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Regal Angelfish

The Regal Angelfish has an iridescent body with a variety of hues that makes it one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean.

It has two white vertical bars on either side which give them their name. They look like cute little angels when you’re viewing this beauty from above due to their wings-like appearance.

In this article, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about the Regal Angelfish, from their appearance and behavior to the best way to care for them.


Scientific NamePygoplites diacanthus
OriginIndian Ocean, Red Sea, Indo-Pacific Ocean
AggressionPeaceful, passive
Minimum Tank Size100 gallons (for adults)
Length10 inches
Ease of CareExpert
Temperature72–78 F
Regal Angelfish Characteristics

Regal Angelfish Origins & Habitat 

The Regal Angelfish can be found in the northern and western Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

Although they enjoy living in places with lots to explore on land or beneath the surface at various depths, this species’ favorite depth range is knee-deep to 150 feet deep. They can be also found much deeper than that if their habitat allows them to.

Regal Angelfish Life Cycle & Lifespan

Life Cycle

1. Fry

The male regal angelfish fertilizes the eggs after they are released by the female into the water column. The fertilized egg hatches into a fry (young fish) afterward.

The fry is put into what’s called a “wiggler” stage, which lasts about 5 days. During the wiggler stage, the fry will feed on their egg yolk until they’re free-swimmers.

After about seven days, the fry starts getting hungry and desperate for food. Therefore, make sure to start feeding them after around seven days from hatching.

2. Juveniles

Juveniles are timid and prefer to remain in their territories. However, they leave these secure refuges only if it is necessary either to get food or for safety reasons.

3. Adult

Regal Angelfish adults are constantly on the move, traveling long distances in their environments in order to look for food and avoid danger.


Regal angelfish can live up to 15 years if they are well-cared for in captivity.

What Are the Features of Regal Angelfish?

Physical Appearance

Regal Angelfish have a boney endoskeleton and a scaly exoskeleton. They have two lateral fins on the wither side of their body, along with a streamlined body and a caudal fin for efficient swimming.


This fish has a yellow to orange color with white vertical bars that are angled in black and blue, running into the front part of the dorsal fin while the back of the dorsal fin is solid blue.

The tail, pectoral and pelvic fins are all the same color as the rest of the fish. Also, the blue-and-yellow striped anal fin completes this vivid pattern.

However, in some variations the blue and black in the coloration are missing, resulting in a yellow body with white stripes.

The anal fin of this variety is usually white or darker yellow than its surroundings. In addition to that, the blue on the dorsal fin’s upper edge vanishes, and it is only yellow.

One Regal Angelfish was discovered in Papua New Guinea with a white striping pattern that looked like a squiggly road map instead of the usual white lines.

Furthermore, there are differences between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean fossils versus those from the Indo-Pacific region.

The specimens from the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean are bright orange throughout the belly and lower part of the mouth, whereas those from the Indo-Pacific region are blue-gray.


The maximum size of a regal angelfish is twice that of a standard goldfish. They can average length of 8-12 inches (20.32-30.48 cm).


The average weight of a regal angelfish is about 4 pounds (1.81 kg).

Is Regal Angelfish Hardy?

Regal angelfish are very difficult to care for. They are prone to diseases such as marine ich and other parasites, so it is important to keep a close eye on them.

Also, they are also sensitive to changes in water parameters, so it is important to maintain stable water conditions in their tank. Therefore, they are not recommended for beginners.

Regal Angelfish Availability

Regal angelfish can be found online and in pet stores. They’re only available during certain times of the year and are very expensive

Instead of purchasing an Indo-Pacific variety, go for the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean one since those from the Indo-Pacific have a shorter lifespan.

Tiny: up to 2.5″  in length, Red Sea$349.99
Small: over 2.5-3″ in length, Red Sea$349.99
Medium: over 3-4″ in length, Red Sea$399.99
Large: over 4-5.5″ in length, Red Sea$499.99
X-Large: over 5.5-6.5″ in length, Red Sea$599.99
Tiny: up to 2.5″ in length, Indian Ocean$249.99
Small: over 2.5-3″ in length, Indian Ocean$299.99
Medium: over 3-4″ in length, Indian Ocean$329.99
Large: over 4-5.5″  in length, Indian Ocean$349.99
X-Large: over 5.5-6.5″ in length, Indian Ocean$399.99
XX-Large: over 6.5-7.5″ in length, Indian Ocean$539.99
Regal Angelfish Availability

How to Care for Regal Angelfish?

Water Requirements

1. Water changes

Regal angels are very sensitive to poor water quality. Therefore, it is important to do regular water changes of at least 10-15% every week.

Also, these grazers generate a lot of waste, resulting in high ammonia levels. A strong aquarium filter would help you combat this.

2. pH Level

Keeping the proper pH level is important for the health of your regal angelfish. The ideal pH level for these fish is between 8.1 and 8.4.

In the case of pH swings, water changes are generally preferable to chemical treatments in keeping pH levels stable. It is also recommended that you use a pH test kit to test the pH level of your water on a regular basis.

3. Water Temperature

The best range guarantees that they can flourish effectively, not only to keep them cool but also to preserve their health and lifecycle appropriately. A temperature of 72 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal setting for these fish.

If you live in an area with a cooler climate, you should invest in an aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature in the tank.

Tank Setup

1. Size

Regal angels can become anxious if their water is disturbed for any reason, so large tanks will provide them with the security they desire while still allowing them enough room to move about freely.

This species’ juveniles are generally kept in a 50-gallon tank. However, adults require at least 100 gallons (379 liters) of space.

2. Tank Decoration

Regal Angel is shy and requires numerous hiding places in a live rock aquascape. The live rock should include a lot of naturally growing tunicates and sponges.

You can construct crevices and caverns where they can hide and feel safe and undetected. It’s also advised to add a few overhangs to protect them from the sun.

3. Lightening

The Regal Angelfish prefer moderate lighting. You should provide them with some shading with overhanging ledges or caves to hide in when they need rest from the sun’s glare.

Regal Angelfish Compatibility

The Regal Angels are aggressive and should not be maintained with fish larger or quicker than themselves, especially at first.

They can also be tough with other types of angelfish and should not be kept with triggers, huge wrasses, or fast feeders.

Regal Angelfish Diet 

Regal Angelfish are omnivores and require a diet that consists of both meaty and vegetation items. In the wild, they eat sponges and tunicates.

However, in captivity, they will consume a variety of foods, including:

  • Red nori seaweed (Ocean Nutrition’s Seaweed Selects)
  • Marine algae
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Brine shrimp
  • Chopped krill
  • Spinach
  • Husked peas
  • Lettuce
  • Freeze-dried meaty meals (they can be soaked in vitamins or garlic for fish)
  • Flake Food
  • Pellets
  • Worms
  • Live opened clams
  • Meat left on the shell
  • Commercial foods (Formula II and Angel Formula)

Regal Angelfish Breeding

In the wild, the mating dance begins approximately 15 minutes before the sun sets and lasts up to 25 minutes after it has set.

When the female is ready to mate, it raises up off the bottom and extends its pelvic fins to males. After that, the male will approach the female from behind and nuzzle the female belly with its nose.

The eggs will float to the surface in a circular or spiral pattern until they are roughly 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 1 m) above the bottom. The female will then discharge its gametes, and the male will do the same.

The male will shoot fertilized eggs toward the surface with its tail, which gets to be around 30 feet (9 m) from the local egg-eating zooplanktonivores, which are voracious consumers of tiny eggs.

Regal Angelfish Gender Difference

The only way to tell the two genders apart is by looking at their size and aggressiveness. The larger and more aggressive the fish will be the male.

If a male 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 angelfish in line for power could turn into a male. 

Possible Diseases and Prevention

White Spot Disease

Regal Angelfish, like other saltwater angelfish, 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 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 disease, Oodinium ocellatum (also known as Amyloodinium ocellatum or Branchiophilus Maris), is a flagellate that infects fish.

Symptoms of Marine Velvet include:

  • Peppery covering and 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, formalin solutions, and 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 protozoan and anaerobic bacterial 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.

Is Regal Angelfish Reef Safe?

Regal angels are not reef-safe since they could nip at LPS, SPS, and clam mantles.

Last Words

The Regal Angelfish is a stunning fish that will add both beauty and grace to any saltwater aquarium. However, they are difficult to care for and are not recommended for beginner aquarists.

If you are considering adding a Regal Angelfish to your tank, be sure to do your research and be prepared to provide the appropriate level of care.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the Regal Angelfish. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.