Panda Angelfish

Panda Angelfish

Pterophyllum Scalare Panda Angelfish is a very unusual color pattern in the community fish, and they are highly valued among fishkeepers.

They are known as “Panda Angelfish” since they will always be white throughout and have black speckles within the body.

In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about keeping and caring for your Panda Angelfish.


Scientific NamePterophyllum scalare
OriginSouth America
AggressionSemi- AggressiveAggressic
Minimum Tank Size50 gallons
LengthGrows to approximately 15cm
pH6.5 – 7.5 
Temperature25°c – 28°c
Panda Angelfish Characteristics

Panda Angelfish Origins & Habitat 

The Pterophyllum Scalare Panda Angelfish is a South American fish. This freshwater angelfish may be found in the wild in the Amazon River Basin as well as its tributaries.

Also, you can find them in the Rupununi and Essequibo Rivers, among other waterways.

What Are the Features of Panda Angelfish?

1. Colors

Pterophyllum scalare has a white body with black spots within. Their dorsal fin is edged in white, while the other fins are translucent.

2. Length

The size of Pterophyllum Scalare Panda Angel fish is determined by its age and water quality. However, medium-sized fish shouldn’t be expected to grow much larger than 15 cm.

Is Panda Angelfish Hardy?

Panda Angelfish are one of the most hardy angelfish available, although they require somewhat more attention than other angel varieties. Because this species is highly sensitive to poor water quality and changes in water parameters.

How to Care for Panda Angelfish?

Water Requirements

1. Water change

Although panda angels are hardy more than other angelfish, they are still very sensitive to water quality.

A good rule of thumb for tank size is 10% monthly variances on 55 gallons or 15% weekly changes if your aquarium holds 100 gallons or more. You can also install a high-quality filter to help remove fish waste and other toxins from the water.

2. pH Level

When it comes to the pH level, panda angels prefer it to be between 6.5 – 7.5. They are very sensitive to changes in pH levels, so it is important to test your water regularly and make adjustments as needed.

3. Water Temperature

Panda angels originate from South America where the water temperature is 77-82 degrees Fahrenheit (25-28 degrees Celsius).

It’s critical to maintain the same water temperature in your aquarium as the one in their natural habitat. You can add an aquarium heater to your setup to help maintain the proper water temperature.

Also, using a thermostat will help you keep the temperature stable and prevent sudden changes that could stress your fish.

Tank Setup

1. Size

Panda angels like large, tall aquariums with lots of hiding spaces, such as all angels. They like to swim in the middle and upper levels of the tank, so a taller aquarium is better than a wider one.

If you have one fish or two fish, you will need a minimum tank size of 55 gallons. However, if you plan on keeping a group of panda angels, you will need a much larger aquarium.

2. Tank Decoration

The Panda Angelfish will be happy in a well-planted aquarium with driftwood and/or rock formations, as well as gentle water movement.

It is not excessively reclusive, but it does appreciate the cover of aquarium plants and because of its shape, is unlikely to seek refuge in rock holes or similar structures.

Panda Angelfish Compatibility

Panda angelfish will occasionally battle (particularly adults) but will generally do well if kept in a large enough group. They will only attack and consume tiny fish or invertebrates, however, other non-cichlid tankmates are avoided.

The Panda Angelfish may live with other peaceful fish as long as there is enough room. The Dwarf Shrimp and other tiny, fragile invertebrates do not get along with them, but bigger, more robust shrimp and snails can be acceptable tankmates in a large planted aquarium.

If spawning is desired, avoid or reduce the number of tank mates of other fish as much as possible. If the aquarium is spacious, they can be added to the mix provided that their activity does not disrupt active breeding in progress.

Panda Angelfish Diet 

The Panda Angelfish is an omnivore that requires a protein-rich diet for optimum health and coloration.

In the wild, they consume insects, crustaceans, and smaller fish. However, frozen bloodworms may be a good staple in their diet in addition to other live/frozen/flake foods in an aquarium setting.

They will also eat vegetable material, such as spirulina flakes, and other types of food for omnivores.

Panda Angelfish Breeding

As it is always with breeding angelfish, panda angelfish would be bred simply by providing them with a vertical, flat surface on which to lay eggs, such as an Amazon Sword leaf or a wall slate leaning against the aquarium wall.

Pairing up is not difficult if there are varying genders, but you could try keeping them together with other angels such as the sailfin angelfish if you don’t have another panda angelfish to act as a mate.

To spawn, they’ll need a range of water temperature of 78-82F (26-28 C) and a range pH level of 6.8 – 7.2. You should also have some pre-conditioned live food on hand, as well as a spawning tank with large rocks or driftwood strewed about.

Unfortunately, parents are not overly attentive, but you may anticipate them to stay near the eggs for the majority of the time until they hatch and for a few days after while their young is free-swimming.

After two days, remove the parents from the tank so they don’t inadvertently eat their young.

In about 4-5 days, the fry will be free swimming and should be fed brine shrimp when they are large enough to consume it. You might also want to give them some algae wafers or other similar items for omnivores at this period.

Possible Diseases and Prevention

White Spot Disease

The Angelfish, like other saltwater angelfishes, are susceptible to a variety of illnesses when kept in captivity, especially if they are startled by the presence of incorrect housing or tankmates.

The most common disease that affects marine tangs and angelfishes is white spot disease, also known as Marine Ich, Saltwater Ich, and Crypt. The primary symptoms of Marine Ick are constant scratching resulting in many white spots.

Marine velvet

The velvet disease, which is known as Oodinium ocellatum (also referred to as Amyloodinium ocellatum or Branchiophilus Maris) and is a flagellate that affects fish, is a type of parasite that has the potential to be deadly.

Marine velvet is a skin condition that causes:

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Possibly weight loss
  • Pepper-like coating and clamped fins
  • Breathing difficulties (breathing rapidly as seen by frequent or rapid gill movements)
  • Eye cloudiness


Parasites on marine fish kept in aquariums with live rock or in a reef tank are notoriously challenging to eliminate.

However, metronidazole and other medicines are effective and safe in the treatment of a range of protozoan and anaerobic bacterial diseases.

Copper solutions, as well as formalin baths, are harmful to other sea creatures. Nevertheless, metronidazole and other antibacterial drugs are effective and safe.

You can also raise the temperature of your tank gradually for external parasites to at least 82° F (28° C). This will prevent the parasite from completing its lifecycle, which entails attachment to fish.

Is Panda Angelfish Reef Safe?

This species is not considered to be reef safe as it is known to nibble on corals, sessile invertebrates, and macroalgae.

It’s important to be cautious when keeping them in a reef tank with corals, as they may eat some species of Zoas, Palys, and soft corals. They can also harm the tentacles of various other angelfish types.

Last Words

Panda Angelfish are a unique and very popular aquarium fish, but they come with some challenges.

It’s important to be mindful of their potential size when making stocking decisions, as well as their need for live food during the early stages of life.

With proper care, Panda Angelfish can be a stunning and relatively low-maintenance addition to your tank.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it helpful. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.