So many times, I was looking for a way to make my angelfish grow faster. It happened each time they were breeding, and I was waiting to introduce the newborns to the community tank. Over the years, I’ve learned some efficient ways to hasten their growth rate. As I was implementing these techniques, I have noticed a considerable change. Also, I felt that my adult fish became much healthier.
Making angelfish grow faster involves these steps:
- Minimize stress by adding plants and decorations to the tank.
- Use an aquarium, which is at least 55 gallons.
- Keep a temperature range of 24-29°C.
- Manipulate the water so that the pH is 6-8.
- Replace 50% of the water at least once a month.
- Feed your angelfish with live food, like worms and brine shrimp.
- Clean the aquarium regularly.
- Quarantine sick angelfish in a separate tank.
Following these tips could make your angelfish grow much more quickly. However, it is essential not to exaggerate with each step, so that you don’t end up harming your fish. I will elaborate on how to act as we move forward.
How to Make Angelfish Grow More Quickly
If you own angelfish, you are probably eager to see them grow. For some people, the idea of observing grown angelfish in an aquarium is appealing. Other people want their fish to grow as quickly as possible so that they can sell them.
Angelfish typically require eight months to a year to reach full maturity. The average adult angelfish can reach six inches in size; however, sometimes, they grow to ten inches. You usually see this in angelfish living in the wild. Captive angelfish typically don’t get this big, but it isn’t impossible.
If you are more interested in the rate of maturity than you are in size, you should know that the pace at which angelfish grow tends to vary depending on the conditions in which they are living.
Most people will tell you to let your fish grow at an average pace. But if you’re looking to expedite the process, there are steps you can take to make your angelfish grow faster. For instance:
1. Minimize Stress
First and foremost, keep stress away from your fish. Fish are sensitive creatures. Sharp noises will startle them. Drastic and unexpected changes in the light within their vicinity will also affect them negatively. The stress they suffer can easily trigger aggressive behavior in older angelfish, compelling them to eat their young ones.
Stress will also affect the growth of young fish. This is why you are encouraged to add plants and decorations to your tanks.
This gives younger fish a place to hide, which, in turn, gives them peace of mind, alleviating stress. You are also encouraged to keep aggressive fish out of the tank. If possible, surround your young angelfish with their own kind.
By alleviating stress, don’t expect to see a drastic increase in the rate at which your fish are growing. This is merely the first step that every breeder must take to keep the growth of their fish at a healthy pace. Once the growth rate is proper, you may start working on increasing it.
2. Get a Large Tank (55 Gallons And Over)
Give your angelfish space. Make their tank as large as possible. Start with a 55-gallon capacity tank. Go even bigger if you can afford it. Like the first step, this one won’t necessarily result in a drastic spike in the growth of your fish.
However, it will keep the growth rate healthy. Smaller tanks cause stunted growth.
The only way to avoid this is to get a bigger tank. If your fish have room, they can exercise optimally. They also don’t have to contend with overcrowding. This, in turn, prevents unnecessary aggression towards other fish that generally leads to stress.
An overcrowded tank also leads to an increase in nitrate levels, which can poison your fish. If you want your fish to grow at a decent pace, give them a big tank. As was mentioned above, limit the number of aggressive fish. A large aquarium is useless if the number of fish is so large that it causes overcrowding and violence.
The objective remains the same: give your fish peace of mind. Even if they are small now, they will eventually grow. Plan for their future size and get an appropriate tank.
If all you got are relatively small containers, I highly recommend that you read my aquarium kits buyer’s guide. I’ve mentioned there one of the most widely used 55-gallons tanks that received hundreds of 5-star reviews online.
3. Maintain an Ideal Temperature Range (24-29°C)
All fish require a specific temperature range to thrive. This is true for angelfish. If you want them to grow faster, make sure that you keep the temperature between 24 degrees and 29 degrees Celsius. Get your tank a heater. Do not rely on nature to keep the water at the right temperature.
Personally, I used a digital heater to keep my water on a precise level, without drastic swings. You may read my review about it here. I’ve also included a temperature chart so that you can see how efficient it is.
Frankly, heating systems for tanks are easy to come by, and so are thermometers. Keep one in the tank to ensure that you always know where the temperature stands. If it rises too high or falls too low, make the necessary adjustments. The right temperature will make your angelfish healthy.
Healthy fish grow faster.
4. Get The pH Right (6-8)
The pH is just as important as the temperature. Even though angels are hardy fish that can survive in various conditions, the right pH will keep their bodies at peak health, and that will encourage them to grow faster, not to mention reaching more substantial sizes.
With angelfish, the pH should range from 6 to 8. As with thermometers, testing kits are not hard to come by. Most fish retailers have them on sale.
Measure the pH; if it falls outside the appropriate range, take steps to fix it. That means adding crushed coral, baking soda, or shells to raise it if it has fallen below the required threshold. It is possible adding wood to the water to lower it if it has risen unnecessarily.
Pet stores sell chemical buffers that work quite effectively with regards to raising and lowering pH. The idea of monitoring the temperature and pH seems cumbersome for some people, but it is worth it to see your fish blossom at a faster rate.
5. Take Care of Water Quality
Monitor the quality of the water. A build-up of waste and toxins will affect the health of your fish. In some cases, it might actually kill them. Ammonia and Nitrites will impact the quantity of oxygen, reaching the fish’s vital organs. This, in turn, will inhibit growth. Nitrates are also just as dangerous.
This is why you need to watch the water quality. If it starts to look cloudy, you should take action. Endeavor to change the water on a regular basis. Replace 50 percent of the tank’s water. Because water changes are essential, some people tend to go overboard by doing a complete water change. But this will exert unnecessary stress on the fish.
The process will also strip the aquarium of the good bacteria that has accumulated. Stick with a 25-50 percent water change. Some breeders claim that they perform water changes every single day, and they have seen positive results.
The growth rate of their fish has risen. Others say that a weekly water change is adequate for inducing faster growth. You need to experiment until you find a schedule that delivers the best results.
The objective is to maintain the quality of the water by removing the ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. If you can achieve this objective, if you can keep these components out of your tank, your fish will grow at a rapid rate.
6. Use Live Food
As with all animals, if you want your angelfish to grow rapidly, you must feed them well. Flakes and pellets will keep them alive. But if you want them to grow faster, add some live food to their meals. Try some white worms and brine shrimp. Blood worms are pretty popular among some breeders. The same goes for small insects.
However, do not overfeed your fish. They will become sick. It also increases the amount of waste produced, not to mention all the leftovers that will eventually accumulate in the tank, introducing toxins to the water as they rot. Conventional wisdom will compel you to feed your young angelfish two-three times a day. But this isn’t mandatory.
Angelfish are not all the same. Observe the ones in your tank to discern their eating habits. Let them tell you how much they are willing to eat. You can typically tell that you are overfeeding angelfish if you keep seeing leftovers in the tank. Use this observation to make adjustments until you find a quantity that is appropriate for your fish.
7. Maintain Hygiene Conditions
You need to keep the tank clean. Poor hygiene will make your fish sick, stunting their growth in the long run. Find the time to scrub it regularly. You need to prevent algae from accumulating. Fortunately, algae cleaners like ‘Aqueon Algae Cleaning Magnet’ are not that hard to come by.
If the idea of using algae cleaners doesn’t appeal to you, take the natural approach. Creatures like shrimp and snails eat algae naturally. Add them to your tank and let them do your work for you. Use a gravel siphon to remove waste from the tank’s floor.
Take the filter out and wash it, removing any grime it most likely built up while in the tank. A dirty filter will contaminate your water, making the angelfish sick.
8. Quarantine Inadequate Fish
If it is within your means, take sick angelfish out of the tank. Put them in a separate container until they are better. If they infect your young fish, their growth could become stunted. So keep the sick angelfish away. You can tell that your angelfish are sick by looking for chalky fecal matter, weight loss, white spotting, and excessive slime, to mention but a few.
Does The Size of The Tank Affect Angelfish Growth Rate?
A lot of breeders emphasize the importance of buying a big tank for your angelfish to make them grow faster and more substantial. They make it sound like fish grow to fit the size of the aquarium. But this isn’t true. If all other factors are ideal, an angelfish will grow at a pace; it was meant to follow regardless of the size of the tank.
The size of the tank, on its own, cannot compel an angelfish to grow slower or smaller. Breeders who think that the size of their aquarium is solely to blame for their fish’s stunted growth are oblivious to other factors that might be in play.
However, a smaller tank will exacerbate every other negative aspect of your angelfish’s life, making living conditions so bad that the creature’s growth is affected. The tank-size factor has to work with other elements to bring about a positive or negative change.
A small tank will exacerbate the stress exerted on young fish, the level of aggression, the volume of toxins in the water, and the feeding habits. A large tank will alleviate stress, reduce aggression, and prevent the build-up of toxic elements in the water, not to mention improving feeding habits.
What Causes Stunted Growth in Angelfish?
Various factors can debilitate the growth rate and size of an angelfish, for instance:
Some fish are simply stunted. Many breeders become frustrated because their angelfish are not growing fast enough when, in truth, the fish will never get bigger. If the size of your fish has remained the same for several weeks and months, you should just accept that it will never get bigger.
As was mentioned above, the diet of your angelfish matters. If you give it too much food, it will become overweight and unhealthy, and that can stunt its growth. The excess waste produced and the rotting leftover food will ruin the quality of your water. This will make your fish sick, also leading to slower, prohibited growth.
But if you underfeed your fish to reduce waste and rotting leftovers, malnutrition will produce the same effect. Your angels won’t have the nutrients they need to grow correctly. This will prevent their bodies from maturing at the appropriate rate.
Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates
As was also mentioned above, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates are bad for the growth of your fish. Ammonia can damage the gills of fish; this will inhibit their breathing, preventing them from drawing enough oxygen into their bodies to grow properly.
Nitrites produce a similar result. But in their cases, rather than damaging the gills, they bind to the blood, preventing it from carrying oxygen efficiently. This starves the rest of the body of the oxygen it requires to develop appropriately.
This is where a small tank matters. Younger fish could see their growth inhibited if they do not have the space to move freely in their tank. Muscles can atrophy. This may also happen in situations where a tank is overcrowded.
If the notion of implementing every idea mentioned above feels overwhelming, just remember this: angelfish will grow faster and more efficiently if they are living in relaxed conditions where they have plenty of food and space. Try to keep that principle in mind. If you can keep your fish happy, healthy, and stress-free, they will grow quickly.