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How Big Do Angelfish Get? (Including Common Species)

How Big Do Angelfish Get? (Including Common Species)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Angelfish are some of the most popular fish that people keep as pets. They’re really good for beginners because they aren’t that tough to take care of overall.

It’s not always easy to find fish that are very pretty while also being easy to care for. Angelfish are among the prettiest pet fish that you can purchase.

If you want to get some pet fish for your aquarium soon, then you’ll want to get a bit of information first. You need to get a tank that’s big enough, and you’ll likely want to learn about the fish so that you can make good choices.

For example, you’ll want to know how big angelfish can get. There are also different types of angelfish, and sizes might differ depending on what you’re looking for.

Continue reading to get more information about how big angelfish get. You’ll also learn about different types of angelfish so that you can truly make an informed decision about which angelfish to take into your home.

How Big Will a Freshwater Angelfish Get?

Freshwater angelfish are the typical types of fish that people take care of as pets. If you go out to a pet store and see angelfish in a tank, then they’re almost certainly freshwater angelfish.

You’ll learn more about the other types of angelfish later in this article. For now, it’s time to focus on what you can expect from the most common angelfish that people care for.

These fish can get quite big when compared to other popular pet fish. An average angelfish that has reached maturity will be six inches in length, and the fins can grow to be eight inches long.

People often see angelfish get larger than this in tanks, though. If you care for your angelfish very well, then the fish could grow to be between eight and ten inches long.

The size of the fish makes it so that it won’t be well-suited for smaller tanks. You’ll need to ensure that the fish has enough room to swim around comfortably once it reaches maturity.

The potential height of the fins is also something to keep in mind. A taller tank is likely ideal when you’re planning to buy angelfish.

Another thing that you should know is that there are actually many different angelfish that are freshwater fish. The information above is just about the most common type of angelfish that you see being sold in stores.

Tropical Angelfish

There are many different types of fish being sold as tropical angelfish. Often, pet stores don’t tell you much about the actual species of the fish.

However, there are pet stores that do give as much information as possible about fish on cards that are placed near the aquariums. It just depends on which pet store you go to.

For this reason, it isn’t possible to tell you how big tropical angelfish get. There are many angelfish that could be considered as tropical fish.

Below, you’ll find more detailed information about some popular types of angelfish. This should allow you to learn a bit about your options so that you can decide on what type of fish you want for your tank.

Coral Beauty

The so-called coral beauty angelfish is actually a coral reef fish. It’s one of the most popular dwarf angelfish that people care for.

Being that it’s a dwarf, it won’t come as a surprise to hear that it’s not that big. These fish can grow to be four inches long once they reach maturity.

If you’d like to own an angelfish that isn’t quite so large, then this might be one of the best options. It’s actually rather easy to care for as well.

A fish such as this could be a very colorful and fun addition to your tank. Its coloration is truly a sight to behold as it has a dark blue outline around its body, an orange color in the center, and yellow on its fins.

One benefit of having this fish in your tank is that it can help to keep algae taken care of. You can feed this fish meaty foods and it’ll also eat algae.

When you’re purchasing a coral beauty, it’s going to be important to put it into a large enough tank. This fish can become territorial and become mildly aggressive when placed in a smaller tank.

As such, it’s recommended to put the fish in a tank that is around 70 gallons. You should also put aquatic plants in the tank since this fish likes to be able to hide.


Emperor angelfish are quite a sight due to how bold the coloration of the fish is. These fish have vibrant bodies that feature alternating blue and yellow stripes.

They look beautiful, and they grow to be quite large. An adult emperor angelfish has the potential to grow to be 15 inches long.

This is an omnivorous type of fish that will eat many different things. It should feed on algae in the aquarium, and you can also feed it various types of meaty fish food.

As you might have guessed, this is such a large type of angelfish that it won’t fit in most common small aquariums. You’re going to need to have a 220-gallon fish tank or larger to accommodate the fish when it’s fully grown.

There are some reports of people keeping smaller emperor angelfish in 125-gallon tanks when they’re younger. It’s likely better to give the fish plenty of room, though.

The size of this angelfish makes it an impractical choice for most beginners. You might be better off buying a standard angelfish if you’re just getting into aquariums.


Flame angelfish are remarkable because of how much they stand out in a fish tank. These fish only grow to be four inches in length once they reach maturity, but they’re truly fun to look at.

You’ll see that these angelfish are orange, blue, and yellow. Orange is typically the color that stands out the most, and that’s why they’re referred to as flame angelfish.

Remember to be careful of what types of fish you place into the tank with these flame angelfish. They’re semi-aggressive omnivores.

To keep aggression levels in check, these fish should be put into fish tanks that will give them plenty of room. Most experts recommend a minimum tank size of 70 gallons.

One thing to keep in mind is that flame angelfish are saltwater fish. Taking care of a saltwater tank is a bit more complex than caring for a freshwater tank.

That being said, flame angelfish are good ones to care for whether you’re a beginner to saltwater tanks or if you have some experience already. You’ll be satisfied with how neat these fish look.


The koi angelfish is one of the most popular types that you’ll find. This is the typical freshwater angelfish that was mentioned earlier in this article.

They grow to be six inches long on average and the fins can grow to be eight inches tall. You’ll want to keep these angelfish in fairly tall tanks to keep them happy and give them enough room to swim around.

Since these fish have been discussed already, it’ll be a good time to talk about tank size. Ideally, you should have a 55-gallon tank or larger for these fish when they’re fully grown.

Having more room to swim around is better for these fish. They also really like having aquatic plants in the aquarium.

The fish use the plants to hide sometimes, and they also utilize the plants for breeding purposes. Females can stick their eggs to big leaves, and males will then feel comfortable fertilizing the eggs when they’re placed in safe spots.


Marbled angelfish resemble koi angelfish quite a bit. In fact, these fish are much the same in terms of size.

A marbled angelfish will grow to be six inches long upon maturity. This is an average length, but it’s likely that the fish could grow larger if cared for optimally in a tank.

The fin size is going to be up to eight inches tall. As you know from earlier, you’ll need a bigger and taller tank to accommodate fish of this size.

It’s also worth noting that there are other marbled variants of angelfish out there. Aside from the standard marbled angelfish, you could also check out golden marbled angelfish.

The golden marbles are essentially a subset of koi angelfish. The markings of these fish can differ quite a bit, but they’re truly quite beautiful.

Silver Angelfish

Silver angelfish might be the perfect option for your tank. In many ways, these fish are similar to koi angelfish and marbled angelfish.

They have a coloration that looks pretty close to what you would see if you found angelfish in the wild. The silver and black colors look really nice, and the fish is sure to stand out in your tank.

Silver angelfish have three vertical stripes as markings. The color of these stripes will change based on the mood of the fish and other environmental factors.

In terms of size, this fish matches up to the koi angelfish. It will grow to be approximately six inches in adulthood, and its fin should be around eight inches long.


Queen angelfish are another large type of fish. These fish can grow to be even larger than the emperor fish mentioned earlier.

You might see queen angelfish grow to be 18 inches long, and at that size, they’ll likely prey on your other fish, instead of the other way around. Needless to say, you’d need a very large fish tank to house one of these fish comfortably.

It’s said that you should have a 220-gallon fish tank or larger if you’re planning on keeping a queen angelfish in your home. The fish will also need many aquatic plants in the tank so that it will have hiding places.

You’re supposed to put live plants in the tank for grazing purposes as well. Large fish such as this are truly interesting to take care of, but this is not a fish that you’d want to care for as a beginner.

Most beginners won’t be comfortable keeping such a large tank in their homes. If you do decide to keep one, then you’ll need to be prepared and learn as much as you can about the water requirements and nutritional needs of the fish.

Zebra Angelfish

Zebra angelfish are another interesting type of angelfish that people love to add to their aquariums. As the name suggests, these fish have markings that make them look as if they have zebra stripes.

There are quite a few different color varieties of these fish out there. You’ll find pet stores selling zebra angelfish that are black or blue pretty often.

These diamond-shaped fish are staples of many fish tanks. Taking care of these fish is very similar to caring for koi angelfish.

The average adult size of the fish is six inches in length. The fish should also have a fin size of approximately eight inches.

Black Lace Angelfish

A black lace angelfish is very similar to zebra angelfish and silver angelfish. Essentially, this is an angelfish that is a variation of silver and zebra angelfish.

It has more black genes that give it a darker and bolder appearance. Many people consider this fish to be one of the prettiest angelfish varieties that you can purchase.

Depending on your sensibilities, you might find this fish to be well-worth adding to your aquarium. It should be able to thrive in your tank as long as you have enough room.

These fish grow to be around six inches long at adulthood, and they have eight-inch fins. This fish was first bred during the 1950s, and it has remained popular for many decades.

To keep this fish happy, you’ll need to put it into a 30-gallon tank. You could also go with a slightly larger tank if you want to include more fish, but a 30-gallon tank will be fine for a pair of black lace angelfish.

Blushing Angelfish

Blushing angelfish are truly unique because they lack pigmentation on the gill cover. The red color of the gills winds up showing through on this fish, and it makes it appear as if the fish is blushing.

They look really interesting when compared to some of the other angelfish varieties that have been discussed so far. Blushing angelfish aren’t that different when it comes to size, though.

This is a pretty standard angelfish that grows to be around six inches in length. It should have a fin that will be eight inches long at maturity as well.

People buy fish such as this so that they can enjoy having a fish that looks a bit different. There are some other fish out there that also have the blushing gene, but this is the most famous.

Golden Angelfish

Golden angelfish were bred in the late 1960s. This is essentially a variation of the black lace angelfish.

A recessive gene caused this fish to come out with a golden color. These fish aren’t rare, but they are well-loved by angelfish enthusiasts.

People often breed golden angelfish with other species to try to get different color variations. This fish is standard in its proportions since it winds up growing to be six inches long at adulthood with a fin that will be eight inches long.

How Big Will a Small Angelfish Get?

Not all angelfish are going to be incredibly large. There are smaller ones out there that you could try to find.

The smallest angelfish is known as the P. leopoldi. These fish will only grow to be two inches long.

You wouldn’t need to have large tanks to take care of angelfish such as this. Keep in mind that these fish are known to be fairly aggressive despite their relatively small size.

Aside from these fish, there are many dwarf angelfish varieties that will grow to be approximately four inches long at maturity. When shopping for fish, you can specifically request to see dwarf angelfish if you’d like to.

Tank Size Matters When Choosing Fish

Choosing fish won’t just be about picking a fish that you think looks pretty. While it’s normal to gravitate toward one type of fish or another, you’ll also have to consider the practicality of keeping a larger fish in your home.

For example, you might be very intrigued by how impressive emperor angelfish and queen angelfish are. They could look amazing in a fish tank, but you’ll need larger tanks to hold big fish.

Not everyone is going to have the necessary room in their homes to care for fish that need large tanks. If you can’t find room for a 220-gallon tank in your home, then you might be better off seeking out smaller fish.

Thankfully, many of the smaller angelfish are beautiful in their own ways. Truly, there are many spectacular angelfish that you could bring into your home.

Even just going with standard types of angelfish such as koi angelfish will be a lot of fun. If you need to have smaller angelfish than that, then you could consider going with one of the many dwarf varieties of angelfish.

Just take your situation into account before you bother to purchase a fish. You wouldn’t want to try to force an angelfish into a tank that is too small for it to be able to thrive.

Angelfish Aggression Issues

Many types of angelfish will be slightly aggressive. For this reason, you’ll need to approach what you’re putting into the tank with caution.

Remember that fish will generally eat whatever they can fit into their mouths. If you plan to keep other fish in the tank with the angelfish, then they should be large enough to avoid being eaten.

Also, you should know that many types of angelfish have issues getting along with each other. Specifically, you’ll often have problems if you place two males in the same tank.

Many people choose to avoid putting two males in one tank so that they don’t have to worry about encountering problems. When two males are in the same tank, they will often wind up fighting.

The fish can injure each other during the fight, but they usually won’t fight to the death. This could wind up happening if you’re keeping the fish in a much smaller tank than you should, though.

It is possible to try to get two male angelfish to get along. You just need to put the fish in a very large tank so that they won’t keep bumping into each other quite so much.

Also, it’s important to have hiding spots for the fish in the tank. This allows the fish to get away from each other when they need a break.

Putting other fish in the tank can sometimes help with aggression issues, too. For instance, you could put fish in the tank that the male angelfish will be able to chase around and “play” with.

These fish should be large enough to withstand being chased by the angelfish. If this all sounds too annoying, then you might wish to avoid putting two males in the same tank.

Final Thoughts

You’ve learned a lot about different angelfish and how big they get. Many of the most popular angelfish can become fairly large once they reach maturity.

Common and popular angelfish such as koi angelfish will reach at least six inches in length at adulthood. The fins will grow to be eight inches, and that means they need somewhat tall tanks.

There are even larger angelfish out there that you can consider as well. Emperor angelfish are very big, and queen angelfish can grow even larger with a maximum growth potential of 15 inches.

If you’d prefer to keep smaller angelfish in your aquarium, then there are plenty of fish to choose from. The smallest angelfish will only wind up being two inches long.

There are also many types of dwarf angelfish that will grow to be four inches long at maturity. It shouldn’t be that tough to find angelfish that are appropriately sized for the tank that you want to use.

Keep all of this information in mind when you’re making your choices. This should help to guide your decisions so that you can have a good experience.

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