top of page

Angelfish Basic Care Guide | Freshwater Angelfish


Coming in several different colors and patterns, along with their beauty and graceful swimming patterns, it is no wonder the angelfish is so popular in the hobby.

Originating from slow moving waters in South America, freshwater angelfish are actually a type of cichlid, and they get their name from their wing like shaped fins.

The average size of the angelfish is 6 inches, and their lifespan is between 7 to 10 years, and with a large enough tank set up and the right diet there have been some that have reached up to 10 inches in size.

Tank Set Up

The bare minimum tank size for keeping angelfish is 20 gallons, but 30 gallons or larger is often recommended, and because of the shape and size of these fish, taller tanks are preferred.

Bigger is better especially when it comes to these fish, because while angelfish are considered relatively easy to care for, they do not do well with fluctuations in water parameters.

These fish need stable temperatures of between 76°-80° and prefer slightly acidic soft water with a pH between 6.5-7.

Because angelfish are not the strongest swimmers, you will want to choose a good filtration system with a low flow rate. Sponge filters are always a great low flow option for filtration and are relatively inexpensive.

These fish thrive in well planted tanks and choosing broadleaf plants such as Amazon Swords can even help to promote spawning.

When choosing your substrate and any décor for the tank, you will want to avoid anything with sharp edges, as this could easily tear the angelfish’s fins.

Tank Mates

Angelfish are considered semi aggressive, and are often kept in a species only tank, but that is not to say they can’t be kept in community tanks.

Some of the species they are compatible with are Corydoras, cherry barbs, kuhli loaches, bristlenose plecos, mollies, and platies. Some have successfully kept small schooling fish such as neon tetras, but always remember, if it fits in a fish’s mouth, it’s food.


Angelfish are technically omnivores, in the wild, they feed on insects, larvae, crustaceans, and even smaller fish. They require a diet high in protein and fiber and will consume small amounts of plant material.

In the aquarium a high quality cichlid pellet or flake food along with live foods such as brine shrimp, black worms, blood worms, chopped earthworms and guppy fry or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or blood worms will help to keep your angelfish happy and healthy.


When it comes to breeding angelfish form monogamous pairs and are an egg laying species. Unlike species of fish, you usually can't tell a male angel from a female just by looking at them until they have reached maturity and even then, it can be difficult.

Sexing angelfish is difficult even for experienced angelfish breeders, as the males and females look very similar and have similar behaviors. The only way to be 100% sure if your angelfish is male or female is to see your female laying eggs, but there are some ways that can help give you an idea.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page