Is a 20 Gallon Tank Enough for Angelfish to Thrive?

An aquarium can truly add life to your living space, and the gorgeous angelfish are an exceptional choice for fish enthusiasts. This article will discuss whether a 20-gallon tank is suitable for angelfish, information about their natural habitat, tank conditions, and compatibility with other fish species. We’ll also dive into angelfish care, breeding, and common questions regarding their maintenance.

Is a 20-gallon tank enough for angelfish? In a nutshell, it is not recommended. As angelfish grow quite large and need ample space to swim, a tank of at least 55 gallons is more suitable.

Ready to embark on the fascinating journey of angelfish care and tank setup? Let’s get started – we promise it’ll be a splash!

Angelfish Natural Habitat

South American Rivers

Angelfish, native to the Amazon River Basin, prefer slow-moving, densely vegetated river environments. These fish have adapted to thrive in waters with submerged plants and tangles of driftwood that give them hiding spots and feeding grounds.

Water Parameters

Angelfish thrive in water with a pH of 6.0-7.5 and temperatures around 75-84°F (24-29°C). It’s essential to maintain stable water conditions, so invest in a reliable heater and filter to ensure your angelfish stay healthy in their environment.

An Ideal Angelfish Tank

Minimum Tank Size

A 20-gallon tank is not ideal for angelfish, as it does not provide enough space for these tall, vibrant fish to swim. Instead, consider setting up a 55-gallon or larger tank with a minimum height of 18 inches to allow them room to develop and move comfortably.

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Plants and Decorations

Replicate their natural habitat by providing a densely planted tank with ample vegetation like Amazon Swords, Java Fern, and Anubias. Driftwood, rocks, and other decorations offer additional hiding spots and territories for your angelfish.

Water Quality and Filtration

Angelfish are sensitive to poor water quality. Hence, a robust filtration system and regular water changes are crucial for maintaining their wellbeing. A hang-on-back filter, canister filter, or sponge filter can help keep the tank clear and clean.

Angelfish Compatibility

Suitable Tank Mates

Angelfish can be aggressive, especially during breeding, but they can coexist with other species like tetras, mollies, platies, and certain catfish like the Corydoras. Indeed, a community tank can work if you choose compatible and peaceful tank mates that are non-aggressive and complement their slow-swimming lifestyle.

Angelfish Schooling and Social Behavior

Angelfish prefer being in groups and should not be kept alone. They form hierarchies, so keeping at least 5-6 angelfish together helps disperse aggression and encourages natural social behaviors.

##Angelfish Care
###Food and Feeding
Angelfish are omnivorous and require a balanced diet consisting of quality flakes or pellets, live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Feed them small portions 2-3 times daily and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity and water quality issues.

###Keeping the Water Clean
Perform regular water tests to monitor parameters like ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH. Weekly water changes of 10-20% will help maintain a stable and healthy environment for your angelfish.

Breeding Angelfish

Angelfish breeding is a fascinating process. They lay their eggs on vertical surfaces like plant leaves, heaters, or specially designed breeding cones. Make sure to provide a well-structured environment with plenty of surfaces for them to lay their eggs on. Separate breeding pairs from the community tank if you want higher breeding success rates.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is a 20-gallon tank not suitable for angelfish?
    • Angelfish grow relatively large, so a tank of at least 55 gallons is more appropriate, offering enough space for them to move and develop properly.
  • Can angelfish live with bettas?
    • Generally, it’s not recommended due to betta’s territorial nature and the chances of aggression, especially when angelfish’s flowing fins can provoke them.
  • Can angelfish and goldfish share a tank?
    • No, they have different temperature and water parameter requirements – angelfish are tropical, while goldfish are cold-water fish.
  • How many angelfish can fit in a 55-gallon tank?
    • A 55-gallon tank can comfortably house 5-6 adult angelfish, allowing them to establish territories and exhibit natural behaviors.
  • How long do angelfish typically live?
    • With the proper care, angelfish can live for 8-10 years or more, making them long-term companions for dedicated fish keepers.


Although a 20-gallon tank isn’t suitable for angelfish, their stunning appearance and unique behaviors are worth the effort of setting up a larger, well-maintained aquarium. By understanding their natural habitat, ideal tank conditions, and compatibility, you’ll be on the right path to creating a thriving angelfish community that will bring joy to your home for years to come.

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