Aquarium Fish Depot

Marbled Angelfish

Regular price $24.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $24.99 USD
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Marbled Angelfish

They might not look like it, but angelfish are a type of cichlid! In weed-choked South American river basins, angelfish evolved their distinct tall, compressed shape to slip among sunken roots and vegetation. Although they are usually docile community inhabitants, angelfish are predators by nature and will eat very small fish, so make sure you don’t house them with anything small enough to fit into their mouths!

Angelfish were one of the first tropical fish widely available in the aquarium hobby and captive breeding efforts first began in the 1920s. Today, wild-caught specimens are incredibly rare; captive angels come from long lines of tank breeding that are reflected in the huge array of different color and pattern strains. Even the barred, red-eyed “wild type” is quite removed from natural populations—it’s actually quite difficult to trace the origins of captive angelfish to a single species in the wild! Although these angelfish most resemble Pterophyllum scalare, it is highly probable that genes from other species have been mixed in by interbreeding somewhere during the past century of their long history in the aquarium hobby.


Common name: Angelfish, silver angelfish

Scientific name: Pterophyllum scalare

Distribution: Amazon basin and other river systems in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and nearby countries

Habitat: Slow-moving, weed-choked river areas and flooded forests

Temperature: 76 – 82°F

pH: 6.0 – 8.2


Adult size: 6 inches in length, 8 inches in height

Diet: Unfussy omnivore that will readily take all sorts of dried foods but will do the best when supplemented with frozen or live invertebrates

Conspecifics: Best kept singly, in an established pair (challenging because even adults are difficult to sex), or in a group of 4 or more to disperse aggression.

Tankmates: Peaceful with most community fish but may eat tankmates small enough to fit into their mouths.

Notes: Captive angelfish are very far removed from their wild counterparts, having been tank-bred extensively for nearly a century—as a result, they are tolerant of a wide range of water conditions and are very unfussy eaters. Even the barred, red-eyed “wild-type” individuals have little relation to natural populations. While captive angelfish are most similar to wild Pterophyllum scalare, they likely contain genes from other similar species due to multiple interbreeding events during their long history in the aquarium hobby. 

Because angelfish grow to become quite large and tall, be sure to keep their adult size in mind when choosing an aquarium.


These beautiful fish are kept and cared for at our massive aquarium store in San Diego, California. We have over 750 freshwater aquariums and one of the largest collections of aquatic creatures including aquarium fish, shrimp & other invertebrates, frogs, plants, and more. Explore and get lost in a world of aquarium and fishkeeping fun.

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