How Big Do Angelfish Get? The Ideal Tank Size For This Beauty | Kidadl


How Big Do Angelfish Get? The Ideal Tank Size For This Beauty

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Angelfish is one of the most commonly kept freshwater aquarium fish from South America that are known for their unique color, behavior and laterally pressed body shape.

Most of the angelfish available in the aquarium trade are mostly captive-bred, they are deep-bodied, thin fishes with extended dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins. Angelfish are omnivorous and eat algae and numerous aquatic invertebrates.

Freshwater angelfish belong to the family Cichlidae of the genus Pterophyllum, there are three recognized species of angelfish known as Pterophyllum altum, Pterophyllum leopoldi, and Pterophyllum scalare. Angelfish caught from the wild are rare, these wild angelfish are mostly silver with black vertical stripes, and with selective breeding, in captivity, these fish acquire many color patterns and long-fins. Angelfish form a monogamous pair for life and they are ambush predators, preying on small fish and macroinvertebrates.

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What is the ideal tank size for an angelfish?

Angelfish are freshwater fish that are found in the Amazon river, these fish prefer the sandy bottoms of the river. Angelfish are active swimmers so these fish requires lots of swimming space in their fish tank.

Being active swimmers each angelfish requires at least a 10-gallon tank (37.8 L) tank space, which means that if you are keeping a pair, then a minimum 30-gallon tank (113.5 L) is needed, and to keep a small school you need at least 80-gallon tank size (302.8 L). For the tank bedding, you can use sand as these fish prefer sandy bottoms that can be recreated from their natural habitat and you can even use gravel for the bedding as it is easier to clean. The water parameters of the angelfish tank should be between 75-82°F (23.8-27.7°C) and 6.8-7 pH. These fish enjoy slightly soft water conditions which should be in between 5-18 dH. Freshwater Angelfish are not powerful swimmers, and fast-moving tank water can cause stress and affect their health. You can use the sponge and under-gravel filtration systems to develop gentle water currents.

If you want your angelfish to breed that you need to have a separate spawning fish tank that should be at least a 20 gal (75.7 L) fish tank as these fish are omnivorous and they might eat their own eggs. The breeding tank should also have the same temperature range and pH level as the normal angelfish tank. Some angelfish do not lay eggs until the base of the tank is painted dark, as they need to feel safe and secure when they are reproducing. You can also add some aquatic plants at least 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm) tall for them in the breeding tanks as these fish in the wild lay their eggs on top of the leaves and they might mimic the same in the aquarium.

Many species of marine angelfish are found with colors that emulate the rainbow, and each has its own care requirement. You can find many bewitching saltwater angelfish if you can maintain a saltwater tank.

Passer Angelfish in fish tank

How fast do angelfish grow in size?

Freshwater angelfish are small-sized fish from the family of Cichlids; the angelfish lifespan and growth depend on many factors and these fish reach their sexual maturity by the age of eight months and once they reach their sexual maturity they stop growing.

It takes almost a full year for these fish to reach their maximum length of 6-8 in (15.2-20.3 cm). Altum angelfish can grow up to 8 in (18 cm) in length and are among the bigger fish in the Cichlids family, and they are very sensitive towards poor water conditions. Keeping freshwater angelfish is not difficult at all as these fish grow very quickly, all angelfish are unique. If one of the fish grows quickly that doesn't mean that all the angelfish will grow at the same speed. To be sure that your angelfish are growing at a normal rate you need to provide the perfect environment for them.

To make sure your angelfish grow at a normal rate by always cleaning water filters, and feeding your fish live food regularly. Changing tank water regularly is the most important process, which helps the fish to stay healthy, and making sure that the tank water has very little ammonia and nitrogen level, which helps in reducing the stress level of the fish for being healthy. If the tank water contains a higher level of ammonia then it might cause the fish to feel aggressive and stressed. To keep the nitrogen level down in the aquarium you can use plants.

Food is also a major factor in the growth of an angelfish, feeding your fish regularly helps them grow quickly. If you have a fry then you need to feed them in small amounts numerous times a day.

It is very easy to determine the age of an angelfish by its size, if you have a 0.6 in (1.5 cm) long fry then it is most likely 8-10 weeks old and if you have a 0.8 in (2 cm) angelfish then it is most likely 12-16 weeks old.

How big are angelfish compared to other fish?

Freshwater angelfish are topwater dwellers and they spend their time cruising near the surface of the tanks. Compared to other aquarium fish, the angelfish can be small or large.

Juvenile Boesemani rainbow fish are dull grayish with yellow tails but as they grow they start developing a remarkable color, these fish can grow up to 4 in (10 cm) in length, which is big enough to not be in danger of being eaten.

Cory catfish are one of the best tank mates for the angelfish as they mostly dwell in the bottom of the tank scrubbing the floor for food and growing up to 2-4 in (5-10 cm) long. These fish cannot survive alone and they need to be kept in a school.

Dwarf gourami is a small, shy fish and needs densely planted tank bottom to hide when they feel threatened, to make these fish comfortable in the aquarium you need to have at least 5-10 in (127-254 mm) tall plants on the bottom of the tank. These fish can grow up to 3.5 in (9 cm). When considering these fish as a collection to your aquarium you need to keep only a single male because males tend to become more aggressive when in the presence of other males.

Praecox rainbow fish are smaller cousins of Boesemani rainbow fish, they have a silver body with a blue sheen and bright red fins and tail. They are the most peaceful schooling fish who can be the best option as an angelfish tank mate.

Zebra loaches are also bottom feeders and can grow up to 3.5 in (9 cm) long, they do not create any problems for the angelfish. Zebra loaches are high-spirited fish and can take care of themselves against the bullying of angelfish.

Platies are a great addition to an angelfish tank as they are very active and colorful with various patterns and colors. These fish can grow up to 2.5 in (6.5 cm), though they are suitable tank mates of angelfish, during the breeding period you need to make sure to keep them in a separate tank as they breed like crazy in the aquarium.

Mollies are one good-sized fish to be kept as angelfish tank mates as they grow up to 3-6 in (7.5-15 cm).

Kribensis are a species of dwarf Cichlid with bright color and peaceful character, but a female becomes aggressive when they breed and when other fishes come near their eggs. They can grow up to 4 in (10 cm) long and spend their time in the bottom of the aquarium.

Angelfish: Best Tank Mates And Which Species To Avoid Mixing Them With

Angelfish are considered community fish, they can live peacefully with a mixture of other tropical species but a full-grown angelfish tends to become territorial and starts bullying other fish.

Angelfish can also become aggressive during the breeding period with each other, males fight with one another over mates, and a female becomes aggressive while protecting their fry from other fishes as they tend to eat their eggs.

You should pick tank mates for these fish that occupy the lower level of the tank and avoid keeping the angelfish with other larger, carnivorous fishes such as a betta, redhead Cichlids, jaguar Cichlids, or Oscars. Bettas should never be kept together with angelfish as tank mates because bettas are known as fin nippers which might cause harm to the beautiful fins of angelfish.

The best tank mate for the angelfish is are the ones that are at least 2 in (5 cm) long such as corydoras, rasboras, tetras, peaceful barbs, gouramis, medium-sized catfish, and rainbowfish.

Feeding Guide For Your Angelfish

The average lifespan of an angelfish is ten years in captivity depending on their diet, the feeding habit of this fish is a major factor behind their growth. You should feed angelfish at least twice a day.

Angelfish need a diet with high protein, as they are omnivorous, you should also provide them with vegetables for their proper growth. You can feed them live food, frozen food, and flake food.

Frozen food such as Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, and brine shrimp are very convenient food and the best thing about this food is that it does not have any risk of spreading parasites in the aquarium.

Various types of live food can be given to the angelfish, which contain rich protein and are highly nutritious. Live brine shrimp have a small disadvantage when feeding the angelfish as they may contaminate the aquarium with parasites affecting all the tank mates.

Flake food is the most convenient and affordable food, and you need to make sure that you choose flake food that contains protein.

Water changes are always required as these fish are fast eaters compared to some smaller fish species and leave leftover or uneaten food floating in their tanks, as a result of this frequent water changes are absolutely necessary.

Angelfish Types And Their Description

All angelfish species are originated from the Orinoco basin, Amazon basin, and rivers in tropical South America. There are three recognized species of angelfish with laterally compressed bodies and extended triangular anal and dorsal fins.

Pterophyllum altum also known as altum angelfish, is the largest member of the genus Pterophyllum. These fish have a silver base color with three brown vertical stripes and red-banded fins and tails. Altum angelfish are found in the soft, well-oxygenated waters of Middle and Upper Orinoco creeks from the Guiana Shield Highlands, favoring a pH range of 4.5-5.8.

Pterophyllum leopoldi also known as Leopold's angelfish or teardrop angelfish, are native to the Amazon river. The feature that distinguishes these fish from other members of the genus is the presence of black blotch and the absence of the pre-dorsal notch. These fish are the smallest of all angelfish species.

Pterophyllum scalare is the most common species of angelfish found in the aquarium trade, these fish are found in the swamps and flooded vegetation ground with preferable water conditions ranging from 6-7 pH. The diet of Pterophyllum scalare comprises a wide food range, these fish feed on worms, prawns, and juvenile fishes.

The Rarest Angelfish

The black phantom angelfish is the rarest marine angelfish found in the northern Philippines.

It has a black body with yellow dorsal and anal fins and a yellow tail. These fish occur at the depth of 16.4-98.4 ft (5-30 m) of coral reefs with strong water currents, their diet consists of sponges and tunicates. Female black phantom angelfish breed very rarely in aquariums as they need proper saltwater conditions. The best size tank for these fish should be at least a 20-gallon tank (75.7 L) and they cannot be kept with other angelfish as they are saltwater fish and a separate tank setting is required for them. The black phantom angelfish can grow up to 7-9 in (17.7-22.8 cm).

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how big do angelfish get? Then why not take a look at how do birds find worms, or how do dolphins sleep?

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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