Why Is My Angelfish Not Eating?

Angelfish are big eaters, and they always have an appetite, but when they refuse to eat, it could be due to their water conditions, stress, illnesses, you may be giving too much food, or due to vitamin deficiencies.

If your angelfish has a lack of appetite or stop eating altogether, it could be a huge red flag. Although it could mean your fish is sick, many other reasons could contribute to them not eating. This is why it is crucial to observe your angelfish’s behavior and appearance daily.

Why Would Angelfish Refuse To Eat?

Angelfish are one of the most exciting and popular species of cichlid fish for freshwater aquariums.

These fish are pretty hardy, yet there will be times when they will refuse their food. Angelfish are flexible in their environmental and nutritional needs and are greedy eaters.

As a pet owner and a freshwater aquarist, it may be a concern when your beloved angelfish refuse to eat.

Let’s explore why your angelfish may not be eating and what to do if you notice these behaviors:

Group of Four Large Angelfish

Angelfish May Not Be Eating Due To Their Tank Water

Angelfish are not as sensitive as they may look, but they are very susceptible to chemical changes in their tank water.

Many factors can play a significant role in any chemical changes in their water.

The ammonia or nitrate levels in your angelfish tank will rapidly alternate their water’s chemical levels.

Also, if the tank filter stops working, the chemicals will impact an angelfish’s appetite.

Additionally, many dead plant leaves could turn the water inside the aquarium dirty, making changes to the water’s composition.

The tank water could also quickly become unsuitable if you have too many fish in a smaller fish tank, as there will be a significant rise in the ammonia levels inside the water.

The tank water may also be unsuitable if you have recently cleaned it and the pH level has significantly shifted.

This is why any fish keeper is encouraged and advised to keep a very close eye on any changes in the water conditions. You have to monitor the water temperature constantly, and you can also use a water test kit to find out what the chemical makeup of the water is.

If you notice any significant variations in the chemical levels in your angelfish tank water, it will be easy to fix them, and your angelfish will eat as it should in no time.

Angelfish May Not Be Eating Due To Stress

When angelfish become stressed in their tank, they will stop eating. Although many factors will cause angelfish to be stressed in the tank, the main reasons could be overcrowding and when they are getting used to their new environment.

If your angelfish seem stressed and they are pretty new to their aquarium, you may want to add some extra hiding spots in the tank, such as aquarium plants or other suitable decorations.

This will make them more comfortable as they grow accustomed to their new environment until they have enough confidence to explore!

Water temperatures could also play a role. Additionally, angelfish will be stressed when they are placed in a tank along with incompatible tank mates.

These tank mates can prey on angelfish or bully them, causing them to become so stressed that they refuse to eat altogether.

Angelfish May Not Be Eating Due To Illness

Sickness is another possible cause for your angelfish refusal to eat, which is one of the reasons you should become concerned.

If you need to determine whether or not illness is the cause, you can check for the most common signs of angelfish disease, such as lethargy, white, black, or red spots, as well as a loss of color.

Other symptoms of illness in angelfish include erratic swimming, laying motionless along the substrate of the tank, hiding, or floating near the surface.

If your angelfish seem to appear ill from a parasitic or bacterial infection, moving them into a quarantine tank with stable and adequate water parameters would be best.

You can then start to treat them with suitable medication and consider adding some freshwater aquarium salt to their tank to help them make a full recovery.

Angelfish May Refuse To Eat Due To Too Much Food

As mentioned above, angelfish are known for being greedy eaters, and they will rarely say no to a tasty meal. However, if you give an angelfish too much food too often, they will naturally stop eating, as they may remain full from their last meal.

The best rule would be to provide your angelfish with two meals daily. As for how much food, it would be best to provide them with an amount of food they’ll be able to finish in roughly two to three minutes. If you provide them with any more food than this, they may lose interest in eating.

Additionally, the food may pollute their tank if your angelfish stops eating. They may also excrete more waste, resulting in their tank water becoming polluted, which could cause them harm.

Angelfish May Refuse To Eat Due To Vitamin Deficiencies

Sometimes, angelfish experience vitamin deficiencies. If an angelfish has a vitamin deficiency, they will lose their appetite and may experience improper or stunted growth.

If angelfish have a vitamin deficiency for extended periods, their immune system may become weakened, and it could even cause fatality.

Yellow Green Angelfish Protecting Eggs

How Can You Make Your Angelfish Eat?

When angelfish are kept in captivity, they can often become picky about the food they prefer to eat. If you have recently noticed your angelfish is becoming quite a picky eater, it may be good to change their diet.

You could also try feeding it less often, and if you’re currently on twice a day, you can try feeding them only once.

They may have a bigger appetite if they are fed less food. Additionally, you could also try a new type of food, as your angelfish may have become bored with its usual meals.


When your angelfish refuse to eat and seem uninterested in their meals, it could become discouraging and concerning to pet owners.

As soon as you figure out where the problem stems from as soon as possible, you will have a much higher chance of resolving it early and get your angelfish eating normally again!