Unlike a lot of fish, perfecting an Angelfish habitat really isn’t as difficult as a fish from South America might demand. As you probably already know, Angelfish make great pets.
They eat without argument (sometimes perhaps a little too much), have a beautiful appearance, and make themselves at home within almost any fish tank.
Despite freshwater Angelfish originally coming from the river basins of Brazil – such as the Amazon – Angels are thankfully unfussy about their watery environment. Having said this however, there are a few things you can do to make your tank a more comfortable environment for Angelfish, especially if you wish to think about breeding them.
In then wild, Angelfish typically prefer environments of vegetation to elude predators. Of course, there are hopefully no predators in your tank, but a few plants or other such scenery can be a welcome addition to their home, especially with regard to encouraging the female to lay eggs. Be wary that rotting vegetation can increase the acidic level within your tank – the ideal pH level for Angelfish being between 6.1 and 7.0. A rapidly differing pH level can cause difficulties for your Angelfish. The ideal tank volume is anything more than 40 liters per fish, and don’t forget to take measures against your fish trying to escape! A lid should do the trick. Although Angelfish don’t tend to jump often, it can happen.
The ideal temperature for your Angelfish should be from 24 degrees Celsius, to 26 degrees Celsius, although this can be raised to 28, and 29 degree levels to aid with breeding.
Overall, your Angelfish are a profoundly beautiful creature. Why wouldn’t you want to give them a profoundly beautiful home to match? With the right, stress-free environment, Angelfish can optimistically live to be ten years old! Adding a few plants here and there, and taking the necessary care to clean your tank as regularly as it appears to get dirty (Angelfish aren’t a particularly messy fish, thankfully) can have wondrous effects on the lifespan of your fish, and somewhat less importantly, the look of your front room.
Angelfish Food, Diet & Nutrition Info
There is no perfect Angelfish diet, contrary to popular belief. Your Angels are essentially very unfussy creatures when it comes to food. There are however, certain things you can do to improve the diet, and quality of life of your Angelfish.
Angelfish enjoy a varied diet too, and they certainly appreciate a variety in the foods you give them. Floating flake food will certainly do the trick as a base food in their diet. As a bit of luxury, consider occasionally adding frozen blood worms, available from any decent pet store, along with brine shrimp (a particular favorite!) or live black worms.
Please bear in mind that Angelfish can often appear perpetually hungry – they will constantly beg to be fed. But please, do not overfeed them. Angelfish have no concept of being full, and will literally eat until they die. A commonly asked novice Angelfish owner question is “why are my angelfish constantly hungry, no matter what I feed them?” Well, if you never knew what being full felt like, you’d have a big problem too.
On the other hand, Angelfish have sometimes been known to go on hunger strike – refusing to eat anything that is given to them. This is usually indicative of your Angelfish being stressed in some way, most likely by something such as water quality. In this instance, you should immediately clean/test the pH level of the water. You should also tempt them back into a diet of healthy eating by offering one of the more luxurious foods mentioned above, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a live food such as live Brine Shrimp or live Guppies, although be wary of infecting your Angels with parasites if these live foods were sourced poorly.
Other provisions should also be made if you intend on successfully breeding your Angels – as mentioned elsewhere, it is a good idea to tempt your Angelfish into doing the deed with a larger variety of meals; something a little more evocative of their natural habitat in South America. Brine Shrimp and Bloodworm should be fine in this case.
As a responsible Angelfish owner, you of course want your precious fish to be happy! So by feeding them a rich, varied diet, you could prolong the lives of your fish by years.
Breeding Angelfish: Resourceful Details
As with all fish in the aquarium, breeding Angelfish can be a tricky and complicated ritual. For starters, accurately identifying the gender of Angelfish is almost impossible until they are almost ready to breed, and even after birth, there is a danger that the parents may eat their young. Still, all Angelfish enthusiasts should witness the miracle of birth at least once!
Most Angelfish reach sexual maturity between 8 and 12 months, and usually females will begin laying eggs around this time. At an age of around 3 years, frequency of egg-laying will begin to fall, and eventually stop altogether. Be assured that Angelfish do indeed pair up naturally, and when ‘in the mood’, will designate a surface and begin clearing it for a line of eggs. This position can vary, ranging from such open surfaces as a wide leaf, a length of stone, slate, or pipe, or even the sides of the tank itself. After several days of jealously guarding the eggs, ensuring an adequate water flow around them by fanning them with their fins, the parents will be present (even if you aren’t) to the eggs’ hatching.
The Angelfish fry, juveniles, babies, whatever you wish to refer to them as, will eat the egg sac from which they hatched for 3 to 5 days. In this time, you can set about trying to find some micro worms, or newly-hatched brine shrimp for them to eat when they exhaust their stock of yummy egg sac. Your baby Angelfish should be fed 4 times a day, and when they reach an age of 4 weeks old it is safe to begin introducing other foodstuffs – in this case feeder fry. All of the above can thankfully be purchased from any dedicated aquarium, or even pet shop.
In an ideal tank, in an ideal world, that’s exactly how it happens. But if not, there are some other things you can do to coax your stubborn Angels into procreating. The environment of your tank may not immediately put your fish in the mood, so to speak. Adding large leaves, or large open surfaces such as slates, or smooth rocks to the habitat may increase the female’s chances of laying an easily fertilized line of eggs. Additionally, increasing your tank’s temperature to a toasty 28 degrees Celsius may also do the trick, as well as ensuring your Angelfish are not stressed, going as far as perhaps separating the mating pair from the rest of the population.
You can even increase the rate at which your Angels breed, by immediately removing their eggs from the spawning area after fertilization. In this manner, the fish are able to spawn every ten days or so. Impressive!
Breeding any type of fish is a difficult proposition, compared to the annoying procreative frequency of many other members of the animal kingdom. As beautiful as Angelfish are though, why wouldn’t you want to see them commit to the miracle of new life too?