Which Live Plants are Good for Angelfish?

In answer to the reader question:

“Can you please tell me what type of live plants freshwater Angel Fish prefer? Also, I have a 55-gallon tank. what is a good number of Angels to have in a tank this size? Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.”

Hello Chris, whenever I set up a tank with live plants, I not only think about the light requirements for each species of plant (as to where they should be placed accordingly) but also what kind and quantity of plants will complement the fish I choose as well.

For Angels, I include longleaf blade plants if I want a pair to mate because that is where they lay their eggs. That variety of plant I usually keep under a taller bunch plant that will provide cover for the parents, and enable them to be more successful at rearing their young there because they feel the babies and themselves are safe.

I like to see enough open swimming area, some open substrate area, as well as low and mid-height plants in areas and then lined with taller plants in the back (bring them out from the back about 1.5 to 2 inches). The bottom dwellers then get some open area to move about, the low, mid, and top fish have swimming room and cover above,(with floating and trailing plants), back, sides, and below.

Angel Fish have narrow bodies for moving through plants that are grasslike in nature, and the original Angel Fish have stripes that help them to camouflage themselves amongst roots and plants. So Vallisneria is a natural for Angel Fish as well as other plants planted in such a way that the Angel Fish can move about and through them. As to the number of Angel Fish for a 55 gallon, how large do you want them to grow? Less is more, so I would recommend no more than six, especially as they get older and bigger as even that might be stretching it.

Hope that helps!.

James Milner

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