Why Isn’t My Angelfish Eating? (6 Most Common Reasons)

Freshwater angelfish are some of the most beloved and popular of all aquarium fish, however, they do present one problem. Sometimes they simply stop eating for no obvious reason.

So is your angelfish not eating? Well, don’t despair because we will be discussing the reasons for this behavior below.

It can be an extremely upsetting situation for aquarium owners when their angelfish cease to eat. There are several varying factors that can be the source of the problem and you can easily make the necessary changes that will have your angelfish back in top form.

Common Reasons Why Angelfish Stop Eating

Water Conditions: While angelfish are known for being robust, they are very sensitive to changes in the chemistry of their water. If the water chemistry has been altered of late, especially the nitrite, and ammonia levels, this can make angelfish stop eating.

One of the most common reasons water chemical levels will change is because the filter isn’t functioning effectively, or if food has been permitted to decompose in the tank.

Dead plant leaves can also change the chemical levels in water. You can test the water chemistry by purchasing testing kit for water. Partial changing of the water can lower water chemical levels.

High levels of ammonia in your aquarium can also indicate that you have too many fish present in one tank. Should you happen to have a small-sized aquarium with several fish, perhaps you could move some of them to another aquarium.

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Frequent fluctuations of temperature can cause fish to feel stress too. Placing a water heater in the tank can stabilize temperatures.

Lack of Food Variety

When they are in the wild angelfish consume an array of different foods. They are able to eat both meat and vegetable-based foods. Placed in your aquarium at home, angelfish can be finicky eaters, and they can become bored with the lack of variety if they are given the same food every day.

If an angelfish is not eating, it may very well be because they are not happy with their food choice.

Providing them with an array of foods, including pellets, flakes, and brine shrimp can help to revive their interest in eating. The other advantage of doing this is that you will be making certain that your fish is getting all the vitamins it requires to stay healthy.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Another reason for a lack of appetite in your angelfish could be vitamin deficiencies. Like most pets, fish can suffer from not getting enough vitamins.

If you think this is the case, you should give your angelfish vitamin supplements, especially vitamin B12. All you have to do is just add them to the water and this should solve the problem. Furthermore, a variety of foods, as stated above, can provide a greater range of nutrients so you can avoid this problem in the future.

Illnesses Among Your Fish

As you are certainly aware, loss of appetite can be an indication that your fish is sick. If your angelfish isn’t eating, then you should keep an eye out for any other signs of illness. These can be sluggishness, sores, white patches or spots on the fish’s body fins or body, or discolored gills. If you notice that your fish is swimming in a strange manner, this can also indicate illness.

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If you fish appears to be sick, you need to place it in a  special tank so that the other fish in the aquarium don’t become ill as well. Be sure that the water temperature and levels remain stable. It is also essential to keep the water extremely clean.

There are various medications or treatments that can be employed once you determine what the cause of the illness is. Many fish owners will put a little salt into the aquarium to clear up bacterial infections.

Territorial Changes

You might not know this, but angelfish are very territorial, and they keep track of all the plants such as algae and rocks within their territory. They like everything to remain just so.

Although rearranging things in the aquarium may seem harmless enough to you, this can stress out your angelfish by causing them to become confused. They see that the territory they have been zealously guarding has changed and they don’t understand why. This is enough motivation for your angelfish to stop eating.

If you have of late rearranged plants or other items within the aquarium, put them back the way they were originally to see if this will sooth your angelfish and help it get its appetite back again.

In most cases, if you stick with the changes you have made, your angelfish will eventually become accustomed to the new look of their territory, but this can take a while, all the while the fish’s well being can become compromised if it refuses to eat.

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Fish Bullying In You Aquarium Or Tank

When not dealing with unexpected encroachments on their territory, angelfish are very peaceful. They aren’t inclined to fight with other fish, and because they are sensitive, they don’t have a good reaction when bullied by other fish.

If you notice another fish is picking on your angelfish, perhaps by nipping at their fins repeatedly, be aware that this can lead to your angelfish becoming very upset.

Think about it. A bullied fish probably doesn’t feel safe when it eats and the additional stress of being in this position can reduce their appetite. If you suspect that your angelfish is being picked on you can find out for certain by carefully noting the actions of all the fish in the tank particularly at feeding times.

So what do you do if you find out that your angelfish is indeed being bullied. Well, there are several remedies. The first one that comes to mind is moving the aggressive fish to another aquarium, thus eliminating the problem and making your angelfish feel secure again.

Should this not be an option, getting a bigger tank can be a good thing for all the fish by giving them extra space and it may help your angelfish to feel more secure. Moreover, you can add plants, caves, or create other hiding places so that the angelfish can get a respite from its tormentor.

Angelfish are not very hard to care for, but if they stop eating, it can be difficult to find out exactly what is the matter. If you follow the above advice and check to see if any of these issues might be the problem, you should discover what problem your angelfish is having and be able to get it eating again.

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