Where Do Angelfish Live: Species Overview and Aquarium Care

Angelfish live in the tropical and subtropical waters around the world. There are many places where angelfish can live. They can be found in both coastal and inland waters. In addition, the geographic location that can be chosen by the angelfish enough to suit its needs is similar.

Species Overview: Angelfish

Physical Attributes

Angelfish are elongated fish with a pointed snout. They have three dorsal fins and a caudal fin at the end of their lower body. The angelfish has scales that run in an irregular pattern, giving it a slightly bumpy appearance. Their color can vary widely, but they are typically light green or blue-green on the upper body with silvery sides and white underparts.

Distribution, Population, and Habitat

Angelfish are found throughout the world in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. They typically inhabit areas with rock surfaces or coral colonies, making them ideal for beginner aquarists. As angelfish populations tend to be stable, they make an excellent choice for beginner aquariums as they rarely cause any problems. While angelfish require plenty of oxygen and water movement to function optimally, these fish are generally quite docile and easy to care for.

Predators and Prey

Angelfish are preyed upon by various predators, including barracuda, moray eels, and larger fish. While they can defend themselves against these threats by biting or squirting water, angelfish are often caught in nets and dragged into the water’s depths, where they drown. In addition, angelfish populations tend to be relatively stable, making them unlikely to become endangered soon. Additionally, angelfish are a popular fish species amongst hobbyists. As such, there continues to be an adequate amount of wild individuals for aquarists to keep and breed angelfish in their ponds.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Angelfish breeding can be a complex process but is typically quite simple. Angelfish eggs are fertilized by the male angelfish and deposited in the female’s brood pouch. The embryos develop in this enclosed area for about 12 to 14 days until they hatch into larvae. After hatching, the larvae swim around looking for food before settling down to feed and grow into juvenile angelfish. Juveniles remain with their parents until they reach adulthood, leaving the parental group to start their colony. Angelfish typically live for approximately ten years in captivity.

Angelfish Aquarium Care

Angelfish are hardy fish that do well in various aquarium conditions. They do best when kept at temperatures around 78 to 84 degrees F, with a slightly higher temperature during the day and lower temperature at night. In addition, angelfish need ample supplies of floating plants and some hiding places to feel secure.

Water Changes

Angelfish require frequent water changes, typically every two to three days. Ensure the water is deep enough for the fish, and add fresh aquarium salt if necessary. In addition, clean the gravel and decorations weekly while vacuuming the aquarium at least once a month. Clean water is skin healthy for fish since it reduces bacterial, algal, and fungal infections and offers better aeration.

Health Concerns

Angelfish are susceptible to Ich, a fatal parasitic disease that can attack any fish. Symptoms of Ich include white spots on the skin and fins, sunken eyes, and listless behavior. If you notice your angelfish exhibiting any of these symptoms, immediately take them to a veterinarian or fish store for treatment. Additionally, consider cleaning the fish thoroughly at least once a month in case of an outbreak.

Eventually, most Ich outbreaks are fatal for angelfish, though it is possible to save individuals if they have started showing symptoms before the disease can kill them outright. For example, if you notice spots on your angelfish and treat early enough (within 24 hours), 92% of infected fish can be cured with salt baths or medications explicitly formulated for Ich.


Angelfish are generally unsuitable for breeding as they do not tolerate confinement well. Many fish enthusiasts have been able to produce offspring through artificial insemination. In addition, angelfish are highly suspicious of other males, so pairing two tank mates together is not recommended. Despite the challenges faced by angelfish breeders, more stores are starting to offer bred aquarium fish for sale to increase their popularity as pets.

Types of Angelfish

There are several different types of angelfish, each with its unique personality and appearance. The most common varieties include swordtails, jigs, mollies, and anemones.

Silver Angelfish

The silver angelfish is one of the most popular varieties of angelfish. Often referred to as a “gentle giant,” this fish measures up to six inches in length and has a silvery sheen on its scales. The silver angelfish is well-known for its peaceful nature, making it an ideal choice for beginner aquarists.

Zebra Angelfish

The zebra angelfish is another popular variety of angelfish. Similar in appearance to the silver angelfish, this fish has a striped pattern on its body. However, zebra angels are generally more active and lively than their silver counterparts. They can be fun to watch as they swim about your aquarium, nipping at prey items or exploring new areas of the tank.

Golden Angelfish

The gold angelfish is one of the more exotic varieties of angelfish. Often found in deeper water tanks, this fish has a golden hue to its scales and a long tail. The gold angelfish is mild-mannered and makes an excellent choice for those new to aquarium keeping.

Marble Angelfish

The marble angelfish is another rare and unique variety of angelfish. Similar in appearance to the golden angelfish, this fish has a duller coloration and a long, slender tail. The Marble Angelfish is gentle by nature but can be territorial if not introduced to other aquarium mates slowly.

Koi and Sunset Angelfish

Koi and sunset angelfish are two other varieties of angelfish. Koi angels are often reddish with a spotted pattern, while sunset angels have a creamy white coloring that fades to red towards the dorsal fin. Both varieties make beautiful additions to the aquarium and are popular among hobbyists due to their peaceful nature.