Angelfish Diet

Fish are amazing pets. They’re pleasant to watch, come in various hues, and are quite easy to care for. Without a doubt, the freshwater angelfish are one of the most popular fish species due to its brilliant colors and beautiful patterns.

However, caring for your angelfish isn’t as easy as you might think, especially regarding your angelfish diet and nutrition. Angelfish require a balanced diet containing a mix of high-quality commercial and home-prepared angelfish food to get healthy and colorful.

In this article, we’ll go through what angelfish eat in addition to the best angelfish food for first-time angelfish keepers.

Angelfish Diet in the Wild

Angelfish are from the Pterophyllum genus, native to the Amazon River Basins waterways. In their natural habitat, freshwater angelfish are omnivores, they feed on tiny crustaceans, insects, larvae, and other meaty foods as prey, and they also occasionally eat some plant matter.

Regarding angelfish care, the key is to provide your angles with the same conditions as their natural habitat. This means that you must maintain a high-protein diet with many minerals to help your angelfish develop their breathtaking hues and prevent discoloration.

How Frequently Should Angelfish Be Fed?

You can feed juveniles and young adults 3 – 4 times a day. Once they reach adulthood, cut back to 2 – 3 times a day.

All fish are difficult when it comes to food and dieting. They’re not the same as dogs, where you can look at their face and tell whether they’re hungry or want more food.

In the case of angelfish, you can’t tell whether they are hungry or not – spoiler alert: they always want more food.

Angels are very active fish that burn through calories quickly and have a voracious appetite that requires a substantial amount of food to stay strong. Also, they aren’t picky eaters. They will eat absolutely anything; therefore, you should pay close attention to how often you feed your angelfish.

They will keep consuming as long as you keep giving them food. They may take some rest between each bite. But don’t expect them to refuse a meal if you offer them one.

For this reason, it’s crucial to have a bi-daily feeding schedule for your angelfish. This will ensure they get the nutrients they need without overeating and becoming sick.

How Much Should Angelfish Eat?

You must feed your angelfish as much food as they can consume in 30 seconds.

It appears to be a straightforward technique, but it has been put through the wringer and proved. 

This technique also necessitates trial and error, as you will have no idea how much food your angelfish can eat in 30 seconds if you are a beginner. It would help if you made a reasonable guess.

Pour some flakes into the aquarium water and watch how quickly your fish devour them. If they don’t finish everything on their plate in the first thirty seconds, you give them too much and have to reduce the feeding portion. 

If your fish don’t seem satisfied after repeating the above procedure, it may be time to increase their portions. 

If they don’t finish the food, you can conclude that you were incorrect, and their hunger wasn’t as severe as you thought.

After a few feedings, you’ll better grasp the measurements you should use when feeding your fish.

In general, this area is a bit experimental since angelfish aren’t all the same. Their size and surroundings will determine their hunger, and it’s important to mention that some angelfish prefer specific meals to others.

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Angelfish?

Overfeeding is a concern with any fish. It harms the fish and the tank environment, resulting in digestive issues, constipation, and a swollen abdomen.

Angels are small fish that have delicate stomachs, making overfeeding them hazardous. You have to keep an eye on your angel fish. Things like indigestion or constipation all are signs of overfeeding. 

Water chemistry irregularities can also develop as a consequence of overfeeding.

Adding a few drops of castor oil to their food or feeding them mashed blanched peas will help angelfish with constipation.

How to Care for an Angelfish: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
Angelfish by WikiHow

How Long Can Angelfish Survive Without Food?

Juvenile angelfishes can live up to 3 days without food, while adults can survive for a week or more without eating anything.

Surely, factors like water quality, the fish age, and other elements come into play and can affect this duration. 

What to Feed Angelfish

As we mentioned before, angelfish are omnivores, they will consume both plant-based and animal-based meals, but one type alone will not fulfill all of their nutritional needs.

You’ll need to provide both homemade angel fish food and commercially available foods in their diet.

What Not to Purchase?

1. Fillers and Grains

1. Food that contains wheat middlings, soybean meal, wheat gluten, or rice as a primary ingredient is typically a sign that it is of poor quality.

Angelfish need a lot of protein, and grains aren’t part of their diet. They just haven’t evolved to be able to digest grains yet.

2. Generic Fish Meals

If the primary source of protein in the meal is labeled under “fish meal,” you can consider it a low-quality food.

The leftovers from processing fish for human consumption are typically used to make these generic meals.

Fish fillets are first cut from the fish to be sold for human consumption.

Then the skin, scales, bones, guts, and other unsightly components are combined and crushed into a powder that’s used as food for fish.

The issue is that most beneficial components, such as meat and omega fatty acids, have already been removed.

As a result, although they have nutrients, whole fish is far superior, and solely depending on “fish meals” will not provide your angelfish with the nutrients it needs.

What Ingredients to Look for in High-Quality Fish Food?

1. Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that may grow in fresh and saltwater. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, and even protein, easily absorbed by the body.

Although it’s not a meaty food, it is an excellent addition to an angelfish diet because of its calcium, iron, potassium, and other vital minerals. It’s also been proven to improve coloration.

2. Whole Fish

The gold standard for fish food components is whole fish. When you see “whole salmon” or” whole menhaden” as one of the first ingredients, you’re dealing with high-quality food.

Groundfish is mixed with water and mashed to make a paste, which means you will get all of the readily absorbable protein from the meat and the fish oils that provide omega fatty acids.

Don’t Feed Only One Thing at a Time

Providing your fish with a varied diet is critical to their long-term health. 

Consider this: You don’t eat only fresh vegetables all day, every day, do you?

Yes, vegetables are healthy, but they can’t provide you with all nutrients you need.

You should consume a wide range of foods and obtain all of your required nutrients from the various components of your diet.

Fish are no exception. Providing them with a variety of different things to eat aids in acquiring all necessary nutrients.

What Do Angelfish Eat?

1. Flake Foods

Flake foods are among the most popular types of fish food on the market.

They’re manufactured in large quantities and sold at many stores, which makes them affordable for most people.

There are two categories of flake foods: plant-based and animal-based. 

  • Plant-based flakes: This type contains ingredients like algae meal or kelp or spirulina along with various starches.
  • Animal-based flakes: This type contains whole fish or groundfish, which provide angelfish with complete nutrition.

There are also multi-ingredient flakes that contain plant ingredients as well. 

They may contain supplemental ingredients like vitamin C and calcium, but be aware of how much you’re feeding your fish because the high carbohydrate content of these foods can lead to a yeast infection.

2. Frozen Foods

Frozen fish food is easy to use and doesn’t usually need refrigeration.

They’re great for weekends because they’re quick and convenient, but pay attention to the ingredients when selecting frozen foods.

Buy only those that contain whole fish. If you see “fish meal” as the first ingredient, move on to something else.

3. Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-dried fish food is convenient and can be offered as a treat. 

In addition, they’re easy to store and not as messy as frozen foods. 

All you have to do is drop them into the tank, wait for them to absorb the aquarium water slowly, then watch your freshwater angelfish enjoy the meal.

Additionally, freeze-drying destroys germs and parasites that may be present in food, so there’s no chance of passing anything on to your angelfish.

A word of caution, if you’re not careful, freeze-dried foods will expand in your angelfish stomachs, causing constipation or indigestion.

To ensure that freeze-dried foods are good for your fish, look for those that offer various types of food in one container.

4. Live Foods

Live foods are excellent additions to your angelfish diet because they provide the components needed to thrive, such as vitamins and minerals that can be difficult to obtain from prepared food.

For instance, you can feed them brine shrimp, but ensure they’ve been gut-loaded with algae extract before feeding them to your fish.

Furthermore, you can feed angelfish live worms, which are easy to find at pet stores but be careful; the worms must be small enough for your fish to eat. 

There are some restrictions when it comes to feeding your angelfish live foods. 

Live foods can contain germs and parasites that can harm your angelfish and result in serious health problems.

As a result, it’s critical to get your live food from a reputable pet shop and ensure that the live foods are grown to avoid parasitic or bacterial infestations in your aquarium.

5. Spirulina Mix

Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green alga often referred to as “pond scum” because it thrives in freshwater. 

This makes it an excellent food for angelfish. Spirulina can be metabolized by your fish’s body and used as a source of protein, which will help your angelfish grow.

You can buy spirulina in the form of flakes, but it’s more expensive than most other foods on this list. 

So instead of buying food formulated for marine fish, you can easily mix your own by adding spirulina powder to your angelfish flake food. Mixing it with flakes will help cut down on the cost.

Just remember that mixing foods of different types may decrease the shelf life of your food, so use only healthy flakes to avoid exposing your fish to harmful bacteria and fungi.

6. Live Plants

Don’t forget about live plants for a well-balanced fish diet! They’re not just decorative; they’re also healthy for your fish.

For the best nutritional value, you should feed your angelfish live plants found in their natural habitats. 

These include duckweed and hornwort, as well as some types of algae such as Caulerpa.

Pro tip: Live plants can be cut with a pair of scissors and then placed in the tank.

7. Vegetables

Many angelfish owners forget about vegetables, but they’re an excellent addition to your fish’s diet. 

They provide them with essential vitamins and fiber that can be difficult to obtain from other types of fish food.

Feeding them veggies also helps protect their digestive systems by cutting down on the number of times your angelfish eat per day, which results in less waste being produced in the tank.

You can give your angelfish vegetables right out of the garden or place them in boiling water to kill any germs or bacteria. 

Ensure they cool before feeding them to your fish so they won’t burn their delicate digestive systems!

Here is a guide showing you what angelfish can eat.

Best Food for Freshwater Angelfish

Angelfish thrive on a varied diet that includes plant matter and meat, so no one food is ideal for angelfish.

If I had to choose one meal or treat from the ones listed above, I’d select freeze-dried food since it’s safe for your angelfish and provides enough nutrition.

The freeze-dried blood worms are a great choice, which is a healthy addition to an angelfish’s primary diet of flake foods and provides extra energy and condition.

Tetra blood worms can treat various ailments, including internal parasites, external parasites, fungal diseases, and even skin problems.

Furthermore, because live bloodworms might carry disease-carrying organisms that could harm your freshwater fish, the freeze-dried ones are an excellent choice.

Although it isn’t as nutritious as live food, it is still a great source of protein, nutrients, and minerals for your angelfish. It lacks the health hazards associated with live foods.

Also, You can add varieties like frozen brine shrimp or freeze-dried Mysis shrimp to the diet of your angelfish, both of which are suitable alternatives to live food.

But, If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious healthy diet, Omega One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp or San Francisco Bay Brand Freeze Dried Mysis Shrimp are excellent choices.

These foods are wonderful, but the sort of food that I believe is best for angelfish is beef heart paste food, which is made at home.

Homemade Angelfish Food

The variety of food your angelfish should have is critical. While commercially available options can meet their needs, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t spoil your angelfish with something much better.

In reality, if you have the time to make paste meals for your angelfish, I recommend doing so since they are a better alternative to commercial foods.

You can find fish food recipes online, some of which may be good, but the best recipe I’ve found is beef heart paste.

Beef heart is incredibly healthy for angelfish because it’s an excellent source of protein and fat. 

It contains nutrients such as iron, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamins D, E, and K. It’s also very low in mercury and easy to cut into small chunks that fit into an angel fish’s mouth.

It can be added to flake food or fed by itself if you want the fish to get used to eating more solid foods.

I’ve had my best results using the beef heart from a reputable supplier such as US Wellness Meat.

Ingredients

  • Fresh beef heart
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Combination of veggies you have on hand, such as broccoli, carrots, spinach, boiled peas, and Raw peeled shrimp

The composition of this food is simple. It contains only the most basic components, such as cod liver oil and flaxseed meal, so you may add your flair to it by adding spirulina, liquid vitamins, or krill meal.

How to Prepare It

  1. Cook the beef heart in boiling water until thoroughly cooked, then chop into chunks small enough for angelfish. If you don’t boil it first, the food might be too tough for your fish to eat.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup unflavored gelatin with 2 cups of water and sit at room temperature for ten minutes.
    Then place the gelatin, the beef heart chunks, and any other ingredients you wish to include into a food processor or blender for 20 seconds.
  3. Carefully pour your angelfish’s food into an ice tray, then place it in the refrigerator or freezer.
    Let it freeze overnight before feeding your fish since this will make one cube of angelfish food.
  4. Feed your angelfish one cube of beef heart paste daily, preferably in the morning or early afternoon. 

Note:

If your angelfish have been eating only commercially available fare with the odd vegetable meal, they may take some time to learn that this is also food.

The first time I added beef heart paste food to my angelfish diet, they completely ignored it. 

I added three cubes at once, but after a week without any bites, I began to think that this food wouldn’t work if the fish didn’t touch it.

Then, when they finally ate some of it, they found it delicious and gobbled up all three cubes within seconds, waiting eagerly for more.

Pro Tip:

If your fish are used to eating a specific diet, don’t switch them over to homemade foods immediately.

Perhaps you can give them their regular food in the morning and beef heart paste at night and see how they like it.

You may gradually replace fake foods with home-prepared meals if they seem to enjoy them.

Best Commercial Angelfish Foods Review

1. Northfin Krill Pro

Ingredients: Whole Antarctic krill, wheat flour, kelp, and spirulina.

Description: This is a pelleted food, so double-check the pellet size for your fish. 

You may feed your fish the greatest diet in the world, but if the pellets are too big for them to consume, they’ll be of no use.

Krill gives this food a powerful fragrance that drives fish insane, which means it should not be difficult to get your angelfish to switch over to it.

Top feeding fish adore cichlid pellets like this since they move by (the action mimics natural prey), but if they don’t see the food, it will most likely sink to the bottom and go uneaten.

It’s important to mention that there’s just one protein source in this mix, so you’ll need to add additional foods to provide more options.

2. Northfin Food Community Formula 1mm Pellets

Ingredients: Krill meal, wheat flour, wheat gluten meal, soybean flour, egg product, glycerin

Description: This formula makes up the bulk of your angelfish diet. 

It’s pelleted food you can feed your entire community tank if you wish. The pellets are quite small so double-check the size before you buy.

This is a great food for any fish, not just angelfish. It’s very affordable and ideal for community tanks where you have other species that might be able to eat bigger pellets.

Additionally, the Nutritional Highness of the Northfin Community formula is a more well-rounded diet that includes several high-quality protein sources and super nutritious kelp and spirulina.

3. Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flakes

ingredients: Dried spirulina algae, wheat flour, dried krill meal, soybean oil

Description: This is interesting flake food. It’s not based on animal protein, so it doesn’t have that “meaty” smell that angelfish love.

However, this product contains 60% spirulina algae, which is super nutritious and good for your fish’s immune system.

This food features a diverse range of nutrient sources, so it does a good job supplementing other foods in your tank.

It fits well into a mixed diet, especially since the spirulina algae contains key nutrients that support overall health and development.

4. Omega One Cichlid Flakes

Ingredients: Whole Antarctic krill, whole herring, shrimp meal, squid meal, salmon oil, yeast extract, astaxanthin, vitamin an acetate, vitamin d3 supplement, vitamin e supplement

Description: Omega One Cichlid Flakes are a great staple when you have angelfish. 

They contain many ingredients that help promote the health of your fish, so you should try feeding these to your angelfish for a long time to come.

The ingredients list is very long, and it’s all good stuff. 

It has most of the nutrients your angelfish needs to stay healthy. 

There are some problems with this food, though:

First, this food has a lot of ingredients, so it might be too much for your fish to digest properly.

Second, they include a lot of high-quality protein but also use a diverse range of protein sources.

5. Fluval Bug Bites

Ingredients: Dried black soldier fly larvae, salmon, concentrated fish protein, and green peas

Description: Fluid Bug Bites are fantastic, and I’ve had a lot of success with them. My big Texas cichlid has grown to like these so much that he won’t eat any other brand of pellets.

The main component is black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens), a non-venomous bug that consumes decaying vegetation. 

They are mostly made up of simple-to-digest protein because soldier fly larvae lack exoskeletons.

In their natural environments, many fish, including angelfish, consume insects.

As a result, creating food out of insects makes perfect sense.

6. Omega One Freeze-Dried Bloodworms

Ingredients: Freeze-dried bloodworms, soybean meal, wheat flour, glycerin

Description: This product is freeze-dried bloodworms formulated to make them easy to consume. Freshly harvested worms are too tough for most fish to eat, but the reconstituted form should be much easier.

These bloodworms are high in protein and fats, making them an excellent food for larger fish.

This is also a very affordable option for angelfish pellets since you don’t need to feed much of it every day.

The Omega One Spirulina Freeze-Dried Bloodworms is mixed with several different types of algae and other organisms prepared together in one unique blend.

7. Aquatic Foods Inc Blackworms with Plankton and Mysis

Ingredients: Blackworms, plankton, Mysis shrimp

Description: These blackworms are a very healthy food choice for your angelfish.

They have a high-fat content and are also rich in many vitamins and minerals. 

In terms of nutrition, you really can’t do much better than these worms.

This product is sold in a microwavable cup that you should only open after it has been submerged in water for about two minutes.

This allows the worms to start moving around slowly, giving your fish more incentive to eat them.

One of these cups will probably last four or five days if you don’t overfeed your angelfish with it.

8. Hikari Freeze Dried Spirulina Brine Shrimp

Ingredients: Adult brine shrimp, spirulina

Description: these little brine shrimp (Artemia sp.) are compressed into cubes like tubifex worms.

They even include a sprinkle of spirulina! 

I feed them by breaking off a piece of the cube and rubbing it between my thumb and forefinger in the water, which causes it to fracture apart.

Brine shrimp are a high-quality protein source, but you should proceed with caution when offering this food.

You can also use brine shrimp to treat fish laxative ailments. As a result, it’s fine for them to be something you offer several times weekly, but not every day. 

Last Words

If you’re looking for the best food for your angelfish, this list should give you a place to start.

It’s important to remember that your fish are individuals, and they’ll all have different preferences. 

My blue acara is very picky, for example. It will refuse to eat vegetables even if they’re the only option.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did.

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