Golden Angelfish

Golden Angelfish
Latin name:
(Centropyge aurantia)

Care Level





Orange, Red, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

55 gallons


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In the realm of freshwater aquariums, few fish can rival the elegance and beauty of the Golden Angelfish. These captivating creatures, known for their vibrant colors and graceful movements, have captivated hobbyists for decades. If you’re considering adding these stunning fish to your aquarium, read on to learn everything you need to know about their care, breeding, and how to maintain their radiant hues.

Golden Angelfish: An Overview

Golden Angelfish, scientifically classified as Pterophyllum scalare, belong to the Cichlidae family. Native to the Amazon River basin in South America, these fish have become popular aquarium inhabitants due to their striking appearance and relatively easy care requirements. Their elongated bodies, adorned with vibrant yellow and orange hues, make them a focal point in any aquarium. Golden Angelfish typically reach a maximum size of 6 inches (15 cm) in length, making them suitable for medium to large-sized aquariums.

Distinctive Features

  • Vibrant Colors: Golden Angelfish are known for their stunning coloration, which can range from bright yellow to deep orange.
  • Elongated Body: Their bodies are characterized by an elongated, triangular shape, with long, flowing fins.
  • Prominent Dorsal Fin: The dorsal fin is particularly striking, extending from the head to the tail, adding to their majestic appearance.

Ideal Tank Setup for Golden Angelfish

To ensure the well-being and thriving of your Golden Angelfish, it’s crucial to provide them with an appropriate tank setup that mimics their natural habitat. Here are some key considerations:

Tank Size

Golden Angelfish require a spacious tank to thrive. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons (76 liters) is recommended for a single fish, with an additional 10 gallons (38 liters) for each additional fish. This allows them ample space to swim and explore.

Water Parameters

  • Temperature: Golden Angelfish prefer warm water, with an ideal temperature range of 78°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C).
  • pH Level: The pH level should be slightly acidic, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Hardness: Soft to moderately hard water is suitable, with a hardness range of 5 to 15 dGH.

Filtration and Water Quality

Golden Angelfish are sensitive to poor water quality, so a reliable filtration system is essential. Choose a filter that provides adequate water flow and removes waste effectively. Regular water changes of approximately 20% to 30% every week are also necessary to maintain pristine water conditions.

Substrate and Decorations

Golden Angelfish prefer a substrate that mimics their natural environment. Fine sand or small gravel is a suitable choice. Adding live plants to the tank not only enhances the aesthetics but also provides hiding spots and natural filtration. Driftwood and rocks can also be incorporated to create a more natural and stimulating environment.

What are some good tankmates for a Golden Angelfish?

Golden Angelfish, known for their striking color and elegance, are popular in home aquariums. However, selecting compatible tankmates is crucial to ensure a harmonious environment. Here are some suitable companions:

  1. Dwarf Cichlids: These smaller cichlids can coexist well with Golden Angelfish, provided the tank is spacious enough to accommodate territorial needs.

  2. Tetras: Many tetras, especially larger and more peaceful species like the Rummy-nose Tetra, Cardinal Tetra, and Neon Tetra, make excellent companions. Their schooling nature and speed help them avoid any potential nipping from angelfish.

  3. Corydoras: These bottom dwellers are peaceful and can help keep the substrate clean. They usually stay out of the Angelfish’s way.

  4. Plecostomus: A good choice for algae control, these fish stick to the sides and bottom of the tank, avoiding the angelfish’s territory.

  5. Loaches: Certain loaches, like Kuhli Loaches, are peaceful and stay out of trouble by hiding and scavenging along the bottom.

  6. Rasboras: Similar to Tetras, many Rasboras are peaceful, schooling fish that can share a tank with Angelfish without issues.

  7. Gouramis: Choose the less aggressive species and those that are not too large or too small compared to the Angelfish to avoid competition and predation.

When introducing new fish to an aquarium with a Golden Angelfish, it’s important to:

  • Monitor interactions closely at first to ensure compatibility.
  • Maintain optimal water conditions for all species involved.
  • Provide plenty of hiding spots and territorial boundaries to reduce aggression.
  • Consider the adult size of all species to avoid overcrowding.

Every aquarium and fish can be unique, so observing your fish’s behavior and adjusting as necessary is key to a successful community aquarium.

Breeding Golden Angelfish

Breeding Golden Angelfish can be a rewarding experience for hobbyists. Here are some steps to help you get started:

Selecting a Breeding Pair

Choosing a compatible breeding pair is crucial for successful breeding. Look for healthy, vibrant fish that are at least 1 year old. It’s best to select a pair that has bonded and displays courtship behavior, such as swimming together and circling each other.

Setting Up the Breeding Tank

A separate breeding tank is recommended to provide a controlled environment for the breeding pair. The tank should be at least 20 gallons (76 liters) in size and equipped with a sponge filter and heater to maintain stable water parameters. Add plenty of live plants to provide hiding spots and encourage spawning.

Spawning Process

When the breeding pair is ready to spawn, they will typically clean a surface, such as a broad leaf or the side of the tank, by removing any debris or algae. The female will then lay her eggs on the cleaned surface, and the male will fertilize them. The eggs will hatch within a few days, and the fry will become free-swimming after about a week.

Maintaining Vibrant Colors in Golden Angelfish

Golden Angelfish are known for their stunning coloration, but maintaining their vibrant hues requires proper care and attention. Here are some tips:

High-Quality Diet

Providing a nutritious and varied diet is essential for maintaining the health and coloration of Golden Angelfish. Offer a combination of live, frozen, and flake foods. Live foods, such as brine shrimp and daphnia, are particularly beneficial for enhancing their colors.

Stable Water Conditions

Maintaining stable water parameters, including temperature, pH level, and hardness, is crucial for the well-being of Golden Angelfish. Sudden changes in water conditions can stress the fish and lead to color fading.

Adequate Lighting

Proper lighting is essential for showcasing the vibrant colors of Golden Angelfish. Use a combination of natural and artificial lighting to create a well-lit environment. Avoid excessive lighting, as it can stress the fish and lead to color fading.

Golden Angelfish are captivating freshwater fish that add beauty and elegance to any aquarium. By providing them with the proper care, including a suitable tank setup, stable water parameters, and a nutritious diet, you can ensure their well-being and maintain their vibrant colors. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just starting, Golden Angelfish are a rewarding and enjoyable addition to any aquarium.