Animals

Marine Angelfish: 21 Facts You Won’t Believe!

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The marine angelfish is one of the most beautiful and alluring fish. This remarkable creature has an elegant form, beautiful vibrant colors, and graceful movement. They have a laterally compressed body that gives them a flat disc like form. This way, they are able to slop between the reef crevices and rocky outcroppings. Marine angelfish can be of different sizes and showy and even though they are showy, their coloration helps them blend with the shadows and patterns of the reef.

Marine angelfish is a perciform fish from the Pomacanthidae family that can be found on the shallow reefs of the tropical Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. There are seven genera and 86 species in the family. The family name Pomacanthanide comes from Greek words 'poma' meaning cover and 'akantha' meaning thorn.

You may also check out the fact files on swai fish and omate butterflyfish from Kidadl.

Marine angelfish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Tunicates and bryozoans

What do they eat?

Omnivores

Average litter size?

100-1000 eggs

How much do they weigh?

2 lb (0.907 kg)

How long are they?

8-12 in (20-30 cm)


How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Colored

Skin Type

Scales

What are their main threats?

Larger fishes, barracudas, and sharks

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Coral reef

Locations

Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Actinopterygii or ray finned fishes

Scientific Name

Pomacanthidae

Family

Pomacanthidae

Genus

Pomacanthus

Marine Angelfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a marine angelfish?

The marine angelfish from the Pomacanthidae family is one of the most decorative fishes. With their delicate streamers, graceful flat bodies, shimmering colors, and unique patterns, they are an excellent addition to an aquarium. These can be originally found in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean.

What class of animal does a marine angelfish belong to?

A marine angelfish from the Pomacanthidae family belongs to the ray finned fishes class.

How many marine angelfish are there in the world?

The number of marine angelfish is unknown. However, most of their species are under the Least Concern conservation status and have a stable population. Examples of such species include the blueface or Queen angelfish, the French angelfish (Pomacanthus paru), royal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus), the ornate angelfish (Genicanthus bellus), gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus), Emporer angelfish, and marine dwarf angelfish. The Queen angelfish is also known as the yellow angelfish or golden angelfish. An exception to this is the Bluespotted angelfish that has the conservation status of Data Deficient.

Where does a marine angelfish live?

Species of marine angelfish can be found on shallow reefs of the western Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans. They live in a saltwater habitat and in the shallow waters of the Caribbean near coral reefs. The new Caledonian Barrier Reef, Great Barrier Reef, and the Belize Barrier Reef are just some of the places where the marine angelfish lives. The French angelfish, Pomacanthus Paru, can be found in the Western Atlantic ocean.

What is a marine angelfish's habitat?

Marine angelfishes are commonly found on the coral reefs in tropical areas, underwater structured that are built by small sea animals.

Who do marine angelfish live with?

Young angelfish live in a group. When they become adults, they prefer a solitary life.

How long does a marine angelfish live?

If provided with proper care and proper aquarium conditions, a marine angelfish can live for 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Marine angelfish are born as females and, if they are dominant, they become males later on. Even after becoming a male angelfish, they can turn back to females after losing their dominance. This means that there is no need for distinguishing between the male and female angelfish. They choose their sex depending on what is required.

Some angelfish species from the Pomacanthus genus find their mate and stick with them. Some others display harem behavior (one male mates with multiple females of its species). When the marine angelfish mates, they become territorial. At this time, it’s best for their competitors to be away from them.

Once they have mated, the angelfish species, from the family Pomacentridae, release several eggs into the water where they continue floating until they hatch. If your pet angelfish has laid eggs in the water, you have to keep the plankton eating fish away as they consume eggs easily.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of marine angelfish or Pomacanthidae is Least Concern and their population is stable.

Marine Angelfish Fun Facts

What do marine angelfish look like?

A marine angelfish from the Pomacanthus genus can be blue, red, yellow, green, or black, or a combination of them. Some of them have scales with a swirling colorful pattern, some have stripes, and some are solid. Their scientific name is Pomacanthidae, which is Greek for cover thorn. They are named so because they have a spiny growth or thorn somewhere on their body. They have a flat, thin body with anal fins, curved dorsal, rounded tail fins, feathery pectoral fins, small mouths, and dark eyes.

Most of them are between 8-12 in (20-30cm) in length and can weigh up to 2 lb (0.907kg). There are some smaller and larger species. A koi angelfish is only 6 in (15 cm) long while the gray angelfish, the largest marine angelfish species, is 24 in (61 cm) in length and weighs 4 lb (1.81 kg).

Thanks to its flat, thin body, the different species of marine angelfish are able to swim into the hard to reach places allowing it to escape predators. You might think that these brilliant colors make them easy for the predators to spot. But, the truth is that their colors allow them to blend in the water with brightly colored algae, rocks, and other features in the coral reef habitat.

Marine angelfish can be of different colors.

How cute are they?

Thanks to their varying colors and patterns, marine angelfish from the Pomacanthus genus are considered cute.

How do they communicate?

The marine angelfish, commonly found in the coral reef, communicate by changing their colors, especially while mating. The male angelfish will show his pectoral fins and flick them outward to entice the female angelfish.

How big is a marine angelfish?

The marine angelfish from the Pomacanthus genus are of varying sizes depending on their species. Some of them can be 20 in (51 cm) in size. The average size is 8-12 in (20 - 30 cm).

How fast can a marine angelfish swim?

There is no recorded data for how fast a marine angelfish can swim.

How much does a marine angelfish weigh?

A marine angelfish can weighs 2 lb (0.907kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of the angelfish species.

What would you call a baby marine angelfish?

A baby marine angelfish is called a fry.

What do they eat?

When marine angelfish are young, they feed on plankton. When they get older, they start to eat tunicates, bryozoans (including jellyfish, sea squirts, and animals that can be found in seaweed). Some species only eat specific food such as Holocanthus angelfish that only eat sponges.

If you have a marine angelfish as a pet, it is recommended to include a variety of marine angelfish food in their diet including algae formula, meatier foods such as shrimp, prawn, krill, and mysis.

Are they dangerous?

Marine angelfish are usually peaceful. But, they can be aggressive towards other angelfishes, especially while attempting to breed and spawn. Also, they can eat smaller fish.

Would they make a good pet?

There are a few challenges in keeping the marine angelfish as a pet. But, as long as you keep the water clean and feed them the right diet, it won’t be as difficult to manage them.

Did you know...

The ideal tank condition for a marine angelfish depends on what the species is. In general, the aquarium for the fish must be a recreation of their natural habitats along with all the features that help them grow to be healthy. Here are few factors that you have to consider while setting up an aquarium for them.

Salinity: Since they are saltwater fishes, they will need saline water. You can do this by mixing salt into the water. One half cup of salt for 1 gallon (3.78 L) water is the recommended amount.

Hardness: Ocean water has calcium and magnesium in it. In order to replicate these conditions, you can add coral and crushed seashells inside the aquarium. You can also use aquarium decorations with calcium in them.

Oxygen: Fishes use oxygen present in the water to survive. Water bubblers and filters will encourage the proper distribution of oxygen inside the water. It is best to get an aquarium that has a wide top as the oxygen will be able to enter the water through the surface.

Size: Marine angelfish are saltwater fishes that need larger spaces than freshwater fishes. So, if you are keeping them as a pet, you will need a bigger aquarium than the one you use for other types of fishes. For small marine angelfish, you can use an aquarium that that can hold 20-55 gal (75.5-208.1 L). Medium-sized marine angelfish require a tank of 55-100 gallons (208.1-278.5 L) to thrive. For a large marine angelfish, you will need an aquarium that is between 100-300 gal (278.5-1135.6 L).

Filtration: Thanks to open seas, water gets replenished. But, this won’t be the case with a closed container. The toxic waste will get built up inside the tank which you will have to remove through water changes and filtration. For this, you can use biological filters in which there are certain bacteria that break down ammonia. The mechanical filter will trap out impurities. The chemical filters will involve using substances that eliminate nitrates and phosphates.

Marine angelfish and humans

The smaller species of marine angelfish are quite popular among aquarists. The large species however are occasionally used as food fish. However, there have been some reports of people eating marine angelfish and getting ciguatera poisoning.

The marine angelfish is one of the most uniquely patterned and colorful saltwater aquarium fish species. In fact, there are several aquarium hobbyists that start their saltwater tank only because they want a marine angelfish. These are incredibly beautiful to behold and are a joy to have as a pet in a home aquarium. Another great thing about marine angelfish is that they can recognize their owner. Thanks to their optic lobes, they are able to see the physiology of their environment. There have been studies showing that some fishes can even recognize their tank mates.

Marine angelfish and other fish

Small marine angelfish species feed on plankton while some larger ones eat tunicates (invertebrates like sea squirts), hydroids (jellyfish like animals), sponges, and bryozoans (animals found on rocks and in seaweeds). Marine angelfish can be eaten by other larger fishes, barracudas, and sharks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these codfish facts and fluke fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Marine angelfish coloring pages.

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