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Angelfish Tank Size: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

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I have a soft spot for angelfish, I must say. They are graceful, majestic swimmers that not only beautify your aquarium but can also lend a certain serenity to it.

But what about the tank size they require? With the variety of angelfish out there, pinpointing the exact tank size for each can be a bit of a puzzle.

Here, I’ll delve into all the nuances related to angelfish tank dimensions, ensuring you walk away with a clear understanding.

Let’s get started.

Also Read: Angelfish Tank Setup

Best Tank Size for Different Angelfish Species

When considering the right tank size for angelfish, it’s generally recommended to start with a minimum of 20 to 30 gallons for a single angelfish, with the precise size depending on the specific species’ size and temperament.

A spacious environment promotes health, growth, and natural behaviors in these elegant fish.

  • Space Requirement: Angelfish, especially when fully grown, need ample swimming space. A constricted area can cause stress and hamper their graceful movements.
  • Health and Growth: Adequate space in a tank promotes better growth, and it helps prevent health issues like fin rot and stunted growth.
  • Inter-species Interaction: Different species of angelfish have varied temperaments. A properly-sized tank allows for a comfortable coexistence, reducing territorial disputes.
  • Natural Behavior: Larger tanks mimic the angelfish’s natural habitat, allowing them to exhibit natural behaviors, breed successfully, and feel less stressed.

Here’s a table based on commonly kept angelfish species, their required tank size for a single specimen, and the additional gallons needed for each subsequent angelfish:

Angelfish SpeciesGallons for Single FishGallons for Each Additional Fish
Pterophyllum scalare20 gallons10 gallons
Pterophyllum altum30 gallons15 gallons
Pterophyllum leopoldi25 gallons12 gallons
Koi Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Black Lace Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Golden Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Zebra Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Marble Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Veil Angelfish25 gallons12 gallons
Silver Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Blushing Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Pearl-scale Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Half-black Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Albino Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons
Leopard Angelfish20 gallons10 gallons

Note: While these are general guidelines, always consider the tank’s overall bioload and dimensions, ensuring there’s enough horizontal space for swimming.

Koi Angelfish

Best Tank Size for Different Angelfish Sizes

The ideal tank size for angelfish largely depends on their size, with larger, mature angelfish requiring more space than their juvenile counterparts.

A general rule is that juvenile angelfish can start in a 10-gallon tank but will need at least 20-30 gallons as they mature and grow.

Here’s a table that breaks down the angelfish size in inches and the corresponding recommended tank size:

Angelfish Size (in inches)Recommended Tank Size
1-2 inches10 gallons
2-3 inches15 gallons
3-4 inches20-25 gallons
4-5 inches30 gallons
5-6 inches40-45 gallons
6+ inches50+ gallons

Adjusting the Tank Size to the Number of Angelfish

When housing multiple angelfish, it’s crucial to increase the tank size proportionally to accommodate each fish’s spatial needs.

Starting with a base size for a single angelfish, you should add a specific amount of gallons for each additional fish, typically around 10 gallons.

Here’s a table depicting the number of angelfish and the corresponding tank size recommended:

Number of AngelfishRecommended Tank Size
120 gallons
230 gallons
340 gallons
450 gallons
560 gallons
670 gallons
780 gallons
890 gallons

What’s the Smallest Tank Size for Angelfish?

For a juvenile angelfish, the absolute minimum tank size is 10 gallons.

However, as the fish matures, it will quickly outgrow this space, making a 20-gallon tank more appropriate for an adult angelfish.

  • Growth Consideration: Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches tall. Starting them in a small tank requires a commitment to upgrading later.
  • Water Quality: Smaller tanks can have rapid changes in water conditions. A 20-gallon tank provides more stability, crucial for angelfish health.
  • Movement & Comfort: Angelfish are tall and need room to swim vertically. A taller tank, not just a longer one, is essential for their comfort.
  • Stress Reduction: Adequate space minimizes stress and territorial disputes, especially important as angelfish mature and establish territories.

Can Angelfish Live in a 5-Gallon Tank?

Angelfish, due to their size and natural behavior, cannot thrive in a 5-gallon tank. Such a limited space will lead to numerous problems for the fish and the keeper alike.

  • Physical Size: Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches tall. A 5-gallon tank simply doesn’t provide the room they need.
  • Water Instability: Small tanks can experience rapid water parameter fluctuations, which is harmful for sensitive species like angelfish.
  • Stress & Health Issues: Cramped spaces can stress angelfish, leading to a weakened immune system and increased susceptibility to diseases.

Also Read: Can You Keep Angelfish In A 5-Gallon Tank?

Can Angelfish Live in a 10-Gallon Tank?

While a 10-gallon tank might seem suitable for a juvenile angelfish, it’s not appropriate for long-term housing or for an adult specimen.

Angelfish require more space for healthy growth and proper behavior.

  • Limited Growth: A 10-gallon confines angelfish, potentially stunting their growth and leading to health complications.
  • Behavioral Restrictions: Angelfish are active swimmers and territorial. In 10 gallons, they lack the space for natural behaviors.
  • Social Dynamics: In a restricted space like a 10-gallon tank, angelfish might face increased stress and aggression issues, especially if housed with other fish.

Also Read: Can Angelfish Live In A 10-Gallon Tank?

Can Angelfish Live in a 20-Gallon Tank?

A 20-gallon tank can comfortably accommodate a single adult angelfish or a pair of juveniles.

However, it’s important to monitor their growth and ensure they’re not overcrowded as they mature.

  • Optimal Growth: In a 20-gallon setup, a single adult angelfish has ample space to reach its full size without any restrictions.
  • Juvenile Consideration: While two juveniles can start in a 20-gallon tank, remember they grow; a tank upgrade will be necessary.
  • Water Quality Management: A 20-gallon tank offers more stable water conditions compared to smaller setups, essential for angelfish health.

Also Read: Can You Keep Angelfish In A 20-Gallon Tank?

How Many Angelfish Can Live in a 30-Gallon Tank?

A 30-gallon tank can be a suitable home for 2 to 3 adult angelfish, provided it has the right dimensions and setup to accommodate them comfortably.

  • Space Distribution: With 30 gallons, each angelfish has enough territory to establish its domain, reducing aggressive encounters.
  • Tank Dimensions: A tall tank is preferable, as angelfish, being vertically oriented, need adequate height for swimming.
  • Environmental Enrichment: A 30-gallon space allows for diverse aquascaping, offering angelfish a variety of textures and hiding spots.

Also Read: How Many Angelfish In A 30-Gallon Tank?

How Many Angelfish Can Live in a 40-Gallon Tank?

A 40-gallon tank provides a suitable setting for 2 to 3 adult angelfish, ensuring they have enough room to exhibit natural behaviors and establish territories.

  • Spacious Environment: A 40-gallon ensures angelfish can swim and flourish without constraints.
  • Territorial Needs: Within this space, each fish can carve out its territory, diminishing potential altercations.
  • Decor Flexibility: With 40 gallons, aquarists have ample room to introduce plants and decorations, enhancing the angelfish habitat.

Also Read: How Many Angelfish In A 40-Gallon Tank?

How Many Angelfish Can Live in a 55-Gallon Tank?

Housing 5 to 6 adult angelfish in a 55-gallon tank allows each individual sufficient space to thrive, reducing territorial confrontations.

  • Optimal Spacing: This volume guarantees approximately 10 gallons per angelfish, ideal for their comfort and growth.
  • Stress Reduction: With adequate spacing, angelfish can live harmoniously, showcasing their vibrant colors and patterns.
  • Enhanced Filtration: A 55-gallon tank supports powerful filters, ensuring cleaner water and lesser maintenance.

Also Read: How Many Angelfish In A 55-Gallon Tank?

How Many Angelfish Can Live in a 75-Gallon Tank?

A 75-gallon tank can comfortably accommodate 6 to 8 adult angelfish, offering ample room for territorial marking and easy movement.

  • Individual Territory: Within this volume, each angelfish can stake its domain, promoting peaceful cohabitation.
  • Comfortable Movement: Angelfish, being elegant swimmers, will benefit from the broad swimming area a 75-gallon provides.
  • Design Possibilities: A tank of this size offers ample opportunities for aquascaping, creating a visually appealing environment for both fish and viewers.

Also Read: How Many Angelfish In A 75-Gallon Tank?

Does the Size of the Tank Affect the Eventual Size of Angelfish?

Yes, the size of the tank significantly influences the eventual size and health of angelfish. 

While a too-small tank can stunt their growth, it’s essential to understand that angelfish won’t grow endlessly in larger tanks; they have a natural size limit.

  • Growth Inhibition: In constrained spaces, angelfish may not attain their full potential, typically up to 6 inches tall.
  • Natural Limit: Even in vast tanks, angelfish won’t exceed their natural size limit, which is generally around 6 inches for most species.
  • Health Implications: Beyond stunting in small tanks, improper tank sizes can lead to issues like spinal deformities and overall health deterioration.

How Many Gallons of Water Are Needed for Each Angelfish?

On average, an angelfish requires about 10 gallons of water to thrive. This volume provides ample space for their physical growth, territorial needs, and overall well-being.

  • Physical Growth: Providing 10 gallons ensures the angelfish has room to grow to its full potential, promoting healthy development.
  • Territorial Behavior: Angelfish are known to be semi-aggressive; the recommended space helps in reducing territorial disputes.
  • Waste Management: A larger volume dilutes waste, ensuring the water remains cleaner for longer, vital for angelfish health.
  • Natural Behavior: The 10-gallon guideline allows angelfish to display their natural swimming patterns and behaviors without hindrance.

Is It Possible to House an Angelfish in a Fish Bowl?

No, it’s not advisable to house an angelfish in a fishbowl. Such an environment is too restrictive and cannot meet the specific needs of an angelfish.

  • Inadequate Space: Angelfish can grow up to 6 inches tall, and a fishbowl won’t provide the necessary space for healthy growth or movement.
  • Water Quality Issues: Fishbowls often lack filtration, leading to rapid water contamination, which can be detrimental to an angelfish’s health.
  • Oxygen Deprivation: Without proper aeration or surface area in a fishbowl, angelfish might suffer from insufficient oxygen, affecting their overall well-being.

Some Helpful Guidelines for Taking Care of Angelfish

Angelfish are captivating and elegant, demanding specific care to flourish in aquariums.

By understanding and applying specific guidelines, one can ensure their longevity and happiness.

  • Spacious Tank: Offer a minimum of 10 gallons per fish; for two angelfish, a 20-30 gallon tank is ideal.
  • Water Quality: Ensure the pH remains between 6.8 and 7.8; utilizing water testing kits bi-weekly can help maintain this balance. Based on my experience, the API Freshwater Master Test Kit (link to Amazon) is extremely accurate.
  • Varied Diet: Rotate between high-quality flake foods, brine shrimp, and bloodworms for nutritional diversity.
  • Regular Cleaning: Commit to 25% water changes every 2 weeks; use siphons to eliminate detritus from the substrate. My recommendation: Laifoo Aquarium Siphon (link to Amazon).
  • Tank Mates: Pair with peaceful fish like tetras or mollies; avoid fin-nippers like barbs to prevent fin damage.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain water temperatures between 76°F and 82°F using a reliable heater and thermometer.
  • Disease Prevention: Quarantine new fish for 2 weeks before introducing them to prevent the spread of potential diseases.

Also Read: Angelfish Water Parameters

API Freshwater Master Test Kit

Suitable Companions to Coexist with Angelfish in a Tank

Angelfish, being semi-aggressive, require specific tank mates that won’t provoke or be threatened by them.

Picking the right companions ensures a peaceful coexistence within the aquarium.

  • Tetras: Larger species like Black Skirt or Congo Tetras are ideal, as they won’t be easy targets for angelfish.
  • Corydoras: These peaceful bottom dwellers, such as the Bronze Cory, don’t compete for space with angelfish.
  • Rainbowfish: Being swift and generally peaceful, species like the Boeseman’s Rainbowfish make excellent tankmates.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: Choose non-aggressive types like Bolivian Rams, ensuring they have ample hiding spots.
  • Livebearers: Mollies and Platies are good choices; they swim in different zones, reducing territorial disputes.
  • Shrimps: Larger species, like Bamboo Shrimp, can coexist, but smaller ones might become a snack for hungry angelfish.
  • Snails: Nerite or Mystery Snails are both decorative and functional, cleaning algae without being bothered by the angelfish.


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish need a minimum of 20-30 gallons for a single fish, with space requirements varying based on species and size.
  • Juvenile angelfish can start in a 10-gallon tank, but mature ones require 20-30 gallons or more.
  • Housing multiple angelfish requires increasing the tank size, typically adding around 10 gallons for each additional fish.
  • Angelfish should not be kept in tanks smaller than 10 gallons, and a 20-gallon tank is more appropriate for an adult.
  • Suitable tankmates for angelfish include larger tetras, corydoras, and non-aggressive dwarf cichlids.