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How Long Do Angelfish Live? (Angelfish Lifespan)

How Long Do Angelfish Live? (Angelfish Lifespan)

Angelfish – one of the most popular fish in indoor aquariums. Embraced by many for their vibrant colors and long lifespan. But how long can they live in your tank or in the wild? Let’s find out.

How long do angelfish live? Angelfish have a maximum lifespan of 10 years in captivity if they are well taken care of – optimal water conditions and feeding. In fact, they can live for an extra five years. They can live up to 10 years in the wild. Additionally, they are hardy and easy to care for.

Want to know more about how long they can live in different conditions? Where they live in the wild? Perhaps what you can do to make them live longer? We’ve got you covered. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how long an angelfish cam live.

Quick Facts

  • Temperature: 24-26 C
  • Adult size: 24 inches
  • Color: Blue, green, red, yellow
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • PH level: 6.5-7.5
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years in captivity, 10 years in the wild
  • Care level: easy
  • Lifespan of angelfish

Angelfish can live up to 10 years in captivity and in the wild. Estimates show that they can even live for 15 years if kept in an extremely pristine tank and fed as recommended. More to this, they are easy to maintain since they are hardy – can tolerate slight water changes.

They can reach a maximum size of 12 inches. As such, it is recommended you keep them in a tall aquarium. Also make sure the aquarium is not crowded as this can lead to stress and ultimately, death. They are the best fish to keep if you are thinking of being a hobbyist for the long haul.

How can you Improve Angelfish Lifespan?

Well, if you want your fish buddy to live for long, you have to follow the dos and don’ts of keeping angelfish. Below we look at optimal conditions that can improve your fish lifespan.

Choose quality angelfish

This is by far the most important aspect if you want your fish to reach old age. We recommend buying the fish from a reputable pet store since they pay attention to the quality of genetics. Angelfish with poor genetics might to even reach 5 years while quality ones can reach a ripe age of 15 years.

Moreover, you ought to choose the variety that meets your need. Let’s look at the varieties you can choose from.


  • Albino: They lack dar pigments but keep the yellow and orange pigments. As such, they tend to have a white to the yellow body.
  • Half-black: As the name suggests, the back of the fish is dark while the front appears silver. To achieve this contrasting look, you ought to keep them in ideal conditions.
  • Marble: The black and silver spots are marbleized rather than stripped.
  • Silver: they are by far the staple of most aquariums. They have a silver body with three black stripes that darken or fade depending on the fish’s mood.
  • Zebra: Similar to the silver angelfish, they have four to six black stripes.
  • Gold: They do not have black stripes. They are overly yellow-gold and have orange markings on the head, face, and back.

While this is not an exhaustive list, the above are some of the most common varieties. You can consult a pet store for more. There are plenty to choose from.

Choose the most Ideal Tank

As mentioned earlier, angelfish require tall tanks. Why? They grow tall and hence require aquariums with ample swimming space. As such a 20+ gallon makes the cut. However, it ensures it is not overcrowded. In such a tank, they grow smaller and tend to be territorial and aggressive.

So, if you plan to keep happy and healthy angelfish, why not purchase either of the following tanks?

Recommended Tanks for Angelfish

Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank Kit (link to amazon): We’d recommend purchasing this stellar tank. It comes with vibrant LED lightings to bring vibrant life in the aquarium. The heater will keep the temperature constant. Not to forget a detailed user guide.

SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set(link to amazon): This is another awesome tank. It is made of quality glass that is less prone to cracking and chipping. The aquarium is clear hence you can comfortably view your fish buddy from a distance. Furthermore, the tank is ideal for both fresh and saltwater. Well, just add some decorations and you’ll be amazed at the stunning view.

TETRA 20 Gallon Complete Aquarium Kit(link to amazon): If you want to keep your angelfish happy, buy them the Tetra aquarium. They are made of scratch-resistant glass and comes with an LED hood that adds life into the aquarium. Talking of life, the decorations will definitely add a unique natural habitat feel. Not to mention the whisper filter that provides optimal water flow without producing unnecessary noise.

Marina LED Aquarium Kit(link to amazon): This is ideal for novice hobbyists. It is made of high quality, scratch-resistant glass. Moreover, it comes packed with all the tools needed to kick start your fish keeping hobby. If you are not well versed in fish keeping, don’t stress, it comes with a detailed care guide that gives you tips on how to set up and maintain the tank.

You can purchase either of the above or feel free to choose from a wide array of tanks out there.

Meet Optimal Water Conditions

This is another crucial aspect that determines how long your angelfish will live. Keep them under horrible conditions and they’ll die. So, what should you aim for?

  •    Temperature: 24-27 C
  •    Water pH level: 6.5-7.5

In addition, angelfish prefer densely planted tanks. You can add live plants or artificial ones. They prefer broad-leafed plants where they can rest. Also, it provides numerous hiding places such as tunnels, rocks, and caves. A dark substrate is ideal for these fish, especially gravel.

Do not forget to change the water twice a month to achieve a healthy tank.

Which are the best decorations for angelfish?

Smooth river rocks

They make great décor for angelfish aquariums. This can either be natural or artificial. Furthermore, the rocks do not snag the fins of the fish and also help achieve a natural-looking habitat. Well, why not get creative and use different sizes and shapes to create hiding places?

However, do not use rocks that dissolve in water such as limestone. They tend to change the water parameters. Before adding any stones, rinse them thoroughly with tap water.

Artificial or live plants

Artificial plants are easy to maintain but have little benefit. On the other hand, live plants help achieve the nitrogen cycle in the tank. They also act as a source of food for the angelfish, therefore, you’ll need to replace them once in a while. Artificial or live plants? It all depends on your choice. Let’s look at the best live plants for angelfish.

AngelfishWhich are the most ideal live plants for angelfish?

Amazon sword: It is easy to care for this plant that provides an eye-catching background. They grow to a maximum height of 20 inches under the right conditions. You’ll need to trim them once in a while. The amazon sword’s broad leaves provide ideal places for angelfish to lay eggs and rest.

Java fern: This slow-growing plant is just the thing for angelfish. They add plenty of cover in the aquarium that makes the fish happy. Well, you can grow it on driftwood which is another ideal decoration for angelfish. They reach a maximum height of 13 inches.

Vallisneria: Easy to maintain, this plant is another must-have in your aquarium. They are also cheap. In fact, they quickly turn into a bush in the right conditions. They prefer wide and long tanks.

Hornwort: It makes a great background plant and is an ideal pair for the Amazon Sword. They provide much-needed cover for angelfish. Due to their rapid growth, you need to trim them once in a while.

Anubias Nana: It does not grow as tall as most aquarium plants. You can either grow it directly on the substrate or float it. They grow rapidly, therefore, it is advisable you plant them 2 inches apart.

Want to add life to your tank? Then, add those smooth rocks and live or artificial plants in your angelfish aquarium.

Feed them adequately

They naturally omnivores which means they feed on a varied diet. The diet should include pellets, flakes, frozen foods, brine shrimps, blood worms, insects, and vegetables such as spinach. You should feed them at least thrice a day and make sure they’ll devour the food in 60 seconds.

Avoid stressful conditions

Angelfish will not see the second year if you keep it under stressful conditions such as overcrowded tank, unhealthy tank, unsuitable tank mates, and too much light and noise. Ensure you meet all the right conditions that an angelfish can live in.

How long can angelfish live without food?

This is arguably one of the most nagging questions among hobbyists. Angelfish can leave for up to three days without eating anything. Side note, it can even live longer than this.

However, aspects such as age, size, genetics, diet, etc. come into play. Larger and older fish go for long without food compared to younger and smaller fish.

Carnivores and omnivores tend to go for long without food. And since angelfish are omnivores, they can literally go for a week or two without food.

How long can angelfish live without a filter?

Angelfish can live for 12 hours without a filter. Furthermore, if the aquarium is set up appropriately, it can survive for a longer time. However, if the aquarium is overcrowded and unhealthy, your fish might die even before 12 hours. Why? The toxic water inhibits their immune system and the water is significantly deprived of its oxygen.

How long can angelfish live without a heater?

Since angelfish are tropical fish, it can be daunting for them to live without a heater. However, if your room temperature is between 24 and 27 C, they can survive but might not grow as expected. On the other hand, cooler temperature inhibits the growth rate of the fish. As such, they might die within weeks.

We recommend installing a heater in your angelfish aquarium.

Which tank mates should an angelfish live with?

Angelfish are peaceful nimble fish that have lots of tank mates. Let’s list some of the most ideal buddies. They include:

  •    Corydoras Catfish
  •    Bolivian Rams
  •    German Rams
  •    Kribensis Cichlids
  •    Cherry Barbs
  •    Kuhli Loaches
  •    Bristlenose Pleco
  •    Common Plecos
  •    Platies
  •    Mollies
  •    Yoyo Loach
  •    Tetras

These make the most ideal buddies for the angelfish. Some thrive in groups while others prefer living alone due to their behavior.

Related Questions

How long can an angelfish live alone? Sole angelfish might live for up to 5-10 years since they’ve been deprived of their natural traits. Angelfish are shoaling fish and hence thrive in small groups.

Can angelfish live alone? No, angelfish are schooling fish that thrive in small groups. Therefore should aim to keep them in groups of 5-6. However, some hobbyists have achieved keeping angelfish alone. But such fish are deprived of their natural traits.

Which lives longer a male or a female angelfish? Well, both have similar lifespans if kept under optimal conditions. However, fish kept for breeding purposes lives less – 5-10 years.

Where do angelfish live for long in the wild? Angelfish thrive in the Amazon basin found in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. They prefer slightly acidic water conditions found in flooded swamps.

How long can angelfish live in the wild? Angelfish can live up to 10 years in the wild so long as the water conditions are optimal and there are fewer predators.

How long do angelfish live in tanks? They can live for 15 years if the right conditions are met.


Angelfish can live for long if kept under the right conditions. In fact, they should live for 15 years. That said, ensure you install a heater to keep the water temperature constant and a filter to keep the aquarium healthy. So, why not visit your nearest pet store and get some angelfish?