Angelfish belongs to the family of Cichlidae and is native to South America. This species requires a lot more care and attention than most fish due to its size and environmental requirements. Their bodies have a round shape but are actually flat.
It is a great misconception that this species remains small. Actually, they can outgrow the regularly explained sizes. In addition, they require a lot of space in an aquarium but we will get to that later.
With this said, what do Angelfish eat? This species will eat anything you provide but do not let that fool you. An unhealthy diet could lead to a lot of major health issues. The most suitable food for this fish consists of live food such as Black Worms and Brine Shrimp.
Read below to find out the most balanced diet for Angelfish and examples of the food products that you could use.
Before we get to our feeding guide we have to mention some key details about keeping Angelfish. If you are reading this you are most likely already an Angelfish owner, therefore here you may find something that you did not know previously.
Mentioning the water parameters and requirements is important with Angelfish because if anything in the water goes off the grid, this species will go on a food strike and refuse to eat. Therefore, if you see that your fish is starving itself, test the water immediately.
Angelfish grow to around 15cm or over 6 inches. A single individual requires around 30 gallons to feel good. If you plan on keeping a pair or even more, consider a tank of around 50 gallons or more.
Angelfish prefer warmer waters. The perfect temperature would be between 78F-84F (25C-29C). If you plan on keeping them in a cold room, consider purchasing a heater. Their requirement for pH stands between 6.5 and 8.0.
Naturally, Angelfish live in tropical waters, therefore plants and vegetation are a necessity. In its natural habitat, this species spends most of its time hiding in ambush. In an aquarium, tall plants and driftwood will be sufficient enough to provide enough hiding spots. If you want to add a personal favorite of this fish, buy Amazon sword plants.
Also Check: How Big Do Angelfish Get?
What do Angelfish eat?
In their natural habitat, an Angelfish would normally ambush small fish and insects. Although it will accept all sorts of food, a diet close to their nature will be the best option.
You should focus on meat products. You can start with high-quality tropical flakes and pellets but at all cost include freeze-dried food and live foods.
Below, we will go through all types of fish food and explain their favorites from each sort.
Although meat products will hold the bigger part of the diet, Angelfish are omnivores. You need to include vegetables to ensure a complete healthy diet. With this species, you will have to experiment.
Not every Angelfish will love the same type of vegetables. Naturally, zucchini and cucumber are the all-time favorites to the majority of fish species.
In addition, boiled peas have shown to be a personal preference of Angelfish. Do not forget to remove the shells and shred them into tiny pieces.
Pellets & Flakes
These two types of foods are the most common for all fish. Besides that, they are the most affordable and at the same time are not less nutritious. High-quality tropical flakes and pellets are a great day to day food to use for the diet.
If you can, search for products that are specifically for Cichlids. In addition, if you do not want to give them fresh vegetables, spirulina-based flakes will give them the necessary plant material.
Otherwise, always make sure that the main ingredient on the packaging is protein. That is why we mention high-grade pellets and flakes. The cheaper ones usually consist of wheat and other ingredients that are less nutritious.
Freeze Dried Foods
Freeze dried foods are growing in popularity because they are safe and healthy. The difference from normal frozen food is that this type is being dehydrated as well. Through the process of freeze drying, parasites and bacteria are being wiped off entirely.
This is also the same reason why these sorts are not very nutritious but will be a great addition to a diversified diet. In addition, you can be sure that you will not add any diseases to your tank.
The personal favorites of Angelfish are freeze dried brine shrimp and blood worms. Just make sure you submerge the meal in aquarium water as otherwise, it will expand in the fish stomach.
Besides flakes and pellets, frozen foods are the most convenient sort. You can simply keep it in a freezer for long periods of time. Once again, the most favored types will be brine shrimp and blood worms. Besides that, you can try plankton and beef heart, although these two may sound odd.
There is an important trick to do before you feed your Angelfish with frozen food. Always put it in some sort of a container, a cup or glass, and add aquarium water to it. Wait for it to unfreeze and stir it before you give it to your fish.
Last but definitely not least, live foods. This sort of food is the most natural for Angelfish. The key is to always do your shopping from a store that has a lot of reputation and is known for its quality products. This is due to the fact that quite often live foods can contain bacteria and parasites that are not only dangerous to Angelfish, but to your whole aquarium.
Live foods are possibly the most nutritious type of food and I am sure you can already imagine which are the most popular choices. Yes, brine shrimps and blood worms.
This type of food is not always available everywhere but if you visit reputable fish stores, they will surely have some choices.
How to feed Angelfish Fry
We will skip through the difficult details of breeding Angelfish as this is a topic for another time, but since we are talking about feeding this species we cannot leave out the newborns. Angelfish fry has completely different dietary need than the full grown specimens.
To begin with, the fry of this species require a lot more time to actually function as fish, if it could be said like this. It will take time before they begin swimming.
Instead, they will spend time around their birth spot. Besides that, they will not eat flakes and pellets as they are simply not ready. It is very curious that they will actually feed on their own egg yolks.
As soon as they leave their spawning spot in a couple of days, you can move on to more serious foods. As for the feeding cycle, you can try out by feeding them around three times per day with small portions. If there are no leftovers, you can feed them four or five times. Try out and see for yourself.
It is no surprise that you have to feed the fry with brine shrimps as well. The huge difference is that you need to get newly hatched ones. This is the perfect food simply because newborn Angelfish have huge nutritional requirements and brine shrimps will supply those.
There are a few options to choose from. One of them is to purchase brine shrimp eggs and hatch them yourself. The second easier one is to buy freeze dried baby brine shrimp food and simply feed them the same way you feed the grown-ups.
Best Food Choices Available on the Market
This guide would not be complete without giving you the proper foods that you should consider buying. We explained all the top choices from every food sort, although the answer is always blood worms and brine shrimps.
Now, we will give you a list of all the best foods that you can purchase. Of course, live foods have to be bought from physical stores. All examples below are available on Amazon.
1. Northfin Food Cichlid Formula 1Mm Pellet
These Cichlid pellets by Northfin truly surpass all their competitors. If you open two different packages, this and one from another brand, you will instantly feel the difference. This product is made from fresh ingredients and is heavily nutritious. It consists of protein and has no added hormones. With this healthy meal, your Angelfish will produce a lot fewer waste. Check this food on Amazon.
Why choose this food:
- Free of hormones, Bi-product, filler, artificial pigment
- Contains large amounts of protein and nutrients
- Slow sinking
2. Omega One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp
It was already mentioned why freeze dried food is great. It contains no bacteria and parasites due to the production process. This product by Omega One is widely loved by Angelfish and for a reason.
It is highly nutritious and full of protein. In addition, it is packed with natural pigments that enhance the natural coloration of fish. Finally, I think we mentioned brine shrimp quite a lot of times already. Angelfish love it and you can get it from Amazon.
Why choose this food:
- Natural protein, vitamins, minerals, and pigments
- Enhances appetite
- No bacteria or parasites
How much do Angelfish eat?
There is a commonly accepted rule among the professional fish keepers that Angelfish should eat only the amount they could eat in 30 seconds. This, of course, can never be true for all specimens and you will have to try out for yourself. Add more feeding time but never overfeed them.
Angelfish would naturally jump at the food as soon as it falls in the aquarium. If you see that they refuse to eat test the water. If everything seems all right in terms of water parameters, do not give them food for a couple of days.
If even after this short period of starvation they refuse to eat, then it could be some sort of sickness and you will need to do more serious observation and testing.
How long can Angelfish live without food?
A full-grown Angelfish will most likely last a couple of weeks without a problem. Maybe even more but I wouldn’t recommend either. If you leave them hungry in a community tank with smaller species it is highly likely that the Angelfish will try to eat them. Naturally, they get more aggressive with age and there is no guarantee what will happen if you leave them hungry.
There are countless affordable automatic fish feeders available to purchase. These devices are great not only for when you are away but you can use them daily as well. The majority of newer models run on batteries and have low-battery indicators. It is a safe way to always keep your Angelfish fed and happy.
If we caught your interest with the fish feeder idea, here is a small list of the most valuable models on the current market. Once again, all are available to purchase on Amazon.
Can Angelfish eat Goldfish flakes?
Angelfish and Goldfish can easily eat the same type of foods. There are a few things to mention, however. Goldfish food is not as nutritious simply because they do not need it. Angelfish need a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals that simply lack in Goldfish flakes and foods overall.
Do Angelfish eat other fish?
There is one simple rule in the fish keeping. If a smaller fish fits in the mouth of a bigger one, the superior one will most likely eat it.
Therefore, small fish such as Guppies, Tetras, Danios can become a meal for an Angelfish that is large enough. In fact, people would actually use a special sort of baby Guppies to feed Angelfish. You can check this guide on Tank Mates for Angelfish.
Overall, it is not a good idea to keep fish so small together in a community tank. Although Tetras and Angelfish naturally come from the same habitat and are used to live together, as soon as the Angelfish grows, it will get more aggressive and most likely eat them anyway.
If you still plan on keeping them together, make sure the aquarium is heavily planted so that there are enough hiding spots for the smaller species.
Do Angelfish Eat their fry?
A lot of fish keepers have major problems with Angelfish eating their fry. This could happen due to a few simple reasons.
Firstly, Angelfish commonly need to spawn a few times before they actually learn how to parent correctly. If the actual parent fish are young as well, the chances are that they would actually eat all the fry instead of looking after them. In addition, a few years ago it was mentioned in a magazine that Angelfish in captivity lose their parental instincts.
The second common reason behind Angelfish eating their fry is other fish in a community tank. This species would prefer to eat the fry themselves instead of giving other species the honor.
Therefore, if you actually want to give them a chance at parenting, you will have to set up a secondary breeding tank that is at least 25-30 gallons and at the correct water parameters.