With their bright colors and graceful gliding, freshwater angelfish are a popular choice among many fish owners. For people considering adopting an angelfish or those who already have one and want to learn about it, this Q-and-A-style article is a good place to start. It covers if angelfish need heaters, what they like in their tank, and how they behave. By the end, readers will have a sense of the level of effort these beautiful fish require. (Note: This article’s focus is on freshwater angelfish rather than their saltwater cousins.)
Do Angelfish Need a Heater?
Temperature is an important consideration for many fish, including angelfish, leading many to wonder if they require a heater. The answer is yes: Sources vary slightly on the optimal range, but in general, angelfish do best with a temperature between 76 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Setting up a heater to keep the angelfish’s tank at that range will go a long way toward keeping them healthy and happy. Angelfish owners should be sure to check in on the temperature regularly, especially if they’re new to the heater’s operation, so that they can adjust as necessary.
What Do Angelfish Like in Their Tank?
Angelfish thrive in tanks that mimic their tropical origins (hence the warm temperature range recommended above). As for tank accoutrements, The Fish Hobbyist recommends several types of plants, namely Amazon sword plants, water sprite, Java moss, and Java fern. Wood and smooth rocks are good choices for decorations. Angelfish owners should avoid decorations with sharp edges, as these may hurt the fish.
Angelfish also like room, and they prefer tanks on the tall side. Twenty gallons is the minimum recommended size, but people who want to keep multiple fish should consider a 55-gallon or larger tank. Angelfish can grow surprisingly large, and they like to swim around, so a large tank is a necessity.
How Do Angelfish Behave?
In proper conditions, angelfish are peaceful and graceful; however, they can become territorial, another reason that the tank should be on the large side. If a tank has multiple angelfish and they are bickering over territory, it may be necessary to relocate one or more of the troublemakers so that there is enough room.
Angelfish are capable of being kept as a centerpiece fish among other breeds. However, owners should make sure an angelfish’s tank mates are on the docile side. Fish that nip fins are not a good choice. Conversely, platies, corydoras, and plecos tend to do well with angelfish.
To sum up, angelfish are not an overly hard breed to care for. Owners just need to give them plenty of room with safe tank decorations. If they are with other species, owners should make sure their tank mates are docile, and owners also need to keep their angelfish at the proper temperature. Well-cared-for angelfish can provide years of enjoyment, so the payoff is substantial.