Females become aggressive towards other tank mates during spawning time to protect her eggs.
  • Male and female angelfish will be seen grooming each other.
  • The pair will choose a space and start cleaning that space.The female will then deposit eggs there and then the males will fertilize those eggs.
  • They might be seen kissing each other during mating.
  • Breeding couples should be kept in a separate breeding tank to avoid aggression.
  • Parental care is seen in angelfish,both male and female angelfish are doting parents and will protect their eggs until they are hatched.They continue to care and protect them until they start swimming independently.

What is this shaking behavior in angelfish?

  • Angelfish starts shaking as a result of a condition called shimmies.
  • It occurs when angelfish is under severe stress.
  • Angelfish will have no control on their nerves and muscles.
  • Bacterial and protozoan infections are associated with shimmies.

Do angelfish like heavily planted tanks?

Yes, angelfish do like heavily planted tanks,in fact they come from regions with dense plantations.

  • Anubias,hornworts,ferns,swords,wisteria,water-sprites,tiger lotus,and ambulia are best aquarium plants for angelfish.
  • Amazon swords are very important during breeding time.

Which tank mates keep angelfish happy and stress free in their tanks?

Angelfish like non-aggressive and peaceful tank mates.Peaceful tank mates keep the aquarium environment stress free.

  • Boesemani rainbows
  • Corydoras catfish 
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Praecox Rainbows
  • Zebra Loaches 
  • Platies
  • Mollies 
  • Kribensis

What upsets angelfish?

Things which upsets angelfish in their aquarium is:

  • Ammonia and nitrates spike in their aquarium.
  • If the oxygen levels are very low in their aquarium.
  • Water temperature fluctuations
  • Water pH fluctuations.
  • Non-compatible tank mates
  • Overcrowded and smaller aquariums.

Are angelfish protogynous hermaphrodites?

Yes,angelfish are considered as protogynous hermaphrodites.The female angelfish are known to get converted to male angelfish at certain point in their lifetime.

It only happens when the dominant male angelfish disappears from the groups,then the larger female angelfish will take their place by converting into male angelfish.

Do angelfish change their colors?

Yes,angelfish are known to change their colors as they age.The black stripes on younger angelfish will turn yellowish as they age.The other reasons for their color changing behavior are health,nutrition and breeding behavior.


  • Angelfish are good for both newcomers and experienced aquarist.They are hardy species and do well in a wide range of water parameters.
  • You need to keep ammonia levels in check to avoid ammonia spikes in their tanks.
  • Angelfish do well in community tanks but they might not like overcrowded tanks.
  • They get aggressive in small and overcrowded tanks.So its very important to add angelfish in a bigger and spacious community tank.
  • Angels are easy to care for but may get aggressive towards fellow tank mates in overcrowded aquariums.
  • Abrupt light changes can stress angelfish.
  • Parental care behavior is seen in angelfish.They are considered as doting parents to their fry.
  • Freshwater angelfish belongs to the cichlids family.
  • Angelfish are best kept with their own kind.

Frequently asked questions

Are angelfish intelligent creatures?

Yes,Angelfish are quite intelligent and they can recognize their owners and can differentiate them from others.

Are angelfish schooling fish?

No,angelfish are not schooling fish.

Do angelfish camouflage?

Marine angelfish are known to camouflage in coral reefs as a part of their communication.

What are the signs of a stressed angelfish?

If your angelfish is under stress then they will swim frantically,will crash at the bottom of the aquarium,rub themselves against gravel,and will lock their fins.