What are the characteristics of male angelfish?

In this post, we will get to know all about male angelfish. We will also discuss a bit of male angelfish biology and behaviour. As well as the manner to determine your angelfish sex.

What are the characteristics of male angelfish?

Angelfish may grow to be three or four inches in length and six inches in height when fully matured, according to the International Angelfish Association (IAA). Male angelfish are difficult to distinguish from female angelfish because they exhibit distinct behaviours and traits from female angelfish, and they are also typically more aggressive. Several of these features, on the other hand, are only more noticeable during breeding seasons. 

Unfortunately, even experienced breeders have difficulty distinguishing whether an angelfish is male or female, making it difficult to breed these fish solely based on morphological characteristics. 

Not attempt to detect the gender of a young Angelfish; this is a hopeless endeavour. At roughly 6 or 7 months of age, angelfish attain reproductive maturity, at which point they begin to form couples with one another. The distinctions between a female and a male angelfish become apparent after these fish reach reproductive maturity, and a trained eye can tell the difference between the two species.

Male angelfish characteristics

• Male angelfish have a larger, more circular body than female angelfish; 

• An enlarged bump on the head is also a sign of a male angelfish; 

• The forehead area right before their eyes is more rounded; 

• The male breeding tube is thinner and pointy, similar to a pencil tip;

• Male angelfish have more fatty and robust bodies; 

• Male angelfish grow at a faster rate than female angelfish.

Are males angelfish more aggressive than females?

Males are more aggressive than females for a variety of reasons, including breeding and territory protection. 

Male angelfish should be handled with caution since they are far more aggressive than female angelfish. 

Angelfish are peaceful fish when they have enough space to claim their territories, but when they are housed with too many other fish of their sort, angelfish battle to protect their territory or claim a partner. 

Although angelfish congregate in schools, the fish are not friendly with one another and seldom interact with one another. Angelfish, on the other hand, are less aggressive than other cichlids, and therefore are unlikely to bully other fish species in the aquarium.

Can angelfish change gender?

The short answer is that they are unable to. Freshwater angelfish, unlike other kinds of angelfish, are not known to alter their gender. Many people are under the impression that there are two sorts of angelfish: freshwater and saltwater. This is incorrect since there are two species of angelfish.

Considering there are two different species of angelfish, it is important to highlight that they cannot swap between them, nor between genders. In addition, it is also important to say that the popular aquarium angelfish is a freshwater species.

Will two male angelfish fight?

Yes, two male angelfish can fight for no apparent cause. In addition, there is a male-female pair. They are genuinely engaged in a struggle for domination and the establishment of their social system. 

They’re semi-aggressive fish that perform well in big community tanks if they’re kept with the right tank mates, which you should do. Small tanks or overcrowded tanks, as well as during mating season or when caring for their offspring, will almost certainly result in aggression from these fish. Males are more often than not the ones that demonstrate indicators of hostility and territorial conduct in their behaviour.

What can provoke aggression in male angelfish?

Aggression is distinct from the traits of angelfish, which are characterised by their territorial behaviour. This is how they interact with one another and develop hierarchical relationships among the other angelfish in the tank. As a result, there does not necessarily have to be a basis for their aggression, although it may do. 

Too frequent water changes with abrupt conditions variations

If you switch from one liquid to another too frequently, it might disrupt social order. This means that angelfish must re-establish their location after every replacement to maintain their chemical signature. When you change the water, the pecking order is thrown out the window. New water implies new and more violent power clashes, which means more water means more water.

Other aggressive fish

An increase in competitiveness and fighting will occur if there is another fish in the tank that is aggressive enough to match the angelfish’s level of hostility. Angelfish should be the sole dominating fish in a communal aquarium because of this reason. 

Thus, it is very important to consider ideal tankmates for angelfish, such as mal and non-territorial fish species.

Nutrients are insufficient 

Your angelfish may prey on other fish in the aquarium if they do not receive enough food. This implies that they will be aggressive and that they will not be fussy about the food they ingest.


Angelfish will pursue each other before and after mating when they are in the process of reproducing. The only way to tell is that they’ll flick their ends to make them appear bigger and lock lips while nipping and chasing each other around. When a female is getting ready to lay eggs, she may become hostile against other females. 

Scarcity of available space 

Because angelfish may grow to be up to 10 inches in length, they require a lot of space to move around. Anything less than 10 gallons is not suitable for a single angelfish to live in. The same holds for aquariums with fewer than 30 gallons of water and two angelfish. They will get hostile if they feel constrained in any way.

Mating periods

Male and female angelfish conduct nearly identical mating behaviours, with a few minor variations. They will pursue, nibble, and kiss each other on the lips as they get closer. When they lock lips, they’ll turn around and face the other way. 

The male and female agree on a location within the tank where they will lay the eggs, and they immediately begin cleaning the area to prepare it. After then, there is a lot of chasing. After selecting a suitable location, the female will lay her eggs in a straight line there, followed closely by the male, who will fertilise them. 

Females will become aggressive throughout the phase of egg formation in their papillae, which is the place where the eggs are laid. You’ll be able to tell since their stomach appears to be larger.

Fighting for dominance

The primary motivation for angelfish aggressiveness is the need for territory and the desire to establish dominance. If there are too many people of the same sex in a group, hostile conduct becomes unavoidable, regardless of gender. They will attempt to murder each other for mating privileges and to establish themselves as the alpha, especially if there are too many evils.


In this post, we got to know all about male angelfish. We also discussed a bit of male angelfish biology and behaviour. As well as the manner to determine your angelfish sex.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us in a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): All to know about male angelfish

Can angelfish coexist peacefully with guppies? 

Unbeknownst to the majority of people, guppies are excellent tank mates for angelfish. The angelfish should be introduced while still young and little if you intend to maintain them together in the future. Guppies will be perceived as tankmates rather than as food by your angelfish in this manner. 

Is it possible for female angelfish to lay eggs without a partner? 

Yes, the female angelfish may create eggs without the presence of the male angelfish, however, the eggs would not be fertilised if the male angelfish were not there. These eggs will perish and be replaced by an opaque white fungus in their place. Angelfish that are ready to procreate will typically choose their partners on their own, according to the experts. 

Approximately how long can freshwater angelfish survive in their natural environment? 

An angelfish is a straightforward fish to care for, and it may live for up to ten years in captivity if provided with the proper aquarium conditions. Because of its size and shape, this species necessitates the use of tall aquariums with a capacity of at least 20 gallons. 

Is it necessary to keep angelfish in pairs? 

In a communal aquarium, angelfish may coexist with other fish as long as their tankmates are not extremely hostile and do not bite their normal fins. Angelfish can be frightened by fast-swimming fish, and they can also compete with them for food resources. In a 30 gallon tall aquarium, no more than one pair of fish should be kept together. 

What is the source of my angelfish’s affection? 

Angelfish lips as a part of the mating process and interacting with other angelfish. The male and female will then search for a suitable spawning place in which to reproduce. Closed lips, on the other hand, might be seen as an aggressive gesture. This occurs mostly as a result of gaining control and rejecting the notion of dating.


Are male Angelfish Aggressive? – https://www.bettacarefishguide.com/are-angelfish-aggressive-and-the-reasons-behind-it/

Ross, R.M. (1990). The evolution of sex-change mechanisms in fish. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 29(2), 81-93.

Lutnesky, M.M.F. (1992). Behavioral ecology of reproduction in the pomacanthid angelfish, Centropyge potteri. The University of Hawaii at Manoa.