27 Most Popular Types of Saltwater Angelfish

Most popular types of saltwater angelfish

Given the wide variety of saltwater angelfish available, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure about which to bring home. Fret not, though. We’ve got you covered!

In this guide, you’ll learn a lot about the well-known saltwater angelfish species, including their appearance, diet, habitat, and maintenance requirements.

This article will take you on a journey through the 27 most popular types of saltwater angelfish! Whether you’re an experienced aquarist or just getting started, a perfect angelfish awaits to grace your aquarium with its unique presence.

27 Popular Saltwater Angelfish Types

1. Flame Angelfish

Flame Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge loriculus
Size:4–6 in (10–15 cm)
Tank Size:30 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

The Flame Angelfish, often considered the jewel of the aquarium hobby, is a captivating species known for its vibrant red-orange body adorned with vertical black stripes and a radiant blue tail.

Being one of the more popular saltwater fishes, they are native to the warm, tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. They reside in coral reef ecosystems where they often seek shelter in crevices.

They are approximately 4 to 6 inches, making them suitable for small to medium marine aquariums. However, ample hiding spaces within rocks or coral formations are vital to their well-being, as they mimic their natural habitat.

Like many of their Dwarf Angelfish kin, they display territorial tendencies, particularly towards fish of similar species or size.

Flame Angelfish, an omnivorous species, thrives on a diverse diet. In captivity, this includes marine algae, angelfish preparations filled with essential nutrients, and meaty fares like mysis and brine shrimp.

It is paramount to provide a variety of food sources to maintain their dazzling colors and overall vitality.

2. Queen Angelfish

Queen Angelfish
Scientific Name:Holacanthus ciliaris
Origin:Tropical Western Atlantic Ocean
Size:12–18 in (30–46 cm)
Tank Size:200 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Queen Angelfish is one of the most iconic angelfish species of the tropical Western Atlantic that captivates observers with a dazzling display of vibrant blues, yellows, and greens.

They grow to an impressive 12 to 18 inches in length, so they require an equally impressive aquarium — 200 gallons or more — to accommodate their size and active nature.

Queen Angelfish thrives in a well-decorated environment miming their natural habitat, with plenty of rocks and hiding places to explore.

This species is considered semi-aggressive; they can peacefully coexist with many tank mates but can also display territorial behavior.

When it comes to diet, Queen Angelfish are omnivores. They have a natural affinity for sponges in the wild, but in captivity, they thrive on a varied diet.

This should include marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, mysis or brine shrimp, and other meaty foods.

However, Queen Angelfish may be picky eaters when introduced to a new aquarium. Maintaining these fish in captivity can also be challenging, requiring careful attention to water quality and tank conditions.

Their alluring appearance and intriguing behaviors make the Queen Angelfish an attractive prospect for advanced marine hobbyists.

Nonetheless, potential keepers should be fully prepared to maintain such a magnificent creature.

Watch this video to learn more about the Queen Angelfish:

Facts: The Queen Angelfish

3. Emperor Angelfish

Emperor Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus imperator
Size:12–15 in (30–38 cm)
Tank Size:220 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is a striking species originating from the Indo-Pacific region.

Renowned for their vibrant color palette, they display bold, concentric patterns of blue and yellow across their body, while their face boasts a unique, mask-like configuration of blue and white stripes.

The species can grow from 12 to 15 inches, a noteworthy size demanding a spacious environment; a minimum tank size of 180 gallons is suggested.

Emperor Angelfish thrive in reef-like settings with an abundance of hiding places. They appreciate complex environments, replicating their natural habitats of coral reefs and lagoon-fringed islands.

They are considered semi-aggressive, necessitating careful selection of tank mates. Mixing with peaceful, dissimilar-shaped fish generally yields better cohabitation.

Feeding this species requires providing a diverse diet. Emperors are omnivores, with a preference for sponges in their wild diet.

In captivity, it’s essential to provide marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, and a mix of meaty foods, such as shrimp and mussels.

Taking care of Emperor Angelfish is a task for dedicated aquarists. Their upkeep requires regular water changes, careful monitoring of water parameters, and robust filtration systems.

While they are indeed fascinating creatures, their maintenance requirements demand ample time, dedication, and a deep understanding of their unique needs.

4. Bicolor Angelfish

Bicolor Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge bicolor
Size:3–6 in (8–15 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

This saltwater angelfish species, known as the Bicolor Angelfish, is unique for its vibrant two-toned coloration.

They display a bright yellow front half and a deep blue posterior, which is why they are also referred to as the Two-Colored Angelfish or Oriole Angelfish.

Originating from the tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific, they find their homes among the reefs, taking shelter within their crevices.

Bicolor Angelfish demand ample space, with a minimum of 70-gallon aquarium for comfort.

They also require specific tank mates since they can be assertive, particularly in smaller environments. Larger semi-aggressive species that won’t intimidate or prey on them are preferred.

For diet, Bicolor Angelfish are fond of spirulina, marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, and mysis or frozen shrimp.

However, they can nip at corals and other sessile invertebrates, so caution is advised for those maintaining coral reefs. This species is hermaphroditic and doesn’t exhibit noticeable gender-based color differences.

5. Potter’s Pygmy Angelfish

Potters Pygmy Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge potteri
Origin:Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll
Size:3–4 in (8–10 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll, the Potter’s Pygmy Angelfish is renowned for its mesmerizing orange body interwoven with blue hues.

This marine water fish thrives on rocky ledges, feeding on algae and detritus. Their striking color, coupled with their small size, makes them an attractive centerpiece in aquariums.

Like their Bicolor counterparts, Potter’s Angelfish requires at least a 70-gallon tank decked with sufficient hiding places and live rock for grazing on microalgae.

Stressful environments can lead to ailments such as velvet disease and white spot disease, so providing them with a serene environment is crucial.

It is also worth noting they may nibble on soft corals and other sessile invertebrates. Hence, those keeping coral reefs must exercise caution.

When it comes to feeding, they are pretty flexible. An omnivorous diet, including ocean plants, like spirulina and marine algae, finely chopped mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items, keeps them happy.

6. French Angelfish

French Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus paru
Origin:Atlantic Ocean
Size:16–24 in (41–61 cm)
Tank Size:250 gal
Reef Safe:No

The French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) is an impressive saltwater species renowned for its unique color palette.

These fish are a sight to behold, with black bodies adorned with bright yellow scale edges and eyes. Juveniles feature vibrant yellow bands that fade and get replaced by a squarer form as they mature.

A characteristic of this species is their lifelong monogamy. These fish form breeding pairs and exhibit strong territorial behavior. Juveniles even serve as cleaner fish, consuming ectoparasites from other species.

They thrive in coral reef areas that provide shelter from nocturnal predators and are found across the western Atlantic Ocean, from Florida to Brazil.

Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the different types of corals found in reefs in relation to the habitats of these angelfish, you can check out this comprehensive article.

In terms of diet, French Angelfish primarily feed on sponges and algae but also consume bryozoans, gorgonians, and tunicates.

In aquariums, they need ample space. A 250-gallon tank is best, considering they can grow from 16 to 24 inches. While sturdy and resilient, their care level is intermediate, making them suitable for experienced hobbyists.

7. Blueface Angelfish

Blueface Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus xanthometopon
Size:Up to 15 in (38 cm)
Tank Size:220 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Blueface Angelfish is famed for their distinctive blue face and intricate body pattern of blue and yellow.

Their coloration evolves with age; as juveniles, they boast vertical black, white, and sapphire blue stripes, which morph into pale yellow and bluish scales in adulthood.

Native to the Eastern Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, these angelfish favor the warm habitats of coral reefs.

In captivity, a spacious tank is vital. Given their adult size can reach 15 inches, a minimum 220-gallon tank is recommended.

They also exhibit territorial behavior when they’re the largest in the tank, making them suitable as the sole angelfish species in an aquarium setup.

Blueface Angelfish have an omnivorous diet and thrive on a mixture of meaty foods like shrimp and angelfish feed, spirulina, and algae. Feeding them up to three times a day ensures their health.

Given their size, territorial nature, and diet, their care level is deemed intermediate, and they are best for those with some experience in fish keeping.

8. Gray Angelfish

Gray Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus arcuatus
Origin:Western Atlantic Ocean
Size:17–19 in (43–48 cm)
Tank Size:250 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Gray Angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus), known for its unique color transition, is a standout among reef inhabitants. 

Almost black with five yellow bands, juveniles transform into uniform gray adults with angular fins.

Their body features elongated dorsal and anal fins, with each scale carrying a dark spot. Notably, the interior side of their pectoral fins displays a yellow hue, adding to their overall appeal.

Regarding habitat, these fish favor reef ecosystems, swimming from 7 to 98 feet. These reef dwellers retreat to crevices during the night, seeking refuge from potential threats.

Additionally, Gray Angelfish are sociable creatures, forming long-lasting monogamous pairs. They are known to demonstrate curiosity toward divers, making them popular photographic subjects.

The Gray Angelfish’s dietary habits lean heavily towards sponges. However, their omnivorous nature allows them to enjoy a diverse menu, including tunicates, algae, and other marine organisms.

As juveniles, they perform a valuable role in the ecosystem by removing parasites from other species, a testament to their ecological importance.

9. Coral Beauty Angelfish

Coral Beauty Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge bispinosa
Size:Up to 4 in (10 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

The Coral Beauty Angelfish, as its name implies, is a visually stunning species. Their vibrant blue-purple heads and fins capture attention, contrasting the orange or yellow center body with blue lines or spots.

Despite their vivid appearance, these fish are naturally shy, often seeking the sanctuary of reef crevices.

Coral Beauty Angelfish are found in the Indo-West and Central Pacific, from depths of 5 to 45 meters.

They are known to either inhabit their surroundings solitarily or form small groups. Their behavior makes them less conspicuous, contributing to their reputation as secretive inhabitants of the outer reef slopes.

In terms of diet, these fish are omnivorous. They have a penchant for algae and small invertebrates, which make up a significant portion of their diet.

In captivity, it’s recommended to feed them plant-based food like algae and spirulina, supplemented with small meaty foods such as shrimp.

Despite being relatively safe for reef aquariums, caution is advised. They have been observed to nip at soft corals occasionally.

10. Flameback Angelfish

Flameback Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge acanthops
Origin:Western Indian Ocean
Size:4–6 inches (10–15 cm)
Tank Size:60 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

Known as the African Pygmy or Dwarf Flameback Angelfish, this angelfish species is an eye-catching resident in many saltwater aquariums.

Flameback Angelfish, from the Pomacanthidae family, are known for their vibrant blue and orange-yellow colors.

The fish’s body is predominantly blue, contrasted by a bold orange-to-yellow stripe stretching from their head to the tip of their dorsal fin. Their caudal fin is yellow and semi-transparent, distinguishing them from similar angelfish species.

This dwarf angelfish has an average size of around 4 to 6 inches and is less challenging to care for than other angelfish types. They require a well-fed tank environment, complete with hiding and swimming spaces.

Flameback Angelfish can be kept in a reef tank but should be monitored, as they may occasionally nip at corals.

As an omnivore, their diet mainly consists of invertebrates and algae, supplemented by mysis shrimp and spirulina algae in captivity.

Originating from the western Indian Ocean, these angelfish thrive in environments rich with algae growth and coral and rubble areas. They can be found as deep as 120 feet in their natural habitat.

Flameback Angelfish are semi-aggressive marine angelfish that should not be housed with other dwarf angelfish, especially males, as this can lead to lethal encounters.

Watch this video of Flameback Angelfish in an aquarium to appreciate them more:

Flameback Angel Harem

11. Regal Angelfish

Regal Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pygoplites diacanthus
Size:8–9 inches (20–23 cm)
Tank Size:100 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

The Regal Angelfish is one of the most striking types of saltwater angelfish. This angelfish species requires attentive care but can thrive in a well-maintained aquarium.

They originate from regions spanning the northern and western Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

Regal Angelfish are an aesthetic delight, adorned with orange and white stripes and edged with blue and black.

The fin features are noteworthy, with the dorsal fin blue with black scribbles and the anal fin marked with yellow and blue stripes.

Depending on their origins, some Regal Angelfish may have yellow heads, while others might have a bluish hue. Young Regal Angelfish sport an eye spot near their dorsal fins, which fades as they mature.

Regal Angelfish inhabit coral-rich reefs and lagoons and prefer areas with plenty of cover to hide from threats.

Their diet in captivity should be varied and nutritional, including items such as red nori seaweed, mysis shrimp, and chopped krill.

This angelfish species is not an aggressive feeder and should be housed with suitable tank mates to ensure their survival in a marine aquarium environment.

12. Spotbreast Angelfish

Spotbreast Angelfish
Scientific Name:Genicanthus melanospilos
Size:4–5 inches (10–13 cm)
Tank Size:125 gal
Reef Safe:Yes

The Spotbreast Angelfish, a vibrant type of saltwater angelfish, offers an exciting display of color and uniqueness due to sexual dimorphism.

Males adorn a pattern of vertical red stripes and forked, marine-blue tails with a yellow accent. Conversely, females showcase a yellow dorsal region fading into a white body, accented with a marine-blue tail framed by black bars.

This significant difference in appearance makes them a charming spectacle in your saltwater aquarium.

They thrive in large saltwater tanks filled with ample hiding spots and live rock for grazing. A large tank with enough swimming space is needed, as they average 4 to 5 inches and can grow up to 7 inches.

To learn more about how much fish you can fit in different tank sizes, we have made it easier for you to figure out through this article.

Going back, these peace-loving angelfish types make perfect reef dwellers. Their dietary needs include a balance of diatoms, filamentous algae, and various marine algae-based foods.

Spotbreast Angelfish exhibit protogynous hermaphroditism, transitioning from female to male when a dominant male is absent.

They engage in unique courting rituals involving fin movements, signifying an interesting behavioral trait of these types of saltwater angelfish.

13. Lamarck’s Angelfish

Lamarcks Angelfish
Scientific Name:Genicanthus lamarck
Size:8–10 inches (20–25 cm)
Tank Size:125 gal
Reef Safe:Yes

The Lamarck’s Angelfish, also known as the Freckletail Lyretail Angelfish, is another unique type of saltwater angelfish marked by sexual dimorphism.

Both males and females feature a silvery-gray hue embellished with horizontal black stripes.

The females stand out with bolder stripes and a black dorsal fin. The species is recognized for its striking appearance and its tail speckled with black spots.

As an inhabitant of the Indo-West Pacific region, Lamarck’s Angelfish are more comfortable in a well-maintained, spacious aquarium and can coexist with other angelfish.

They are more lenient with their tankmates but may show dominance over smaller, docile species. They exhibit a remarkable characteristic of being reef-safe, refraining from bothering invertebrates, corals, and clams.

These types of saltwater angelfish follow a diet consisting of spirulina, marine algae, and various meaty foods like shrimp. An interesting aspect of their behavior is their tendency to feed in mid-water.

They average between 8 to 10 inches in captivity, making them a grand sight in any home aquarium.

14. Keyhole Angelfish

Keyhole Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge tibicen
Size:Up to 8 in (20.3 cm)
Tank Size:75 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Keyhole Angelfish, also known as Tibicen Angelfish, is a remarkable saltwater angelfish prized for its unique characteristics.

Unlike their more vibrant counterparts, they sport a subdued blue-brown hue punctuated with a distinctive egg-shaped white mark on their bodies.

Despite their understated look, it’s a real standout in any marine aquarium, boasting yellow accents on their lower fins.

This type of angelfish dwells in the lagoon’s coral and rubble areas, between 13 and 181 feet deep. They require a spacious tank with numerous live rocks in captivity to emulate their natural reef habitat.

Their diet includes filamentous algae, diatoms, and meaty items like mysis and frozen shrimp. Keyhole Angelfish might nibble on corals and clam mantles, making them unsuitable for all reef aquarium setups.

These dwarf angelfish also demonstrate fascinating sexual dimorphism and behavior. Females are predominantly black, while males are dark blue.

The larger individuals, often females, undergo sex changes to become males and lead harems of three to seven individuals.

Breeding in captivity is tricky, but the spawning spectacle involving a courtship display is worth the challenge.

15. Lemonpeel Angelfish

Lemonpeel Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge flavissima
Size:2–4 inches (5–10 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Lemonpeel Angelfish is a radiant presence in any saltwater aquarium, flaunting a chrome yellow body with blue-ringed eyes and dark-blue fin edges.

As a dwarf angelfish species, they bring vibrant life into the home aquarium, proving that size doesn’t always equate to appeal.

They thrive in well-established tanks with ample live rock for grazing and a steady algae supply and diatoms. They may nip at stony corals and clam mantles, which could be problematic in a reef tank setup.

While Lemonpeel Angelfish can be aggressive toward other angelfish, a large tank can comfortably accommodate a male-female pair or a trio.

These angelfish are omnivores, with a diet leaning heavily towards algae, though they also consume spirulina-enriched foods, mysis shrimp, and brine shrimp.

It’s worth noting that these marine angelfish may take longer to adapt to tank-fed food, so patience is key in their maintenance.

16. Bellus Angelfish

Bellus Angelfish
Scientific Name:Genicanthus bellus
Size:4–5 inches (10–13 cm)
Tank Size:125 gal
Reef Safe:Yes

The Bellus Angelfish, a captivating species of saltwater angelfish, is scientifically known as Genicanthus bellus and is part of the Pomacanthidae family, which is home to all marine angelfish.

Males of this species dazzle with pale white and blue hues, while females captivate with darker colors complemented by an orange dorsal fin and a lateral stripe running from their gills to their tail.

Native to the Indo-Pacific, these saltwater angelfish are found predominantly on deep reefs.

Their average size is about 4 to 5 inches, with their maximum size reaching seven inches, and they require an aquarium of at least 125 gallons with several hiding spots and live rocks for grazing.

It’s crucial to remember that angelfish tend to engage in fights if two males share the same tank, so it’s best to keep only one male per tank.

The feeding habits of Bellus Angelfish are omnivorous; they enjoy a mix of meaty foods and vegetation. Their diet in the wild primarily consists of plankton, small invertebrates, and algae.

17. King Angelfish

King Angelfish
Scientific Name:Holacanthus passer
Origin:East Pacific; Gulf of California to Peru
Size:Up to 14 in (35.6 cm)
Tank Size:180 gal
Reef Safe:No

The King Angelfish, scientifically known as Holacanthus passer, is among the many types of saltwater angelfish native to the East Pacific, from the Gulf of California to Peru.

Adult King Angelfish impresses with their dark blue-gray coloring and a distinctive white bar behind their pectoral fin. The species’ pelvic fins show sexual dimorphism, appearing white in males and yellow in females.

These species of angelfish inhabit clear, rocky reefs and coral areas and are known to venture between 13 and 98 feet deep. Juvenile King Angelfish prefer staying closer to the surface, often hiding in reef crevices.

Notably, these angelfish can grow aggressive, especially females, making them suitable for tanks housing other semi-aggressive species.

King Angelfish are omnivorous, thriving on a diverse diet of small plants and animals, with sponges being a particular favorite.

Be mindful that they are known to nip at stony and soft corals, making them unsuitable for a reef aquarium.

18. Chrysurus Angelfish

Chrysurus Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus chrysurus
Origin:Western Indian Ocean, South Africa
Size:Up to 13 in (33 cm)
Tank Size:200 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Chrysurus Angelfish, commonly known as the Goldtail Angelfish or Ear Spot Angelfish, is a large angelfish species rarely seen in the aquarium hobby. They possess a body adorned with white vertical stripes against a golden-brown backdrop.

Notably, the head boasts bright blue stripes, and the tail, which develops a yellow hue once they reach 3 to 4 inches, is framed with an equally vibrant blue edge. These angelfish grow to an impressive size, up to 13 inches in length.

They can be found in the Western Indian Ocean, extending southwards from the Gulf of Aden, along the eastern coast of Africa, and Madagascar, the Comoro Islands, and Seychelles.

They require a spacious 220-gallon or larger aquarium packed with hiding spots and abundant live rock for grazing. Notably, they are not a suitable reef dweller and may nip at corals and clam mantles.

Their diet should consist of marine algae, spirulina, high-quality angelfish preparations, and meaty items like mysis or frozen shrimp. Being hermaphroditic, breeding this angelfish is challenging.

19. Scribbled Angelfish

Scribbled Angelfish
Scientific Name:Chaetodontoplus duboulayi
Origin:Indo-West Pacific
Size:6–10 inches (15–25 cm)
Tank Size:180 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Scribbled Angelfish, or Duboulay’s Angelfish, is a species of marine angelfish popular with aquarium enthusiasts.

Marked by a dark blue-black body, yellow lips, and a broad band of yellow and white separating the head from the body, these angelfish are beautiful.

Their distinctive scribbles over their body and large dorsal and anal fins give them their name.

To keep angelfish of this kind, you need an ample 180-gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of hiding places and live rock for grazing.

It’s worth mentioning that they aren’t suitable for reef tanks due to their propensity to nip at corals and clam mantles.

Their diet should consist of benthic invertebrates like sponges and tunicates. Breeding is challenging due to their hermaphroditic nature. 

Despite this, the Scribbled Angelfish remains a desired species for their striking appearance and easy maintenance.

20. Koran Angelfish

Koran Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus semicirculatus
Size:15–16 inches (38–41 cm) 
Tank Size:220 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Koran Angelfish is an admired saltwater fish famous for its distinct transformation from juvenile to adulthood.

Juveniles showcase white semicircles against a deep blue body but mature into a captivating yellow-green gradient, adorned with blue specks and an azure eye ring. They reach an impressive size of up to about 15 to 16 inches.

This type of saltwater fish thrives in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific region. They prefer a spacious home, requiring an aquarium of at least 250 gallons, stocked with ample live rock for hiding and foraging on slime algae and cyanobacteria.

However, they tend to nip at stony and soft corals, so they’re not ideal for reef aquariums.

Known for their personable nature, these angelfish are relatively easy to care for compared to other Pomacanthus species.

They have a hearty appetite, relying on various foods, from spirulina to mysis shrimp, making their upkeep more manageable.

21. Majestic Angelfish

Majestic Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus navarchus
Size:10–11 inches (25–28 cm)
Tank Size:180 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Majestic Angelfish, or Blue Girdled Angelfish, is another enticing marine angelfish species, appreciated for its elegant appearance.

These angelfish stand out with their radiant yellow scales contrasted with a dark blue girdle extending backward from their face. Their typical size of about 10 to 11 inches makes them a remarkable sight in any aquarium setup.

Indigenous to the Indo-Pacific, these saltwater fish species require at least a 180-gallon tank with multiple hiding places and live rock for grazing.

Like other angelfish species, they’re not the best choice for reef aquariums due to their habit of nipping at corals.

While angelfish is one of the more challenging species to care for, Majestic Angelfish, in particular, are known to be a bit more manageable.

Their diet includes marine algae, mysis shrimp, and spirulina, among other delicacies. Introducing this species to new foods can be a bit tricky.

Adding fish like tangs, triggers, and wrasses is typically safe, provided they’re introduced simultaneously to limit territorial issues.

22. Peppermint Angelfish

Peppermint Angelfish
Scientific Name:Paracentropyge boylei
Origin:South Pacific Ocean
Price:Up to $30,000
Size:2–3 inches (5–8 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

Dubbed the “holy grail” amongst the many species of angelfish, the Peppermint Angelfish is one of the most exquisite and sought-after species in the aquarium hobby.

They sport vibrant orange coloring, along with yellow facial highlights and white vertical stripes adorning its petite frame.

With an average length of about 2 to 3 inches, these small angelfish call the South Pacific Ocean’s deep, rocky caves and coral structures their home.

These angelfish’s elusive nature and the challenging depths they inhabit have significantly increased their rarity, making them the most expensive saltwater angelfish in the world, reaching up to a staggering $30,000.

Preferring lower water temperatures of 71 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, they thrive best in environments that mimic their natural deepwater habitat, with ample live rock for hiding and variable flow areas.

Feeding these precious angelfish requires a diverse diet, ranging from live food like copepods and amphipods to an assortment of frozen food or even cultured blackworms.

Here is a documentary about the $30,000-worth Peppermint Angelfish:

The $30,000 Peppermint Angelfish at Waikiki Aquarium

23. Goldflake Angelfish

Goldflake Angelfish
Scientific Name:Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus
Origin:Central Pacific Ocean
Size:8–10 inches (20–25 cm)
Tank Size:125 gal
Reef Safe:With caution

In the family of beautiful saltwater angelfish species, the Goldflake Angelfish stands out for its shimmering golden spots spread across its body, striking blue lips, and similarly-hued fin borders.

A showstopper in any aquarium, these angelfish can reach an impressive size of up to 9 inches, demanding a spacious tank of at least 125 gallons for optimal comfort and development.

Goldflake Angelfish are saltwater angelfish found in the warm waters of the Central Pacific Ocean. They are best kept in an aquarium with plentiful hiding spots, helping them transition from their vast wild habitat.

As these creatures may become territorial when mature, you should plan your fish community wisely.

When it comes to diet, a variety of angelfish-specific food that includes sponge and algae, coupled with frozen mysis, is ideal for these majestic marine creatures.

Keeping them in captivity requires a good understanding of their nutritional needs. Incorporating food they typically graze in their natural habitats can improve their health and vibrancy.

Despite their grandeur and relative rarity, with attentive care and a well-balanced diet, these aquarium angelfish can be an awe-inspiring centerpiece in your marine collection.

24. Rock Beauty Angelfish

Rock Beauty Angelfish
Scientific Name:Holacanthus tricolor
Origin:Western Atlantic Ocean
Size:8–10 inches (20–25 cm)
Tank Size:125 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Rock Beauty Angelfish is an attractive and popular choice for hobbyists, thanks to its striking colors. These angelfish’s black body is beautifully contrasted by their vibrant yellow head, tailfin, and front portion.

Sapphire-blue accents around their eyes add a touch of charm to their appearance. This color scheme camouflages the fish among rocks and reefs in their native habitats, ranging from the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

Despite their beauty, this species isn’t for beginners. They require intermediate angelfish care as they can be somewhat aggressive and territorial.

They are also non-reef-safe. Thus, before introducing a Rock Beauty Angelfish, you should plan the tank environment carefully to accommodate their needs and personality.

The tank should be at least 125 gallons, with many hiding places to mimic its natural rocky habitat.

I once had the privilege to set up an aquarium for a Rock Beauty Angelfish. The aquarium setup involved adding plenty of rocky formations, simulating their natural coral reef habitat, to accommodate their hiding and grazing habits.

I also maintained a diet primarily of sponges and tunicates. Further, I still needed to condition them to accept prepared aquarium foods, which is essential for their well-being in captivity.

25. Annularis Angelfish

Annularis Angelfish
Scientific Name:Pomacanthus annularis
Size:12–18 in (30–46 cm)
Tank Size:220 gal
Reef Safe:No

If you’re looking for an exotic, sizeable angelfish available in the hobby, the Annularis Angelfish should be on your list.

They are characterized by their distinctive blue stripes, brown body, and white tail. These tropical marine fish are 12 to 18 inches in length, displaying dramatic changes in coloring as they mature.

Native to the Eastern Indian Ocean to Australia, they prefer coastal rocky coral reefs and caves. They can be territorial and are also not reef-safe, so choosing an appropriately sized tank is important.

A minimum of a 220-gallon tank with hiding places and open swimming space is recommended for one adult Annularis Angelfish.

These omnivorous creatures feed on zooplankton, sponges, and algae. They can adapt to a diet of prepared mixtures, frozen shrimp, and nori flakes in captivity. Providing a varied diet is key to their health and well-being.

26. Red Stripe Angelfish

Red Stripe Angelfish
Scientific Name:Centropyge eibli
Origin:Eastern Indian Ocean to Australia
Size:4–6 in (10–15 cm)
Tank Size:70 gal
Reef Safe:No

Also known as Eibl’s Angelfish, the Red Stripe Angelfish is quite the sight to behold.

Their pearlescent body sports evenly-spaced red to orange stripes, while a bold, sapphire-blue stripe outlines their black caudal fin. These vibrant colors add a stunning touch to any saltwater aquarium.

Originating from the Eastern Indian Ocean to Australia, these striking fish reach 4 to 6 inches, requiring a tank size of at least 70 gallons. The ample space is needed for large amounts of live rock that serve as their hiding and grazing areas.

Initially, they may appear docile, but as they get comfortable, they become more assertive. This territorial behavior makes them unsuitable to house them with other dwarf angels.

In terms of diet, Red Stripe Angelfish are omnivores. They feed on benthic algae and seaweeds in the wild and hard coral polyps occasionally. To keep them healthy in captivity, a varied diet is essential.

Breeding these beautiful creatures in an aquarium poses a challenge, with no obvious differences between males and females.

Fascinatingly, they are protogynous hermaphrodites, starting life as females and later changing sex to males. When the dominant male passes, the dominant female takes his role.

27. Bandit Angelfish

Bandit Angelfish
Scientific Name:Apolemichthys arcuatus
Origin:Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands
Size:Up to 7 in (17.8 cm)
Tank Size:180 gal
Reef Safe:No

The Bandit Angelfish boasts a unique black-and-white color scheme that sets it apart from other angelfish.

Their body showcases an elegant pearlescent white, broken by a sweeping black band that stretches from their eyes to the base of the dorsal fin, earning them their name.

Another black band bordered with white traces the edges of the anal and caudal fins, creating a stark contrast that catches the eye.

A native of the Pacific Ocean, Bandit Angelfish favor the waters around the Hawaiian and Johnston Islands.

They comfortably thrive in swift currents, preferring to swim along the rock formations of coral reefs and within underwater caves. These angelfish are found at depths ranging from 12 to 50 meters yet can dive up to 500 feet if necessary.

Keeping Bandit Angelfish in a home aquarium necessitates a recreation of their natural habitat. A spacious tank of 180 to 200 gallons should have plenty of live rock formations for the fish to graze.

Saltwater Angelfish Facts

Saltwater angelfish, with their diverse shapes and dazzling hues, represent some of the most captivating residents of the oceanic world.

Let’s dive into five interesting facts about saltwater angelfish:

  • Saltwater angelfish live pretty long. Saltwater angelfish have been observed to live for up to 15 years or longer in their natural habitats. A healthy angelfish maintained in a well-equipped aquarium can also live comparably, promising long-term companionship for marine aquarium enthusiasts.
  • Most saltwater angelfish are beautiful but feisty. Don’t let their attractive appearance fool you; saltwater angelfish have quite a temper. They are territorial beings, often fiercely defending their claimed space. A newcomer in their territory better beware of the angelfish’s determination!
  • Saltwater angelfish change appearance as they mature. Many saltwater angelfish species undergo an intriguing transformation called ‘color change.’ As they transition from juveniles to adults, their colors and patterns drastically alter, making it hard to believe that adults and juveniles are the same species.
  • Some angelfish species have defensive mechanisms. Many angelfish species have a unique survival feature called ‘opercular spines.’ Positioned at the edge of their gill covers, these spines serve as a defensive mechanism, deterring predators and ensuring survival.
  • They play an essential role in maintaining ecological balance. Beyond their aesthetics, larger angelfish play a vital role in preserving coral reef health. They feast on sponges that, in their absence, could overpopulate and suffocate corals. By doing so, angelfish help maintain ecosystem balance, embodying the perfect blend of beauty and function.

Being familiar with these angelfish, I always look forward to encountering them during my diving expeditions.

While it is a beautiful experience to observe various saltwater angelfish species in their natural habitats, I continue to keep my distance.

Every time I encounter them, I make it a point not to disturb them in their area so as not to trigger their territorial or aggressive nature. Remember, for you to appreciate them better, it is best to respect their living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two saltwater angelfish swimming in the deep ocean

Are Saltwater Angelfish Aggressive?

Due to their territorial nature, saltwater angelfish can be aggressive, particularly within their own species. They require ample space and tend to claim large grazing areas.

The angelfish’s assertive behavior becomes even more prominent during the breeding season.

While they can coexist with other types of fish, such as tangs and clownfish, they should be the only angelfish in a tank to prevent conflicts.

What Is the Easiest Saltwater Angelfish to Keep?

If you’re just beginning your journey with saltwater angelfish, the Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) could be your perfect match.

With their vibrant colors and manageable size, they are beautiful and one of the hardiest species, making them an excellent choice for those new to aquarium keeping.

Flame Angelfish can adapt to a range of tank conditions and are generally less aggressive, which makes them great residents for a community aquarium.

How Many Saltwater Angelfish Can Live Together?

Saltwater angelfish are known for their territorial behavior. Generally, it’s best to house only one angelfish per tank to prevent conflicts.

However, if your tank is spacious enough (at least 200 gallons), and you plan to create separate territories using rocks and corals, you could keep two or more.

It’s worth noting that introducing multiple angelfish simultaneously, rather than one after the other, can help minimize territorial disputes.

What Is the Most Popular Saltwater Angelfish?

Determining the most popular saltwater angelfish can be challenging due to variations in regional availability, aquarist preferences, and tank requirements.

However, a few species are widely sought after for their striking appearances and captivating behaviors.

Among these, the Flame Angelfish is a consistent favorite with its vibrant red-orange body marked with distinctive black stripes. Their dazzling hues make them a standout addition to any marine aquarium.

Equally striking but quite different in appearance is the Queen Angelfish. Prized for their vibrant blue body contrasted by a stunning yellow tail and a speckled, multicolored face, they’re a regal sight that commands admiration.

If you’ve learned something new or have a favorite angelfish species that hasn’t been mentioned, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!

Leave a Comment

You may also like