Advanced search

Tank size for fresh water angel fish

(9 Posts)
RunsWithScissors Wed 27-Mar-13 16:02:38

Hello, my daughter (3.5 yrs) has declared that the fish that is her favourite in the whole world is a fresh water angel fish.

I'd been planning to set up a tank anyway, as I had one years ago and love watching fish swim.

I've found conflicting advice when trying to find out what tank size I would need. One site suggests 15 litres for each fish, great. i have a 30 litre tank and was looking to only buy one fish. Except, another site recommends having a 160litre tank minimum. Not great, cost a good amount and not sure where a tank that size could fit. .

I don't want to crowd the fish, but this seems a huge difference of opinion.

So, wise fish netters, what size tank can I use? Is the 30 l one an option? And if not, will a tank smaller than 160litres work?

Thank you.

CockyFox Wed 27-Mar-13 16:07:15

Not sure about litres but FIL was a fish breeder and exhibitor in his youth and said he would never keep a tank smaller than 4ft long, we decided against fishkeeping because we didn't have the space.

EauRouge Wed 27-Mar-13 16:51:45

30 litres is not big enough for any fish really- sorry sad . It's not just about swimming space but about water quality and it would be very difficult to provide consistently good water quality in a 30 litre tank. I would suggest 45 litres as the absolute minimum for keeping fish, and then you'd be looking at a single betta or something similar.

Angel fish grow very large and have long fins as well- think the size of a small dinner plate including fins etc. They will need at least a 4ft tank and one that is tall- volume-wise I would guess around 180 litres minimum. Angels are cichlids and so can get quite aggressive- this is made worse if they are overcrowded.

Be very wary of information about fish on the internet (yes, that includes me!). In N America they have very different standards of fish welfare and things that are common there would be considered illegal here, such as feeding live fish to predatory fish. There are some really good websites though; Practical Fishkeeping has a lot of good info. is another, and Seriously Fish.

If you are limited on space then there are a lot of small tropical fish that will live happily in a 60 litre tank- that's about 2ft long. Fishkeeping is certainly not a cheap hobby, but it is very rewarding if you like that sort of thing. It's not like keeping pets really, it's more like a science project.

EauRouge Wed 27-Mar-13 16:52:44

BTW your DD has excellent taste in fish grin If you can't stretch to a tank big enough for angels then guppies are nice and colourful, she might like those.

RunsWithScissors Wed 27-Mar-13 16:55:27

Thanks for the info. Will have to steer her away from angel fish I think.

I do wonder why tanks so small are sold. I bought it from a reputable fish and aquarium/pond shop (not pet smart etc).

Will check out the sites you've listed and find a good compromise on fish/tank size.

RunsWithScissors Wed 27-Mar-13 16:57:45

Eau, she really does! When she kept saying she wanted a black and grey stripped fish I though "ok, wait until she sees ones with loads of colour". Then we got to the shop today to have a look around and she yelled "that's it! That's my favourite fish in the whole world!"

Hope she'll go for guppies!


EauRouge Wed 27-Mar-13 18:00:30

Small tanks are sold because there's a demand for them and there aren't any laws that limit what can be sold as a fish tank- some places still sell goldfish bowls sad Shops either don't know or don't bother explaining about water quality.

Small tanks are marketed as ideal for beginners because they are cheap and most people don't want to spend too much on a new hobby (understandably). But small tanks are really, really bloody hard to look after. I kept some shrimp in a 30 litre tank temporarily and I was doing water changes every day. Now I have shrimp in a tank twice the size and I can change the water once a week.

I'm just cooking dinner but will have a think about small black stripy fish and see if I can come up with some suggestions.

EauRouge Wed 27-Mar-13 18:01:46

Ooh, just thought of these.

RunsWithScissors Wed 27-Mar-13 21:26:46

Oh I do like tetras!!! Will see if I can sway her :-) thanks so much!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: