Do Angelfish Get Lonely?

Angelfish are considered the ideal fish for beginner fish keepers, but their intelligence is overlooked, and they can get lonely as they become aware that they exist alone in their environment. 

This awareness can also be accompanied by negative sensations, similar to humans. If you want to know if your angelfish has become lonely, it’s crucial to know the symptoms and how to treat them before it gets worse.

Why Do Angelfish Become Lonely?

By their nature, angelfish are not a solitary species. In the wild, they will always live in groups, and when they are kept in an aquarium, you will notice them naturally schooling together. Angelfish will have intricate behavior as they simultaneously glide through the water.

A solitary angelfish will seldom display such behavior, and this would be mainly due to the lack of enrichment that other angelfish could only provide. Eventually, it could also be due to loneliness.

A single angelfish will become lonely, especially when there are no other opportunities for enrichment in their tank, such as having the opportunities to socialize with other fish.

When you think about living in a sterile and empty room with nothing to keep yourself busy with and nobody to talk to, you can already start to feel the loneliness and depression set in.

For this reason, it is important to ensure you are aware of an angelfish’s needs and that they are met socially and emotionally.

Fish are rarely treated with the same level of love, compassion, and welfare as vertebrate pets. There are still small aquariums to purchase, which is an excellent example.

The truth is that many fish species show a high level of intelligence and will suffer greatly when their needs are not met, including emotional and social needs.

Striped Angelfish with Rock and Plants in Background

Will An Angelfish Become Lonely In A Community Tank?

When an angelfish is the only angelfish in an aquarium, but they have lots of adequate room to explore, a solo angelfish can co-exist and be happy with compatible tank mates.

The stimulation and companionship these other types of fish offer will often be more than enough to keep an angelfish engaged, healthy, and active.

If your angelfish have paired off in your aquarium, and one has died, the remaining angelfish should be more than happy to live the rest of their life with the other tank mates. You can also add an extra fish to win the remaining angelfish over.

This would be a much better choice than getting a new angelfish, as it means you will need to repeat the process if the older one dies.

Will An Angelfish Become Lonely In A Solo Aquarium?

When an angelfish lives alone in their tank without other fish, including angelfish or otherwise, they will not be healthy or happy fish.

Angelfish will become bored if they have no companions, and even if you interact with them daily, they will remain lonely.

Keeping a solo angelfish in a tank without any tankmates is never recommended or encouraged. Although an angelfish will survive on its own, it will only be surviving and not thriving.

The only two exceptions to this rule are if you are currently quarantining them or have placed them in an isolated tank for medical treatment.

How Can You Tell When Your Angelfish Is Lonely?

There are many ways you can tell if your angelfish have become lonely. By knowing how these symptoms will present themselves, you have a chance to catch them before it becomes worse and help your angelfish to live their best life:

A Lack Of Interest And Interaction

Did you know that angelfish can recognize their owners? Generally, they will become more active when they spot you, swimming in circles in their tank or maybe even coming to the surface.

When an angelfish shows a lack of interaction with their owners and a lack of interest once they spot you, they are lonely.

Lethargic Behavior

If angelfish move slowly and sluggishly, they lose their will to continue their everyday activities. This would also include swimming at the bottom of the tank. When an angelfish expresses lethargic behavior, you can take this as a clear sign that they have become depressed.

Changes In Consumption Habits

If an angelfish is lonely, they will show little to no desire to explore and eat’ although this could also indicate incorrect tank parameters or illness. If you know your angelfish, you’ll be able to tell if this is the case most of the time.

There are many types of angelfish, but all of them are voracious eaters! If they refuse their food and there are significant changes in their appetite, it is reasonable to assume that your angelfish loneliness has worsened until they refuse to eat.

Changes In Color

Another way to see if your angelfish is doing well is to monitor their colors. If you notice your angelfish colors are fading and are dull in pigmentation, they may not be doing well and may be depressed.

In this case, any patterns on its scales may also fade, indicating that your fish needs a friend or two.

How Can You Help An Angelfish Suffering From Loneliness?

No pet owner wants to see their pets suffer, and it only makes sense that you would want to do what you can to correct it. Depression and loneliness will eventually take their toll on your angelfish, and once you discover the earliest signs, you need to take specific measures.

The best option would be to add another fish to your aquarium, providing your angelfish with a partner. You can add some more angelfish or even other types of fish.

Your priority should be to find other angelfish that will live peacefully with the existing angelfish if you do not have one already.

Once your angelfish has some more company and stimulation, it will return to its normal and happy state in no time!


Angelfish are not made to be solo fish in a tank; they will show their owners both physically and emotionally if they are lonely.

Although fish may not show their emotions the same way as cats or dogs, if you know what to look out for, you will quickly grow accustomed to reading your angelfish’s needs and emotions.