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Saltwater Angelfish

Things to Consider Before Investing in a Saltwater Angelfish

Saltwater angelfish are perhaps the most diverse and colorful aquarium inhabitants you can have. More showpieces than family pets, these beautiful living works of art can require a great amount of time, money, and care for them to be able to properly thrive in your tank. Before rushing out and investing a large amount of money on the most colorful species, you should read up on care and maintenance to ensure that you are fully prepared for this long term commitment.

Eating Habits

While some species are fairly easy to care for, others can be incredibly difficult to help thrive. Saltwater angelfish are notoriously picky eaters and generally will not thrive unless they are provided with a varied and proper diet. This is much easier said than done. While some are quite content to live on a strict diet of sponge and other living rock, others require brine and other marine life in order to be sated.

Some owners have tried to remedy this by feeding their angelfish substitute food and ignoring the predilection for sponge. While the fish are happy to eat this substitute, their color suffers, resulting in muted tones and dull hues.

Tank Issues

Saltwater angelfish require a large amount of tank room. Since some species can actually grow to be more than a foot in diameter, it is important to know what size of fish you will be dealing with. For smaller variations, a 30 gallon tank will suffice for one, but if you want multiple fish it is highly recommended that your tank be at the very least 75 gallons.

Tank size is important for a number of reasons. The primary reason is because many of these types of fish are territorial. While it may strike your fancy to have many different types of saltwater angelfish and turn your aquarium into a living rainbow of tropical fish, you need to understand that some of these varieties will fight each other for territory. Speak to your local tropical fish seller or look online for varieties that do well with one another. A large tank will help you with this, but you may simply have to be extra careful when picking out your specimens.

Another tank issue to take into consideration is the high standards of water quality that need to be adhered to. The tank water must absolutely be properly cycled at all times in order to keep these fish healthy. You need a proper aquarium setup and it needs to be equipped with strong power filters. You can also help your fish thrive by ensuring that you have a well-established population of living rock and clams. Keep in mind that you need to feed your fish enough though, or they will begin to nibble and bite on these additions.


Simply put, tropical angelfish are incredibly expensive creatures. It is highly recommended that you try your luck with other types of tropical fish before investing in the purchase of an angelfish. If you insist on giving it a whirl, though, there are certain varieties that are easier to care for than others. Even these types, though, are extremely expensive.

The smallest fish varieties start at around $22- $25 dollars per fish. It’s important to note that the full grown of these species usually cost 3 times as much. The $22 is for a young fish, and has a higher chance of dying in transition. The most expensive varieties can cost upwards of $200 for the youngest. Some “show” quality varieties that are sold online cost as much as $600 per fish with no guarantees for length of life.

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