Can Molly Fish Live Alone?

Marble Angelfish

The marble angel fish (Pterophyllum scalare) is a stunning fish that has been cultivated in captivity for millennia. This species has been crossed with many others, resulting in a variety of subspecies.

The result is that there are currently distinct types of this species available on the market. Some of them are black with dark vertical stripes while others have Gold marble forms, which you may encounter.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about caring for a marble angelfish, including the tank setup, diet, lifespan, and more!


Scientific NamePterophyllum scalare.
OriginSouth America.
AggressionSemi-aggressive fish
Minimum Tank Size30 gallons
Length6 inches
Ease of CareEasy
Temperature24-38 degrees Celsius
Marble Angelfish Characteristics

Marble Angelfish Origins & Habitat 

The South American Gold Marble Angelfish is a fish found in the slow-moving seas of Brazil and other countries.

The cichlid families in these regions come from flood plains with a lot of underwater vegetation. They inhabitant these areas because the water is generally shallow and the vegetation offers them some protection from predators.

What Are the Features of Marble Angelfish?

Physical Appearance

These fish have a diamond-shaped body that is compressed laterally, with long triangular dorsal and anal fins.


1. Silver Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare)

When all of the various types of angel fish are looked at, silver angel fish emerges as the most widespread.

This fish has a silver body with black stripes that run vertically on it, which makes them look quite elegant.

2. Black Marble Angelfish

This species has a darker hue with a little white and silvery sheen.

3. Gold Marble Angelfish

Gold marble angelfish has a bright golden-yellow hue with minimal black and white random stripes or dots.

4. Blue Marble Angelfish

The blue body of this fish species is bordered by white and mottled black spots.

Length & Weight

Their maximum length is 6 inches, measured from the dorsal fin’s tip to the end of the anal fin and up to 8-10 inches in height.

Because of their extremely long fins, the veil species may develop considerably taller heights. They can also weigh up to two pounds.


The average lifespan of gold marble angelfish is 10 years. However, they can live up to a maximum life of 15 or so years if properly cared for.

Marble Angelfish Availability

Gold Marble Angelfish are beautiful freshwater fish that you can easily find in the market. One of them will cost you around $10-20 dollars, depending on where you live.

Is Marble Angelfish Hardy?

The Marble fish is quite resilient, they are more resistant to temperature changes than their nearby relatives (the Altum angelfish).

However, they still need certain conditions to thrive in the fish tank. It would be unwise to ignore their resistive traits and accept them as simply adequate.

How to Care for Marble Angelfish?

Water Requirements

1. Water Change

Although marble angelfish are quite resilient, they still need certain water conditions to thrive in the aquarium.

It is important to do a 20-25% water change every 2 weeks in order to maintain these conditions.

You can also use a water conditioner to remove any harmful chemicals from the tap water. Installing a water filter will also help to keep the water clean and fresh.

2. pH Level

Gold marble angelfish like a slightly acidic water condition with a pH level of 6-7.

To make sure that the water is not too alkaline or acidic, you can test the water pH level using a water test kit.

If the pH level is not within the desired range, you can use a pH adjuster to raise or lower it accordingly.

3. Water Temperature

Marble angels are tropical fish and they prefer a water temperature of 24-38 degrees Celsius.

To maintain the desired water temperature in the aquarium, you can use an aquarium heater. Also, make sure to place the heater in such a way that the angelfish cannot tamper with it.

4. Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite Levels

Ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels are toxic to your fish, therefore, you should keep as possible as you can them at 0 ppm in the aquarium.

To ensure that these toxins levels are low, you can use an ammonia, nitrite nitrate test kit.

Also, you should always clean the aquarium gravel and remove any uneaten food or waste to prevent ammonia and nitrite buildup.

Tank Setup

1. Size

The minimum tank size for a single gold marble angelfish is 30 gallons. For a pair, a 55-gallon aquarium is spacious enough. However, for a community tank, you will need a larger aquarium.

Marble angelfish have long but slender tails and fins that resemble wings, so keep the tank’s depth rather than its length in mind when selecting a marble angelfish tank.

2. Tank Decoration

Suitable hiding places and plenty of vegetation are a must for these fish. They are shy by nature and will feel stressed if they don’t have somewhere to hide.

You can use live plants or artificial plants to provide hiding places for the fish. However, make sure to choose plants that are not poisonous and that have smooth edges since the fish might tear their fins on sharp edges.

Also, you can use driftwood, live rocks, and caves that imitate their natural habitat, thus providing them with a sense of security.

3. Lighting

Gold marble angels prefer a dim light since they dwell in the wild near vegetation, where there is a lower degree of illumination.

Bright light will cause them stress, so it’s best to use a low-wattage fluorescent bulb or a LED light.

Marble Angelfish Compatibility

Marble angels are aggressive fish so it is not easy to find compatible tank mates for them. Therefore, you must be aware of the many behavioral changes that they may exhibit towards their predators.

The presence of another male within their territory drives the males insane, and they will fight until one or both of them is dead.

Because of this, you must only keep one in your tank. However, if you have a large tank, it’s fine to add another one to the same tank.

Here are a few of the many species that make excellent companions for marble angels.

  • Mollies
  • Dwarf Gouramis
  • Bolivian rams
  • Freshwater Catfish
  • Juvenile common plecos
  • Platies
  • Bottom-dwelling Kuhli loaches.
  • German rams (you must monitor them as they are fragile)

Marble Angelfish Diet 

In the wild, the gold marble angelfish feed on crustaceans, larvae, insects, and other tiny fish of their kind.

They also consume grassy weeds, which provide them with the nutrients they require from natural fibers.

Generally, their diet should primarily consist of protein-based food including:

  • Live and frozen foods
  • Brine shrimp
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Vitamin-enriched brine
  • Bloodworms
  • Carnivores’ prepared food
  • Pellets
  • Mosquitoes

Marble Angelfish Breeding

Marble angelfish are hard to breed in captivity because they are very particular about their environment.

Water must be clean and clear for these species to breed, and if the water is unclean, they will not reproduce. Also, they need warm water with a pH level that is more acidic than normal water.

Therefore, to induce their spawning, you must provide them with optimal water conditions:

  • Temperature: (27 – 29 ° C)
  • The pH of the water: About 6.5
  • Hardness: 5 GH

After achieving the correct water parameters, they will be ready to form pairs.

The female fish will lay hundreds of eggs, usually ranging from 100 to 1000, on a flat surface like submerged broadleaf or branches. After that, the male will follow the female and fertilize the eggs

Unfortunately, because of the continual commercial inbreeding of these fish, marble angels have nearly eroded their natural inclination to defend the eggs over time.

As a result, they consider their eggs to be a threat and will frequently consume them.

Therefore, to prevent them from eating their own eggs, you should provide a spawning surface like a shallow cup or plate-shaped object that can be thrown away and reared separately.

Marble Angelfish Gender Difference

The gold marble angelfish’s fin length is a way to determine gender. The male has longer dorsal and anal fins, whereas females have shorter ones.

Some people see a minor difference in skin color between the sexes. The males have more black near their tail fin, whereas the females do not.

The male’s heads are also characterized by a crown-like appearance and a thick bumpy, abrupt forehead that becomes visible as they mature while females’ heads are rounded.

In some rare cases, male gold marble angelfish have a purple-black color to their dorsal fins instead of the female’s yellow-golden hue.

Are Marble Angelfish Aggressive?

Marble angelfish are docile as juveniles, but once they mature and establish territorial, their aggressive behavior emerges spontaneously.

They are extremely aggressive to other angelfish types that they think are threatening their territorial integrity.

They are also reported to be aggressive toward other peaceful fish, thus you should keep the tiny valuable fish away from the gold marble angelfish.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

White Spot Disease

The freshwater angelfish is susceptible to a variety of illnesses that may affect all saltwater angelfishes.

Marble angelfish are most prone to sickness if they are moved from their natural habitat or housed with unsuitable tankmates.

The most common disease afflicting saltwater tangs and angelfish is white spot disease, which is known as Marine Ich, Sea Ick, or Crypt. The primary symptoms of Marine Ick are constant scratching that results in a lot of white spots.

Marine velvet

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

Marine velvet symptoms include:

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


Parasites on aquarium fish kept in tanks with live rock or in a reef tank are notoriously hard to get rid of.

Marble angels infected with parasites will show the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Scratching on rocks or decorations
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Discoloration
  • Weight loss

Metronidazole and other anthracyclines are effective and safe in the treatment of a variety of protozoan and anaerobic bacterial infections.

Also, you can raise the temperature of your tank gradually for external parasites to at least 82° F (28° C) since this will prevent the parasite from completing its life cycle.


How Big Do Marble Angelfish Grow?

The maximum size that a gold marble angelfish can grow to is about 6 inches.

How Long Do Marble Angelfish Live?

The average lifespan of a gold marble angelfish in captivity is between 10 and 15 years.

What Do Marble Angelfish Eat?

In their natural habitat, gold marble angelfish eat a diet of zooplankton, small crustaceans, and algae.

In captivity, they should be fed a diet of marine angelfish pellets or flakes, supplemented with live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.

What Is the Ideal Tank Size for Marble Angelfish?

The ideal tank size for gold marble angelfish is at least 30 gallons.

What Is the Ideal pH for Marble Angelfish?

The ideal pH for gold marble angelfish is between 6 and 7.

Last Words

Marble angelfish are one of the most popular saltwater aquarium fish because of their striking color patterns and relatively peaceful nature.

With proper care, your gold marble angelfish can thrive in captivity for many years.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions that were not answered here, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

Happy Fishkeeping!