How Often Should Angelfish be Fed? (And How Much)

There is no doubt it is difficult to determine the precise feeding schedule and portion amounts for angelfish. For years I’ve tried to get it right so that my fish are not starved, nor the aquarium gets too dirty. After a lot of experiments and online research, I am willing to share a few insights regarding the feeding habits of angelfish. 

Adult angelfish should be fed two times a day regularly. Young angelfish should eat more frequently, approximately 3 to 4 times a day. For each meal, provide your angelfish with the precise amount they consume within 30 seconds, regardless of the food in question.

Although it may sound like a simple rule of thumb, not all angelfish are the same. Later in this article, I will discuss the right way to determine your particular angelfish eating habits. This way, you are less likely to overfeed your fish, resulting in obese swimmers who are likely to live less.

How Often Should Angelfish be Fed?

When it comes to food and dieting, all fish are complicated. They are not like dogs that you can touch and observe directly to determine whether or not they are hungry or if they want more food. 

Yes, you can see them in the tank. But the water acts as a barrier that limits your contact with your fish. This is why angelfish owners are not always sure how often they should feed the creatures; fish are not expressive enough to tell you when they are hungry and when they might be full.

Luckily, even without direct interactions with your angelfish, there are signs that you can use to determine the frequency with which they should be fed. You also have an industry standard that you can use as a guide. People say that angelfish are unpredictable. They eat everything they can fit in their mouths, and if you bring food to their tank, they will react with excitement.

However, it is generally accepted that they should be fed two times a day. Baby angelfish require smaller, more frequent meals.[1] But their adult counterparts can survive on two meals per day. Because they are omnivorous, you have to give them a decent blend of meat and vegetables. 

You can also throw some frozen food into the mix. Don’t feed them all the types of fish food you have at the same time. Mix things up. You can give them frozen food in the morning and nutritious flakes later in the day. The unpredictability mentioned above is genuine, and it is a problem. 

If you keep feeding your angels, they will keep eating regardless of the time of day or night. They might take breaks in between. But for the most part, don’t expect them to turn down a meal. This is why you have to feed them on a schedule you’ve set. While there is room for experimentation, don’t let your fish dictate the number of meals they consume each day. 

How Much Should Angelfish Eat?

There is an element of experimentation in this area because angelfish are not all the same. Their appetites will depend on factors like their size and environment. Some angelfish also prefer certain food items over others. 

You have more room to experiment with younger fish because you can feed them occasionally throughout the day without attracting any drastically negative consequences.

With adult fish, you don’t have such leeway because overfeeding is terrible for them. For this reason, experimentation in the area of feeding should be left to experienced professionals that can identify all the lines that shouldn’t be crossed. 

For people that are just starting, there is an industry-standard to which you can adhere. You have to feed your angelfish as much food as they can eat in 30 seconds.[2] It sounds like a simple formula, but it has been tested and proven. The method applies to most meals, regardless of the food item in question.

As you have already noticed, this approach also requires experimentation. As an amateur, you have no way of knowing the quantity of food your angelfish can consume in 30 seconds. For that reason, you have to make an educated guess. Pour some flakes in the water and see how quickly your fish eat them. 

If they fail to finish all their food within the first thirty seconds, you gave them too much. Cut back on the amount. Try to remember that your fish must eat all the food you have given them within the set period. Only then can you conclude that you have found the right amount.

If your fish look like they are still hungry, repeat this process. Give them an amount they can finish in 20 to 30 seconds. If they fail to complete the food, you can conclude that you were wrong, and their hunger wasn’t as high as you expected.

After a few meals, you will gain a more accurate understanding of the measurements you should use when feeding your fish. If you have to keep feeding your angelfish for several minutes on end, something has gone wrong.

Again, as was mentioned above, unless you have experience in this field, and you can accurately interpret the behavior of your angelfish, don’t let them dictate their schedule or the amounts they eat. They are fish. If you give them food, they will eat it regardless of whether or not it is healthy for them.

What do Angelfish Eat?

Angelfish eat everything they can fit in their mouths. They are not picky in the least, so you have several options at your disposal. Most angelfish experts encourage you to feed them the following:

Flakes and Pellets

This is every fish owner’s starting point. Flakes and Pellets are popular because they are affordable and easy to find. But you must ensure that you acquire high-quality flakes and pellets that are rich in protein, plant material, and other nutritious elements. 

Nutrafin Max Spirulina flakes have a high spirulina content. Northfin Cichlid Pellets (link to Amazon) have some of the freshest ingredients on the market.[3]

These are not necessarily the best brands of flakes and pellets, but they should give you a picture of the quality you should prioritize. Some flakes and pellets have more filler and fewer nutrients. They either don’t give your fish the nutrients they require, or they cause harm. 

To make sure that you get the best flakes and pellets, pay close attention to the ingredients. Look at the label. If a fish expert has told you the ingredients your angelfish requires for its health to thrive, the label will help you determine whether or not the flakes and pellets in your store are appropriate for your case. 

Freeze-dried Food

The way freeze-dried food is packaged and stored matters because it kills all the bacteria and parasites. This is what makes freeze-dried food items so attractive. They are not quite as nutritious as some people would like, which is why your angelfish can’t survive on freeze-dried food alone.

The process of dehydrating and freezing them debilitates the nutritional value. However, you can trust that they won’t harm your fish because all the deadly parasites have been eliminated.

Freeze-dried food is easy to store. You can keep it for long periods, and it doesn’t consume that much space. People that don’t have experience with freeze-dried food are encouraged to place it in a cup of aquarium water before adding it to your tank. 

Freeze-dried foods include bloodworms and brine shrimp. Personally, I’ve been using the SAN FRANCISCO BAY dried food (link to Amazon) for an extended period with great success.

Frozen Food

People sometimes confuse frozen foods with freeze-dried foods. But, as mentioned above, freeze-dried foods have been dehydrated. In both cases, you have to place the food item in question in a cup of aquarium water before feeding it to your fish.

With freeze-dried food, the goal is for the food item to drink as much water as possible. If you don’t submerge freeze-dried food, it will expand in your angelfish’s stomach, causing harm. 

With frozen food, on the other hand, the point is to thaw it out before feeding it to your fish. Live food is more nutritious, but frozen food is more comfortable to store. It can also keep your angels sated in situations where you don’t have any other food items on hand. 

Live Food

Live brine shrimp and bloodworms are better for your angels than their frozen counterparts. Live foods are more nutritious, which is why you are encouraged to add them to your angel’s meal rather than relying solely on flakes and pellets. However, live bloodworms, brine shrimp, and the like can also introduce diseases to your fish and their tank.

This is why freeze-dried foods are so prevalent in some circles. They eliminate parasites and bacteria that cause diseases. For the most part, angelfish can survive on live food. In fact, you are encouraged to feed their fry live food and nothing else for the first month. 

Vegetables

Angelfish are omnivores. They eat both plants and meat. Make sure you include vegetables in their meals. Peas will do, just remember to boil them. It is also imperative that you remove the shells. If you don’t have peas on hand, give them cucumber and zucchini. Be sure to slice the vegetables into pieces that are small enough for them to eat. 

How Long Can Angelfish go Without Food?

It was mentioned above that fish will eat anything they can fit in their mouths. So don’t be too surprised if they eat other smaller fish in the tank. They will also happily nibble on plants if you fail to feed them adequately. 

Even though you were told above to feed your angelfish twice a day, the average adult angelfish can survive for seven whole days without food. Some angels can last weeks. 

Naturally, as their hunger grows, their penchant for eating their tank mates and the plants will also increase. But that isn’t an excuse to leave your angels unfed every time you have to leave home for long periods. If you can’t get to your angelfish, you can either ask a friend to feed them in your absence or use an automatic feeder.

Some people will take one day out of every week to make their angelfish grow fast. By refusing to give them food the whole day, they encourage the creatures to find and eat any leftover food in the tank.

Can I Feed The Angelfish Using a Device?

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to feed your angelfish even when you are away for vacation. In our modern times, there is no real need to call a neighbor or a relative for such a small favor.

One of my favorite fish feeders is probably the Eheim Automatic Feeding Unit (link to Amazon). I’ve been using this one for almost a year, and, unlike other devices, it never skipped any meal. It also seemed to be the most accurate device in terms of amounts.

If you choose using the Eheim feeder, all you have to do is set up the time for the scheduled meals. When the clock hits the set hour, the container will rotate over your aquarium, pouring the food through the gap you’ve manually set earlier. 

Here is a useful video you help you visually understand the concept behind this feeder:

Conclusions

Matured angelfish should be fed approximately twice a day. For their meals, you may use flakes, pellets, freeze-dried food, or perhaps vegetables. Either way, you should give them more than they will consume within thirty seconds. 

The best way to determine your particular angelfish habits is by experimenting and observing. If you see your fish have consumed all the food you’ve poured within 15 seconds, you may increase the amount gradually. As time passes, I’m sure you’ll learn your fish habits and become an undoubtedly successful fish grower.

References

  1. https://animals.mom.me/baby-angelfish-care-5984.html
  2. https://petcentral.chewy.com/overfeeding-aquarium-fish/
  3. https://landoffish.com/best-food-for-angelfish/
  4. Featured Image: Flickr
  5. Second Angelfish Image: Flickr

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