How Long Do Angelfish Live? (& How To Increase Their Lifespan)

Freshwater angelfish are one of the most beautiful tropical fish species to have at home. However, many aquarists often wonder: “how long do angelfish live?”

Today, we’re going to answer everything that you need to know about the lifespan of angelfish. After going through the following, we’re sure you’ll have no doubts regarding the lifespan of angelfish under different water conditions.

So, let’s not delay any longer and dive right in!

How Long Do Angelfish Live in Captivity?

If provided with the right water conditions and a large aquarium, angelfish can typically live for anywhere between 10-12 years in captivity. Since they are hardy fish that can withstand harsh conditions, angelfish can easily be raised even by beginners.

However, if you’re looking to keep and breed angelfish for the long haul, then you need to provide them with the right amount of care and maintenance. At the same time, the genetic lineage of the angelfish you’ve bought plays a vital role in their lifespan.

How Long do Angelfish Live In The Wild?

In the wild, the lifespan of freshwater angelfish is comparable to that in captivity, though there’s always the risk of predators such as barracudas. Their natural lifespan might be affected in the wild due to diseases such as Ich and Gold dust disease. It’s essential to keep in mind that such diseases might also affect angelfish kept in an aquarium.

Another factor to keep in mind is that wild angelfish have to survive much harsher conditions such as environmental pollution and stress in the wild. They also have to search for their food (instead of being fed), so their lifespan is likely to decrease by a few years.

How Long Can Angelfish Go Without Food?

Freshwater angelfish can go without food for up to 3 days typically. However, if your angelfish is a healthy adult, it can easily go without food for longer periods, often up to two weeks. It all depends on the age, health, and size of the fish you have.

Angelfish are omnivores and can live on a vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian diet. Ideally, you should be providing them with an appropriate mix of the two types of food. How often and what you should feed the fish also depends on their age.

For instance, juvenile angelfish require more live foodstuff, such as baby brine shrimp, and should be fed 3-4 times a day. On the other hand, adult angelfish should be given a balanced mix of veg and non-veg items such as boiled veggies, blood worms, and blackworms twice a day.

How to Increase Your Angelfish Lifespan?

The first factor to keep in mind when trying to improve the angelfish lifespan is the environment they will be put in. If you can provide the fish with balanced conditions in a tank, their lifetime is bound to increase.

Genetics also plays a crucial role in determining the lifespan of any angelfish. An freshwater angelfish that comes from a good, healthy lineage will live longer than those from unhealthy origins. Keeping both the above factors in mind, here are a few things you can try to help your angelfish live longer.

Buy A Healthy Fish

The first step you can take to ensure this is to buy your angelfish from a reputed breeder. This will ensure that the fish have been bred with all possible care, and you’re getting the advantage of a healthy lineage.

When it comes to selecting angelfish, looks matter. Before buying, carefully inspect your angelfish for signs of disease, such as clamped fins, skin ulcers, and mouth rot. Fish with kinks or twists in the anal, dorsal or caudal fins are more prone to diseases.

Make Sure The Tank Is Large Enough

Freshwater angelfish can grow up to 6 inches in height, which makes them a rather tall fish species. This naturally means they need more space to move about and prefer taller tanks. We recommend a 20-gallon tank (at least) for keeping angelfish.

For best results, you can go with a tank that has over a 30-gallon capacity. This way, you can ensure that the angelfish have enough space to swim comfortably and live a stress-free life. Freedom of movement can go a long way towards improving the lifespan of the fish.

Take Care Of The Environment

Any aquarist knows the importance of maintaining the right environment in the tank, especially water quality. The freshwater angelfish is native to the Amazon River and its tributaries, keeping angelfish requires temperatures of about 76°F-82°F, along with a water pH between 6.5 to 7.5. It would be best if you also took care to measure the water hardness, which needs to be in the range of 5° to 13°.

Along with the correct water parameters, angelfish like to live in environments with plants and places to hide. So, we recommend keeping a tank that’s well-planted with broad-leaf plants like Java Fern and Java Moss . You can also use a substrate of a darker color, as this helps to keep the angelfish more relaxed.

Water in the tank should be changed once a week or once every two weeks, depending on water parameter test results. You should also ensure that the tank is properly cleaned and made free of any algal growth.

Ensure High-Quality Food

We’ve already mentioned that angelfish are omnivorous, so they enjoy balanced diets that contain a variety of frozen and live foods, such as brine shrimp, fish flakes, and even fresh veggies. Angelfish mainly prefer lettuce and spinach.

While feeding the fish, you need to ensure that you’re providing them only as much as they need. Angelfish have a tendency to be gluttonous, which means they might try and trick you into overfeeding them.

You can feed angelfish 3-4 times a day in small portions that they can consume in about a minute. If you’re feeding them high-quality fish food, then once a day is enough to keep them healthy and alive.

Caution Against Overfeeding

Overfeeding angelfish can result in their bodies releasing excess toxins into the water in the tank. This can destroy the balance of the water parameters. Also, overfeeding can harm the fish’s internal organs and result in a variety of health problems.

Minimize Stress Factors

The angelfish lifespan can be negatively impacted due to stressful conditions, especially when they are breeding. So, you should take the required steps to eliminate stress factors such as unhealthy water parameters, sound pollution, or small tank size.

Another stressor that you should watch out for is an overcrowded tank. Take care not to put too many fish, especially other angelfish in the community tank. Otherwise, they might nip at each other’s fins.

If you’re in the mood to keep angelfish in a large tank with other types of fish, then make sure you select the right community tank mates. Suitable tank mates for angelfish include mollies, corydoras, catfish, and swordtails, among others. Never go for aggressive species, such as bettas or goldfish.

Angelfish belong to cichlids, and can be aggressive toward one another, especially while protecting a spawn. Make sure you have more females than males if possible.

Monitor for Diseases

Just like humans, angelfish are prone to a variety of diseases. These include Ich (also known as white spot disease), hole-in-the-head disease, dropsy, and mouth fungus. So, you need to acquaint yourself with and regularly check the fish for signs of these problems.

Male Or Female Angelfish-Which Lives Longer?

There’s no proven evidence to suggest that either the male or female angelfish species live longer than the other. Provided with the right conditions, both species can live equally long lives.

However, we did find that angelfish involved in excessive breeding purposes have shorter life spans. Perhaps, this is simply because breeding tires out the fish faster, thus shortening their life period.

How Long Can Angelfish Live Without A Filter?

Without a filter, the water in the aquarium will become toxic faster, which will lead to a compromise of the angelfish’s immune system. This can ultimately lead to diseases or even subsequent death.

According to expert estimates, angelfish can survive a maximum of 12 hours in an aquarium without a water filter.

How Long Can Angelfish Live Without A Heater?

Angelfish have their natural habitats in tropical waters, which means they usually find it hard to live in the absence of a water heater. Colder temperatures go against the natural habitat conditions of the tropical fish and lead to stunted growth and eventual death. The maximum they can live without a heater is one or two weeks.


We hope you now have a good idea of the average lifespan of angelfish. Like any other living being, their life duration also depends on the environmental factors, lineage, and of course, the quality of food they get.

Using the tips and methods mentioned above, you’ll be able to maintain the living conditions of your angelfish better. That way, if you’re doing everything perfectly, you might be able to make angelfish live a few years longer than the average 10-12 years.

Just make sure you learn enough about proper angelfish care and maintenance.

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