Why my angelfish is not eatingIt can be a harrowing experience for many first-time fish keepers to find their Angelfish not eating. Angelfish belong to the Cichlidae family and are very popular aquarium pets. The species make pretty fascinating pets, and they prove to be quite friendly tank mates too.

And, most of the time, these tiny finned creatures are a delight to watch and require very little maintenance. So, when out of the blue, you discover that your scaly baby has stopped eating, you might go into a panic.

However, you have to understand that your Angelfish might not be eating for several reasons. But, in most cases, these are very easy to remedy.

So, without further ado, let’s take an in-depth look at why your Angelfish won’t eat and the steps you can take to make your pet revert back to its regular eating routine.

What Do Angelfish Eat?

Angelfish are omnivores that eat live fish as well as plants. When you have an Angelfish in your aquarium, you need to ensure that you don’t put in any species of fish in the aquarium that would be easy prey for your Angelfish. So, fish species such as fry or tetras should never be in the same tank as an Angelfish.

In captivity, fish keepers are recommended to feed flake food for Angelfish, specially designed for Angelfish. These flake foods, pellets, and mixes ensure that your pet gets its fill of daily nutrients. But, you can also give your scaly friend some frozen or dried bloodworm, blackworms, or brine shrimp.

But, there may come a time when your ravenous Angelfish will put up its nose to all of its favorites. So, let’s glance at some of the situations that make your pet forsake its food.

Why My Angelfish Is Not Eating?

As mentioned earlier, you will often find that novice fish keepers become frantic when their Angelfish stops eating. These elegant little fish aren’t delicate by nature at all. Angelfish are pretty sturdy buggers, and they even possess a mean streak that’s a mile wide.

You see, Angelfish are opportunistic eaters. So, if they don’t find some plant life that they might like to eat, they will happily kill a smaller-sized fish and eat it.

So, when these fragile-looking yet ferocious creatures stop eating, fish owners lose their cool. Here are some of the various circumstances when you will witness that your aquatic friend will go off its food.

Water Conditions

Indeed, Angelfish aren’t as sensitive as they look. But, Angelfish are very susceptible to any chemical changes to the water level. Many factors can play a significant role in any chemical changes that might take place to the water levels.

  • The nitrate, nitrate, or ammonia levels will easily and rapidly cause an alteration to the water chemical levels.
  • If the filter stops working, then the chemical levels in the water will impact your pet’s degree of hunger.
  • Too many dead plant leaves will make the water inside the aquarium dirty and make changes to the water composition.
  • If you have too many fish inside a smaller-sized fish tank, there will be a rise in the ammonia levels in the water.
  • If you’ve recently cleaned up the tank and the pH level of the theater has shifted considerably.
  • Weather changes can cause a severe change in the chemical makeup of water and restrict your Angelfish diet.

Hence, fish keepers are advised to keep a very close eye on any changes to the water levels. You need to monitor the temperature of the water regularly, but you can also use a water test kit to find out the chemical makeup of the water. And, if you see substantial variations to the chemical levels in the water, it will be easy for you to fix your Angelfish not eating problem.

Food Variety

Angelfish is not eatingWhen you look at the freshwater Angelfish diet, you will realize that your pet is accustomed to all kinds of different food sources. So, in captivity, when you feed your pet fish the same meal day in and day out, you will not have difficulty comprehending why your pet is throwing a tantrum and not eating its food.

Offering your pet fish a choice of different foods such as dried or frozen bloodworms or brine shrimps, or even some edible underwater plants will go a long way in getting your fish back to eating at its regular pace.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Sometimes fish experience vitamin deficiencies. A vitamin deficiency means that your Angelfish will not just be off its food; it might even experience stunted or improper growth, weakened immune system, or death.

Your Angelfish needs a variety of vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: from greens and crustaceans — vital for growth and the proper formation of bones and scales
  • Vitamin B: from greens and fish — proper digestion of protein, regular functioning of the nervous system, protection of slime coat
  • Vitamin C: from greens, algae — disease prevention, healing, digestion as well as the effective formation of the skeleton
  • Vitamin D: from earthworm and shrimps — essential for calcium and phosphorus metabolization
  • Vitamin K: from greens — helps in blood coagulation.

Now, if your Angelfish is off its food for a few days, it’s best to get a consult from a vet and get your Angelfish the supplements it needs to revive its appetite.


If your Angelfish is off its food, then there is a possibility that your Angelfish is sick. You might ask yourself, are my Angelfish sick. But you can look for other accompanying symptoms such as sluggishness, sores, discolored gills, or white spots if you want to be sure that your pet fish is genuinely not feeling well. Sometimes, fish don’t even swim right when they are sick.

If your fish seems to be sick, then the first thing for you to do is quarantine it. Then call up the vet and fix an appointment. Meanwhile, you can add some salt to the water in your aquarium as salt helps kill off parasites and bacteria prevalent in the fish tank.

Territorial Changes

Yes, fish can be territorial too. And, Angelfish are incredibly particular about their territories, so much so that they monitor the plants and rocks inside their marked spaces. So, if you’ve made any changes inside the aquarium, it’s likely that your pet will be upset enough to lose its appetite.

The quickest way to remedy the situation and get your Angelfish to eat right is to set things in the aquarium to their original setting.

Fish Bullying

While it is true that Angelfish are territorial and can be very defensive but, these creatures like things their way and don’t pick fights with other fish species, so, if you’ve placed another fish species that is trying to take over your Angelfish territory or pulling at its fins, then your pet fish is going to be down with stress and may even miss a few meals.

It would be best always to make it a point to research the fish species you want to introduce into the aquarium. If the fish you want to keep in the aquarium is not compatible with the other tank mates, you are unknowingly causing the stress and anxiety of your pet.

Here’s a list of fish that are compatible with your Angelfish:

  • Platies
  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • German Blue Ram Cichlids
  • Swordtails
  • Keyhole Cichlids
  • Kribensis Cichlids
  • Kuhli Loach
  • Lemon Tetras
  • Runny Nose Tetras
  • Guppies


Most fish keepers claim that keeping Angelfish isn’t a challenging task at all. You see, these beautiful and dainty-looking fish aren’t so frail after all. It’s great fun to watch and observe these elegant-looking fish. And these fish are easy to care for. You will hopefully have a wonderful time with your pet fish so long as you remember the following:

  • Angelfish stop eatingYou need not be overly anxious about your Angelfish eating problems as most Angelfish don’t fall ill quite so easily.
  • Angelfish are omnivores and eat plants as well as protein-based foods.
  • Freshwater Angelfish food includes frozen or dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, or earthworms.
  • Angelfish stop eating when the chemical levels on the water in the fish tank change.
  • Temperature changes in the fish tank will also affect your Angelfish’s hunger levels.
  • Tempting with different types of food sources will encourage your Angelfish to eat.
  • If your fish is suffering from a vitamin deficiency, then your Angelfish will stop eating.
  • Making changes inside the aquarium can prompt your territorial Angelfish to stop eating.
  • Never introduce new fish species into the fish tank that might not be compatible with your Angelfish.
  • If your Angelfish is under stress or being bullied, your appetite will be affected.
  • Making a few adjustments inside the fish tank will, in most cases, bring back your Angelfish appetite.
  • If your fish is not swimming right and sluggish, then it’s best to head straight to the vet.
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