Angelfish grow to a large size and require plenty of space to swim freely, stay healthy and avoid stress. Aim for 20 gallons per angelfish to provide optimal space. A 55-gallon tank is suitable for 4-6 juvenile angelfish, but they will need a larger tank as they grow.
Angelfish are very popular aquarium fish and, thanks to their distinctive body and fins, make for striking fish to keep. When most people get their angelfish, they are still young and small but will grow quite big. You must ensure you get the right size tank for your angelfish.
What Size Tank Do I Need For 2 Angelfish?
Angelfish in aquariums can live for ten to fifteen years, and although they are quite small when you buy them, they will keep growing.
It’s not unheard of for an angelfish to mature to about the length of a human hand; or six inches. They are flat, disc-shaped fish with trailing fins and can reach a height of eight inches.
As you can see, this makes them unsuitable for small tanks.
The recommended space for each angelfish you keep is usually 20 gallons per fish. While this seems like a lot, remember that the gravel, plants, and tank furnishings will also occupy a lot of space.
A minimum size tank for two angelfish is 290 gallons. You may be able to keep two to four young angelfish in a 20-gallon tank at first, but they will eventually need to be moved to a larger aquarium to stay happy and healthy.
I would not keep more than two adult angelfish in a 29-gallon tank.
Can 1 Angelfish Live In A 10 Gallon Tank?
Angelfish can not live in a 10 gallon tank.
As angelfish grow quite large and are territorial, you’ll want to give them as much space as possible. If angelfish are kept in overcrowded conditions, they will get stressed and more likely to succumb to aquarium diseases.
If angelfish do not have enough space, they are more likely to be aggressive and start nipping fins.
A ten-gallon tank is better for a school of small fish such as chili rasboras or neon tetras, or a single betta.
If you must keep an angelfish in a ten-gallon tank, I would only keep one of them for only a short amount of time. I’d discourage one angelfish as these cichlids prefer to be kept in groups. However, they can survive quite well as solitary specimen fish in a community tank.
Even if your tank isn’t overstocked, you will need to stay on top of your tank maintenance to keep the water healthy for your angelfish.
Smaller tanks can be harder to maintain perfect water parameters, and you will probably have to do smaller, more frequent water changes with smaller tanks. Larger tanks are better self-regulating systems.
How Many Angelfish Should be Kept Together?
While angelfish are not shoaling fish like tetras or barbs, they tend to be happier when kept in small groups of their kind. You won’t see typical shoaling behavior in angelfish, but they will stay near each other.
If angelfish are kept in a tank that is too small, they will become aggressive and territorial. Angelfish should not be kept with fish that tend to fin-nip, as the angelfish have long, trailing fins.
Angelfish may also attack other fish with similar trailing fins, like bettas.
Avoid keeping angelfish with smaller fish they can easily eat. For example, if you have schools of neon tetras, it is better to add a juvenile angelfish to the tank rather than a mature specimen.
If you keep several angelfish in a tank, buy them in pairs to avoid bullying. It’s not unheard of for angelfish to pair up to bully the third angelfish.
Some fish keepers have found fewer issues when they only keep two angelfish in a tank, as this cichlid species can get quite territorial if they don’t have enough room.
If you’re keeping a larger school of angelfish, you should buy them all together as juveniles rather than introducing adult pairs to established pairs already in a tank.
Do Angelfish Like Tall Tanks?
Angelfish will be much happier in tall tanks than in long, shallow ones. As much as possible, when you set up a tank, you want it to mimic the natural environment of that species.
Angelfish come from slow-flowing, swampy Amazon basin rivers, and their flat, tall bodies are better suited for taller tanks. They also prefer to swim in vertical rather than horizontal space, so a tall tank is better for them.
If you give your angelfish a tall tank, you will immediately see a change in their behavior, and they will be much happier and healthier than if you kept them in a shallow tank.
Give them as much height in the aquarium as you can.
How To Set Up A Tank For Angelfish
Angelfish will do best in a tank at least 55-gallons in size, tall rather than shallow, and not over-filtered.
You can recreate their environment by planting the back and sides of their tanks with plenty of suitable plants, such as Amazon Swords, and using suitably-treated aquarium driftwood to emulate tree roots.
Leave space in the center of the tank for the angelfish to swim freely.
The wood will also release tannins into the water, which will help keep the water soft, which is best for angelfish.
Use a soft substrate and lighting that is suitable for growing plants. By having your aquarium well-planted, you will reduce the amount of light that reaches the swim area in the middle.
Avoid over-filtering your tanks as angelfish do not like a lot of water movement.
Water temperature: 75 – 82 F
Water pH: 6.0 – 7
Water hardness: 55 – 18 dH
What Size Tank to Breed Angelfish
You will need an adult breeding pair if you plan to breed angelfish. You can set up a well-planted spawning tank of at least 20 gallons and give them a flat slate for spawning, or plant the tank with Amazon swords.
Angelfish usually hatch the eggs themselves, but they may eat the eggs or fry if stressed because of improper tank conditions.
Angelfish are surprisingly easy fish to keep, and as long as you keep the tank parameters correct, give them ample space, and feed them a varied diet, they will do well. Give angelfish enough space as they will grow to about six inches in length as they mature.
A good estimate to ensure your angelfish are not stressed and aggressive is 20 gallons per fish. They should be kept in pairs, and if you have a larger school, keep the numbers even and raise them together to prevent bullying. A 55-gallon tank is a good size for four juveniles.