What are the characteristics of the Panda koi angelfish?

In this article we will discuss panda koi angelfish.We will discuss everything about them from their habitat information, tank size,water parameters,feeding habitat,breeding,diets and other parameters too.


In this blog

  • Key specifications of panda koi angelfish
  • Panda koi angelfish introduction
  • Habitat of panda koi angelfish
  • Lifespan of panda koi angelfish
  • Physical appearance and general features of panda koi angelfish
  • Tank size of panda koi angelfish
  • Water parameters of panda koi angelfish
  • Substrates and decors for of panda koi angelfish
  • Light intensity for panda koi angelfish
  • Tank plants for panda koi angelfish
  • Tank mates of panda koi angelfish
  • Diet of panda koi angelfish
  • Disease and healthcare of panda koi angelfish
  • Breeding in panda koi angelfish
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions 
  • Reference

What are the characteristics of the Panda koi angelfish?

 Key specifications of panda koi angelfish

Name Scientific name FamilyPanda koi angelfishPterophyllum scalareCichlidae
HabitatSouth America
LifespanUp to 10 years
DietCare levelOmnivoresEasy to care for
Body sizeSix inches long or even bigger
Minimum tank sizeTank level29 gallonsMiddle and upper mostly,sometimes bottom too ,for finding food
Temperament Semi-aggressive 
Color Black and white pattern

Panda koi angelfish introduction

A distinct and popular variant of Pterophyllum scalare.They are tank bred and very similar to koi fish.They look  more beautiful because of their koi fish appearance.

Like their cousins,panda koi angelfish are also protogynous hermaphrodites.The female angelfish are known to get converted to male angelfish at certain point in their lifetime.

The conversion only happens when the dominant male angelfish disappears from the groups,then the larger female angelfish will take their place by converting into male angelfish.

Habitat of panda koi angelfish

Panda koi angelfish are tank bred and are cousin to the very beautiful angelfish which come from tropical south american in the amazon river system.

Angelfish in nature are found in slow moving areas where the water currents are low and like to hide in the thick vegetation in those areas.

Lifespan of panda koi angelfish

Panda koi angelfish are easy to care for and can live up to 10 years in captivity if provided with the right tank conditions, high quality food, pristine water conditions and stress free environment.

Physical appearance and general features of panda koi angelfish

  • Average adult size:The average size of adults is 6 inches (15 cm) long, 8 inches (20 cm) tall.
  • Average purchase size: 1-1.5 inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm) long.
  • Pattern-Panda koi angels have a prominent black and white pattern.
  • Female panda koi angelfish are more rounder and smaller than male panda koi angelfish.
  • It is difficult to differentiate genders in panda koi angelfish like their cousins.

Tank size of panda koi angelfish

  • They do well in large and taller tanks.
  • A minimum of 20 gallons is required to maintain a pair of panda koi angelfish. 
  • Get a 29 gallons tank as they grow up to 6 inches
  • They cannot thrive well in overcrowded tanks,so bigger is always better for them too, like their cousins.
  • Tall tanks are perfect, to accommodate panda koi angels body shape.
  • For a 29-gallon community aquarium, keep no more than four adult panda koi angelfishes with their other tank mates. 
  • For a 55-gallon aquarium, begin with five or six juvenile panda koi angelfish and be prepared to exclude some in the future if they become too territorial and aggressive.
  • You will need at least 80 gallons to maintain a small school of panda koi angelfish.

Water parameters of panda koi angelfish

  • Aquarium water temperature- 78-84F
  • Water pH-6.8 to 7.5
  • Degree of water hardness-3 to 8 dKH.
  • They like warm and acidic water in their tank.
  • They are very sensitive to bad water conditions.They don’t like large and frequent water changes.
  • High flow rates are not good for panda koi angelfish because such strong currents can give them a hard time swimming around in the tanks.

Substrates and decors for of panda koi angelfish

The substrate for panda koi angelfish should be fine to medium grade and gravel should be of smooth surface, as pandas prefer to feed on the bottom of the tank too.Avoid using colored gravels,as it can pollute the tank environment.

Panda koi angelfish cousins are native to the Amazon basin of South America, so they are naturally more familiar with sandy bottoms. Sand will make their aquarium look more natural and give a touch of their habitat,so sandy bottoms can also be a good idea for them,but it will be harder to clean sandy bottoms.

Light intensity for panda koi angelfish

Like their cousins,even panda koi angelfish aquariums need light for 8 to 12 hours a day. Any standard aquarium light that can mimic the sun will work well.

Tank plants for panda koi angelfish

Well planted tanks with lots of cover for hiding are best for panda koi angelfish.They prefer large broadleaf plants and driftwood that is arranged vertically to simulate downed branches and trees.

  • Java fern
  • Jungle vallisneria
  • Dwarf tiger lotus
  • Water wisteria
  • Hornwort
  • Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora)

Tank mates of panda koi angelfish

The best aquarium companion for panda koi angelfish is a peaceful and non-aggressive species.

  • Mollies
  • Bristlenose plecos
  • Dwarf gourami 
  • Harlequin rasboras

Diet of panda koi angelfish

Panda koi angelfish feed on the surface or in the middle water column in aquariums, but in nature their cousins often feed on the bottom looking for worms and small crustaceans.

List of their favorite food

Panda koi angelfish are omnivorous, feed perfectly on tropical aqueon flakes, colored flakes, tropical pellets and shrimp pellets,cichlid flakes, protein-rich pellets,frozen or dried bloodworms, black worm,s brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, white worms, daphnia, mealworms feeder guppies, small insects, and small crustaceans.

Feeding frequency

  • To an adult panda koi angelfish, you should feed small amounts 2 – 3 times a day.
  • Younger panda koi angelfish need to be fed 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Panda koi angelfish will overeat and become overweight if fed too much,so avoid overeating at all cost.
  • Panda koi angelfish can live up to 2-3 days without having food. However, if you have a healthy adult panda koi angelfish, they can easily live much longer than that for up to two weeks. 

Disease and healthcare of panda koi angelfish

Overfeeding is very harmful for the aquarium fish and the aquarium environment. Overfeeding in panda koi angelfish can lead to digestive problems, constipation, which may cause swollen bellies. 

Panda koi angelfish like their cousins have narrow bodies and are more susceptible  to digestive disorders, therefore, overfeeding should not be done.Overweight panda kois can become lethargic and will stay at one spot in the aquarium.

Hexamita-A parasitic infection that causes weight loss, increased stool production, fish skin color changes and rot, and the formation of hole-like lesions.

It can be treated by administering metronidazole  in a medicated food or, if the fish are not eating, in a bath treatment.

Metronidazole can be given orally at a dose of 50 mg/kg body weight (or 10 mg/g food) for 5 consecutive days.

Freshwater Ich, a protozoan parasite infection.

You can keep your panda koi angelfish by maintaining the water temperature between 78 degrees and 84 degrees fahrenheit.

Maintain good filtration and make water changes of 10% weekly or 25% every two weeks.

Breeding in panda koi angelfish

Panda koi angelfish usually mature sexually between the ages of 6 and 12 months and can lay eggs every 7 to 10 days .

When the pair is ready to spawn they select a site and meticulously clean that surface.Flat stones,plastic sword plants with larger leaves will be best for breeding them.

Fertilized panda koi angelfish eggs take about 60 hours from the spawning season to hatching.They go through the larval stage while being connected to the yolk sac (and eating the yolk sac).

These panda koi angelfish larvae grow into free-swimming fry in 3-5 days.

The angelfish pair aerates the eggs and keeps them clean by removing dirty or rotten eggs from the site in their natural habitat.

To provide the same level of care in artificial hatching conditions, breeders can resort to the use of fungicides.


Panda koi angelfish are suitable for both beginners and experienced aquarists.They are a tough species and work well with a variety of water parameters.

Ammonia levels should be checked to avoid ammonia spikes in the aquarium with good quality water testing kits.

Panda koi angelfish do well in community aquariums, but they may not like overcrowded aquariums.They become aggressive in small and overcrowded aquariums.

Therefore, adding them to larger and more spacious community aquariums is very important.

Parental caring behavior can be seen in panda koi angelfish like their cousins.

Both male and females are involved in taking care of their eggs and babies until they start swimming freely.

Frequently asked questions

What can turn off panda koi angelfish?

  • They are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrates spike in their tanks
  • Lower oxygen levels  in their aquarium.
  • Aquarium water temperature fluctuations
  • Water pH fluctuations.
  • Non-compatible tank mates can stress them
  • Overcrowded and smaller aquariums can hinder their growth and can also trigger their aggression in them.

Can we keep panda koi angelfish in tap water?

If you are planning to keep your panda koi angelfish in tap water then,kindly treat that tap water with a good quality water conditioner to neutralize chlorine and other toxins to make the tap water safe for them.

Why do panda koi angelfish turn brown?

Panda koi angelfish infected with velvet disease look brown when they themselves against the object and they breathe faster than usual.