How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank (80 Liters) Should You Have? - "File:Pterophyllum scalare male.jpg" by Soulkeeper is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank (80 Liters) Should You Have? - "File:Pterophyllum scalare male.jpg" by Soulkeeper is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


Welcome to the underwater realm, where the beauty of angelfish captivates enthusiasts far and wide. Today, we embark on a quest to answer the age-old question: how many angelfish a 20-gallon tank (80 liters) is appropriate? As aquarists, we strive to strike the perfect balance between providing ample space for our finned friends and creating a captivating aquatic landscape. Join me as we navigate the depths of this inquiry and uncover the ideal arrangement for angelfish in a 20-gallon (80 liter) aquarium.

About Angelfish

Imagine a graceful underwater ballet starring these beautiful creatures, the Pterophyllum scalare, commonly known as angelfish.

Appearance-wise, angelfish are like the prima ballerinas of the aquarium world. Picture sleek, triangular bodies adorned with long, flowing fins that seem to flutter gracefully with every movement. Their bodies are typically silver or platinum with vertical black stripes that resemble delicate brushstrokes, adding an elegant touch to their appearance. Some varieties even boast mesmerizing patterns of marbled or spotted markings, making them truly eye-catching.

But what truly sets angelfish apart are their majestic dorsal and anal fins, which extend like regal banners from their bodies. These fins are often trimmed in striking hues of black, white, or even vibrant oranges and yellows, adding a splash of color to their ensemble. And let’s not forget their namesake feature – the subtly pointed, triangular shape of their fins gives them an angelic aura that’s simply enchanting to behold.

Now, onto their behavior! Angelfish are known for their calm and peaceful demeanor, making them a delightful addition to any community aquarium. They gracefully glide through the water with poise, their movements deliberate and unhurried. Despite their serene appearance, angelfish can be quite social creatures, often forming close bonds with their tank mates.

One of the most fascinating aspects of angelfish behavior is their intricate courtship rituals. During mating season, pairs of angelfish engage in a mesmerizing dance, gracefully spiraling around each other in a ritualistic display of affection. It’s a sight to behold, reminiscent of a romantic waltz beneath the waves.

However, it’s worth noting that angelfish can also be territorial, especially when it comes to defending their nesting sites. While they may peacefully coexist with other fish, they won’t hesitate to assert themselves if they feel their territory is threatened.

How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank?

So, you’ve got yourself a cozy 20-gallon tank (80 liters) and you’re thinking about adding some angelfish to the mix. That’s awesome! Angelfish are like the fancy ballroom dancers of the underwater world – they’ve got style, grace, and a whole lot of personality.

Now, when it comes to stocking your tank with angelfish, it’s kinda like planning a dinner party – you want to make sure everyone has enough space to groove without stepping on each other’s fins. As a general rule, you’re looking at about one adult angelfish per 10 gallons (40 liters) of water. So regarding how many angelfish in a 20 gallon tank (80 liters) is appropriate, one mature pair of angelfish would be just right.

But hey, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to add a bit more flair to your tank, you could consider a small group of young angelfish. They’ll bring some extra energy and excitement to the party! Just keep an eye on them as they grow – angelfish have a knack for getting a bit territorial, especially when they’re feeling romantic during breeding season.

And speaking of breeding season, if you’ve got a pair of mature angelfish, things might get a little lovey-dovey in there. They’ll start doing this cute little dance, twirling around each other like they’re auditioning for “Dancing with the Fishes.” It’s adorable, but just make sure they don’t get too feisty and start throwing shade at their tank mates.

Remember, the key to a happy tank is keeping everyone comfy and cozy. That means plenty of hiding spots, some cool decorations to explore, and of course, regular water changes to keep things fresh. With a little TLC, your angelfish will be living their best underwater life in no time!

How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank (80 Liters) Should You Have? - "File:Pterophyllum scalare male.jpg" by Soulkeeper is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
How Many Angelfish in a 20 Gallon Tank (80 Liters) Should You Have? – “File:Pterophyllum scalare male.jpg” by Soulkeeper is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for angelfish is like creating a cozy retreat for your underwater buddies. Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  • Tank Size: Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank (80 liter). Angelfish like their space, so the more room, the better.
  • Decor: Think natural. Add some plants, rocks, and driftwood to mimic their natural habitat. Not only does it look nice, but it also gives them places to explore and hide.
  • Water Conditions: Keep the temperature between 75-82°F (24-28°C). Invest in a good quality heater to maintain a consistent temperature. Also, make sure the water is clean and well-oxygenated by using a filter and performing regular water changes.
  • Tank Mates: Angelfish are pretty chill, but they do have preferences. Opt for peaceful tank mates like tetras, gouramis, or corydoras catfish. Just make sure everyone gets along swimmingly!
  • Maintenance: Like any home, your angelfish tank needs upkeep. Schedule regular water changes, check water parameters, and keep an eye on their diet to ensure they’re healthy and happy.

Remember, setting up a tank is all about creating a comfortable and stimulating environment for your fishy friends. So, take your time, get creative, and enjoy watching your angelfish flourish in their new home!


In wrapping up our discussion on how many angelfish in a 20-gallon tank (80 liters) to keep, it’s clear that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Instead, it’s all about finding the right balance to ensure the health and happiness of your aquatic friends.

Considering the guidelines, such as the general rule of thumb suggesting one adult angelfish per 10 gallons (40 liters) of water, we can conclude that a 20-gallon tank (80 liters) provides adequate space for either a single adult angelfish pair or a small group of juveniles. This allows them to swim freely while maintaining a comfortable environment.

However, it’s important to take into account various factors beyond just tank size. Angelfish are social creatures, so having a companion or two can provide them with enrichment and companionship. Still, keep an eye on their behavior to ensure they’re getting along swimmingly, especially during breeding season when territorial behaviors might surface.

Ultimately, the key to success lies in careful observation and proactive care. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and attention to tank mates’ compatibility are essential for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. By striking the right balance and creating a well-appointed underwater habitat, you’ll not only delight in the beauty of your angelfish but also foster an environment where they can thrive.

So, whether you choose to keep a single majestic angelfish or opt for a small group of these graceful swimmers, remember to approach your aquarium setup with thoughtfulness and consideration. After all, it’s not just about how many angelfish you have in a 20-gallon tank (80 liters); it’s about creating a vibrant and harmonious aquatic community where every finned friend can flourish.