Black Angelfish

Stocking a Black Angelfish in your freshwater aquarium can be a rewarding experience. The long flowing fins, and beautiful color of this Black Angel taken by Sakichin is proof of that!


Often tank bred in the U.S., the shade of this particular Freshwater Angelfish is black with lighter coloration on the fins. A fish in the Genus Pterophyllum, the species originated in South America, and belongs to the Family Cichlidae. Characteristics and living conditions for the Black Angelfish include:

  • Minimum Fish Tank Size: 30 gallons is best.
  • 75-82 degrees F, pH 5.8-7.0, KH 1-5
  • The Freshwater Black Angelfish is semi-aggressive.
  • Grows to 6" as an adult.

Because of the long fins, you'll want to avoid stocking the Black Angelfish with nipping fish, such as Tiger Barbs. The freshwater fish compatibility chart will give you a list of suitable tank mates.

Personally, I have tried keeping two angelfish in my tank, but they both died early. It may be because they were weak, or sick when I bought them. I will definitely try the fish again, as you can see by the picture of the Black Angelfish, they are an attrative fish.

Have you tried raising angelfish? Did you have good luck with them?

16 thoughts on “Black Angelfish”

  1. I have 2 black angelfish in my 55 gallon tank. They seem to cohabitat well together and with the other fish in the tank until I moved the tank. During the move one of the angels managed flop out of the net during transition and fell to the floor. I scooped her up and put her in the tank. She seemed to be unharmed. When I put the other angel back in the tank they began to fight. That was over a week ago and still they are fighting. I have been told that one will re-establish domainance and the fighting will stop, but I am worried and am considering taking one out and finding it another home. They are both very beautiful velvet black and large. Do not want to see one or both die because they can’t decide who is boss. I suspect that the injured fish may have been dominant before the fall and in her weakened state was challenged. Any thoughts?

  2. Hi Deborah,

    Moving a tank is never an easy task. It sounds like your angelfish are definitely fighting over territory. When they were getting along before, did both fish have spots in the tank they would hang out? I would guess so in a 55 gallon aquarium. Or did both angelfish swim together?

    It would probably be best for both fish to stay in the established tank, as long as they both have territory. Just from my experience, angelfish are temperamental to tank changes, if the new tank is not established.

    As long as both fish are eating well, and showing no signs of stress (such as avoiding others, getting nipped by other fish), I think it will work out in time.

    If you think the injured fish is looking stressed, then move her. It seems she is a fighter though, that’s not about to give up her spot.

    Hope it works out soon!

  3. Last Feb., I had to move my 30 gal tank downstairs. My 2 angels were about 4″ high at the time. I siphoned as much water as I could find containers I could carry – about 8 gals total I think. Then I removed most of the rest of the water and found I could carry the tank with about 2″, with ALL the fish still in the tank. (Tank tipped toward one end)

    When the tank was in it’s new location, I quickly added the orig. water back, That left me with a half full 30 gal tank. I then brought water from the kitchen with it adjusted with hot and cold water to about 80 deg (same as the tank water) and put in Prime dechlorinator and some (forgot the name) powder to move the water to 7.0 ph. I siphoned all afternoon with a small hose about 1/8″ dia, and it took all afternoon to get the tank filled back up.

    Imagine my surprise when, 2 days later, the angels had bred on the filter tube. Unfortunately, the eggs didn’t make it, they all turned white with fungus. I really didn’t want to breed angels at that time so it was just as well. We were going to move 200 miles in 5 months so I found a great home for the two angels and at last check, they hadn’t bred but seemed to be doing fine.

    I didn’t mean to be so long winded, sorry.

  4. Hey Paul,

    Enjoyed your story. Some great tips on moving fish.

    Hope you’ve had time to set up an aquarium at the new residence.


  5. i have a tank with four angelfish (two parents and two babies), a bottom feeder and a painted glass and i want to know: what other fish will get along with angel fish? i love my fish alot so i want to be safe with what i put in there. I also would like to know though if i should be putting different types of fish in with the angelfish. people tell me they are agressive but they mind their own buisness in the tank. am i doing something bad or not?

  6. How big is your fish tank Candace? I wouldn’t put any bigger fish in with the Angelfish. Smaller ones if you’ve got room should be ok though. Here’s a freshwater fish compatibility chart to give you some ideas.

    Remember 1 inch of fish is allowed per gallon of water in the aquarium.


  7. my tank is a 20 gallon tank, and thank you for the chart! i’ll keep it in mind when i buy fish in the future! i haven’t added any larger fish and they’re all fine. thanks for the advice because i would never want anything bad to happen with my fish:)

  8. I have an angelfish emergency!!!!! i figured out about 5 minutes ago that two of my angelfish have just layed eggs and i don’t know what to do!!! do i have to take the other fish out because they have taken over that half of the tank already…if there is anything i have to do please be a life saver and tell me!!!!

  9. Hi Candace,

    You’ll need to remove the other fish if you have a safe environment for them. Otherwise, they’ll probably eat the eggs. Are you able to use a partition that would seperate them? That will work too.

    Also, your pair may eat them too. You never know. The eggs will turn into wigglers, which look like eggs with wiggling tails. Eventually, the whole fry will form. They’ll need plenty of cover to hide.

    Also, you could expect another egg laying in a few weeks if these disappear.

    Your first step would definitely be to seperate the eggs from other fish.

    Hope they stay ok!


  10. I have tried keeping angelfish, but my angelfish died right away (within 2 weeks.) I had 2 then 1 died so I bought another 1. Then the other one that I got first died then the new one died. So I didnt have much luck.

  11. I have the following Angelfishes:

    1 Silver Angelfish (2″)
    1 Halfblack Veil Angelfish (4″[w],5.5″[h])
    1 Marble Angelfish (2″)
    2 Koi Angelfish (2.5″ & 2″)
    1 Albino Pearlscale Angelfish (2″)
    1 Moonfish (2″)

    with 1 Clown Catfish (2.5″) & 1 Albino Pleco (1.5″)

    living in a 22 Gallon Tank (24″x12″x20″)

    They have been living together for 2months now and all seem pretty ok w/ eachother.

    I do often find them taunting eachother and act like kissing eachother.

    They enjoy eating frozen bloodworms every morning and tetramin pro on evenings.

    The thing about them is that when i approach the tank to look at them, they all convened at where my face is. But when my other housemates look at them, they don’t even bother that someone is looking at them. Hehehe

  12. hello, I currently have 4 angelfish, 10 scissor tail tetras, 8 tiger barbs, 2 rainbow sharks, 3 cory cats and 1 pleco.
    The angels keep picking on the smaller angelfish, and i am afraid that the smaller angel will die. He’s already stressed and his fins are clamped. please any help will be greatly appreciated. All the other fish are fine and get along. the barbs pick on each other, and the rainbows live on separate sides of the tank.

  13. Tough call Keron. You’ll probably have to remove it to another tank, or try more plants/hiding spots.

  14. i purchased 2 angelfish at the same time 1 white 1 black i’ve had them about 4 months now and the white one has tripled in size and the black one has not grown at all. just wondering why.

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