Do Angelfish Need to Be in Pairs?

Do Angelfish Need to Be in Pairs? Read This First!

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Angelfish are docile fish with a lot of positive qualities. They swim slowly and gracefully, are a colorful addition to your aquarium, and keep to themselves. Their solitary nature leaves many aquarium owners wondering whether angelfish can be kept alone.

Do angelfish need to be kept in pairs? Yes, they are solitary fish, but they do better when paired with other angelfish. You can keep an angelfish alone, and they will live quite happily. They prefer, however, to be paired. You can pair angelfish with other species as long as they have compatible properties.

So, angelfish can be happy alone but are happier in pairs. What are the ideal living conditions for angelfish?

How many angelfish should you keep?

As a rule, you should keep an even number of angelfish together. Angelfish are not schooling fish, but neither are they completely solitary. This means they move in pairs, and keeping an odd number of angelfish will lead to one being unable to pair up.  This “odd fish out” will suffer and sometimes even gets killed. Given this, always add angelfish to your aquarium to add up to even numbers.

Can angelfish be kept with other species of fish?

While angelfish are known for their docile nature, they are cichlids. Cichlids are known for being aggressive, and angelfish are no exception, especially in the breeding season. They are less aggressive when living with other angelfish, but as long as they aren’t breeding and their tank is not overcrowded, they can live peacefully with other species.

Angelfish will eat anything that fits in their mouth, and they don’t discriminate. Since they are carnivores, it is advisable not to keep fish that are smaller than angelfish with an angelfish. The same goes for fry and eggs of other species.

Fish species that are compatible with angelfish

As long as you aren’t keeping fish who are predators of angelfish, you can keep bigger fish in the aquarium with them.  There are several fish that are compatible with angelfish, including:

  • Boesemani Rainbowfish
  • Peaceful barbs
  • Large rasboras
  • Tetras
  • Medium-sized catfish
  • Corydoras
  • Gouramis

Tank and water conditions for angelfish

If you are keeping angelfish, your aquarium’s water temperature should be between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with a neutral or close to neutral pH. A pH between 6.8 and 7.8 is ideal for angelfish, neither too acidic nor too basic.

Angelfish don’t cope well with hard water, so extra steps should be taken to soften the water in their tank and reduce the overall calcium levels. Water should be changed regularly and filtered appropriately. If you are using tap water to fill your aquarium, the water should be treated.

An angelfish tank should be a minimum of 55 gallons, as they need a lot of space to grow. They are also slow swimmers and need space to do so.

Your aquarium should be decorated to represent an angelfish’s natural habitat. They often prefer to have leaves or objects that float on the surface to provide them with shade and hiding spaces.

Related Questions

Can I have just one angelfish?

Single angelfish do just fine if kept with other peaceful, non-aggressive fish species. It’s important to ensure that other species of fish stay away from your angelfish during breeding (as the angelfish becomes aggressive) and to ensure that companion fish are large enough not to get eaten.

Are angelfish good beginner fish?

Angelfish are great beginner fish, as they are hardy and tolerate a fairly large range of water parameters. Maintaining water quality is important for their care and keeping the tank clean, but they aren’t as finicky about small changes as some other species of fish.

What is the lifespan of an angelfish?

Angelfish have an average lifespan of up to 10 years in captivity, given that they are well taken care of.

Do angelfish fight with each other?

Angelfish are territorial. While it’s best to keep angelfish in pairs, it’s also important to ensure that you have a large enough aquarium that they don’t become aggressive with each other. If your tank is not overstocked and there are plenty of hiding spaces and “territory” for angelfish to call their own, they usually get along very well.

If they can’t stake out territory due to a small tank or tank overcrowding, then, yes, angelfish will fight with each other and other fish, even killing them to gain space.

Can freshwater angelfish change gender?

No, they cannot. There are two types of angelfish, freshwater and saltwater angelfish. Freshwater angelfish are not capable of changing genders. There are several different varieties of saltwater angelfish, and some of these varieties are capable of changing genders.

The concept of all angelfish changing genders, however, is a myth.

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