What Do Freshwater Angelfish Eat in the Wild

If you’re an aquarist who keeps angelfish, it’s important to know what they eat in the wild.

That way, you can mimic their natural diet as closely as possible in your own aquarium and prolong your pet fish’s lifespan in captivity.

In this article, we’ll look at the different things that angelfish eat in nature and how you can provide them with a similar diet in your tank.

What Do Freshwater Angelfish Eat in the Wild?

All angelfish species are naturally omnivorous, requiring a high protein diet to live a healthy, active life.

In nature, marine angelfish primarily feed on small invertebrates like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, plankton, tubifex worms, and zooplankton.

They also eat plants like microalgae, which is a great source of vitamins and micronutrients.

As mentioned, the key to healthy angelfish is replicating their natural diet as closely as possible.

You can do this by feeding them various live and frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and plankton.

You can also give them pellets and flakes formulated to provide essential nutrients.

Some aquarists like to feed their angelfish heavily vegetable-based diets (including vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and lettuce). While these foods are healthy for them, they should not make up most of their diet because they do not contain enough protein.​​

What Plants Do Angelfish Eat in the Wild?

Angelfish can substitute a part of their diet with plant life. There are many options for plants in both the sea and rivers, such as:

  • Hydroids
  • Sponges
  • Seaweed
  • Coral
  • Kelp

What Corals Do Angelfish Eat in the Wild?

Oceanic angelfish live in and around coral reefs and eat corals as a way to get nutrients.

However, angelfish do not consume coral as a primary source of food. Instead of eating them, they merely nibble and browse on corals in many situations. Their favorite kinds include:

  • Large-polyp stony corals
  • Tridacnidae
  • Zoanthids
  • Calm mantle corals
  • Soft corals

What Fish Do Angelfish Eat?

Angelfish in the wild and in community aquariums consume smaller fish that they can swallow. These fish include:

  • Guppies
  • Danios
  • Tetras

Angelfish will expand their menu of available prey based on what’s there. They are aggressive and can hunt, torment, and wear down even bigger fish if they can’t escape.

How Do Angelfish Get Their Food in the Wild?

Angelfish are general predators that consume whatever comes readily within their grasp.

Their hunting technique is straightforward, particularly because most of their essential food sources are either sluggish-moving or totally motionless.

One of the most essential functions an angelfish performs in its ecosystem is to keep fast-growing corals under control.

Since much of their diet is composed of sponges that are fast-growing, so they play a vital role in keeping rapid-growing corals and sponges from dominating entire reef ecosystems.

What Animals Compete With Angelfish for Food?

Angelfish compete with other sponge-eaters in a reef ecosystem. However, this rivalry is minor when compared to the number of resources available in past reefs.

Juveniles that operate as cleaners will merely hang around large fish, removing parasites and other organic debris.

As a result, they get protection by the size of the fish they are assisting. This behavior generally does not continue into maturity since it is done as a means to survive until adulthood.

What Water Column Do Angelfish Feed in?

Angelfish will eat at the surface or mid-water in nature. However, they typically forage along the bottom, looking for worms and smaller crustaceans.

This is partly because many wild angelfish live in extremely shallow waters. A good example of this would be castle angels in Mexico and Central America, which can be found up to about one foot deep in tide pools.

Freshwater angelfish living at the surface will often feed on copepods and other small crustaceans that form a large portion of the plankton. In contrast, those that feed in deeper waters will eat invertebrates and small fish.

What is Adult Angelfish Best Food?

There is no definitive answer to this question because different angelfish have different preferences.

However, most species enjoy eating adult brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, and daphnia.

Additionally, angelfish have been known to enjoy protein-rich pellets, spirulina-based flake food, and even cooked potatoes.

What Does Baby Angelfish Eat?

Baby angelfish feed on a diet of live foods. Brine shrimps, bloodworms, and daphnia are all examples of live foods that they might eat. However, you can begin to offer pellets or flakes as they mature.

What is the Best Angelfish Diet For Growth?

Angelfish do best when fed a balanced, strict diet that includes various high-quality protein sources, vegetables, live plants, and fruit.

We recommend feeding your angelfish a high-quality flake or pellet food that provides all their dietary needs.

If you want to feed them more live food like brine shrimp, small insects, or daphnia, make sure they are incredibly small (like dust-sized) because smaller angelfish can easily choke on live foods that are too big.

Also, frozen food such as freeze-dried bloodworms is a great snack for faster growth.

Here is a youtube guide showing the best food for angelfish.

FAQS

Do Angelfish Like Vegetables?

Angelfish enjoy vegetables. They are omnivores that consume both plant and animal products.

You can give your fish a supplement to their diet of fruits and veggies by providing them with a choice of different goodies. Zucchini, peas, carrots, and apples are some excellent choices.

Do Angelfish Eat Grapes?

Grapes are high in vitamins A, C, and B6 and calcium. Soft, sweet fruits such as grapes are particularly appealing to older angelfish, and most fish will readily eat them.

Do Angelfish Eat Cucumbers?

Cucumbers are a good dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin C source.

They are also relatively low in calories and can help clean your aquarium’s water. Most captive angelfish will readily eat cucumbers.

Do Angelfish Fish Eat Lettuce?

Feeding your freshwater fish vegetables like lettuce, cauliflower, and carrots is safe.

However, you should only feed these foods in small quantities because they do not contain much nutritional value compared to other foods.

Can You Feed Angelfish Bananas?

Bananas are a good source of dietary potassium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber.

They also contain antioxidants that can protect your tropical fish from disease. However, while some angelfish like bananas, others do not like them, so give it a try.​​

Do Angelfish Eat Rice?

Angelfish will not typically eat rice, but they may nibble on it if it is floating in their tank.

It is not a recommended food for young angelfish because it does not contain the nutrients they need to thrive.

However, if your angelfish are eating it, there is no harm in letting them continue to do so.

Do Angelfish Eat Mysis Shrimp?

Angelfish like mysis shrimp and brine shrimps. Mysis shrimp can be their primary protein source, but not for extended periods of time.

Do Angelfish Eat Neon Tetras?

Angelfish eat neon tetras due to their tiny size makes them easy to snatch up.

Do Angelfish Eat Snails?

Angelfish can consume snails. However, most snails kept in large tanks are large, which makes it difficult for angel fish to get their jaws around the creatures. Only tiny or baby snails are left as a potential target.

Do Angelfish Eat Their Babies?

Angelfish do consume their young, although they are not considered a primary food source.

Instead, angels usually do that when they’re:

  • Stressed
  • Out of other food
  • Overcrowded

Do Angelfish Eat Insects?

Angelfish do eat insects since they are opportunistic feeders. Many times, they will consume insects that land in the water.

Do Wild Angelfish Eat Pellets?

Angelfish eat pellets that contain all the nutrients they need. However, in the wild, their diet consists of live foods.

What Do Angelfish Eat in an Aquarium?

Angelfish kept in aquariums will consume anything that fits into their mouths. This includes:

  • Flake food
  • Pellets
  • Frozen food
  • Live food
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Insects

Do Angelfish Eat Worms?

Angelfish will consume worms. Many times, they will find them while browsing the bottom of the tank for food.

Do Angelfish Need Special Food?

Not necessarily. There is no need for special food if you provide them with a proper, balanced diet.

Can Angelfish Eat Bloodworms?

Angelfish can eat live or freeze-dried bloodworms. However, you should be careful as they may contain bacteria and parasites.

How Much to Feed Angelfish?

In general, you should introduce food to the pond gradually and for 2 to 3 minutes at a time so that the fish have time to consume it all.

There should be no leftovers since this might lead to overfishing, which can cause pollution and health problems.

How Often Should Angelfish Be Fed?

You should feed adult angelfish 2-3 times a day. However, juveniles need 3-4 meals each day to grow big and strong.

In between meals, your angelfish can munch on algae, any coral that’s available, and even smaller fish. If they go without food for 3 days or more, they will starve to death.

Last Words

The best diet for angelfish includes a variety of high-quality pellet foods, frozen meaty foods (like brine shrimp and bloodworms), and fresh vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, and lettuce, so make sure to provide them with all that they need.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did. If you still have questions, please share them with us in the comment section below.