How Long Do Angelfish Live if You Take Proper Care of Them

One of the first questions that I googled when I was looking into angelfish was how old they could get. It was very important to me, because I want to take good care of my fish for their entire life. Luckily there was some information out there, but it was scattered. In this article, I’ll answer the key questions.

Angelfish on average live up to 10 to 12 years. Individual fish can live even longer with strong genes and good care. Taking proper care of angelfish increases their life expectancy. Enough space, good quality food and regular maintenance are important for the fish’s health.

These tend to reach a size of about 6-12 inches if kept in larger containers or aquariums. If you have a smaller or crowded aquarium, it is best to don’t think about housing this beautiful fish in there. Large aquariums with potentially less variety of fish are required to house angelfish and to make sure that it reaches its full lifespan.

Providing angelfish with the right conditions can increase their lifespan while ensuring that the fish stays healthy. Professional aquarists have been using specific techniques to prolong angelfish’s life and enjoy this beautiful fish for years on end. Some of these very techniques will be discussed shortly regarding the angelfish life span.  

What is the life span of angelfish?

On average, these fish exhibit a long life on the life span spectrum, reaching 10-12 years. This duration can even be extended provided you maintain ideal tank conditions. If you want to go with a variety of fish that has a longer life span, then sure, Angelfish is the right choice to make. Although a beginner can raise and nurture an angelfish as the process is not that hard, but it is usually not recommended. Because if you want them to have a long life, you should have some experience under your belt.

The tank conditions are not the only thing that will increase the angelfish life span. The diet, temperature, CO2 regulation, and other aspects add to this stunning fish’s overall life.

How can you improve the life span of Angelfish?

For your angelfish to thrive and outlive the average life span, you need to create an environment that can help it to do so. Genetics also has to play an important role here. Even if you provide them with the best of care, a great diet, and fantastic sanitation, they won’t be able to survive long if their genes are not of a prime caliber.

This type of fish is more susceptible to disease, deformities, and eventually giving up on life. You won’t be able to keep them around for long. But if you are genuinely committed and want to give it your best, then the following is a list that you should go through;

Consider buying prime quality angelfish

In this section, let’s get one thing right, and that is you can’t possibly assess the genetics of the angelfish, such as their traits, and thus have to rely on other things. Interpreting the exterior of the fish is one of these things that you can depend on. If the fish exhibits a unique variety of color and design patterns on its body, then it is possibly among the ones having good genes. One way to make it sure is to buy your angelfish from a reputed breeder. Because they pay a lot of attention to producing high-quality fish, you will get angelfish that can tackle various living environments and have a longer life span.

A few things to be wary of are angelfish’s fins that feature kinks or twists, and having curves in the dorsal, anal, or caudal fins is not a high-quality angelfish.

Purchase an appropriate tank for your angelfish

Most internet sources will tell you that you will do alright with a 20-gallon tank, but to be sure, have 30+ gallons in mind. Angelfish is among those freshwater species that have tall bodies. Ensure that your tank has got some height to it so the angelfish can easily swim in it. If you house this fish in a smaller tank, then it will not grow to its expected size and is prone to exhibit semi-aggressive behavior.

Required angelfish water parameters

If you know about aquariums and fish, you understand the importance of checking your water parameters consistently. Angelfish require a temperature limit of about 76-82 degrees, an acidity of 6.5-7.5 pH, and an overall water hardness of about 5o-13o GH. It would help if your tank had broad-leafed plants and various hiding places as it makes this fish feel right at home. If you can arrange for some dark substrate for the aquarium, such as pebbles or grey sand, it will help them feel at ease.

Tip: read my list of suitable plants for angelfish for inspiration. You can find it here on my site.

Other than that, you need to change the water regularly and perform a thorough cleaning of the tank to clean algae.

A healthy diet prolongs the lifespan of angelfish

Angelfish are omnivores in nature, requiring a healthy and well-balanced diet to thrive. This fish’s diet should include fish flakes, live shrimp, frozen foods, and some vegetables such as lettuce and spinach. Angelfish are gluttonous, which means that it might trick you into feeding it more than once. This is something that you need to take care of.

If you are breeding angelfish, then you shouldn’t feed them more than 3-4 times throughout the day. Also, please don’t give them more than they can eat in about 60 seconds.

However, if breeding is not the main highlight for you, feed them once a day with high quality and well-balanced food. Overfeeding the fish is not recommended in any case. Overfeeding can lead to health complications and might lead Angelfish to release more toxins into the water, thus contaminating it.

A variety of food that has different vitamins and minerals is necessary, and if you can find it in your heart to prepare home cooked food for angelfish, then you can do so as well.              

Reduce stress for the optimal immune system

Eliminating stress factors is key to help angelfish reach its maximum during breeding. This type of fish doesn’t do well in stressful conditions, so your job will be to eliminate these. Following are some of the most stressful conditions for the angelfish;

  • A tank that is not properly sanitized
  • Overcrowded aquarium
  • A tank that is exposed to sound pollution
  • Excessive traffic around the tank

If you choose to keep angelfish in a community tank, you would have to choose appropriate tank mates for the angelfish. Some of the valid candidates are corydoras catfish, platies, mollies, swordtails, kuhli loaches, and bristlenose plecos. These go well with angelfish, and don’t nip at its fins that might trigger some aggressive behavior in angelfish. Also, note that you should be keeping your aquarium in a quiet location that doesn’t exhibit a lot of traffic.

Simultaneously, make sure that there is not so much traffic within the tank’s close proximity. Because if there is, then the angelfish might become territorial and try to fight over a specific territory. It can result in various injuries and possibly death as well. Angelfish don’t respond to sound but are very sensitive to vibrations; that is why make sure that there is nothing disturbing, say a sound system placed near the aquarium.

Always monitor for diseases to cure your fish quickly

Since angelfish don’t react well to increased stress at all, so they are susceptible to a few diseases such as Lch or the white spot disease. Lowered immunity and increased stress levels are the leading cause of this. Other common diseases that can occur if the stress levels are not properly monitored include; Angelfish virus, hole in the head disease, velvet disease, mouth fungus, and cotton wool.

What you need to do here is to familiarize yourself with the typical symptoms and treatment options for these freshwater diseases. This will eventually help you to diagnose and possibly treat some of these diseases in your angelfish.

Which angelfish gender lives longer, male or female?

Talking about the overall angelfish life span, it remains the same, which is 10-12 years for both male and female angelfish. There isn’t any scientific research to back up the theory that male fish live longer than female or vice versa. Both can live equally long based on the fact that you provide sound living conditions.

On the contrary, the angelfish that is only used for breeding will live a little less because consistent breeding exhausts the fish, and so it deteriorates more quickly.

Final Thoughts

Genetic, environmental, and dietary factors influence your angelfish’s overall life span. You need to be very cautious about all of these factors and choose your angelfish accordingly. Consistently cleaning the tank, making sanitation, and proper and well-balanced diet a priority can help you to increase the chances of survival for this fish. But to do that, you must not only become familiar but consistently practice with proper angelfish care guide. If you pay attention to your angelfish and keep things optimized, then it will surely stick a few more years with you than departing earlier than intended.      

Bart Sprenkels

I have been keeping multiple aquariums since I was 18 years old. Just like many of you, I started with two goldfish but quickly learned they were not suitable for aquariums. Later, I switched to a tropical community tank and I also have two pet musk-turtles in a bigger aquarium. You can read more about me here.

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