How Big Do Angelfish Get?

Angelfish are a large species that require a lot of tank space. Common freshwater angelfish grow to around 6 inches long and 8 inches tall in captivity, but they can grow much larger in their natural environment. In the wild, angelfish can reach 10 inches long and 12 inches tall!

Less common species of angelfish, like the Altum angelfish, grow even larger in captivity. They reach about 7 inches in length and up to 13 inches tall! Knowing how large angelfish get is important because you need an aquarium that is large enough for them at their mature size.

How Big Is A Fully Grown Angelfish?

Angelfish grow to reach an impressive size. This is partly what makes them such striking aquarium fish.

The common freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) are usually only about 0.8 to 1.2 inches long when you buy them from the aquarium store, but they quickly grow much larger.

When they are fully grown, common freshwater angelfish generally reach around 6 inches in length. Because of their elongated dorsal and anal fins, they reach about 8 inches tall!

There are a few different species of freshwater angelfish. The less common aquarium species are more variable in their mature size.

The Altum angelfish (Pterophyllum altum) is larger than the common freshwater angelfish. They can reach around 7 inches in length and 13 inches tall at maturity.

The rarest angelfish species, Leopold’s angelfish (Pterophyllum leopoldi), is much smaller than the common freshwater angelfish. They only reach about 4 inches long and 6 inches tall.

Aquarists have also bred common freshwater angelfish in captivity to produce different color varieties. Some of these varieties grow slightly larger than regular angelfish.

For example, the black lace angelfish grow to around 8 to 10 inches in length. The blushing angelfish can reach 6 to 10 inches long, and the ghost angelfish grow to between 6 and 8 inches in length.

Silver blue angelfish isolated on black background

How Long Does It Take For An Angelfish To Grow To Full Size?

It usually takes angelfish about a year to grow to their mature size. Their growth rate is very high for the first 6 months, and then they grow a little more slowly.

In their first 6 months of life, angelfish reach around 4 inches in length. It then takes them another 6 months to grow another 2 inches and reach their full length of 6 inches.

How Old Is A 2-Inch Angelfish?

It can be tough to tell the age of a fish based on how long they are because there are many factors that affect how fast angelfish grow – how much food they are getting, the size of the tank, the water parameters, and the individual fish’s genetics.

However, researchers have documented the growth of angelfish, so there are general guidelines for determining the age of an angelfish.

A 2-inch-long angelfish is likely between 2 and 4 months old. A 3-inch-long angelfish is probably 3 to 5 months old. A 4-inch-long angelfish is likely between 4 and 6 months old.

How To Make Angelfish Grow Faster

If you provide the perfect living conditions for your angelfish, you can optimize their growth rate. In the ideal environment, an angelfish can reach full size in just 6 to 8 months!

Stress affects the health of fish, so stressed fish grow more slowly. There are many factors that can make fish stressed, and you must try to manage these factors.

To help your angelfish grow as fast as possible, you should:

  • Keep them in a tank that has adequate space.
  • Feed the fish enough food (but not so much that it negatively affects the water quality).
  • Give your angelfish lots of high-protein treats like krill flakes, tubifex worms, blood worms, brine shrimp, and earthworms.
  • Ensure your tank has a strong enough filtration system so that waste and toxins do not build up in the water.
  • Maintain the perfect water parameters (temperature, pH, water hardness).
  • Add lots of aquatic plants to the tank to further improve water quality and provide angelfish with shelter.
  • Avoid keeping other aggressive or semi-aggressive fish species in a tank with angelfish.

How Big A Tank Do You Need For Angelfish?

Because angelfish grow to such a large size, it is essential to keep them in a large tank. You should also remember that angelfish are social, and it is best to keep them in groups of 5 or more.

You need a tank that is at least 80 gallons in size to keep 5 angelfish. Many websites say that you can get away with a smaller tank, but it is much better to provide these fish with ample space.

If you want to keep a breeding pair of angelfish in their own tank temporarily, you can use a 20 or 30-gallon tank.

You should never keep a single angelfish in a tank. Some websites say that you can keep one angelfish in a 10- or 20-gallon tank. However, this is cruel, considering these fish need to be around others of their kind.

Do Angelfish Grow To Fit The Size Of The Tank?

Angelfish do not grow to the size of their tank, per se, because there is a limit to how big they get. For example, if you keep 3 or 4 angelfish in a 200-gallon tank, they will not necessarily grow larger than 6 to 8 inches long.

However, if angelfish are kept in a tank that is too small, it has a detrimental effect on how big they get. In a cramped tank, fish get stressed and unhealthy, and this means they may not reach full size.

How Long Do Angelfish Live?

If angelfish are well cared for, they can live for surprisingly long. In captivity, angelfish can live for 8 to 10 years. In ideal conditions, some even make it to 12 years old!

In the wild, angelfish tend to live longer because they have access to more food and the water conditions are more optimal. If an angelfish can avoid predation, they can live for up to 15 years.


Angelfish are big, bold fishes that are the perfect centerpiece in a tank. These gorgeous fish grow to 6 inches long (on average) and are about 8 inches tall. If you keep a rarer species, like the Altum angelfish, you can expect them to reach 10 inches long and 12 inches tall.