Are there wild angelfish?

In this blog we will discuss wild angelfish habitat,types,food preference and water parameters.This comprehensive guide will give all the necessary information related to wild angelfish and will give an idea to new angelfish keepers and experienced keepers too.


In this blog

  • Are there wild angelfish?
  • Where do you find angelfish in the wild?
  • What makes wild angelfish so unique in appearance?
  • What is the size of a wild angelfish?
  • What are the different species of angelfish?
  • Variants of wild caught angelfish
  • What do angelfish prefer to eat in the wild? 
  • Which angelfish is considered as the most peaceful among all?
  • What infections do wild angelfish get in their natural habitat?
  • Does mood affect the markings on a wild angelfish body?
  • How to angelfish mate in the wild?
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Are there wild angelfish?

Wild-caught angelfish are very rare in aquarium hobbies, and most fish sold in pet stores are captive or aquarium raised.

Wild angelfish are silvery and have vertical stripes, but breeding has led to the development of many color patterns and long-finned species that have been called veiltails over the years.

Where do you find angelfish in the wild?

Angelfish inhabit a vast area of ​​tropical South America, including much of the Amazon river system in Brazil,Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana,and Peru.

In their natural habitat,they are found almost exclusively in still, slowly flowing water.

What makes wild angelfish so unique in appearance?

The unique appearance of the beautiful angelfish is due to its long fins that glide gracefully through the water as it swims, and the species are usually identified by different types of stripes or markings.

Most juveniles have a color pattern that is dramatically different from that of adults.

The juvenile angelfish is dark blue with an electric blue and white ring, while adults cover their eyes with bright yellow and blue horizontal stripes and dark masks.

What is the size of a wild angelfish?

Angelfish do much better in the wild habitats  where it is known to grow up to its maximum length of 12 inches with access to its natural food.They are quite bigger in size in their natural habitat by eating a variety of food.

What are the different species of angelfish?

The different species of angelfish that are found in wild are mainly of three types, they are:

Pterophyllum scalare

They inhabit swamps or floodlands with dense aquatic and river vegetation and clear water. In clear water, its color is darker. One of the most popular tropical ornamental fish and has a maximum length of 15 cm.

Male angelfish court female angelfish during the breeding or mating season and both males and females protect eggs attached to the surface of the aquatic vegetation in the nesting area.

The bond of the original pair of parents remains intact throughout the brooding cycle, with each partner defending against aggression or potential competitors.

Pterophyllum altum

Pterophyllum altum, also known as altum angelfish, deep angelfish, or Orinoco angelfish, is strictly found in Southern Venezuela, Southeastern Colombia, and Northern Brazil in the extreme Orinoco and Alto Rio Negro basins.

This species is the largest representative of its kind and copies may have a height of 38 cm or 15 inches and its natural basic color is silver, but with three brownish red vertical stripes and red stripes on the fins.

This species may have red spots and blue-green clouds on its back at a mature age, and when incited, a black spot appears.This species is characterized by sharp cutting or nostril seizures.

All real wild caught altums of Orinoco altum show this feature.The true caught in the wild is very difficult to raise in captivity.

Pterophyllum leopoldi

It is also referred to as teardrop angelfish,leopold angelfish, or roman-nosed angelfish, is a species of angelfish of Amazonian origin the Essequibo River, and the Rupununi River.

It is distinct from other members of the group by the absence of a pre-dorsal connection, and by the presence of black spots at the introduction of the dorsal on the 4th vertical band.

The species is often identified as P. Dumerili when imported into the aquarium trade.

The leopoldi is the smallest of the angelfish at 5 centimeters or 2.0 centimeters in length and the most aggressive ones too.

Variants of wild caught angelfish

There are different variants of angelfish produced today by captive breeding for their different colors and patterns.

Here are few of the popular variants which are bought in aquarium trade by most of the angelfish keepers.

Blue angelfish

The blue angelfish also known as Holacanthus bermudensis, is commonly found in the Caribbean Sea and the tropical western Atlantic in Bermuda, the Bahamas, and southern Florida and Gulf of Mexico. They are also found near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

The body of the blue angelfish is oval and their color is bluish with some yellow.Their dorsal fin and anal fin are blue and the edges are yellow. 

The dorsal fin is composed of 13 spines and 20 soft rays, and the anal fin is composed of 3 spines and 18-20 soft rays.

Silver angelfish 

The silver angelfish has long been the backbone of the freshwater trade and, a variation in color very similar to the wild type of the P. scalare species, they are very hardy and one of the easiest angels to care for.

Marble angelfish

Marble angelfish can reach up to 6 inches in height from the tip of the dorsal fin to the end of the anal fin, up to 8-10 inches. Veil species have very long fins and can be much longer in height.

Black veil angelfish

Black veil angels live in the temperate warm waters of the Amazon basin in South America, in calm waterways and floodplains.

In small and medium-sized tanks, black veil angels are best kept in pairs. Large tanks can be bred in groups of 6 or more.

Albino angelfish

The albino angel is a white to silver angelfish with a yellow or orange head and pink eyes.It prefers a well-planted at least 30-gallon tank with soft, slightly acidic water.

Rocks and driftwood can be added to the tank, but leave enough room for swimming.

Blushing angelfish

This variety has a different color from the rest of the body. Usually on the upper half of the body, this fish is diamond shaped and has a laterally compressed rounded body and dorsal and anal triangular fin and can be up to 6 inches long and 8 inches high or more.

Gold angelfish

These variants are quite rare and very expensive.It is popular in aquariums because it does not grow as large as other angelfish species. They usually grow up to about 10 cm, but some grow up to about 18 cm.

What do angelfish prefer to eat in the wild? 

Angelfish are known to feed on the surface or midwater of rivers in the wild.They are omnivorous species and mainly eat sponges, algae, shrimp fragments and plankton are other items in their diet.

They will sometimes consume some vegetable matter. But mostly, they hunt prey such as small crustaceans, insects, larvae and other meat-containing foods.

Angelfish choose sponges with the lowest content of protective spicules and sponge eaters  have strong jaws that contain overlapping rows of tightly packed teeth that they use to teach through a durable sponge material.

Which angelfish is considered as the most peaceful among all?

Clown angelfish are more peaceful than many other breeds of angelfish, and are easy to care for.These fish prefer an aquarium with lots of vegetation and hiding spots, preferring tall plants over caves and rocks.

What infections do wild angelfish get in their natural habitat?

Ich or white spot disease appears as a small spread of white spots scattered across the body of the fish, and the main cause of white spots in freshwater angelfish is instant fluctuations in water temperature and stress. 

Poor water conditions,live plant introduction that carry protozoans with them can also lead to Ich infestations in other freshwater angels.

Symptoms of ich in wild angelfish

  • White spots all over the body of a freshwater angelfish.
  • They fold their fins.
  • Labored breathing if spots are on the nostrils. 
  • Appetite loss and erratic swimming. 

Does mood affect the markings on a wild angelfish body?

The body of the black lace angelfish has been darkened somewhat to a light charcoal color, but not to a deep black.

The wild-type bands are clearly visible.The tail and fins have a lacy pattern.The stripes will fade or darken to match the mood of black lace, like a silver angelfish.

How to angelfish mate in the wild?

Angelfish usually mature sexually between the ages of 6 and 12 months and can lay eggs every 7 to 10 days when eggs are removed. 

When the pair is ready to mate ,they select a site and nicely and carefully clean the surface where the female then lays a row of eggs.

The male angelfish immediately chases her and polishes the eggs to begin the fertilization process.

The breeding grounds are covered with sticky, transparent angelfish eggs, each smaller than the needle’s eye.


Angels come from the vast tropics of South America, including much of the Amazon River system.

In their natural habitat, they are found almost exclusively in calm, slow-moving waters such as dimly lit places, under overhanging vegetation, or in trees fallen into rivers.

Angels have different personalities.They are territorial in the presence of food, mates or eggs.

Since the freshwater angelfish is a small glutton, they will happily devour the food around them,without caring about any fish near them,when they are hungry.

Although they are considered a community fish, they can become aggressive just like other cichlids.

Frequently asked questions

What species of angelfish is the rarest?

Black phantom angelfish is an uncommon species of angelfish from the northern Philippines that is known to marine aquarists.

How do wild angelfish protect themselves? 

Angelfish is not such an angel and they carry a secret weapon in the shape of a sharp spine on each gill lid, which they use to protect themselves.

How long do wild angelfish live?

Angelfish has one of the most extended lifespans  and can  live up to 10-15 years.

How many types of angelfish are there? 

Angelfish have vibrant colored scales.There are a total of 90 kinds of angelfish species found.

What are the different colors of the angel fish? 

Their base color is either silver or gold with 3 black dashed bars.