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Why Are Angelfish Called Angelfish? (Including Common Species)

Why Are Angelfish Called Angelfish? (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.

It’s no secret that angelfish are among the most popular fish for home aquariums. You find these popular pet fish in just about any pet store that sells fish.

They’re very beautiful, and being able to observe these fish gracefully swimming in your tank will be a real treat. You might want to have several angelfish in your community tank just because of how pretty they are.

If you’ve been caring for angelfish for a bit, then you might start to wonder about certain things. For example, why are they called angelfish?

Is there some sort of hidden meaning to the name angelfish? Or did it just sound good so the name stuck?

Keep reading to learn about why angelfish are called angelfish. You’ll also get a bit of information about other angelfish species.

It’s Because of Their Appearance

For the most part, angelfish were named because of their appearance. In some ways, angelfish truly do resemble the classic depictions of angels.

Of course, angels aren’t said to look like fish in most religious texts. However, the fins of the angelfish do resemble the wings of angels when you look at them from the right perspective.

When you turn an angelfish head-down, its silhouette will look a lot like an angel. Also, you could compare the graceful movements of the fish while they swim through the water to angels.

Perhaps the people who first started calling the fish angelfish just thought that they had an angelic quality to them. Either way, the name is mostly associated with the angelfish bearing a slight resemblance to angels.

Anyone who wants to add a colorful, pretty fish to a community fish tank will be happy with angelfish. It’s also great because they’re fairly easy to care for despite having a rather delicate appearance.

Silver Angelfish Were the First

One interesting thing to note is that silver angelfish were the first angelfish to be discovered. These fish became popular in aquariums, and people started breeding them so that they could change them somewhat.

Many different types of angelfish are just variations of the standard Pterophyllum fish that is known as angelfish. They’ve been bred with angelfish that have different color variations, and this has been able to produce a wide variety of different angelfish.

Generally, all of the angelfish names that you will find will in some way relate to the appearance of the fish. The naming conventions have to do with the colors or with things that the fish happens to resemble.

You can have all sorts of different angelfish in your home aquarium. There are a large variety of different colors, and there are also some different species that will be much larger than standard angelfish that you find at the pet store.

How Did Koi Angelfish Get Their Name?

Koi angelfish got their name because of their colors. When you look at a koi angelfish, you’ll be able to see that they have a distinctive black, white, and orange coloration.

These are the exact same colors that you’ll find when looking at koi carp. Koi carp are very popular fish that some people like to keep in ponds.

Koi carp have a reputation for being incredibly pretty. It can be very nice to be able to watch the koi fish swim in your outdoor pond.

Part of the reason why koi carp became popular has to do with people thinking that they bring good luck. Some people even get tattoos of koi carp because they think that it will boost their luck.

The koi angelfish aren’t necessarily associated with good luck, but they do look quite similar to koi carp in certain ways. These fish are sure to look very nice in your fish tank if you choose to buy some.

How Did the Zebra Angelfish Get its Name?

As you might expect, zebra angelfish get its name because of its resemblance to zebras. The zebra angelfish have stripes like a zebra, and this makes them stand out among the other standard angelfish.

Some people think that zebra angelfish are among the prettiest angelfish that you can buy. If you find yourself drawn to their interesting stripes, then it’ll definitely be good to buy some.

It makes sense that the black stripes would be associated with zebras. You should be able to find these fish in many pet stores, and you can also order them online.

How Did the Queen Angelfish Get its Name?

The queen angelfish is a very well known and large type of angelfish. These big fish can grow to be as long as eighteen inches, and they can weigh up to three and a half pounds.

This is quite a bit larger than the standard types of angelfish that have been discussed so far. So how did this angelfish get its name?

Well, it’s said that the fish is referred to as the queen angelfish because it has a round marking that resembles a crown on its forehead. This gives the fish a bit of a regal appearance, and that is why it is referred to as the queen.

Sometimes the crown might resemble a large eye as well. This works to the advantage of the queen angelfish since it can make it appear larger than it really is, and this might scare off some of its predators.

It isn’t recommended to keep a queen angelfish in your home aquarium if you’re a beginner. Wait until you have some experience and be sure that you have room for a large tank since it will require a good bit of space.

How Did the Flame Angelfish Get its Name?

Flame angelfish are another popular type of dwarf angelfish. These saltwater fish are gorgeous to look at, and this has helped to make them really popular among people who keep saltwater tanks.

You’ll find that these fish will only grow to be around four inches long on average, but there are reports of the fish growing to be six inches long. You’re going to need at least a thirty-gallon tank to keep this fish happy and healthy.

It got its name based on its coloration. The body of the flame angelfish appears to be very fiery.

These fish have red bodies and a very orange center. In some ways, it makes it look like the flame angelfish has a fire core of some sort.

You can find flame angelfish in the wild in tropical areas such as the Indo-Pacific ocean. They’re often found near stony coral reefs.

How Did the Emperor Angelfish Get its Name?

The emperor angelfish is a very large angelfish that most people aren’t going to be able to keep at home. These angelfish require very large fish tanks, and this makes them impractical for most homes.

An emperor angelfish can grow to be as large as twelve inches long. It can weigh as much as eleven pounds, too.

As you can tell, this angelfish is among the largest types of angelfish. It’s thought that this is why it was given the name “emperor.”

Since the fish is so large, it can easily be associated with being in a position of power. They prey on shrimp, marine algae, and even some squids in the wild.

Some larger fish such as barracudas are known to eat the emperor angelfish. They’re much bigger and more intimidating than the standard angelfish that have been discussed earlier, though.

Final Thoughts

After learning more about angelfish, you’ll see that many of the different types got their names for different reasons. In just about every case, the name has to do with the appearance of the fish.

Standard angelfish are called angelfish simply because they sort of resemble angels. If you look at the silhouette of the angelfish, then you can see similarities to angels.

They also seem to move gracefully, and that’s how many people imagine angels would move around. It’s a name that makes a lot of sense for such a beautiful, elegant type of fish.

The different variations of angelfish that you can buy from pet stores have names that relate to their colors or markings. Zebra angelfish have stripes that resemble zebra stripes.

Koi angelfish have coloration that is pretty much the exact same as the koi carp that you see people keeping in ponds. There are many examples of angelfish being named based on their color or something else that they resemble.

Queen angelfish are a different type of angelfish, but this species has also been named because of its markings. It has a crown-like marking on its head that makes it look like royalty.

Emperor angelfish are imposing and big when compared to most other types of angelfish. The emperor angelfish name seems very appropriate.

Flame angelfish look fiery and have a brilliant orange and red coloration. When you examine the angelfish, it’s pretty easy to tell how it got its name.

If you’re thinking about getting some angelfish for your home tank, then you should know that they’re great fish. It’s probably easiest to go with standard angelfish such as silver angelfish, koi angelfish, or zebra angelfish, though.

You’ll have a good time learning to care for them. Once you’ve gained some experience, you could consider caring for some of the larger saltwater fish if you have the right amount of space.

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