10 Most Popular Types Of Angelfish: Appearance, Size & All | 2022

By: Martin McAdam
Updated: November 15, 2022

Freshwater angelfish are some of the most popular fish kept in home aquariums. They come in various colors and patterns and can make a beautiful addition to any tank.

But with so many different types of angelfish to choose from, it can be hard to decide which is right for you.

They are from the family of cichlids and are native to the Amazon River Basin in South America. They are semi-aggressive. They are from three different species:

  • Scalare
  • Altum
  • Leopoldi

They are primarily found in Amazon Basin in slow-moving rivers. Some freshwater and saltwater angelfish are readily available in pet stores, while others are rare.

So, if you're looking to add an angelfish to your aquarium, here are 10 of the most popular types to choose from:

  • Silver Angelfish
  • Zebra Angelfish
  • Altum "Orinoco" Angelfish
  • Koi Angelfish
  • Platinum Angelfish
  • Leopard Angelfish
  • Albino Angelfish
  • Leopold's Angelfish
  • Panda Angelfish
  • Marble Angelfish

Now let us discuss the top 10 most popular types of angelfish one by one.

Silver Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific NamePterophyllum scalare
Lifespan10-12 years
Size6 inches
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
colorSilver with black stripes
Water temperature76°-84°F
Water pH6.5 - 8.0
Tank size30 gallons
DietOmnivore

Silver Angelfish are one of the most popular types of freshwater angelfish. They are silver, with black stripes running vertically down their body. One black bar starts below the fish's red eye and extends to the base of the tail fin.

Silver Angelfish Species Summary

The other black stripe runs from the gill cover to the bottom of the pectoral fin. They grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for up to 10 to 12 years with proper care.

This fish is widely used for cross-breeding, and one of the results of this cross-breed is Zebra Silver Angelfish.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 30 gallons, and the temperature should be between 76°-84°F. The ph. of water should be between 6.5 - 8. They are omnivore fishes, and their diet mainly consists of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other live foods.

Their tanks should have rocks and plants with low lighting, and they should be provided with plenty of hiding places. They should resemble lakes and floodplains. They are peaceful fish but can be aggressive towards other angelfish.

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Zebra Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific NameGenicanthus Caudovittatus
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentPeaceful
colorSilver body with black or dark brown stripes
Lifespan10-15 years
Size6 inches
Water temperature75°-82°F
Water pH6.8-7.0
Tank size30 gallons
DietOmnivore

Zebra Angelfish are popular among beginner aquarists because they are easy to care for and are relatively disease-resistant. The Zebra Angelfish is a more active and faster swimmer than other angelfish.

Zebra Angelfish Species Summary

They have a silver body with four to six black or dark brown stripes running vertically down their body. Zebra Angelfish grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for up to 10-15 years with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 30 gallons, and the temperature should be between 75°-82°F. The pH of the water should be between 6.8-7.0.

They are omnivore fishes, and their diet mainly consists of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other live foods.

They prefer warm water conditions, fine gravel substrate, driftwood, and low lighting in the tank. Leaves like Amazon Sword can be added to their tank to give them a place to hide.

The tank conditions for Zebra Angelfish should mimic the angelfish's natural habitat in the Orinoco Basin, Amazon Basin, and rivers in the Guiana Shield.

Avoid housing Zebra Angelfish with other fish that are aggressive or have similar color patterns. Zebra Angelfish are naturally peaceful and should be kept with other delicate fish. They may eat smaller fish, and bigger fishes may bully them.

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Altum "Orinoco" Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum Altum
Lifespan5 years or more
Size7-10 inches
Care LevelModerate
colorSilver with dark brown or black strips
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
Water temperature72°-90°F
Water pH4.6-6.8
Tank size55 gallons
DietOmnivore

Altum angelfish are rarer than silver or Zebra Angelfish. They are silver in color, with four dark brown or black strips running vertically down their body. The adult Altum angelfish dorsal fin has a blue-green hue and red spots.

Altum "Orinoco" Angelfish Species Summary

They have disk-shaped bodies. Altum angelfish grow to be about 7-10 inches long and can live for five years or more with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 55 gallons, and the temperature should be between 72°90°F. The pH of water should be between 4.6-6.8. They are omnivore fishes, and their diet mainly consists of brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other live foods.

 Altums are also called Orinoco angelfish, deep angelfish, altum orinoco angelfish, and altum angels.

They prefer tanks with soft acidic water, plenty of hiding places, dim lighting, and plants that float at the water's surface. Most albums are wild-caught. They are picky eaters, may not eat prepared foods, and prefer live food.
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Koi Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum Scalare
Lifespan10 years or more
Size6-8 inches
Care LevelModerate
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
colorOrange, white, yellow, and black
Water temperature76°-86°F
Water pH 6.8-7.4
Tank size40 gallons
DietOmnivore

No two koi angelfish are alike – they come in various colors, including orange, white, yellow, and black. Each fish has its random patterns and coloration. They have scaleless bodies, which makes them more susceptible to diseases.

Koi Angelfish Species Summary

Koi angelfish have a thin, diamond-shaped bodies with triangular anal and dorsal fins as tall as the length of the fish's bodies. The base color of the koi angelfish is white or silver, with various patterns in black, yellow, and orange.

They grow to be about 6-8 inches long and can live for ten years or more with proper care.

They should have a tank of up to 40 gallons capacity, and the temperature should be between 76°-86°F. The pH of the water should be between 6.8-7.4.

Koi angelfish are also Japanese angelfish, scalare angelfish, and common angelfish.

They prefer tanks with plenty of hiding places, dim lighting, a slow flow of water, and plants that float at the water's surface. Most koi angelfish are captive-bred.

Beware of fin nippers in your tank, which harasses and nip the fins of koi angelfish. Koi angelfish eat guppies, young tetras, dwarf shrimp, and small invertebrates.

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Platinum Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum scalare var. platinum
Lifespan10 years or more
Size6 inches
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
colorSilver with blue or green fins
Water temperature75°-82°F
Water pH5.8-7.0
Tank size30 gallons
DietOmnivore

Platinum angelfish are a variety of scalare angelfish silver in color with blue or green fins. The body shape is similar to the koi angelfish is tall and thin with a diamond shape.

Platinum Angelfish Species Summary

They have a long fin ray count, making their fins appear very flowing and elegant. Platinum angelfish grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for ten years or more with proper care.

They should have a tank with up to 30 gallons capacity, and the temperature should be between 75°-82°F. The pH of the water should be between 5.8-7.0.

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Platinum angelfish are also called blue, green, and scalare.

  • Wild platinum angelfish are native to the warm, calm flood plains and waterways in the Amazon Basin. The fish live in areas with lots of tree roots and plants and should be housed in a tank with lots of driftwood, plants, and soft, acidic water.
  • Young platinum angelfish need frequent water changes and a varied diet. Adult platinum angelfish are hardy and better suited than young platinum angelfish for beginner aquarists. Keep platinum angelfish singularly, in a mated pair or a school of six.

Leopard Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum Leopoldi
Lifespan7-8 years
Size6 inches
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentPeaceful but Territorial
ColorPearly silver with black/ brown spots and a pattern
Water temperature76°-86°F
Water pH6.0-7.4
Tank size40 gallons
DietOmnivore

Leopard angelfish have an elegant appearance with leopard-like spots and patterns. They are one of the most beautiful freshwater aquarium fish. They are pearly silver in color with black or brown spots and marks.

Leopard Angelfish Species Summary

Leopard Angelfish have tall, thin bodies with a diamond shape. They have long fins that are as tall as their bodies. Leopard Angelfish grows about 6 inches long and can live for 7-8 years with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 40 gallons, and the temperature should be between 76°-86°F. The pH of the water should be between 6.0-7.4.

Leopard Angelfish are also called scalare angelfish, common angelfish, and Japanese angelfish.

Leopard angelfish are indigenous to the northern parts of the Amazon Basin. The tank environment should mimic the natural habitat of the leopard angelfish and be heavily planted with a gentle water inflow. Beware of fin nippers that bite at the long, flowing fins of the leopard angelfish.

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Albino Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum scalare var. Albino
Lifespan5-8 years
Size6 inches
Care levelModerate
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
ColorWhite or silver with a yellow-orange ring around its red eye
Water temperature75°-82°F
Water pH5.5-7.0
Tank Size30 gallons
DietOmnivore

Albino Angelfish have no pigment, so the fish's bodies are entirely white or silver depending on the light. Albino Angelfish are a variety of scalare angelfish with a yellow-orange ring around their red eye.

The body shape is similar to the koi angelfish – tall and thin with a diamond shape. They have a long fin ray count, which makes their fins appear very flowing and elegant. Albino Angelfish grows about 6 inches long and can live for 5-8 years with proper care.

They should have a tank with up to 30 gallons capacity, and the temperature should be between 75°-82°F. The pH of the water should be between 5.5-7.0.

Albino Angelfish are also called scalare angelfish, common angelfish, and Japanese angelfish.

Albino angelfish are native to the Amazon Basin, but the fish aren't common in their natural habitat. Ensure the fish tank is decorated with bogwood, rock work, and driftwood to give the albino angelfish several hiding spots.

Medium-sized peaceful fish make great tank mates, but small fish don't make good tank mates because albino angelfish like to ambush these fish.

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Leopold's Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum Leopoldi
Lifespan5-10 years
Size2-3 inches
Care levelModerate
TemperamentVery aggressive
ColorGolden silverish with black strips
Water temperature77°-82°F
Water pH5.0-6.2
Tank size35 gallons
DietOmnivore

Leopold's angelfish are rare but beautiful aquarium fish. They are a very aggressive species of angelfish. They are golden silver in color with black strips that run vertically along their bodies.

Leopold's Angelfish Species Summary

Leopold's Angelfish have a tall, thin body with a diamond shape. They have long fins that are as tall as their bodies. Leopold's Angelfish grow to be about 2-3 inches long and can live for 5-10 years with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 35 gallons, and the temperature should be between 77°-82°F. The pH of the water should be between 5.0-6.2

Leopold's Angelfish are also called scalare angelfish, common angelfish, and Japanese angelfish.

Leopold's angelfish natural habitat is the Amazon River between Manacapuru and Santarem, Rupununi River, and Essequibo Rivers.

The fish tank should include plenty of plants with standing branches and floating plants to replicate Leopold's angelfish natural habitat.

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Panda Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum scalare var. panda
Lifespan10 years or more
Size6 inches
Care LevelEasy
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
ColorPlatinum white with a blue sheen and black blotches
Water temperature76°-84°F
Water pH6.5-8.0
Tank size30 gallons
DietOmnivore

Panda angelfish have unique coloring resembling a panda. The fish are hardy and suitable for newbie aquarists. They are a variety of scalare angelfish platinum white with a blue sheen and black blotches.

Panda Angelfish Species Summary

Panda Angelfish have a tall, thin body shape with a diamond shape. They have long fins that are as tall as their bodies. Panda Angelfish grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for 10 or more years with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 30 gallons, and the temperature should be between 76°-84°F. The pH of the water should be between 6.5-8.0

Panda Angelfish are also called scalare angelfish, common angelfish, and Japanese angelfish.

Tank-bred panda angelfish prefer tall, well-planted aquariums with a soft substrate and low lighting. Panda angelfish prefer living in a group of five or more. These fish are sensitive to changes in water conditions.

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Marble Angelfish

Species Summary

Scientific namePterophyllum scalare var. marble
Lifespan12 years
Size6 inches
Care levelEasy
TemperamentSemi-aggressive
ColorWhite body with black markings and a gold tint
Water temperature76°-84°F
Water pH6.5-8.0
Tank size30 gallons
DietCarnivore

Marble Angelfish have beautiful, unique coloration. The fish are hardy and suitable for newbie aquarists. They are a variety of white scalare angelfish with black markings and a gold tint.

Marble Angelfish Species Summary

Marble Angelfish have a tall, thin body shape with a diamond shape. They have long fins that are as tall as their bodies. Marble Angelfish grow to be about 6 inches long and can live for 12 years with proper care.

They should have a tank with a capacity of up to 30 gallons, and the temperature should be between 76°-84°F. The pH of the water should be between 6.5-8.0

Marble Angelfish are also called scalare angelfish, common angelfish, and Japanese angelfish.

The ancestors of the marble angelfish are native to the Amazon Basin. The ideal tank environment for these fish has low lighting, plants, rocks, and driftwood. Marble angelfish tolerate temperature fluctuations.

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Conclusion

There are many types of angelfish, each with a unique appearance and care requirements.

The ten most popular types of angelfish are the scalare angelfish, common angelfish, Japanese angelfish, Leopold's angelfish, panda angelfish, marble angelfish, black Angelfish, veil angelfish, blue Angelfish, gold angelfish.

When choosing an angelfish for your home aquarium, it is essential to research the specific type of fish you are interested in. Ensure you know the care requirements and whether or not the fish is compatible with other fish in your tank.

Angelfish are beautiful, unique fish that can significantly add to any aquarium. They can live for many years with proper care and provide you with hours of enjoyment.

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