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Golden Angelfish

Golden Angelfish is also known as the aurinatus angelfish or velvet dwarf angel. These dwarf angels are difficult to find because dwarf angels are cryptic in nature with a velvet-looking burnt orange/red coloration.

This unique coloration features thin broken yellow bars running along each side of its body like Venetian blinds on an old house – except these don’t give off dust all day long!

While many people believe that golden angel is hard to keep, as the requirements for water parameters are rigorous and strict – it turns out this isn’t true at all.

In fact, with just a few adjustments in your tank setup, you can have these beautiful creatures living alongside other tanks of various types without issue.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about keeping golden angels in your freshwater aquarium.


Scientific NameCentropyge aurantia.
OriginWestern Pacific.
Minimum Tank Size30 gal (114 L).
Length3.9 inches (10.01 cm).
Aquarist Experience Level Advanced.
Temperature73.0 to 81.0° F (22.8 to 27.2° C).
Golden Angelfish Characteristics

Golden Blue Angelfish Origins & Habitat 

Randall and Wass first described the Golden Angelfish Centropyge aurantia in 1974. Golden angels can be found from the northern Great Barrier Reef to Samoa, including Indonesia and Belau, in the Western Pacific.

The dwarf angel can be found in deep-seated reef crevices, coral rubble beds, or swimming among sponges and branching stony corals many coral reefs on seaward reef slopes.

Also, these golden angels can be found in large monotypic congregations of Porite coral reefs with fused columns on the Solomon islands of Sulawesi, in the northern part of Indonesia.

This dwarf angel lives in depths from 9.8 to 197 feet (3 – 60 m), where it can eat algae, some coral polyps, sponges, and diatoms.

Like other Centropyge, they can be found alone in the wild, but they are more likely to be found in pairs or little harems. This is unconfirmed since these are extremely cryptic fish.

What Are the Features of Golden Angelfish?

1. Physical Appearance

Golden Angelfish has the typical velvet dwarf angel body shape. Although it is deep-bodied and rounded in form, it somewhat has a tiny elongated oval-shaped body.

The species has a larger body that may be observed in the head region (the head area is less pointed).

It is shaped similarly to the Peppermint Angelfish C. boylei, Colin’s Pygmy Angelfish C. colini, Barred Angelfish C. multifasciata, and Purplemask Angelfish C. venusta, all of which are generally available in pet stores or online retailers.

2. Colors

Golden angelfish is a bright reddish-orange fish with many vertical thin golden bars on its flanks that runs down the body. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins all have a few black submarginal bands. A dark blue ring encircles the eyes.

3. Fins

The dorsal fin has 14 spines and 16–17 soft rays, whereas the anal fin has 3 spines and 17–18 soft rays.

4. Length

The maximum overall length of this species is 10 centimeters (3.9 in).

Is Golden Angelfish Hardy?

This species should only be attempted by experienced aquarium keepers. Keeping other velvet dwarf angel fish is simpler since the dwarf angel needs more care and maintenance.

This is due to the fact that aurinatus angelfish are typically captured, which entails cyanide poisoning. This poison interferes with the fish’s blood’s ability to transport oxygen freely, damaging their digestive tract and liver function.

90% of all fish caught in this manner are sentenced to death, However, It may be difficult to discover a non-poisoned specimen, but it is well worth the effort.

When you first get this fish, it’s essential to put great care into feeding it. Some fish will refuse food for a long time, and in some cases, a fish may eventually die of starvation.

This is why you must be as tenacious as the fish and keep trying various foods.

Golden Angelfish Availability

The Golden Angelfish is a very rare and costly fish.

Small: over .75-1″ in length$269.99
Medium: over 1-2″ in length$279.99
Large: Over 2-3″ in length$299.99

How to Care for Golden Angelfish?

Water Requirements

1. Water Change

Golden angelfish are not as hardy as other angelfish, thus they are very sensitive to water quality.

In small tanks, such as those up to 55 gallons in size, bi-weekly water changes of 10-15% are adequate. However, in larger tanks, aurinatus angelfish may be maintained every two weeks at 20-30% of the tank volume.

Keep in mind that these grazers require continuous food and water quality monitoring to ensure their bioloads do not get out of hand. You can use a suitable aquatic filter to ensure that the tank is clean.

2. pH Level

Golden angelfish come from deeper waters where the pH is considerably high(8.0-8.4). However, pH levels lower than 8.0 would not be recommended.

You can use a pH test kit to know whether the pH level in your tank is suitable for your angels or not.

3. Water Temperature

The golden angelfish prefers to live in shallow reef water that is near the bottom, where it may keep its body temperature stable. As a result, these fish demand a range of 73.0 to 81.0° F (22.8 to 27.2° C).

You can use an aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature in your tank.

Tank Setup

1. Size

Although this fish might be maintained in a 30-gallon tank alone or with other tiny fish like 2” gobies, a 55-gallon aquarium would be more optimal for maintaining high water quality and parameters within range.

However, if you want to keep a male and female pair together a 75-gallon tank is required.

2. Tank Decoration

Your aquarium must be at least 6 months old to create an optimal environment for your angels.

Because aurinatus angelfish are quite reclusive, they will require many hiding places that resemble caves, niches, and corners. In comparison to other golden angelfish, they need considerably more rock formations.

3. Lighting

It’s necessary to keep the lights low as possible you can till aurinatus angelfish are acclimated and comfortable enough with the tank. These angels prefer darker areas of the tank and spend all of their time dashing from one hiding place to the next.

Golden Angelfish Compatibility

Golden angelfish good tank matesGolden angelfish bad tank mates
Non-aggressive butterflyfishDottybacks
Fairy basslets
Flasher wrasses

Remember that is not a good idea to put them with other golden angelfish because aurinatus angelfish are shy species and may refuse to eat if frightened. So keeping them alone in the beginning, will assist them to acclimate.

Golden Angelfish Diet 

Golden Angelfish are omnivores that need to be fed several times per day, and they should be fed a variety of nutritious foods even if the tank has plenty of algae.

Offer a varied diet that includes:

  • dried flakes
  • Frozen prepared diets for sponge and algae eaters
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Fortified brine shrimp
  • Meaty crustaceans

In addition, formula II and angel formula are two excellent commercial foods.

Golden Angelfish Breeding

In most cases, breeding golden angels won’t have any problems, especially if you fulfill their water and nutrient requirements.

In their natural environment, most golden angelfish will form pairs or harems composed of three to seven individuals. Males begin grunting as aurinatus angelfish speed and circle with a female at dusk, then the male will perform an elaborate mating dance before spawning individually with each of the females.

Aurinatus angelfish are pelagic spawners, with the male and his chosen female rising several feet above the reef before nuzzling her belly for 2 to 18 seconds in an attempt to release her eggs.

When ready, he leaps onto the female releasing eggs and sperm into the water column. The eggs are fertilized and carried to the plankton-rich surface.

Eventually, They return to the bottom of the reef and the male chases the female for a little while before moving on to the next female in his harem.

Make sure their water requirements are fulfilled, that your fish are adequately nourished, and try a variety of things since not all angelfish couples are created equal.

Golden Angelfish Gender Differences

As they grow, the larger and more dominant fish will become male

If a male golden angelfish dies or is removed from the leadership of his group by an external force such as illness then it’s possible that the next female in line for power could turn into a male.

Positioning two differently sized individuals together can have benefits because research shows that they will turn into a couple within about 2-3 months.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

White Spot Disease

Golden Angelfish, like other saltwater angelfishes, are susceptible to any sickness that arises in captivity, especially if they are disturbed by improper housing or tankmates.

White spot disease Cryptocaryon irritans, also known as Marine Ich, Saltwater fish Ich, and Crypt is the most prevalent malady affecting marine tangs and angelfish. The primary symptoms of Marine Ick involve constant scratching that leads to lots of white spots.

Marine velvet

The velvet dwarf angel disease, Oodinium ocellatum (also known as Amyloodinium ocellatum or Branchiophilus Maris), is a flagellate that infects fish.

Symptoms of Marine velvet dwarf angel include:

  • Peppery covering
  • Clamped fins
  • Respiratory distress (breathing rapidly as seen by frequent or rapid gill movements)
  • Eye cloudiness
  • Possible weight loss


Parasites on marine fish kept in aquariums with live rock or in a reef tank are particularly difficult to eradicate.

Copper and formalin solutions, as well as quinine-based medicines, are harmful to other marine species, however, metronidazole and other medicines are effective and safe in the treatment of a variety of anaerobic bacterial and parasitic and protozoan diseases.

For external parasites, raise the temperature of your tank gradually to at least 82° F (28° C). This will prevent the parasite from completing its life cycle, which involves the attachment to fish.

Is Golden Angelfish Reef Safe?

They are not suitable for keeping in a reef aquarium. However, there are angelfish types that may be kept successfully.

Most will not consume the hard and soft coral reefs but will instead eat the coral-produced mucus. They may nip at some LPS, Zoanthus, and clams to the point where they will die as a result of it.


What Does Golden Angelfish Eat?

Golden angelfish are omnivorous and will consume a variety of meaty foods as well as marine algae.

How Big Do Golden Angelfish Get?

Golden angelfish can grow to be about 8 inches in length.

Where Do Golden Angelfish Come from?

Golden angelfish are found in the Indo-Pacific region.

What Is the Difference Between Male and Female Golden Angelfish?

The males are generally larger than the females and have more intense coloration. The females are also usually less aggressive than the males.

How Do I Breed Golden Angelfish?

To breed golden angelfish, you will need to have a male and female that are of similar size. The female will lay the eggs, which the male will then fertilize. The eggs will hatch in about two weeks.

Do Golden Angelfish Have Teeth?

Yes, golden angelfish have teeth. They use these teeth to scrape algae off of rocks and other surfaces.

Last Words

The Golden Angelfish is a beautiful and highly ornamental fish that will make an excellent addition to any saltwater aquarium.

This species requires special care, as it can be difficult for beginners, however, if you’re experienced enough then adding one into your collection should not pose many difficulties.

We hope you have enjoyed this article as much as we did. If you still have any questions please share them with us in the comment section below.