How Long Do Angelfish Fry Take To Grow? (7 Essential Tips)

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Waking up one day to find a batch of new angelfish fry can be quite exciting. I still remember the feeling I had a couple of years ago.

However, my first question was about their growth rate. I needed to know how long it would take them to grow, so I could prepare a bigger tank in the meantime.

In this article, I’ll discuss the growth rate of angelfish, explain what factors can stunt their growth, and offer some effective tips on how to ensure they grow at a proper rate.

Let’s get started.

Angelfish Fry Growth Rate

Angelfish fry exhibit a rapid growth rate, often doubling in size within the first few weeks after hatching. This growth is contingent on optimal conditions and proper care.

  • Optimal Feeding: Angelfish fry thrive on a diet of newly hatched brine shrimp and specialized fry food, which should be fed multiple times daily for consistent nourishment.
  • Water Quality: Maintaining pristine water conditions, with parameters like pH around 6.8-7.8 and temperature at 78-84°F, is crucial for their healthy development.
  • Growth Phases: Initially, fry grow about 2-5 millimeters per week. They can reach juvenile size, about 2-3 inches, in just a few months with proper care.
  • Parental Care: In the wild, parental angelfish assist in fry growth by fending off predators and guiding feeding, enhancing survival and growth rates.

Also Read: Angelfish Fry Care

Stages of Growth

There are seven central growth stages when it comes to Angelfish. Here’s a table summarizing the key aspects:

Growth StageTimeline
Germination24-48 hours after spawning
Hatching2-3 days post-spawning, lasts 5-7 days
Wigglers3-5 days post-hatching
Free Swimming5-7 days post-hatching
Juvenile2-3 weeks post-hatching
Teenage3-6 months of age
Adulthood8-12 months of age

1. Germination

The germination stage of angelfish begins immediately after spawning. The fertilized eggs, attached to a substrate, undergo cell division and development, taking about 24-48 hours.

This critical phase requires stable water conditions to ensure successful embryo development.

2. Hatching

Following germination, angelfish eggs hatch in about 2-3 days. The tiny larvae, still attached to the spawning substrate, rely on their yolk sacs for nutrition.

They remain mostly immobile during this stage, which lasts approximately 5-7 days.

3. Wigglers

After the hatching phase, the larvae transition to ‘wigglers’. At this stage, lasting around 3-5 days, they begin to wiggle their bodies but still do not swim freely.

They continue absorbing their yolk sacs and start developing essential organs.

4. Free Swimming

Approximately 5-7 days post-hatching, the fry begin the free-swimming stage.

They start actively swimming and searching for food, marking the beginning of their need for external feeding. This stage is crucial for developing swimming skills and social behaviors.

5. Juvenile

The juvenile stage starts about 2-3 weeks after hatching. Juvenile angelfish, now around a couple of inches long, show distinct stripes and start resembling adults in shape.

They continue growing rapidly, requiring abundant and nutritious food.

6. Teenage

This stage is characterized by continued growth and development, typically occurring around 3-6 months of age.

Teenage angelfish begin to show more defined adult features and behaviors. This is a critical period for developing social hierarchy and territorial behaviors.

7. Adulthood

Angelfish are considered adults at around 8-12 months, when they reach sexual maturity and full size, typically around 6 inches in length.

Adult angelfish display complex behaviors, including spawning, and require stable environmental conditions to maintain health and coloration.

How to Make Angelfish Grow Faster

There are a few steps you can take to ensure your Angelfish grow fast and at the proper rate:

1. Optimize Water Quality and Temperature

Angelfish require specific water conditions for optimal growth. High-quality water and appropriate temperature encourage healthy development and minimize stress.

  • Stable pH Levels: Aim to maintain a pH level between 6.8 and 7.8; use pH buffers if necessary to prevent fluctuations that can stress the fish.
  • Ideal Temperature: Keep the aquarium temperature steady between 78°F and 84°F; a reliable heater with a thermostat is essential for this purpose. I personally got the Fluval E300 Advanced Heater (link to Amazon).
  • Regular Water Changes: Conduct 25-30% water changes weekly; use a gravel vacuum to remove waste and an aquarium-safe dechlorinator for tap water.

2. Provide a Balanced and Nutritious Diet

A varied and nutrient-rich diet is key to promoting fast growth in angelfish. The right food combination ensures they get all essential nutrients.

  • High-Quality Feed: Choose quality flakes or pellets as a staple; look for brands with high protein content, around 40-50%.
  • Supplement with Live Food: Add live or frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms to their diet 2-3 times a week for extra protein.
  • Vitamin Supplements: Incorporate vitamin supplements or foods rich in vitamins, like spirulina, to enhance growth and immunity. My recommendation: Seachem Nourish (link to Amazon).

3. Maintain Proper Tank Size and Environment

The right tank size and environment play a significant role in angelfish growth. Adequate space and a stress-free environment allow for better growth.

  • Appropriate Tank Size: Start with at least a 20-gallon tank for young angelfish, upgrading as they grow to prevent crowding.
  • Complex Environment: Include plants and decorations to create hiding spots and reduce stress, which can impact growth negatively.
  • Stable Environment: Ensure consistent lighting and minimal noise around the tank to create a calming environment for the angelfish.

4. Ensure Regular and Appropriate Feeding Schedules

Consistent and appropriate feeding is essential for rapid growth in angelfish. Overfeeding or underfeeding can significantly affect their growth rate.

  • Consistent Feeding Times: Feed your angelfish 2-3 times a day at set times to establish a routine that supports steady growth.
  • Proper Portion Sizes: Provide only as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes to prevent overfeeding and water quality issues.
  • Variety in Diet: Rotate between different types of food (flakes, pellets, live, frozen) to ensure a comprehensive intake of nutrients.

5. Implement Stress Reduction Techniques

Minimizing stress is vital for the healthy growth of angelfish. Stress can lead to stunted growth and increased susceptibility to diseases.

  • Provide Adequate Shelter: Arrange plants and decorations to create hiding spaces, offering a sense of security and reducing stress.
  • Controlled Lighting: Use a consistent light cycle with periods of darkness to mimic natural conditions, promoting a stress-free environment.
  • Limit Aggressive Tank Mates: Choose tank mates carefully to avoid aggressive species that can bully or stress angelfish.

On this matter, I would avoid having these tank mates with my angelfish fry:

  • Red-Tailed Shark
  • Tiger Barb
  • Betta Fish
  • African Cichlids
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Oscar Fish
  • Convict Cichlid
  • Goldfish
  • Jewel Cichlid
  • Green Terror Cichlid
Green Terror Cichlid

6. Perform Regular Water Changes and Tank Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for sustaining an environment conducive to growth. Clean water free of toxins directly impacts the health and growth of angelfish.

  • Routine Water Changes: Conduct 10-15% water changes weekly to maintain water quality and remove harmful nitrates and ammonia.
  • Filter Maintenance: Clean or replace filter media monthly to ensure efficient filtration and removal of waste products from the water.
  • Substrate Cleaning: Regularly clean the substrate to remove food debris and waste, preventing the build-up of harmful bacteria and toxins. I do that with this Laifoo Aquarium Siphon (link to Amazon).

7. Ensure Proper Breeding Practices

Proper breeding practices are essential in raising angelfish with potential for fast growth. Genetic factors play a significant role in determining the growth rate and overall health of angelfish.

  • Selective Breeding: Choose healthy, robust parents with good growth rates for breeding; this can lead to offspring with better growth potential.
  • Avoid Inbreeding: Prevent inbreeding by introducing new genetic lines periodically, which helps in maintaining genetic diversity and vigor.
  • Breeding Environment: Create a stress-free breeding environment with optimal conditions, as stress during breeding can impact the health of both parents and fry.

How to Properly Feed Angelfish Fry

Properly feeding angelfish fry is essential for their health and growth. They start with microscopic food and gradually progress to larger, varied diets as they grow.

  • Infusoria (0-4 Days Old): Feed infusoria 2-3 times daily in small amounts for the first 4 days, suitable for the tiny mouths of newborn fry.
  • Newly Hatched Brine Shrimp (5-14 Days Old): Introduce brine shrimp when fry are 5 days old, feeding 3-4 times daily in small, digestible quantities.
  • Microworms (2-4 Weeks Old): From 2 weeks, add microworms to their diet, providing small servings 2-3 times a day for essential proteins.
  • Crushed Flake Food (3-6 Weeks Old): Begin finely crushed flake food around 3 weeks, feeding 2-3 times daily to transition to adult diets.
  • Pellet Food (6-8 Weeks Old): At 6 weeks, introduce small, soft pellet food, feeding it 2-3 times daily, slowly increasing the quantity.
  • Varied Diet (8 Weeks and Older): From 8 weeks, offer a balanced diet of flakes, pellets, and live food, maintaining 2-3 feedings per day.

Also Read: How To Keep Angelfish Fry Alive

What Can Stunt the Growth of Angelfish?

Several factors can stunt the growth of angelfish, primarily poor water conditions and inadequate nutrition.

These issues can lead to health problems and hinder their natural growth potential.

  • Poor Water Quality: High levels of nitrates and ammonia in the water can cause stress and illness, leading to stunted growth. Regular water testing and changes are essential.
  • Inadequate Diet: A diet lacking in essential nutrients or variety can result in malnutrition, directly affecting growth. Variety and quality in food are crucial.
  • Overcrowding: Too many fish in a small space can lead to stress, competition for food, and poor water quality, all stunting growth.
  • Incorrect Water Temperature: Water that’s too cold can slow metabolism, leading to slower growth. Ideal temperatures range from 78°F to 84°F.
  • Stress from Aggression: Aggressive tank mates or a hostile environment can cause constant stress, hindering proper development and growth.

Also Read: Will Angelfish Fry Survive In A Community Tank?

Will Angelfish Grow in a Small Tank?

No, angelfish will not grow properly in a small tank. Limited space can lead to stunted growth and various health issues, affecting their overall well-being.

  • Limited Swimming Space: A small tank restricts the swimming area, essential for physical development, leading to stunted growth and stress. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended for a single angelfish.
  • Poor Water Quality Control: Smaller tanks can have fluctuating water parameters, like pH and temperature, which are detrimental to growth. Larger tanks (30-55 gallons) help maintain stable conditions.
  • Increased Waste Concentration: In small tanks, waste accumulates faster, leading to higher toxin levels which can affect health and growth.

Do Angelfish Grow According to Their Tank Size?

No, angelfish do not grow according to their tank size.

While a small tank can restrict their growth due to poor water quality and stress, angelfish growth is primarily determined by genetics and proper care.

A sufficiently large and well-maintained tank is crucial to allow them to reach their full potential size and health.


For quick readers, here’s a short summary:

  • Angelfish fry show rapid early growth, doubling in size within weeks under optimal conditions, including frequent feeding and proper water quality.
  • There are seven growth stages for angelfish, starting with germination post-spawning and culminating in adulthood at 8-12 months.
  • Fast growth in angelfish can be promoted through optimal water conditions, a balanced diet, adequate tank size, regular feeding, and stress reduction techniques.
  • Feeding angelfish fry requires a progression from microscopic infusoria to varied diets, including brine shrimp, microworms, and pellet food as they grow.
  • Angelfish growth can be stunted by poor water quality, inadequate diet, overcrowding, incorrect water temperature, and stress, and they do not grow to match their tank size.