Are Angelfish Good for Beginners? (Easy to care???)

Yesterday my cousin visited me.

He is just starting out in the aquarium hobby.

And he is a very big angelfish fan but he is very afraid of keeping them in his aquarium.

Because he thinks that it is very difficult to keep them in the aquarium.

But is it really true?

Are angelfish really difficult to keep?

Are angelfish a good beginner fish?

I am going to answer all these questions in this article.

Angelfish are good for beginners because it is relatively hardy fish and can tolerate a decent range of water parameters.

At the same time, angelfish are very susceptible to diseases.

So maintaining good water quality is very important i.e. keeping the ammonia levels in control and making sure that you are not accidentally introducing any harmful parasite or bacteria in the tank.

If you just do that, you can easily keep angelfish successfully in your tank.

Are Angelfish Good for Beginners? (Easy to care???) image

How to maintain good water quality?

So now you know that maintaining good water quality is very important for successfully keeping angelfish in the tank.

But how to do that?

Well, there are two things you have to be careful when it comes to the water quality of your aquarium.

  1. Ammonia
  2. Harmful bacteria and parasites


Fish poop and uneaten food produce ammonia in an aquarium.

A high level of ammonia is lethal for fish and it can even cause death.

Ideally, your tank should not contain any ammonia.

To keep ammonia levels in control, your tank should healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria.

Beneficial Bacteria

Beneficial bacteria is the bacteria that helps to reduce the ammonia levels in your aquarium.

Beneficial bacteria can form their colonies on the rocks in your aquarium. 

Now with new biological filters, beneficial bacteria can form their colonies in a much larger area.

And ultimately, it will do a better job of removing ammonia and nitrites from the water.

So it is very important to have a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in your tank.

It can take several months to form healthy colonies of beneficial bacteria in the aquarium.

So it is very important to cycle your aquarium well before adding fish into the tank.

How to lower ammonia in the tank?

If you noticed high ammonia levels in your tank then there are several ways you can reduce ammonia and get rid of it.

Water change

If you notice any ammonia levels or high ammonia levels in your tank then the simplest way to reduce the ammonia level in your tank immediately is to do a water change.

You should perform 30% water change of your tank.

This will help to dilute the ammonia levels in your aquarium.


Plants consume ammonia as fertilizers for their growth.

So keeping some freshwater plants in your aquarium will help to reduce ammonia in your tank.

Besides, there are a lot of benefits to keeping live plants in the tank.

You can check out other ways to reduce ammonia in your tank here.

Harmful parasites and bacteria

Angelfish are susceptible to diseases. So for successfully keeping angelfish, you should avoid introducing any kind of harmful bacteria or virus or parasite in your tank.

There are several instances you can accidentally introduce harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites in your time tank.

When you get the fish for aquarium the water in the bag in which the fish is kept may contain harmful parasites.

Or it may be very concentrated with ammonia especially if the fish is in the bag for a long time.

So you should not introduce the water in the bag into your tank.

You should net out the fish and put it in your tank.

Another instance you may introduce harmful parasite into your tank is if you feed live food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc that carries harmful parasite to your fish. 

That’s why you should always buy live food from a reputed source.

A poor filtration system can also result in the formation of harmful bacteria is in the tank.

So you should always keep up to date with the maintenance of your filter. 

And you should use a good filtration system on the first hand.

How to get rid of harmful parasites or bacteria?

Now we are going to look at several ways you can get rid of harmful bacteria, parasite or viruses in your fish tank.

UV sterilization

UV sterilization bulb can kill disease-causing harmful bacteria, viruses or parasites in the tank.

It can also kill suspended algae in the tank and help to keep your tank clean and clear.

For optimum sterilization, you should regularly change the UV sterilization lamp at least once every 10 months.


Quarantine is the most effective way of maintaining a disease-free tank.

You should quarantine the new fish before introducing it into your tank.

Quarantining may not be practical way for every aquarist but if you have very valuable fish or delicate plants then it worth the investment.

Angelfish care

Angelfish care image
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPterophyllum scalare
MAXIMUM SIZEUp to 6 inches
WATER pH6 - 7.5
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY20 gallon minimum

Now we are going to look at some best practices to take care of angelfish.


Angelfish are omnivorous. Its diet is primarily a meaty diet.

So you should feed it meaty food such as live or frozen bloodworms brine shrimps, flakes, pellets, etc.

As angelfish are omnivorous, you should also feed eat vegetables regularly.

You can feed it vegetables like zucchini, spinach, boiled peas, romaine, cucumber, etc.

You should feed 3 to 4 times per day to a young angelfish. 

And a couple of times per day to an adult angelfish.

Also, you should feed more live food to the young angelfish and then gradually you can cut down on the live food and feed it more flake food, pellets, etc.

You should feed the amount of food the angelfish can consume within 3 minutes.


Angelfish can get very big so you should use at least a 29-gallon tank for two angelfish.

It is a good rule of thumb to follow!

As angelfish get taller than longer you should use a tall tank for angelfish.

Water parameters

You should maintain ideal water parameters such as temperature, hardness, and pH in your tank.

The ideal water parameters for angelfish tank are as follows:

  • Temperature- 78 to 84 degree Fahrenheit
  • PH- 62 7.5
  • Hardness- 5-13 DH

You should regularly check the water parameters.

And if you don’t find the water parameters under the ideal range then you should take relative action to fix the problem.

For example, if you notice high temperature then there are several ways like introducing floating aquarium plants in the tank which will help to lower the temperature in the tank.

Besides, there are several other ways to lower the temperature in the tank. I have written a detailed article about it here.


Fish require oxygen just as we do to survive.

So you should make sure that your fish tank contains a healthy amount of oxygen.

There are several signs that can tell you if you are fish is having trouble getting the oxygen.  

If you notice your fish coming on the surface gasping for air or the rapid gills moments of your fish etc are the signs of low oxygen.

How to increase oxygen in a fish tank?

In case you notice any of the above symptoms, there are several ways to increase oxygen in an aquarium.

Pouring down water from some height

In the emergency, you can simply pour down some water of your aquarium using a jar from some height.

It will expose the water to air and help to oxygenate the tank.

Add ice cubes

Warmer water doesn’t hold as much oxygen as cooler water. So if your aquarium does not have sufficient oxygen due to a high temperature then, in this case, you can introduce some ice cubes into your tank that will help to lower the temperature and resulting in increased oxygen in the tank.

Keep some plants

There are some good oxygenating plants that you can introduce in your tank which will help to increase oxygen.

Besides, there are several other ways you can use to increase oxygen in your tank.

I have covered them all in this blog post.


When it comes to tank mates for angelfish there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  • The first thing is, you should avoid keeping fin-nipper fish with your angelfish. Angelfish have big fins so fin-nipper fish like Tiger barb can really give it a hard time.
  • You should also avoid keeping the fish that are smaller than the mouth of your angelfish. Because angelfish can easily eat them if they are very small in size.
  • You should also avoid keeping fast-moving fish as tank mates for your angelfish. Because it can really stress out your angelfish. And it can outcompete angelfish for food.
  • Though angelfish belong to the Cichlids family they are relatively peaceful fish so you should keep other peaceful fish with your angelfish.


Are angelfish easy to care for?

Angelfish are relatively easy to care for and you can keep it in your aquarium even if you are a beginner.

Angelfish can tolerate a decent range of water parameters and it is a very hardy fish.

Once you to keep it in a well-established tank then it doesn’t really require a lot of maintenance besides feeding high-quality food, a varied diet and maintaining good water quality.

Do angelfish need to be in pairs?

It is not necessary to keep angelfish in pairs in your tank.

You can keep only a single angelfish in your tank and it will do just fine.

But keeping angelfish in pairs is recommended to promote social interaction.

If you have a smaller tank then it can also lead to unwanted aggression as they have very small space for swimming.

So you should have at least a 30-gallon tank if you are going to keep to angelfish in your tank.

What do angelfish like?

Angelfish are not very demanding.

And it likes most of the things that other fish like in their tank.

First of all, angelfish like good water quality in their tank.

Due to the fact that angelfish are very susceptible to diseases maintaining good water quality is very important.

When it comes to food, angelfish really like bloodworms so you should regularly treat them with live bloodworms.

Though angelfish belong to cichlids family they are relatively peaceful fish. 

So you should keep other peaceful fish with your angelfish and avoid keeping fin-nipper fish.

Are angelfish bottom feeders?

Angelfish usually get their food from the middle to slightly upper level of the water in the tank.

But in the wild, they also forage in the substrate searching for worms.

So don’t be surprised if you found your angelfish foraging the substrate for food.

What tank size do I need for 2 angelfish?

It really depends on various factors such as the filtration system, the contents in your aquarium like the plants, decorations, other tank mates, etc while deciding the ideal tank size for two angelfish.

So a good rule of thumb to follow is to get at least a 30-gallon tank for two angelfish.

It will allow a lot of space for the Angelfish so you will not see unwanted aggression between them.

It will also allow you to keep some other small tank mates with your angelfish.

Also, you can introduce a few plants and ornaments in your tank.

How long can angelfish go without food?

It really depends on the size of the angelfish.

If you have a small angelfish then it will not survive for very long without food. 

But if you have an adult angelfish then it can live up to 1 week without food.


So angelfish are relatively hardy and can tolerate a decent range of water parameters.

But, at the same time, they are very susceptible to diseases so maintaining good water quality in the tank is very important for successfully keeping angelfish.

If you just maintain good water quality and provide it high-quality, variety of diet then you can easily keep angelfish in your tank even if you are a beginner.

I hope you found this article helpful

If you do please share it.

Happy fishkeeping!

Photo of author
Prathmesh Gawai
He is the main author and editor at And he loves to share helpful information on aquarium and/or fishkeeping hobby. Prathmesh has over five years of aquarium and/or fishkeeping experience. Currently, he has a Betta fish tank. He has written hundreds of articles on various aquarium fish species and on fish tank maintenance over the last five years. Connect with him on YouTube here. Learn more about him here.

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