Why Is My Angelfish Not Eating?

Has your angelfish been refusing to eat? Freshwater angelfish are some of the most popular aquarium fish however sometimes stop eating for no apparent reason.

For fish keepers, this can be an incredibly stressful situation. Luckily, aquarium owners can look at a few different factors that might be contributing to a decrease in appetite and can make changes to once again get the angelfish back on track to optimum health.

Common reasons for an Angelfish to stop eating:

Water Conditions

Angelfish are known as hardy fish, but they are very susceptible to changes in water chemistry. If the water chemistry, particularly the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels, have fluctuated recently, this can cause angelfish to stop eating.

Water chemical levels often change if the filter isn’t working efficiently enough or if excess food has been left to rot in the aquarium. Dead plant leaves can also change the water chemical levels. The water chemistry can be tested using a water testing kit. Partial water changes can often help to lower these levels.

High ammonia levels can also be a sign that there are too many fish in one aquarium. If you have a smaller aquarium and there are several fish in it, consider moving some of these fish to a different aquarium.

Temperature fluctuations can also stress fish. Adding a water heater to the tank can help to keep temperatures stable even during colder months.

Food Variety

In the wild, angel fish eat a variety of foods. These fish are omnivorous, so they eat both meat and vegetable-based foods. In the home aquarium, angelfish can be picky eaters, and they may become bored if they’re fed the same thing day after day.

An angelfish not eating may simply be choosing to do so due to the food choice.

Offering a variety of foods, such as flakes, pellets, frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms, and brine shrimp, can help to make an angelfish more interested in eating. It can also help to ensure that the fish is receiving all the vitamins it needs to stay healthy.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Sometimes, fish experience vitamin deficiencies, and this can lead to a decrease in appetite.

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Supplements that contain vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, can be added to the water to help solve this issue. In addition, a variety of different foods, as mentioned above, can offer a wider range of nutrients.


Loss of appetite is often a sign of illness. If your fish isn’t eating, check for any other signs of illness. These signs might include sluggishness, white spots or patches along the fish’s body or fins, sores, or discolored gills. Fish that are swimming oddly may also be sick.

If your fish seems sick, move it to a quarantine tank so that it doesn’t pass the illness on to the other fish in the aquarium. Keep the water levels and temperature stable. It’s also important to keep the water very clean.

Depending on what the illness is, different medications or treatments can be used. Many aquarists add a bit of salt to the aquarium in order to clear up a range of bacterial infections, for example.

Territorial Changes

Angelfish are territorial, and they like to keep an eye on all the plants and rocks within that territory.

Rearranging the aquarium may seem like a good idea, but this can often cause your angel fish to become confused because the territory they’ve been guarding has changed. This can then lead to your angelfish to stop eating its food.

If you recently rearranged items or plants within the aquarium, you can try putting them back the way they were to see if this helps your feel angelfish more secureand gain its appetite back. Most angelfish will also get used to the new territory, but this may take some time, during which the fish’s health may deteriorate if it doesn’t eat.

Fish Bullying

Aside from the way they defend their territory, angelfish are peaceful aquarium inhabitants. They don’t generally pick fights with other fish, and they don’t react well when other fish bully them. If another fish is bullying your angelfish or nipping at the angelfish’s fins, this can cause the angelfish to become very stressed.

A bullied fish may feel unsafe while eating, and stress can also decrease a fish’s appetite. In order to determine if the angelfish is being bullied, observe the behavior of all the aquarium fish, especially during feeding times.

If the angelfish is being bullied, there are a couple of solutions. First, the aggressive fish can be moved to a different aquarium, creating a more peaceful environment for the angelfish. If this isn’t an option, a larger aquarium can give all of the fish more space and may make the angelfish feel safer. In addition, adding more plants, caves, or other hiding places can help the angelfish get away from the aggressive fish.


Angelfish should not be too difficult to take care of, but if they stop eating, it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out what the problem is. Looking for different causes, such as bullying, territorial stress, or illness, may help aquarium owners make changes that make the angel fish healthier and happier.

  • Check the water quality and make water changes if necessary
  • Observe the fish and check for signs of illness
  • Watch for bullying behavior
  • Add vitamins to the water
  • Offer a wide selection of foods

In addition, aquarists may find that their fish is bored and needs a different selection of foods. A vitamin supplement can also help to boost a fish’s appetite.

Boyd Enterprises ABE16708 Freshwater Vitachem for Aquarium, 4-Ounce
  • Country Of Origin: United States
  • Package Width: 4.572 Centimeters
  • Package Height: 10.16 Centimeters
  • Package Length: 3.048 Centimeters

Have you ever had an angelfish that lost its appetite, or do you have a question? Leave us a comment and let us know about your experience.

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