How to take care of Angel fish?

We will talk about angelfish care in this blog post.We will also discuss important factors such as their habitat, types,lifespan,tank set-up, water parameters and healthcare, etc.Everything you need to know about angelfish care will be briefly discussed.

Overview

In this blog

  • Key specifications of  angelfish
  • Why is angelfish care important?
  • How many angelfish should you start with as a newcomer?
  • Habitat of angelfish
  • Types of angelfish
  • Different strains or colors of angelfish
  • General and physical attributes of angelfish
  • Angelfish lifespan
  • Angelfish tank set-up
  • Angelfish diet and feeding requirements
  • Angelfish healthcare and health conditions
  • Angelfish daily care and Bi-weekly care tips
  • Summary

How to take care of Angel fish?

You can take care of your Angel fish by doing the following:

  • Observe their swimming patterns.A healthy angelfish will swim stress free.
  • Keep the tank water clean.
  • Check if all the tank accessories are in working condition or not.
  • Maintain the optimum temperature, pH and water hardness.
  • A balanced meal should be given twice a day.
  • Young angelfish tend to eat more than the fully grown ones, so feed them 2-3 times a day.
  • Never overfeed your angelfish, they will poop and become overweight,which again is not a good sign for their longevity. Pooping leads to the accumulation of ammonia in the tank and that could be harmful for their overall health.It could kill them ultimately.

Bi-weekly care tips for angelfish

  • Change 15-20 % water once after two weeks.
  • Keep the tank free from chlorine, nitrite,nitrate and ammonia.
  • Wash the filters every week properly with the same tank water, and a good quality scrub wearing a glove. 
  • Remove sick tank mates to a hospital tank and put them back once they are fine.
  • Check the food expiry dates before giving them.
  • If you are keeping angelfish pair then be ready for their breeding, because they lay eggs every week.The number of eggs depends upon the number of times you have changed the water.

Key specifications of Angelfish

GenusPterophyllum
FamilyCichlidae
HabitatTropical South AmericaFreshwater (slow moving,warm water)
Body length6-8 inches long
LifespanUpto 10 years in a well maintained tank
ColorsMultiple color strains 
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
Tank-size40 gallons (maximum capacity)
DietOmnivores
Care-levelEasy
ShapeRounded and laterally compressed
Temperature and pH
Water hardness
Temp-80 Degrees fahrenheit (27 degree celsius)pH- Between 6.8-7.8Between 3-8 dKH
No of angel fish species found90 different species.

Why is Angelfish care important?

Angelfish are very famous aquarium fish due to their lively personalities,different strains and ability to adjust in various water conditions.

Angelfish don’t need heavy set-up to maintain them.They are easy to care for and get adapted to any set-up easily.Still we need to know some tips on how to keep them daily and weekly.

Good care can keep them happy and healthy and this will add up to their longevity.

Newcomers should gather all the necessary information about angels from the pet shop before buying them,as they are a little bit aggressive.

How many angelfish should you start with as a newcomer?

Angelfish like to live in pairs or groups.You can get a pair of angelfish or if you are planning to set up a community tank then get at least 6 together.Put them in an appropriate tank size for their proper growth.

  • Minimum tank size- 20 gallons
  • Single angelfish – 10 gallons tank
  • Group of angelfish- 80 gallons tank

Habitat of Angelfish

Angelfish are freshwater fish and come from tropical South America. Usually found in the slow moving warm waters and areas with dense vegetation.They are both freshwater and marine.Freshwater ones are suitable for aquariums so they are mostly bred for captivity.

Types of Angelfish 

Species nameGeneral Body scales
Pterophyllum altum Tall46-48
Pterophyllum leopoldi Long nose 29-35
Pterophyllum scalare Most common aquarium trade angelfish35-45

Other types:

  • Queen angelfish
  • Emperor angelfish
  • French angelfish
  • Blue angelfish

Different strains or color of Angelfish

They come in huge varieties:

  • Silver
  • Gold 
  • Zebra
  • Blacklace
  • Albino
  • Koi (red and cheddar barb)
  • Leopard
  • Hybrids (mixture of colors)

General and physical Physical attributes of Angelfish

  • Angelfish are popular for their finnage i.e long fins.
  • 6-8 inches in length.
  • Angels are thin and have a flat body.
  • They are round and laterally compressed.
  • Their dorsal and anal fins are curved or bent.
  • Pectoral fins are feathery in appearance.
  • Their mouths are small in size.
  • Eyes are darker.
  • Males have bifurcated ventral fins.

Angelfish lifespan

Angelfish can live upto 5-10 years, depending upon the amount of care they are getting in the aquarium.

Angelfish Tank set-up

Tank sizeLight intensitySubstrate/decorationWater parametersTemperatureTank plantsTank mates

Prerequisites for angelfish tank set-up:

  • Right size tank and tank type
  • Choose suitable plants and decoration
  • Water conditions
  • Tank-mates
  • Right accessories for the tank

Tank-size for angelfish

  • Angelfish can grow upto 8 inches long, so it’s important to have a bigger and spacious tank for them.Bigger sized tanks will give them more space to swim and hide
  • A 40-45  gallon tank will be perfect for them.
  • Tank types-Bare bottom tanks, community tanks or well planted tanks.Choice is up to you.

Light intensity for angelfish tank

Angelfish need light for 12 hours/day.

Substrate/decorations for angelfish tank

Substrate- Smooth gravels 

Angelfish tanks can be decorated with the help of large rocks, some stones and driftwood to make the tank look attractive. This also attracts the angelfish and keeps them happy and healthy.

Make sure to arrange them vertically in the tank.Driftwoods in particular keep the tank acidic and it’s good for their immune system also.

Decorative materials:

  • Large rocks – For hiding and laying eggs
  • Driftwood- Keeps the tank acidic

Water parameters for angelfish tank

Angelfish come from tropical freshwater and thrive well in warm water.Its very important to keep the water conditions like their natural habitat.

Maintaining the temperature 80 degrees fahrenheit with the help of a thermometer, pH between 6.8-7.8(acidic) and hardness in the range of 3-8 dkH  will mimic the natural conditions.

A proper filtration system of a good quality should be installed in the tank. A good filter will remove all the unwanted dirt, leftovers and ammonia from the tank.

This should be washed once every 2 weeks.Wash them with the help of the tank water only.

Change 10-20 percent of water once every two weeks to keep the above conditions maintained.Healthy water conditions are equal to healthy angelfish.

Temperature for angelfish:

  • Ideal temperature : 80F
  • Breeding temperature- 80F-82F

Tank plants for angelfish

Plants act as a natural filter, as they provide oxygen in the tank. Angelfish comes from tropical south america, which is famous for their dense vegetation.

It’s very important to add the right quality plants in the tank.Artificial plants can also be added just for decorative purposes.

Tall and broadleaf plants could be the right choice in my opinion for the angelfish.

Here is the list of some of the plants which mimics the natural habitat plants for the angelfish tank:

  • Anubias nana
  • Hornworts
  • Vallisneria
  • Java fern
  • Amazon sword
  • Wisteria
  • Water sprite

Tank-mates for angelfish

Angelfish tank mates should be chosen carefully.They are simple and peaceful fish and can adjust with fish of similar temperament.They are not aggressive but with aggressive tank mates they get aggressive too like fin-nippers.

They are voracious eaters and when kept with finnippers they end up fighting for resources in the aquarium.So compatibility is a very important factor when housing them with tank mates.

Minimum 5-6 tank mates can be kept together with two angelfish. Here is the list of fish which are suitable for them and which are not suitable.

Compatible tank mates :

  • Plecos
  • Platies
  • Corydoras
  • Gourami
  • Mollies
  • African butterfly fish
  • Discus

Non-Compatible tank mates:

  • Fin-nippers (tiger barbs)
  • Fast swimmers
  • Avoid small fish like neon tetras,they might end up eating small sized ones.
  • Avoid keeping fish larger than Angelfish.

Angelfish diet and feeding requirements

Angels are omnivores and are often called voracious eaters.They eat a lot and grow quickly.

Feed them a balanced meal twice a day and you can also do trial and error with the food like you can mix some and feed them and can keep a track whether they liked it or not.

Include proteins in their diet to keep them healthy.They have a small mouth so crush the food particles before giving them and try to notice how much time they take to finish one bite.Then feed accordingly.

Frozen food stuff should not be given directly to them, let them defrost first then only feed them.

Never overfeed your angels, they might end up contaminating the tank by pooping, the poop contains ammonia and can be a serious threat to their health.

So it’s recommended to remove the leftovers from the tank to avoid such mishaps.Last but not the least check the expiry date on the food labels before feeding them.A good food is equal to a sound health.

Favorite food includes:

  • Hikari vibra bites
  • Tubifex worms
  • Tropical flakes
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Freeze dried bloodworms (most favorite)
  • Fluval bug bites
  • Color flakes
  • Tropical granules
  • Zucchini
  • Algae wafers

Angelfish healthcare and health conditions

They can get a wide range of diseases from virus to parasitic to protozoan disease.

If their condition is not getting improved then it’s better to put them in a hospital tank and keep them there until they dont get well.

It’s important to consult the right vet for their treatment.One sick fish can spread the disease to all others in the tank, so without ignoring the signs, separate them as soon as possible.

Here is the list of some diseases along with their symptoms and treatment.

  • Hexamita disease- A parasitic disease

Symptoms

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Discolouration
  • Excessive stool production
  • Skin decaying
  • Ich- Protozoan disease

Symptoms

  • White spots on the gills
  • Treatment-

Consult a vet if it gets serious and give them the prescribed medicines.There are some drugs which could be given.They are

  • Levamisole
  • praziquantel

Summary

Angelfish are technically cichlids and are somewhat territorial.They are not sensitive to water parameters.

They are aggressive eaters and love to eat almost anything.They come in huge strains of colors and that makes them one of the most common aquarium fish.

Angels dont need a sophisticated tank set-up to keep them.They are low maintenance freshwater fish.They only require a good quality heater,because they are tropical fish and need warm water all the time.

Feed them good quality food and change water once in two weeks.They are hardy fish that means they can adjust in any water condition.

Quarantine new fish for at least two weeks in a quarantine tank.Keep sick fish in a hospital tank till they become fine.

Keep them with the right tank mates and then see how they grow nicely in the tank.It will make good pets for both newcomers and experienced aquarists.

Frequently asked questions on angelfish care

Are angelfish aggressive in nature?

Angelfish are peaceful cichlids but may get aggressive during spawning while pairing off.They also get aggressive when kept with larger fish as they compete for resources and show aggression towards each other.

Do angels need special care to keep in aquariums?

Angel fish are one of the most smart and beautiful aquarium fish.They get easily adapted in any set-up.All they need is good food, because they are voracious eaters and can eat all day long.Track their feeding habits and water conditions from time to time.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterophyllum
https://www.buildyouraquarium.com/complete-freshwater-angelfish-set-care-guide/
https://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-an-Angelfish
https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/angelfish-care-guide

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